Recently, SHAPE Central announced that, while we still allow the use of SweetLeaf Sweet Drops in the glass bottle, we can no longer approve the use of SweetLeaf Water Drops in the plastic bottle. This is because SweetLeaf changed the formulation of its Water Drops to include glycerin.

We’ve had many patients ask about our decision, so we wanted to take a moment to explain what glycerin is and why it is a concern for our SHAPE Warriors.

What Is Glycerin?

Glycerin, also known as glycerol, is a sugar alcohol that is made from animal or vegetable fat. It also can be produced synthetically. It is a colorless, odorless syrup that has a sweet taste. Glycerin is classified by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a carbohydrate, and it has the same caloric density as sugar, although it has a lower glycemic index. This substance is nontoxic and generally regarded as safe for human consumption in small quantities.

Glycerin is widely used in the cosmetics and personal care industries for its moisturizing effects on skin and hair. It can be found in soap, toothpaste, mouthwash, hair products, lotion and shaving cream, among other products. In the pharmaceutical industry, it is used as a laxative and, in the form of nitroglycerin, to relieve angina.

Glycerin also can be found in many foods and beverages, thanks to its ability to act as a solvent, sweetener and preservative. It helps thicken foods, control moisture and/or stabilize emulsions of oil and water. You can find glycerin in processed meats, soybean products, condensed milk, convenience foods, commercially baked goods, beverages, condiments and a range of other processed foods.

Other product applications include e-cigarette liquid, antifreeze, explosives, pressure gauges, stage fog and even fuel. For a list of commercial products that include glycerin, click here.

So What’s the Big Deal?

If glycerin is considered safe and is already included in a wide range of products, then why doesn’t SHAPE allow it?

SHAPE ReClaimed was built on decades of clinical experience and on the original research by A. T. W. Simeons, MD. It has been obvious to us through years of observation that the use of glycerin-based cosmetic and personal care products has an adverse effect on patient progress. There is a clear correlation between glycerin and a slowdown or stall in shedding weight.

This is why we strongly recommend that patients stop the use of oil-based hygiene products, many of which contain glycerin. These products are absorbed through the skin and our clinical observation has shown it negatively impacts the success of the SHAPE program for many.

It’s why we also now ask SHAPE Warriors to avoid SweetLeaf Water Drops and any other foods that contain glycerin. Because we have such strong clinical evidence against glycerin, we simply cannot endorse or approve any product that includes it as an ingredient, even if it’s from a brand that we know and trust.

SHAPE Central will continue to study the health effects of various foods, products and ingredients, which may result in changes to the program from time to time. Please know that we are intentional with our program, and all decisions are made with patient health and success in mind.

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