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Sugar Substitutes

Which sugar substitute is least harmful?  Should they only be used if you are trying to lose weight?  I like the convenience of them, but I am concerned with the effects.  Should I be concerned?
9 Responses
Avatar universal
All sugar subs advertise that they are safe.  There are studies that show they are safe and there are studies that show they can be deadly.  Aspartame, usually in sodas and most sugar free candies is made of asparic acid and phenlyalanine.  Phen. makes you feel good and asparic acid increases hunger. Usually when aspartame is drunk, the person feels the need to eat, thus the diet soda and hamburger. When they both enter the stomach, they combine and produce formaldehyde.  Splenda is made when chlorine gas is introduced to a sugar molecule to make a sweetner may times sweeter than sugar.  It has to be "cut" with another ingredient to decrease the sweetness in order to be eaten.  When the body breaks it down, the chlorine gas may enter the blood and travel to the brain where it collects and may cause cell death in time.  Most people eat these sweetners without bad problems, but some with a sensitivity will have very bad side effects from them. If you wish to diet and reduce sugar, reduce sugar instead of substituting it. Even without the sugar, most "diet" drinks and foods can be very high in calories and may increase your desire to eat making your diet ineffective.  Hope this helps
Avatar universal
You answered your own question when you said "least harmful".

What the above poster said is 100% true in terms of how the sweetners are made and what they are made of. I would never use an artifical sweetner and instead would opt for honey or just plain table sugar. Of course those should be used in moderation as well.
Avatar universal
There are currently no peer reviewed studies from any legitimate institution showing sugar substitutes are deadly to humans.

Avatar universal
Saccharin has been shown to cause cancer and some labratory studies have shown aspartame to cause an increase in leukemia and lymphoma in lab rats. There is also a lot of "non peer" studies that have been done which show the extreme dangers of most if not all artificial sweetners.
Avatar universal
"moname" was asking if they are safe to use and they are.  The earlier studies with saccharin that you are referring to were administering absolutely enormous amounts of saccharine to their lab animals.  Much much more than even someone who regularly uses saccharine will use.  Plus, you can never make the assumption that if it causes cancer in laboratory animals that you can apply that to humans.  Additionally, there is a reason why non peer reviewed studies are frowned upon in science.  Frequently, the methodologies are heavily flawed.  I'm interested to know which studies you are referring to about the dangers of the other artificial sweeteners.  


Just some history in case any of you are interested:  In 1977, the FDA proposed a ban on use of saccharin because it was reported to cause cancer in rats.  For many years thereafter, products containing saccharine were then forced to say
Avatar universal
Here is the article:
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=34040#

Avatar universal
thanks for the link-it's always nice when someone backs up their statements with research.

That being said, I stand by my initial statement that no peer reviewed research paper has found a link between sugar substitutes and cancer in HUMANS.  There was one epidemiological study in the early 90's (I believe) that showed a link to aspartame and brain cancer but this study included a short time span of observation, and it did not estimate actual intake of aspartame, which led to loss of validity. Later on no epidemiological studies found correlation between aspartame use and incidence of brain tumors in humans.

When the article (the one you linked to) was originally published, we discussed it at one of our journal clubs and while it is very interesting and deserves further investigation, it shouldn't send everyone into "craze mode" who has been consuming aspartame regularly.  Firstly, the sample size was not very large and secondly, once again, you can't make the assumption that if something causes a disease in rats, it will do the same to humans.

Avatar universal
I used to be a heavy  spenda user and then I developed headaches, nausea and a bunch of other problems.  I now use
stevia it is made from an herb and can be found in health food
stores.  And is very good.
Avatar universal
Try Xylitol or Stevia. Both are available at most good health food stores and on the internet. They are not harmful.

I like Xylitol, because it reduces the acidity in your mouth and therefore helps prevent tooth decay. It's a bit pricey. I've heard of people mixing it with Stevia to reduce costs.


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