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Artificial Sweeteners and Fat Substitutes

There are many inherent dangers that exist with the repeated use of artificial sweeteners and fat substitutes. Our bodies NEED real sugar and fat.

I am always researching information on artificial fats and sweeteners. If you have anything you'd like to add or information that you think pertains to this topic, send us e-mail


Artificial Sweeteners

Saccharin

We all know what it is... Pink packets of "Sweet 'n Low" that sit on restaurant tables that we may have put in our coffee or tea at one time or another. Around for more than 100 years it is the oldest artificial sweetener, in 1977 the FDA required that all food containing Saccharin contain a warning label: "Use of this product may be hazardous to your health. This product contains saccharin, which has been determined to cause cancer in laboratory animals."

In a study conducted by the National Cancer Institute during 1978 and 1979, it was concluded that heavy users of Saccharin, and products containing it such as diet soda, could be at an increased risk of developing bladder cancer. "Heavy use" was defined as "two or more 8-ounce servings of a diet drink per day," or "six or more servings of [packets of] sugar substitute per day."

Saccharin, used long-term, does not promote good health, but if you must use an artificial sweetener (for example, if you are a diabetic), please choose Saccharin products over popular Aspartame-containing ones (see below!).

note:
As of May 9th, 2000 Saccharin was removed from the National Toxicology Report on Carcinogens as a possible cancer-causing chemical. You can read more on this at the following links.

Link: Saccharin Should Not Have Been Delisted



Aspartame

Known in the world as Nutrasweet or Equal, Aspartame is the most popular artificial sweetener used. It is also known to potentially cause cancer and be responsible for a wide variety of behavioral changes in humans. It can cause seizures and even death. (Feb. 1994 Department of Health and Human Services Report.) It is considered one of the most dangerous additives in food today. Of the allergic reactions to food that are reported to the FDA, it accounts for the reason in 75% of the cases.

Aspartame, is made up of three parts. Aspartic Acid (40%) -- considered an "excitotoxin" that "excite or stimulate the neural cells to death"; Phenylalanine (50%) -- which can build up in the brain; and Methanol (10%) -- wood alcohol which is a deadly poison. (reference: Aspartame; L-aspartyl-L-phenylalanine methyl ester.)

Side effects can include everything from minor to severe. The more use of Aspartame and the longer the person consumes it increase the risks. Here are some of the side effects, and diseases that can be caused by, triggered or made worse by the use of Aspartame: Headaches/migraines, dizziness, nausea, weight gain, muscle spasms, depression, fatigue, insomnia, heart palpitations, vision and hearing problems, anxiety attacks, vertigo, memory loss and joint pain, Emotional Disorders, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Brain Tumors, Brain Cancer, Diabetes, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, Epilepsy, Birth Defects, Mental Retardation and Diabetes.

Aspartame can often be found in: diet sodas, ice-teas, coffee drinks, breath mints, cereals, sugar-free gums, jello, frozen yogurt, wine coolers, multivitamins and children's vitamins, milks drinks, laxatives and many more products. It can also be in products that are NOT promoted as "sugar-free".

Link: Aspartame Poisoning

Link: Scientific Abuse in Methanol

Link: Aspartame Dangers in Pregnancy

Link: Current Information on Aspartame


Sucralose (Splenda)

Sucralose is an artificial sweetener made from sugar -- it is a chlorinated sucrose derivative. Though considered "safer" than aspartame or saccharin by many, it is thought that there have not been enough long-term studies done on this product, and many believe it may be just as as some of its competitors.

Research in animals has shown the following side effects: chest pains, irritability, confusion, fatigue, shrunken thymus gland, enlarged liver and kidneys, reduced growth rate, decreased red blood cell count, hyperplasia of pelvis, miscarriage, decreased fetal body weights, changes in mood, and diarrhea.

There are NO long-term studies on the effects of Sucralose consumption.

Link: The Potential Dangers of Sucralose

Link: Problem Emerging (Sucralose)

Link: Sucralose Toxicity Information Center


Plain-old REAL sugar is the safest!


Fat Substitutes

Olestra
(Procter and Gamble brand name: Olean(R))

We all need a certain amount of fat in our diets. Too much is not good either, but none is potentially dangerous. Fat is needed for proper growth and development, for the proper absorption of fat-soluable vitamins like A, D, E and K, and is the only source of certain essential fatty acids.

Olestra is a fat-based fat substitute -- a synthetic mixture of sugar and vegetable oil that passes through the body without adding fat or calories. The FDA and a great number of critics do not believe there has been sufficient testing on its safety in long-term use.

It passes through the body undigested, so what does it do as it runs its course? Critics are concerned that it will steal from the body essential nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E and K, beta-carotene (and others) by up to 30%. "These vitamins attach themselves to fat, so when they stick to olestra by mistake they get flushed out of the body undigested." (Health in the News, December 1995). Olestra can also deplete the body of carotenoids -- a group of substances (such as lutein and zeaxanthin) that keep your immune system healthy and help to prevent things like heart disease, cancer, and vision problem. One of Olestra's immediate effects, because of the way it is passed through the system, is that it can cause gas, cramping and diarrhea.

In July of 1997 the CSPI issued a press release citing the many side effects that were reported by consumers who has tried chips containing Olestra. Some of them included painful stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomitting, "accidents" and some were even taken to the emergency room. These were all people who has previously not had any problems with other types of chips.

The Mayo Clinic recommends that "It's okay in small amounts if you're a healthy adult who's eating a well-balanced diet and aware of potential risks. But at this time we cannot comfortably recommend that children and teens eat foods made with olestra because there are only limited studies on the substitute that have included them."

Link: Olestra

Link: CSPI Facts about Olestra


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