What happens if you eat silica gel?

I always thought it was funny when unpacking some electrical goods, to come across the little packets of silica gel.

“Do Not Eat”, the writing on the packet informs you, reading your mind as you delighted at the prospect of the tasty little treat the kind people at Sony had thought to include with your television.

Plugging in all those cables is hungry work.

But why? Why can’t we eat these tasty little beads? And what’ll happen if we do?

Discovery Fit & Health says eating them would be relatively harmless, but would make for a very unpleasant experience.

Because the purpose of sylica crystals is to absorb moisture, what would happen is, it would immediately suck all the moisture from your mouth and tongue. If you were to swallow them, it would result in:

  • Dry eyes
  • An irritated, dry feeling in your throat
  • Aggravated, dry mucous membranes and nasal cavity
  • An upset stomach or stomach discomfort

They even worked out how many silica packets it would take to completely absorb all the moisture in the human body. And the answer is:

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