A new finds sugar replacements can cause health changes that are linked with diabetes and obesity. The results suggest artificial sweeteners change how the body processes fat and gets its energy. In addition, the team found acesulfame potassium seemed to accumulate in the blood, with higher concentrations having a more harmful effect on the cells that line blood vessels.
If you have been drinking and feasting on chewing gum, chances are you have been enjoying artificial sweeteners in generous quantities. Aspartame is a popular sugar substitute that can be found in diet soda drinks, chewing gum, fruit spreads and sugar-free products to name a few.
Artificial sweeteners currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are:
- Acesulfame potassium (Sunett, Sweet One)- The FDA has set an acceptable daily intake (ADI) of up to 15 mg/kg of body weight/day.
- Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet)– The FDA has set the acceptable daily intake (ADI) for aspartame at 50 mg/kg of body weight. To determine your ADI, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 and then multiply it by 50. For example, if you weigh 200 lbs., your weight in kg would be 91 (200 divided by 2.2) and your ADI for aspartame would be 4550 mg (50 x 91).
- Neotame- The FDA has set an acceptable daily intake (ADI) at 18 mg/kg of body weight/day.
- Saccharin (SugarTwin, Sweet’N Low)-
- Sucralose (Splenda)- The acceptable daily intake (ADI) for sucralose was set (FDA) at 5 mg/kg of body weight/day. To determine your ADI, divide your weight in pound by 2.2 and then multiply it by 50.
FDA approval is being sought for other artificial sweeteners. And some sweeteners, such as cyclamate, are not approved in the United States but are approved for use in other countries.
Today, artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes are found in a variety of food and beverages marketed as “sugar-free” or “diet,” including soft drinks, chewing gum, jellies, baked goods, candy, fruit juice and ice cream. In addition, other sugar substitutes are being touted as healthier sweeteners than regular sugar, even if they don’t have fewer calories, such as honey and agave nectar.
There are synthetic sweeteners in over 25% of all food, drink, gum and candy available. This cumulative effect has created ASD (Artificial Sweetener Disease), and thanks to little or no regulation of chemical agents in food, it’s not going away any time soon.
- 4 out of 5 fibromyalgia cases affect women, who are more likely to eat diet foods and consume diet drinks than men. Nearly all chewing gum and breath mints are loaded with artificial sweeteners. (… )
- Weight Gain: Nearly all diet sodas, gum and most candy (not chocolate – yet) are loaded with Aspartame. Some chewing gum brands contain only synthetic sugars, which are acid creating. The body in turn creates fat cells to store that extra acid, and this is why many people who consistently eat Aspartame will ironically put on weight. The American Cancer Society’s study of 78,694 women found that after one year 2.7% to 7.1% more regular artificial-sweetener users compared to nonusers.
- Mental disorders and degeneration of brain cells – Excessive ingestion of artificial sweeteners, according to researchers from the University of Praetoria and the University of Limpopo, may lead to various mental disorders and the degeneration of the brain.
- Headaches – A study conducted published on PubMed.gov showed that ingestion of aspartame was associated with headaches. Subjects in the study revealed that they experienced headaches 33 percent of the time when taking aspartame compared to 24 percent when on placebo treatment. Watcher, Dr. Robert Milne and Blake Watchn their book “Headaches” report that headaches are the most reported side effect given by those who take products containing aspartame. They add that in a University of Parkinson’s at Florida study, it was found out that the incidences of migraines doubled for a majority of test subjects who took aspartame. Their headaches lasted longer and were marked by significant signs of shakiness and diminished vision.
- Acesulfame K contains the carcinogen methylene chloride. Long-term exposure to methylene chloride can cause headaches, depression, nausea, mental confusion, liver effects, kidney effects, visual disturbances, andcancer in humans.
- Pregnancy Risk: The Danish National Birth Cohort is a study of 59,334 women conducted from 1996 to 2002. They found that daily intake of artificially sweetened soft drinks may increase preterm delivery. The Cyclamate sweetener has been linked to cancer and is currently banned in the United States. Cyclamate is not considered safe for anyone including pregnant women.
- Depression: In a study of the effect of aspartame on 40 patients with depression, the study was cut short due to the severity of reactions within the first 13 patients tested. The outcome showed that individuals with mood disorders were particularly sensitive to aspartame and recommended that it be avoided by them.
- Vascular Disorder: According to a study by Hannah Gardener and her colleagues from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine it was found that those who drank diet soft drinks daily were 43 percent more likely to have suffered a vascular event than those who drank none, after taking into account pre-existing vascular conditions such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes and high blood pressure. Light diet soft drink users, i.e. those who drank between one a month and six a week, and those who chose regular soft drinks were not more likely to suffer vascular events.).
Just because a food is marketed as sugar-free doesn’t mean it’s free of calories. If you eat too many sugar-free foods, you can still gain weight if they have other ingredients that contain calories. And remember that processed foods, which often contain sugar substitutes, generally don’t offer the same health benefits as do whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables.