What’s Up With Artificial Sweeteners?

Artificial sweeteners are just that; a man made chemical compound. Most were discovered while making some type of drug or chemical for industrial use. The inventor usually spilled some on themselves and later discovered it was sweet. Today the world consumes 7.5 million metric tons of the stuff per year. Diet soda consumption alone has reached over 4 billion gallons.

The current sweeteners in use are:


I’m not going to get into how each one was discovered, you can look that up yourself if you wish. Let’s just get into what they do to the body and I think side effects are a great place to start.

Saccharin and Clyclamate

Saccharin in the late 70’s, and Clyclamate in 69, have both been found to cause cancer in laboratory animals. Cyclamate was subsequently banned by the FDA. Saccharin had been around for 100 years already and it was already grandfathered into allowed food additives and had been given GRAS status. It was then required that a warning be put on the Saccharin label concerning cancer risks.

More Saccharin studies were performed in 1991 and it was determined that it was not a major cancer risk. President Clinton in 2000 lifted the requirement for the warning label. In my opinion, Saccharin is the safest of the artificial sweeteners.

The Artificial Sweetener Aspartame

It took a lot of political wrangling to get Aspartame approved including loading the board of the FDA so the vote would go in favor, you might want to look this up sometime.  The ingredients in Aspartame individually are recognized as safe because they are found in the foods we eat. That’s true when they are consumed in the foods we eat. But when they are consumed as a free form amino acid in a soft drink it is anything but safe.

In a soda it enters your body in high concentrations as a free form amino acid and causes excessive firing of brain neurons and potential cell death. This is called exitotoxicity and has been linked to headaches, depression, mental confusion, balance problems and seizures. Matter of fact, aspartame has more complaints to the FDA than any other food additive combined.

It has the very same effect as MSG in that a single dose can cause brain damage in the hypothalamus. Exitotoxicity has also been linked to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

The important chemical compounds and their side effects in Aspartame are:

Phenylalanine; causes mental retardation in children with PKU. Phenylalanine also decomposes into DKP, a known carcinogen, when exposed to warm temperatures or prolonged storage. At cold temperatures it breaks down into formaldehyde, which has been proven to cause:

Irreversible genetic damage (Shaham 1996)
Headaches, fatigue, chest tightness (Main 1983)
Sleeping problems, burning skin, dizziness (Liu 1991)
Musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular symptoms (Srivastava 1992)
Adverse cognitive effects (Kilburn 2000)
Seizures and neurobehavioral impairment (Kilburn 1994)
Headaches and skin problems (Proietti 2002)
Memory problems, equilibrium and dexterity impairment (Kilburn 1987)
The EPA says it causes cancer

One year after Aspartame was introduced, 1984, brain cancer rates began to skyrocket. An increase in brain cancer rates among children whose mothers consumed aspartame throughout pregnancy also rose.

Dr. Morando Soffritti in Italy found in animal studies that aspartame was associated with high rates of leukemia and lymphoma's.

Methanol poisoning can result in kidney failure, blindness, multiple organ system failure and death. The interesting thing here is the FDA has set acceptable daily levels of methanol consumption at 7.8 mgs per day. However, one can of soda sweetened with aspartame contains 16 mgs.

Reported symptoms to the FDA include:

Migraines, aggressive behavior, depression, hyperactivity, disorientation, extreme numbness, memory loss, excitability, loss of depth perception, cardiac arrest, liver impairment, vision problems, seizures, suicidal tendencies, severe mood swings and death.

Acesulfame-K or Sunnett

Acesulfame-K or Sunnett has not been thoroughly tested on humans or animals. It does contain methylene chloride, which is a known carcinogen. Long term exposure to this chemical have been associated with headaches, depression, mental confusion, lack of balance, visual impairment, liver and kidney problems, loss of appetite, bronchitis and cancer.

Splenda or Sucralose

There are only six published studies performed on humans and the unpublished research was performed for six months on its effects on diabetics. Out of 84 studies only ten were performed on animals. There have been three long-term trials on mice, rats and dogs. This is simply not enough in my opinion so let’s look at what Splenda is made of so we can get an idea on Splenda's safety.

The company claims it is, “Made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar.” But the lengthy process the molecule goes through does not resemble sugar. After it’s completed the molecule is known as a chlorinated hydrocarbon or organochlorine. This chlorine atom is bounded to carbon and is found nowhere else in nature.

According to Dr. James Bowen, a biochemist and physician, chlorocarbons deliver chlorine directly into your cells through normal metabolization making them extremely effective insecticides.

Matter of fact, chlorocarbons are mainly used as insecticides and can be found in DDT, aldrin, dieldrin, lindane, heptachlor and chlordane. Two of the worst are Agent Orange and PCB’s, which have been known to cause cancer and abnormalities within the reproductive system, immune system and nervous system.

These organochlorines are fat-soluble and your body will store them in your fat cells permanently, like mercury, and can be released if you lose weight. One such high fat organ is the brain.

The manufacturer claims very little, 15%, of this organochlorine is actually absorbed by the body. However, the range of absorption for humans is 11 to 27% according to the FDA. Now 27% is not a little if you ask me, that is almost 1/3 of what you’re consuming!

The FDA has stated that Splenda may contain 21 different metabolites like 1,6-dichloro-1,6- dideoxyfructose. This metabolite has been linked to liver toxicity, enlarged livers in rat offspring, low birth weight in rats, maternal and fetal toxicity, and weak mutagenic activity. Further reports have suggested this metabolite can convert to 6-chlorofructose, which has caused paralysis in mice after 8 days.

The reported side effects of Splenda include:

Dry mouth and sinuses;
Headaches and migraines
Achy joints and joint pain
Stuffy or runny nose or sneezing
Red itchy, swollen and watery eyes
Chest pains, palpitations and fluttering
Wheezing, tightness, cough, or shortness of breath
Swelling of the face, eyelids, lips, tongue and throat;
Bloating, gas, constipation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea
Red, itchy, swelling, blistering, weeping, crusting, eruptions or hives on the skin
Seizures, anxiety, anger, panic, insomnia, dizziness, feeling spaced out, mood swings and depression
Blood in urine, menstrual delay or missed period, night sweats, and numbness of the limbs

The Artificial Sweetener Alitame

For now not much is known about Alitame because the FDA asked Pfizer to repeat a questionable study.

The Artificial Sweetener Neotame

Neotame was developed because the patent on Aspartame is going to run out soon. It is 72 times sweeter than Aspartame. Neotame is Aspartame plus 3-di-methyl-butyl. The body does not break it down so it won’t be toxic to people with PKU. Because the chemical structure is very similar to Aspartame it is safe to assume the toxic side effects will also be similar.

The Artificial Sweetener Stevia

Stevia is extracted from an herb grown in South America. The Japanese have been consuming and have conducted numerous studies in the last 30 years and have found it to be completely safe. Because it is natural it cannot be patented so the powers that be have managed to keep it from being approved for use in foods.

The Artificial Sweetener Xylitol

Xylitol is extracted from birch trees and even though it is a sugar alcohol it does not spike blood sugar levels when consumed. It has been found to kill the bacteria that causes cavities and prevents Candida from growing.

It’s been used in Europe for years with no ill effects. However, some people have an intestinal reaction to xylitol and cheap products with added sorbitol cause this. So if it gives you diarrhea or intestinal upset switch brands.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

All I want to say here is the FDA has found fructose corn syrup to be universally contaminated with mercury. A neurotoxin and one of the most toxic substances to the human body in the world. It has also been linked to the present epidemic of obesity and diabetes.

Should You Really Use Those Sweeteners That Are Considered Safe?

In 1991 a study was published in The Journal of the American Diatetic Association that found that all artificial sweeteners simply perpetuate a craving for more sweets. This craving did not help people lose weight but actually caused them to gain weight. The study found that consuming “diet sodas” actually caused “serious weight gain” while regular soda only increased weight gain by 65%.

Another study done in 2005 found that rats that were fed diet soda consumed more high calorie foods than those drinking soda sweetened with sugar. It was concluded that your taste buds may be temporarily satisfied but your brain isn’t fooled and it will make up for the calories later on.

To add insult to injury, 96% of the contents in a packet of any artificial sweetener are actually sugar in the form of bulking agents. With Splenda its 99%. They get away with this by keeping the sugar in the packet less than .5 grams of sugar to comply with food labeling laws. So…we’ve all been duped!

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