Artificial Sweeteners --Are They Bad
for Your Health?

Last updated October 18, 2016 (originally published January 29, 2009)

By Susan M. Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

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Most people have only 2 questions about artificial sweeteners
--- what's in them and can they harm me?

Now that the world is divided into people who take their
sweeteners in blue, pink or yellow packs, here at Collective
Wizdom we thought it was time to answer these 2 basic
questions for our readers.

Artificial sweeteners are called "artificial" as opposed to table
sugar (sucrose) which is thought of as "natural", despite its
well known dangers to our waist lines and general health.
(Read more about the
connection between so-called natural
sugar and disease.)

The research on artificial sweeteners is extensive and growing.


The problem is that most of the research has been motivated
by
"pro sugar" and "anti sugar" groups, so you have to step
carefully among the thorns.


However, from the numerous studies on all of the sweeteners,
3 results have emerged.  Some artificial sweeteners appear to
increase your risk for developing
Type 2 diabetes. Second, one
artificial sweetener --- saccharin
--- triggers the insulin
response in high doses and in very high doses has been linked
to increased risk of cancer. Third, aspartame (blue) causes
headaches in some people.




Update:


It is also now clear that  three kinds of artificial sweeteners
(sucralose, saccaharin and aspartame) interact with the
bacteria in your gut in a way that increases your appetite and
your blood sugar levels.

In fact, these sweeteners, when added to water, raise your
blood sugar levels higher than table sugar added to water,
according to a  2014 study from Weizmann Institute of Science
in Israel.

Sucralose is sold under the brand name Splenda.
Aspartame is sold as Nutrasweet, Spoonful and Equal.
Saccharin is sold as Sweet-n-Low.

A fourth conclusion, this one positive, is starting to emerge
with respect to one sweetener, stevia. It appears that stevia,
unlike the other artificial sweeteners, may not in fact raise your
risk for developing diabetes. Read more below.

Here's the low-down on the pink, blue and yellow packets we
all can't seem to live without.

































1.  
Saccharin-- the Pink Packets.

Benzoic sulfinide. Produced when anthranilic acid is mixed with
nitrous acid, sulfur dioxide, chlorine, and then ammonia to yield
saccharin.

What's In it?

Risks: Although saccharin has no food energy, it can trigger the
release of insulin in rats, apparently as a result of its taste.

In its acid form, saccharin is not water-soluble. The form used
as an artificial sweetener is usually its sodium salt. The calcium
salt is also sometimes used, especially by people restricting
their dietary sodium intake. Both salts are highly water-soluble:
0.67 grams per milliliter water at room temperature.

Early studies linked ingestion of high concentrations  of
saccharin with increased risk of cancer.  As a result, the US
Food and Drug Administration previously required that
saccharin packages carry a warning label to that effect.

Canada completely banned its use.  However, the pro and anti
saccharin groups were unable to resolve the issue of whether
saccharine causes cancer, and the FDA has removed the
requirement of a warning label.

Update: You can still find Sweet& Low, in the pink packets in
Canada. However, it made from sodium cyclamate, not
saccharin.


2.
Aspartame-the Blue Packets.

Aspartame is the methyl ester of the dipeptide of the natural
amino acids L-aspartic acid and L-phenylalanine. This is why
early marketing efforts described it as made from natural amino
acids. Aspartame (also marketed as Equal and NutraSweet) is
180 times sweeter than common white table sugar.

After you ingest it in your body, aspartame breaks down in
various chemicals
 including aspartic acid, phenylalanine,
methanol, and further breakdown products including
formaldehyde, formic acid, and a diketopiperazine.

Yikes! Formaldehyde. That can't be good. In fact, aspartame
was criticized in the 1980's by various groups as a suspected
cause of brain cancer.


The uproar caused the FDA to convene a Public Board of
Inquiry  to examine the issue of aspartame's link to brain
cancer. That group concluded that aspartame does not cause
brain cancer. Subsequent battles between pro and anti
aspartame groups have never conclusively settled the issue.
The FDA has approved aspartame's use in beverages and
various foods.

From personal experience, I can say that when I drink too
many sodas with aspartame, I soon get a headache and  feel
slightly off-balanced when I walk. When I stop drinking the
sodas with aspartame, the symptoms disappear after a few
days of drinking only water.


3.
Splenda --the Yellow Packets.


Continue reading    page 1   
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Learn more about sugar and its health effects: Sugar The
Disease Connection/ Ideal Breakfast for Diabetics/ Foods That
Lower Your Blood Sugar/Top 10 Health Dangers of High
Fructose Corn Syrup

Break Through Your Diet Plateau

How Many Calories Do I Burn

Quinoa-The New Superfood?
Break Through Your Diet Plateau

How Many Calories Do I Burn


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stevia is an artificial sweetener