The Maltitol Controversy Lives on!

I finally discovered the Murphy’s law of blogging: If you create a personal weblog, update semi-regularly for close to three years, and pour your heart and soul (or at least, your best late-night top-ten lists), the one thing your blog will be known for is a two-year-old post about how the artificial sweetener Maltitol causes massive diarrhea.

Despite my best attempts to mine such topics at the hunt for Nintendo Wiis, the great “Hair Watch” of the 2004 Presidential campaign, or the shiny future of cat toys, it’s the Maltitol post that people keep stumbling on. Normally a post will get one, two comments, tops. Yet somehow the Maltitol one has accumulated 25, most of them stories about other people with similar stories — the evils of Russell Stover jelly beans, nights spent in bathrooms, business meetings disrupted by massive abdominal growling, etc, etc. Even a few have emailed me directly, such as Lisa D., who wrote a couple days ago:

Dear Ted:
I love your blog on Maltitol: A Sweetener and a Laxative in One. Wow! I had the nightmare trip of my life when I was stuck in the Canary Islands and then Madrid just trying to get home before dying of the flu epidemic that killed the Pope. Except I wasn’t vomiting, I was having explosive diarrhea. With total dehydration, the hotel doctor gave me a shot of ?? after which I slept for 20 hours, then I took a bunch of medication. The trip home with all the security zones at the airport (and the bathroom elsewhere) — well, I wished I had bought diapers I was so nervous. I didn’t eat or drink anything for 18 hours just trying to make it back. After getting home I realized the ‘healthy’ bars given to me by my gut specialist (!) were full of maltitol syrup.

Just wanted to let you know and thank you because your blog is the one I’m going to point people to and I’m not logged into Word Press so I couldn’t leave a reply.

Thanks. Lisa D.

So, there you have it. TurkeyMonkey has become a support group for the gastrointestinally abused, artificially sweetened, and Hershey squirted. Welcome to the party.

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