SPECIAL: Animals (and that other stuff) in Your Meds
Regular readers already know about the additives, dyes and preservatives in over-the-counter and prescription medicines—the same additives many people try to avoid in processed foods. But do you know that 10 top-selling drugs—including aspirin—also contain animal ingredients? In addition to those wishing to avoid animal products for ethical, moral, religious or health reasons, there is another issue: Animal products in your meds means that residue from the same animal growth hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, GMO feed, and other animal drugs many people look to avoid by refusing conventional (non-organic) meat and dairy products may well be in the meds they take every day.
There’s a very good chance that some of the medicine in your home contains an animal-derived ingredient.
The most frequently included animal-based ingredients in meds, according to a new study in the British Medical Journal, are lactose (often extracted from curdled cow’s milk), gelatin (frequently sourced from cows) and magnesium stearate, which can also come from a cow and is a magnesium salt containing stearic acid.
A PETA fact sheet mentions that stearic acid additionally can come from dogs and cats euthanized in animal shelters, but cows remain the primary source.
The top 10 common medicines most likely to contain ingredients derived from animals are: aspirin, simvastatin, paracetamol, thyroxine, omeprazole, lansoprazole, salbutamol, ramipril, amlodipine and atorvastatin. Most of these drugs are sold under their brand names, so if you are curious or concerned about animal-based ingredients, be sure to read labels carefully and research drugs via the manufacturer’s website and other provided information.
Learn more here: Animals in Your Medicine Cabinet
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