Many people are not aware of the sour tastes of artificial sweeteners. Some switch from one dangerous artificial sweetener (aspartame) to another (e.g. sucralose or acesulfame-k).
In fact, these sweeteners marketed as Equal, Nutrasweet, Canderal etc. were not approved until early eighties. They were also denied approval for use in soft drinks in October 1980 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over concerns that aspartame could be linked to brain tumours.
Some critics believe that political maneuvering was very likely to be involved in the approval of aspartame’s use. From 1985-1995, about 400 aspartame studies were published. All studies funded by the industry found no problems. The truth about aspartame’s toxicity is far different than what the commercials articulate in the magazines and papers everyday.
In February 1994, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the listing of adverse reactions reported to the FDA. Aspartame accounted for more than 75 percent of all adverse reactions.
Headache is the most common adverse side effect attributed to aspartame. Seizures have been reported via passive surveillance data collected by the FDA and in a few case reports. Study conducted in Italy indicates that aspartame is carcinogenic.
According to National Cancer Institute (USA) epidemiologic study, heavy use of artificial sweeteners was associated with a significantly increased risk for the development of bladder cancer.
Research on sucralose in animal studies has shown effects like shrinking of the thymus gland, enlarged liver and kidneys, reduced growth rate, decreased red blood cell count (anemia), extension of pregnancy period, birth defects, and atrophy of lymph follicles. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) rectified the situation by establishing an “Acceptable Daily Intake” of Aspartame.
So, what exactly are these artificial sweeteners? According to manufacturers, these are made of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Aspartic acid is an amino acid that builds proteins which is found in sugar cane. Phenylalanine is another chemical that builds proteins in our bodies. Once one eats/ or drinks a food product that contains Aspartame, it breaks down into aspartic Acid, phenylalanine, and methanol.
Methanol is a poisonous chemical that can cause blindness, vomiting, headaches, and even death. The most well known problems from methanol poisoning are vision problems. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, causes retinal damage, interferes with DNA replication, and causes birth defects.
Due to the lack of a couple of key enzymes, humans are many times more sensitive to the toxic effects of methanol than animals. Therefore, tests of aspartame or methanol on animals do not accurately reflect the danger for humans.
As pointed out by Dr Woodrow C. Monte, Director of the Food Science and Nutrition Laboratory at Arizona State University, “There are no human or mammalian studies to evaluate the possible mutagenic or carcinogenic effects of chronic administration of methyl alcohol.”
Today, artificial sweeteners are used in nearly five thousand food products from fizzy drink to chocolate bars including individual packets around the world.
A lot of people want to know what other artificial sweeteners they can safely use. The best thing to do is avoid all artificial and chemical sweeteners and learn to adjust to the natural sugars as much as needed for your body.
Source: The Daily Star, December 27, 2008