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Please don't take glitter pills to help you poop rainbows

Monica Beyer is a mom of four and has been writing professionally since 2000, when her first book, Baby Talk, was published. Her main area of interest is attachment parenting and all that goes with it, including breastfeeding, co-sleepin...

Would you take glitter pills so you can have glittery poop?

Glitter pills are a thing, but if they're not meant to be consumed and turn your poop glittery, what the heck are they for?

The ads for glitter pills state that they are not, under any circumstances, to be consumed. But the allure of pooping like a unicorn may be too hard to resist, and I have to wonder how many people are buying glitter pills to create a party in their toilet bowl.

A friend posted a link to an Etsy store that specializes in Glitter Pills. I was immediately intrigued, as they're pretty — really, really pretty. There are so many different styles and designs, but each listing comes with the admonition: Don't eat the Glitter Pills. They are for decorative purposes only.

However, people actually do eat glitter. Not necessarily on purpose, but you know that when kids play with glitter, it gets everywhere, and they undoubtedly ingest some. If it's your child, you may have even noticed some in their poop over the next few days. But would you, should you, intentionally take a pill stuffed full of beautiful, non-toxic glitter? It's tempting. It really is. Especially after reading about pills that make your farts smell like chocolate, this may be the next logical step. Farting chocolate and pooping rainbows? Awesome! Right?

Glitter has been used as decoration for centuries and has been made of a variety of substances, including stone, bugs and glass. Modern glitter, however, is plastic, and while it's touted as being non-toxic, it's not edible. Other sellers of glittery pills claim their purpose is as an emergency source of glitter, so you can fling it all over yourself (and a bunch of people who will hate you) when you're out and need some glittery cheer.

My concern would be if the glitter gets trapped in the colon, because I worry that it could cause irritation that can lead to infection or other similar issues. Small amounts that are consumed accidentally (or even on purpose if it's a child) likely wouldn't be harmful if it's not done repeatedly, or in large amounts that are likely needed to decorate a poop. But despite the fun times I would imagine I could have in the bathroom enjoying a toilet full of glitter poop, I would not ingest a bunch of tiny plastic particles for fun.

Marc Leavey, M.D., a primary care physician at a Mercy Medical Center clinic, agrees. "The plastic wrap that encloses your lunchtime sandwich is non-toxic, but you unwrap the food before eating it," he says. "While there is food-grade glitter, made from starch and food-certified colors, this product, and others like it, likely has tiny plastic shards coated with glitter paint. Not toxic, per se, but certainly not edible."

Which begs the question, what are they really for? I can sort of believe the flinging glitter thing, but I think that would be hazardous to your health as well — if you accidentally sprinkle it in your eyes that would be really terrible, and if you get it on someone who hates glitter (which is probably most people), you might get punched as a result.

My advice? Leave the glitter pills alone.

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