Perhaps you read about the death of John Jackson, of West Midands, England.

The 40-year-old Mr. Jackson, unable to work because of advanced liver cirrhosis, the result of years of heavy drinking, is said to have died from eating mints.

How could mints, specifically Hero Instant Energy Mints, kill him? Well, sayeth the poobahs, it was all the caffeine in the mints–82mg per mint.

Coroner Robin Balmain said he would ask the Department of Health to warn citizens of the death-dealing mints. Balmain said, “This is a potentially very dangerous situation. The level of caffeine is enormous.”

At the inquest following Mr Jackson’s death, pathologist Dr. Dragana Cvijan said she had never encountered a caffeine overdose before, adding that a damaged liver can’t process caffeine well.

Dr. Jack James, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Caffeine Research chimed in to add that high levels of caffeine are causing “untimely deaths” and should be regulated.

The medical poobahs placed all blame on caffeine, apparently believing terminal cirrhosis was incidental.

We need to take a deeper look at this strange conclusion.

Especially, perhaps, since the smallest cup of Starbucks contains 160mg of caffeine, and even slurping multiple cups daily has never caused death. Perhaps a hair-on-fire sensation from time to time, but no deaths.

And even more especially since multiple studies prove caffeinated coffee helps a damaged liver get its mojo back.

Then there’s the knee-jerk pronouncement that caffeine should be regulated. Any call for regulation is a red flag warning that an agenda is in play.

Let’s look at the ingredients of the suspect mints:
• Sorbitol - An artificial sweetener, typically made from corn syrup, known to cause cataracts and digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome. Our bodies convert it to fructose, which is hard on the liver, especially one already damaged.

• Caffeine (82mg) - A non-addictive substance that works with your body to keep fatigue at bay. It’s the most heavily used “drug” in the world–without causing death. However, caffeine in coffee acts differently, and benignly, than caffeine on its own. And since we don’t know if this is natural caffeine or some artificial concoction, we can’t know if it’s part of the problem or not.
• Taurine - A calming amino acid found in most energy products Perhaps it’s there to modulate the effects of the caffeine somehow, but I haven’t found any research that says “yea” or “nay.”

• Natural Peppermint Oil - When it comes to food labels, “natural” can mean anything you want it to mean. So we don’t know whether this peppermint oil is chemically made, and artificial, or is actually a naturally-occurring oil, courtesy of nature.

People use peppermint to handle digestive flare-ups, but research hasn’t found that it actually does anything. The FDA hasn’t tested peppermint (whether artificial or natural) for safety, effectiveness or purity.

But we’re warned to consult with our doctor before taking peppermint if we have gallbladder or liver damage. Mr. Jackson, as you remember, had severe liver damage.

• Other flavours - This can mean absolutely anything. Perhaps old shoe leather used as flavoring. Who knows?

• Magnesium Stearate - A lot of folks jump up and down about magnesium stearate, declaring it unacceptable in any number of ways. To date, research gives it a clean bill of health.

• Aspartame - An artificial sweetener known to damage pretty much each and every body part we own. Including the liver. Big time. This is evil stuff.

• Menthol - A partner with peppermint oil, menthol also brings along warnings to check with the doc in cases of liver problems.

• Sucralose (Splenda) -Yet another artificial sweetener, one with chlorine in it. And it’s just as bad, in it own unique way, as all the others. It sends blood sugar levels soaring to the moon, whacks the immune system something fierce and damages the liver–amongst other body parts.

While not as toxic as killer aspartame, sucralose causes various neurological disorders and cancers.

• Acesulfame-K - Still another artificial sweetener known to cause liver damage–not to mention kidney damage, nausea, mental confusion, depression and headaches. Some swell stuff, eh? I read that it’s added in with other artificial sweeteners to cover up their bitter aftertaste.

• Riboflavin - Vitamin B2. We don’t know where this riboflavin comes from, whether it’s natural or artificial, or how much of it there is. Given the schlock ingredients we’ve come across so far, it’s hard to imagine it’s quality stuff.
• Thiamine - Vitamin B1. Again, we don’t know if it’s in a form the body can use or how much we’re getting.

You kind of get the idea these two B vitamins are there for window-dressing, a way to make the mints appear healthful. And who knows why they chose these two and no more?

So, we have a list of twelve ingredients, half of which, unlike caffeine, are known to damage the liver.

Because of his advanced liver disease, Mr. Jackson was unable to work and already retired at age forty. Then he ate a product with six different ingredients known to damage his liver even further, and the poobahs blame his death on caffeine?

Oh, please.

God is good,
Bette Dowdell

Author's Bio: 

Bette Dowdell defines determination. In a really deep health ditch, with doctors who didn’t help, she got her Oh-Yeah! attitude in gear and researched her way out. She never intended to be a health expert, but sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Bette’s still researching, and you can get her free e-mails by signing up at