- Articles on Artificial sweeteners
- Artificial sweeteners make 'no difference' to health
- Artificial sweeteners raise risk of type 2 diabetes, study suggests
- Low-Calorie Sweeteners
The more you use, the higher the risk. A new study linking sweetened drinks to heart disease is more confusing than enlightening. It is…. People have been eating sweet foods for eons. Fruit fructose , milk lactose , cane sucrose , and honey fructose and glucose provide us with energy for growth and development. But in these days, we….
To this day, no one knows why. Was it due to the artificial sweetener? Was it something else in the soda? Does drinking a diet soda make it more likely a person might order a double size burger and fries? Oh, and for the record, a review says there is still evidence that diet soda helps with weight loss. So it's hard to tease out which of the sweeteners might be a problem. But studies continue to find concerns that bear watching.
A study found drinking more than two servings of diet soda a day doubled the risk for kidney decline in women. A study suggested a possible connection between diet sodas and an increased risk for vascular events. And several studies have discovered a link between metabolic syndrome -- a sort of prediabetes -- and Type 2 diabetes, perhaps because it alters people's gut bacteria.
Story highlights Artificial sweeteners may contribute to weight gain long-term Studies linking artificial sweeteners to cancer have been refuted. Relying on rats and human cell cultures, his team identified a number of pathways linking artificial sweeteners with metabolic changes at the genetic level that could lead to diabetes and obesity. Specifically, the researchers found that three weeks of exposure to aspartame and acesulfame potassium -- two artificial sweeteners frequently combined in products such as Equal -- altered the expression of certain genes responsible for lipid metabolism in the cells of both rats and humans.
And we saw the exact same thing with the acesulfame potassium," Hoffmann said. What was perhaps most surprising, according to Hoffmann, was that these metabolic changes did not occur in the presence of natural sugars such as glucose and fructose.
This suggests that artificial sweeteners could contribute to metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity by an entirely different mechanism than natural sugars, he said. Artificial sweeteners appear to contribute to metabolic disorders by altering the activity of certain genes responsible for the breakdown of macromolecules such as fats and proteins, Hoffmann said. This is different from normal sugars, which contribute to cardiovascular disease through insulin resistance and by damaging the cells lining the body's blood vessels.
Articles on Artificial sweeteners
It's the latest assault in the ongoing debate over artificial sweeteners and their impact on health -- a debate that began when one of our most popular foods, sugar, turned sour in terms of health. Actually, it's not, if you keep to the newest dietary guidelines from the US Department of Agriculture: only 10 teaspoons of sugar a day for the average person.
Unfortunately, that equals just one ounce bottle of regular soda. Most Americans eat much more sugar than that -- more like 30 to 40 teaspoons a day -- and we've learned just how unhealthy that can be. Abundant sugar is now linked to a host of health issues: obesity , chronic inflammation, Type 2 diabetes , heart disease, even cancer. How to end your sugar addiction.
To satisfy our sweet tooth, many of us turn to the fake stuff: artificial sweeteners. One more, cyclamate, is widely used in more than countries but banned in the United States. The FDA says all five approved sweeteners are safe as long as they are used in moderation. Sounds doable. So besides weight gain, which isn't proven, why do so many people still consider artificial sweeteners dangerous?
Why it's so hard to kick your sugar habit.
Partly it's due to our suspicion of putting anything chemical or artificially manufactured in our bodies. It's also due to a long history of overly publicized, poorly designed, badly executed animal studies that the FDA now says falsely linked artificial sweeteners to cancer. Here's a history on where we've been and where we stand on today's major artificial sweeteners. Get ready; it's a roller-coaster ride. Chemist Constantin Fahlberg filed for the first patent on saccharin. Realizing that the sugary, metallic taste had come from his own hands, he rushed back to the lab to find the source.
After tasting everything in sight -- not exactly good lab safety protocol -- he discovered that the sweetness came from an accidental chemical reaction between coal tar derivatives yum! Another account says Fahlberg's boss, Dr. Regardless, it was Fahlberg who realized the commercial viability of saccharin as an inexpensive sugar substitute that isn't metabolized by the body, has no calories and doesn't cause tooth decay. He soon applied for patents and began offering saccharin in powder and pill form as a "nonfattening" alternative to sugar.
