Dr. Thomas Dwan - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Thomas Dwan

Are Tic Tacs Bad For You?



Short answer

Tic Tacs are bad for you, as they contain ingredients that can wreak havoc on the body. Although popping a Tic Tac into your mouth every now and then shouldn't hurt, doing so every day may result in more harm than good.



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Long answer

The primary ingredients found in Tic Tacs are sugar, maltodextrin, tartaric acid, rice starch, gum arabic, magnesium stearate and carnauba wax along with artificial colors and flavors. To understand what risks Tic Tacs may pose on the body, we will take you through each of the ingredients.

Maltodextrin is an additive that binds ingredients and prevents crystallization. It has negative health impacts because it has been found to promote bad bacteria and can cause allergic reactions in some people including rash and itchy, blotched skin.

Maltodextrin is an easily absorbed complex carbohydrate and can sneak into your blood stream rapidly thanks to its high glycemic index. Therefore, if you are not leading an active lifestyle, it acts much like sugar and will be stored as fat. However, if you are active around the time you consume any product containing maltodextrin, it should pass through the digestive system fairly quick. Also concerning is the fact that maltodextrin is derived from corn and chances are it is genetically modified. Without any long-term research on GMOs, it is hard to say whether or not they are safe to consume. Many researchers have concluded they increase the risk for numerous ailments, including cancer, and can even create new diseases never seen before. 

Tartaric acid contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and can actually be considered in small quantities. However, consumed in large amounts, unwanted side effects such as stomach pain, increased thirst, and gastro complications can quickly arise.

Rice starch is used as a stabilizer and poses no threat to your health. Gum arabic or acacia gum is also used as a good stabilizer and helps to bind ingredients together. It is used in Tic Tacs to prevent them from sticking to your teeth and to make the flavor last longer. Gum arabic contains no additives or harmful chemicals and can be safely consumed. Magnesium stearate is a type of salt that is used as a binder and also is safe to consume. Carnauba wax is used to give Tic Tacs their hard coating and gloss. While deemed safe for consumption by various health entities, it is important to note that long-term consumption of carnauba wax has no research behind it. We simply just don't know what risks the wax poses on the body over the long run. 

Lastly, we have artificial flavors and colors. Both have been chemically produced in a lab and can increase the risk for several serious health complications. Some of these include cancer, central nervous system damage, and respiratory depression. Artificial flavors and colors have also been found to be a leading culprit in childhood hyperactivity. 

If you must freshen up your breath, a few Tic Tacs every now and then shouldn't hurt. Consuming them every day, however, will surely result in more harm than good. Try chewing on a fresh piece of mint instead!

Possible short-term side effects

  • nausea
  • hyperactivity, especially in children
  • allergic reaction
  • promotes the growth of bad bacteria
  • blood sugar spike

Possible long-term side effects

  • tooth decay
  • weight gain
  • cancer
  • cns damage
  • diabetes

Ingredients to be aware of

Healthier alternatives

  • try chewing on a fresh piece of mint

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

PUR Aspartame-Free Gum

  • 100% xylitol-sweetened
  • Sugar-free chewing gum
  • Vegan & gluten-free
  • Keto-friendly product
  • Natural flavors
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Desmond Richard
Published on: 03-09-2016
Last updated: 11-30-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Desmond Richard
Published on: 03-09-2016
Last updated: 11-30-2023

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