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Your Guide to Vegetable Glycerin

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Vegetable glycerin, which is also called glycerine or glycerol, is a clear liquid that is usually made out of palm, coconut or soybean oils. It has a syrup-like consistency, a sweet, mild taste and is odourless. Vegetable glycerin is a popular ingredient within the cosmetic industry and also has several other uses. It might provide health benefits, which range from a healthier gut, better hydration, and improved skin. In this article, we will be examining the uses of vegetable glycerin, along with its side effects and benefits.

What Is Vegetable Glycerin?

Glycerin is a type of sugar alcohol that is derived from petroleum, plants, or animal products. Vegetable glycerin is a variant that is made out of plant oils. It was presumably discovered accidentally over two centuries ago when a mixture of lead monoxide and olive oil was heated up together. However, it only became industrially and economically significant during the late 1800s when it was initially used for making dynamite. Triglyceride-rich vegetable fats are heated up to make vegetable glycerin. These fats include coconut, soy, and palm oils. They are heated up along with a strong alkali, like lye, under pressure. The process results in the glycerin splitting from the fatty acids and mixing together with water to form a syrup-like, sweet-tasting, and odourless liquid.

Common Uses

The pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food industries all use vegetable glycerin. For example, it is frequently added to foods in order to help water and oil-based ingredients moisten, sweeten, or mix well in the final product. It may also be used to help prevent the formation of ice crystals in frozen foods, like ice cream, low-fat frozen yoghurt, and other desserts. Glycerin is also commonly used by pharmaceutical companies who ensure every last drop of this useful ingredient makes it into their products by using a drum pump.

The types of products glycerin can be used to include drugs, including anaesthetics, cough remedies, suppositories, and heart medication. There is also vegetable glycerin contained in some toothpaste since it helps to prevent it from hardening or drying out inside the tube. It is also often added to makeup, deodorants, lotions, candles, and soaps.

Potential Benefits

The ingredient vegetable glycerin has been promoted as a product that offers many different health benefits. However, only a few of the benefits are currently supported by small, scientific studies. More studies are necessary to examine the health benefits of vegetable glycerin further. The benefits below have the most research backing them.

Might Moisturise Skin

Due to its moisturising power, vegetable glycerin is a very popular type of skincare treatment. It has been shown by research that when glycerin is applied to your skin it might improve its suppleness and smoothness gradually over time. Using creams that contain glycerine might increase the hydration of your skin as soon as in 10 days.

Might Promote Skin Health

Another benefit that vegetable glycerin might provide is improving skin health through promoting wound healing, protecting against infection, and helping to soothe skin irritation. It has been shown by studies that when glycerin-containing products are applied it might help to protect your skin against microbes and irritants, and also help to soothe wounded or inflamed skin. Also, vegetable glycerin might act as a barrier to protect your skin against the elements, including cold and wind.

Might Boost Athletic Performance and Hydration

Glycerin might also help to boost hydration, which in turn can help to improve athletic performance. To avoid dehydration, one good strategy is to make sure you drink enough liquid before and while you are exercising. However, it might be impractical to drink fluids while performing certain kinds of physical activity. Drinking plenty of water ahead of time is key in those situations. It was found in another study that it was more effective to consume a glycerin drink than it was to drink a sports drink or water to improve hydration in athletes who had lost a great deal of water from sweating while exercising.

Possible Side Effects

In general, vegetable glycerin is considered to be safe. However, if you apply vegetable glycerin directly to your skin you might develop an allergic reaction. That is why it is best to start with just a small dab to see what reaction your skin has. In some people, when vegetable glycerin is ingested it might cause excessive thirst, vomiting, nausea, or dizziness. Given that glycerin is a type of sugar alcohol that cannot be fully absorbed by your body, if you consume too much – either through foods or alone – it might also lead to diarrhoea and gas.

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