Whether you are a diabetic, trying to lose weight, or simply being mindful of your sugar intake, artificial sweeteners are not your friend. You may think that for someone who promotes minimizing the sugar in your diet, I would applaud the use of these sweeteners since they do not raise blood sugar, do not promote tooth decay, and are promoted as non-caloric. While these characteristics of artificial sweeteners are true, they are anything but safe. When it comes to your health, they are no better than refined sugar, and possibly worse.
Let me ask you this: Would you ever ingest household cleaners? How about just a little sip every day? Consuming artificial sweeteners is doing just that. The main components in Splenda (sucralose), Sweet’N Low (saccharin), Equal and Nutrasweet (aspartame), acesulfame K and neotame are chemical agents – some of which are the same chemicals used in household cleaners.
Artificial sweetners have been linked to headaches, migraines, depression, anxiety, muscle pain, arthritis flare ups, buzzing or ringing in the ears, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, inflammation, acid reflux, various cancers…the list is endless.
Without getting too complicated, here is a quick overview of some artificial sweeteners, so you can make your own decision.
Acesulfame K – 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, and cancer in humans. Enough said.
Aspartame– This is probably one of the most controversial non-nutritive sweeteners. For over 8 years, the FDA refused to approve aspartame because of the brain seizures and tumors it caused in lab animals. While they haven’t been able to prove consistent results from humans, it still has been shown in studies and general use to cause a wide range of adverse affects. Its main claim to fame is the development of headaches, many cancers, and neurological disorders. The symptoms of aspartame mimics symptoms or worsens many diseases including fibromyalgia, MS, Azheimer’s disease, and ADD.
Aspartame is made up of 3 molecules, one of which is methanol – a well known nuerotoxin. In high amounts it is extremely toxic and deadly…and can build up in your system over time. The EPA considers it a “cumulative poison.” So a lack of symptoms doesn’t mean you are safe from aspartame’s damaging effects. And if you’ve heard the opposing argument that methanol is found in some fruit juices and alcohol, the key difference is that these beverages, unlike aspartame, also contain ethanol – the antidote to methanol.
There are also studies that have shown aspartame adversely affects children with epilepsy. To learn more about this sweetner visit www.dorway.com and http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/, or download a copy of Asptimes at www.proliberty.com/observer/asptimes.pdf.
Neotame – Neotame is just another form of aspartame without the phenylalanine dangers for individuals with PKU. It was approved in 2002 by the FDA. All the same dangers apply to neotame that are associated with aspartame.
Saccharine – Saccharine was discovered as a side affect of experimenting with coal tar derivatives. Interestingly enough, out of the 5 artificial sweeteners, saccharine is considered to be the safest because it has been around the longest and is the most studied. This sweetener has a history of bladder cancer in lab animals, but since studies have not replicated this affect in humans, it has been approved for human consumption. Make no mistake, saccharine is still considered a weak carcinogenic. Another possible danger of saccharin is allergic reactions to a class of compounds known as sulfonamides. If you are sensitive to sulfa drugs, you would be wise to avoid this sweetener. Reactions can include headaches, breathing difficulties, skin eruptions, and diarrhea.
Unfortunately, saccharin can be found in some infant formulas, which has been shown to can cause irritability and muscle dysfunction in babies. It doesn’t take a scientist to know that babies are vulnerable, and what may be safe for adults does not make it remotely safe for developing babies. So please, even if you choose to keep eating artificial sweeteners, keep them out of your children’s diets.
Sucralose – The presence of chlorine is thought to be the most dangerous component of sucralose. Chlorine is considered a carcinogen and has been used in poisonous gas, disinfectants, pesticides, and plastics. Sucralose is also treated with methanol. The end result is anything but food-like. Get more details from the book Sweet Deception http://products.mercola.com/sweet-deception/.
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