Friday, June 13, 2008


The iced tea in question

I saw Kung Fu Panda today. Just before the movie started there was an ad for a new Iced Tea called Vitao by Nestea. I thought the commercial was pretty creative, cool even. A bunch of people dancing to light coming out of iced tea bottles. The brand stuck with me and after the movie, on the way home, I went into the local Subway sandwich shop where I saw bottles of it available for purchase.

The drink was pretty tasty. It was "Fuji apple" flavoured. On the top corner of the label it reads "Natural Health Product" and "Natural Fuji Apple Flavour". Now normally I'd just drink it and if it didn't taste like aspartame not give much thought and buy more bottles of the stuff to drink, but because of the "natural" labels on the bottle my brain automatically thought "What's the catch here?".

Kind of like those alarms bells that go off when you watch a commercial for a mining company advertising that they plant X number of trees per year... "How many forests are they destroying by strip mining?" my brain automatically asks.

I started to investigate the naturalness by reading the bottle's ingredients. The two lines that popped out were "Do not exceed 3 bottles a day" and "Consult a health practitioner prior to use if you have a liver disorder, develop symptoms of liver trouble, or if pregnant or breast feeding.". What the heck?

A photo of the side of the bottle.

What the heck is in iced tea that will give you liver trouble? How is this a "Natural Health" drink? Are these instructions on the bottle something I should take seriously or is it just the beverage company writing stuff on the bottle to protect themselves from legal action taken by some guy that consumes the stuff on a more than average basis and gets sick? Kind of like the disclaimer on the chainsaw box that reads "do not stop in genital area". Why don't they just add "Do not use for drowning purposes." just in case?

And I thought the sardines in blueberry juice was odd.


phaedrav said...

First I thought you were a good consumer, then I thought you were a bad consumer, then I thought you were a good consumer.

That sounds like the kind of warning you get if there's ginseng in something. Or any of the "natural" drugs that will be controlled by the proposed new law.

It's not because of the apple juice or tea. What are the other ingredients?

BagelHot said...

Here's the label in it's english entirety...

Recommended use: Use as source of antioxidants for the maintenance of good health. Recommended dose (ages 12 and up: drink 1 to 3 bottles per day as needed. Do not exceed 3 bottles per day. Medicinal ingredients (per 473 mL): 55mg EGCG (concentrated natural green tea), 83 mg vitamin C (ascorbic acid): 1.89 AT vitamin E (dl-ALPHA-TOCOPHERYL ACETATE), 90 mg calcium (calcium lactate pentahydrate)

Non-medicinal ingredients: Filtered water, Apple Juice from concentrate, sugar/glucose-fructose, citric acid, natural flavour.

Take a few hours before or after medications.
Consult a health practitioner prior to use if you have a liver disorder, develop symptoms of liver trouble, or if pregnant or breast feeding.

Anonymous said...

I noticed the "few hours before or after medication" warning on the box of cans (not the glass bottled stuff) and wondered the same thing.

The ingredients don't seem too strange (to the best of my puny medical knowledge)so it makes me wonder what is in the stuff.

Ah well, I'll drink it and see if I get any weird side affects (I'm allergic to aspartame and the like, so I'll notice)

Anonymous said...

Since this was the first hit on google for "nestle vitao breastfeeding) i'll give a medi-update for EVERYONE that will read this.

AS for the take before or after medications... that is a very common tag for any sort of vitamin. My prenatal vitamins and even a brand of vitamin C i have recently purchased say the same thing. It is not that the ingredients are dangerous by any means (the same things minus the ECCG are in children's vitamins!) but they can avoid absorption or proper working of certain (chemicals in) medications, thus rendering them useless. Vitamins ACE are tricky for humans... if we consume too much of them on a regular basis it can make your body turn off the receptors so you don't absorb ANY of the vitamins, very bad for you.

The ECCG is a natural antioxident and metabolism booster and unless you're drinking LARGE idiotic amounts of it (like a 12 pack a day) it is quite safe. As for pregnant and breastefeeders the advice is similar, drink only 1-2 cups of tea a day to avoid quickened heartbeat or diuretic symptoms. Any anyone with heart conditions or major cardiovascular problems should completely avoid VITAO and normal green tea. ANyone wanting more info can link to this paper which is all about green tea and ECCG and is properly researched and sourced.

I hope this was helpful to y'all :P