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Early in the 20th century, food horror stories like Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" started to frighten the American public. In reaction, Congress passed the Pure Food and Drug Act in June of , to protect the public from "adulterated or misbranded or poisonous or deleterious foods, drugs or medicines. The charge was led by Dr. Wiley was well known for his "Poison Squad," a group of civil servants who were given free room and board if they would eat food heavily laced with widely used chemical preservatives, including saccharin. Wiley then studied their urine and feces samples to test the impact on the body.
Certain that saccharin was a danger, Wiley took his case to President Theodore Roosevelt. Wiley didn't give up, and he was able to get saccharin banned from use in processed foods, but direct sales to consumers were permitted. As the years went on, science couldn't find any hard evidence that saccharin was harmful, and widespread sugar shortages during World Wars I and II fanned consumer desire. Michael Sveda, a University of Illinois student chemist, was working with a compound called cyclamate when he discovered his cigarettes tasted like sugar obviously he was smoking on the job.
Introduced to the US market in by Abbott Labs, cyclamate was initially marketed to diabetics for insulin control. But cyclamate's biggest role was in cutting the bitter, metallic taste of saccharin. Normally added at a ratio of 10 parts cyclamate to 1 part saccharin, that preparation became the basis of the popular brand Sweet'N Low and was soon sold in millions of snack foods and diet sodas. A study found sperm and chromosomal breaks in rats exposed to cyclamates. As a result, the warning label for saccharin was dropped.
They must be reviewed and approved by the FDA before being made available for sale. Substances receive this designation if they meet either of these criteria:. ADI is the maximum amount considered safe to consume each day over the course of a lifetime. ADIs are set at very conservative levels. Novel sweeteners are hard to fit into a particular category because of what they're made from and how they're made.
Stevia is an example. The FDA has approved highly refined stevia preparations as novel sweeteners but hasn't approved whole-leaf stevia or crude stevia extracts for this use. Tagatose is also considered a novel sweetener because of its chemical structure. Tagatose is a low-carbohydrate sweetener similar to fructose that occurs naturally but is manufactured from the lactose in dairy products.
Artificial sweeteners make 'no difference' to health
Sugar alcohols polyols are carbohydrates that occur naturally in certain fruits and vegetables — although they can also be manufactured. Despite their name, sugar alcohols aren't alcoholic because they don't contain ethanol, which is found in alcoholic beverages. Sugar alcohols aren't considered intense sweeteners because they aren't sweeter than sugar. In fact, some are less sweet than sugar. As with artificial sweeteners, the FDA regulates the use of sugar alcohols.
Sugar alcohols contain calories. But they're lower in calories than sugar, making them an attractive alternative. Sugar alcohols generally aren't used when you prepare food at home. But they're in many processed foods and other products, including chocolate, chewing gum and toothpaste. Sugar alcohols add sweetness, bulk and texture to food, as well as helping food to stay moist. Sugar alcohols are often combined with artificial sweeteners to enhance sweetness.
Food labels may use the general term "sugar alcohol" or list the specific name, such as sorbitol. Like artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols don't contribute to tooth decay and cavities, and may also help with:. When eaten in large amounts, sugar alcohols can have a laxative effect, causing bloating, intestinal gas and diarrhea.
Product labels may carry a warning about this potential laxative effect. Natural sweeteners are sugar substitutes that are often promoted as healthier options than sugar or other sugar substitutes. But even these "natural sweeteners" often undergo processing and refining. Natural sweeteners have a variety of uses both at home and in processed foods.
They're sometimes known as "added sugars" because they're added to foods during processing. Natural sugar substitutes may seem healthier than sugar.
Artificial sweeteners raise risk of type 2 diabetes, study suggests
But their vitamin and mineral content isn't significantly different. For example, honey and sugar are nutritionally similar, and your body processes both into glucose and fructose. It's OK to choose a natural sweetener based on how it tastes rather than on its health claims. Just try to use any added sweetener sparingly.
Natural sweeteners are generally safe. But there's no health advantage to consuming any particular type of added sugar.
Consuming too much added sugar, even natural sweeteners, can lead to health problems, such as tooth decay, weight gain, poor nutrition and increased triglycerides. Honey can contain small amounts of bacterial spores that can produce botulism toxin. Honey shouldn't be given to children younger than than 1 year old. When choosing sugar substitutes, it pays to be a savvy consumer.
Artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes can help with weight management. But they aren't a magic bullet and should be used only in moderation. Food marketed as sugar-free isn't calorie-free, so it can still cause weight gain. Keep in mind that processed foods, which often contain sugar substitutes, generally don't offer the same health benefits as whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables.