Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten

Why I Think You Should Avoid Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners have no nutritional value whatsoever. They have been heavily promoted as an aid to weight loss, but by depriving the body of the satisfaction of sugars they can lead to cravings, more food consumption and weight gain. The only reason for their existence is to line the pockets of chemical companies that make them and to boost the sales of /“light/” versions of canned drinks and processed foods.

There are many stories of plots, counter plots, conspiracies and dire health consequences related to this group of additives. However, much of this information is false and promoted on spurious websites, but my belief is in the need for the /“Precautionary Principle/” - the absolute proof of safety.
These are my concerns:-

SACCHARIN: This is a possible cause of cancer in lab animals and up to 1997 had to be labelled as such in the USA. The Center for Science in Public Interest in America said that If saccharin is even a weak carcinogen, it would pose an intolerable risk to the public because there is evidence of carcinogenicity in animals and limited evidence that it may cause bladder cancer in humans. Because it is a sulphonamide it may also trigger allergic reactions in some people.

ASPARTAME: It has been reported that of the 166 studies of human safety, 74 had Nutrasweet industry – makers of aspartame - funding and 92 were independently funded. One hundred per cent of company research confirmed safety, whereas 92% of those independently funded found problems with aspartame. Headaches, depression, especially in those with mental health problems and increased hunger are all possible. Those of you who bother to read the labels will know that it must not be consumed by anyone with the metabolic illness PKU. It is strange that some top opponents of Aspartame, now owned by the GM food and pesticide giant Monsanto, now have top jobs in their law firms and PR consultants – a name you will recognise is Donald Rumsfeld who was CEO of the original makers Searle; he was twice US Secretary of Defense!

SUCRALOSE: (Splenda contains this one It/’s the chlorine that worries me as it is a known carcinogen in disinfectants, pesticides, and plastics. Diarrhoea, rashes, hives, redness, itching, wheezing, cough, palpitations, anxiety and itchy eyes are some reported reactions. In animals it seems to halve the good bugs in the gut and interfere with the absorption of prescription medicines.

ACESULFAME K: We don/’t know a great deal about this one, but it contains the carcinogen methylene chloride and long-term exposure to this can cause headaches, depression, nausea, liver and kidney problems and cancer; in spite of which it is permitted in your food.

Weight for weight, children consume far more of these substances in canned drinks and there is also the question of the risks in pregnancy; what is the safe dose for a foetus? I don/’t know of any long terms studies proving it is safe. Finally there is the question of mixing up the sweeteners. Lots of food manufacturers do it to save money, but there is no way to know what happens once they are mixed or how they are then processed in your body.

Reduce your sugar intake to change your taste; use organic raw sugar – it works for everything except meringues – organic honey, or if you must, why not try the all-natural sweet alternative of Stevia.


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