Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Alternative Sweeteners....they seem to be popping up everywhere in everything!

Alternative Sweeteners....not in my tea please! 

Alternative sweeteners like Saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low), Acesulfame – K (Sunette and Sweet One) and Aspartame (Equal and NutraSweet) are popping up in everything these days.  These non-nutritive sweeteners made from one chemical or synthetic sweetener have been linked to cancers specifically bladder cancer, brain tumors, possibly Alzheimer’s and ADD/ADHD even lymphomas and leukemia’s.  Although there are no significant studies being done today to discount or disprove these claims however the levels we are consuming today are above the safety levels. 

They are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which they state that the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) is the estimate amount that someone can consume each day over their life time without adverse effects.  Well this is all well and good if everything consumed by Americans did not have one of these Sweeteners added to their food.   These sweeteners would not be an issue of adversely effecting an individual if, as I already stated, they were not in everything and I mean everything….if it is processed to be low fat or low calorie it contains one of these sweeteners.

Personally, I prefer natural sugars (not processed refined white sugar), Stevia (harvested from a plant herb) and honey to the chemically made synthetic sugars.  I find we mess too much with the goodness nature has already provided.  I realize these were created primarily for the “Diet” market and the rise of obesity and diabetes however they are creating a host of other health risks.  These alternative sweeteners may even causing you to eat more and gain weight.  Creating these unnatural alternative sweeteners is just a band aid to the real issues at hand…..our love lust and over indulgence with food.

Here are some thoughts by


Studies in laboratory rats during the early 1970s linked saccharin with the development of bladder cancer. For this reason, Congress mandated that further studies of saccharin be performed and required that all food containing saccharin bear the following warning label: “Use of this product may be hazardous to your health. This product contains saccharin, which has been determined to cause cancer in laboratory animals.”

Subsequent studies in rats showed an increased incidence of urinary bladder cancer at high doses of saccharin, especially in male rats. However, mechanistic studies (studies that examine how a substance works in the body) have shown that these results apply only to rats. Human epidemiology studies (studies of patterns, causes, and control of diseases in groups of people) have shown no consistent evidence that saccharin is associated with bladder cancer incidence.


Aspartame, distributed under several trade names (e.g., NutraSweet® and Equal®), was approved in 1981 by the FDA after numerous tests showed that it did not cause cancer or other adverse effects in laboratory animals. Questions regarding the safety of aspartame were renewed by a 1996 report suggesting that an increase in the number of people with brain tumors between 1975 and 1992 might be associated with the introduction and use of this sweetener in the United States. However, an analysis of then-current NCI statistics showed that the overall incidence of brain and central nervous system cancers began to rise in 1973, 8 years prior to the approval of aspartame, and continued to rise until 1985. Moreover, increases in overall brain cancer incidence occurred primarily in people age 70 and older, a group that was not exposed to the highest doses of aspartame since its introduction. These data do not establish a clear link between the consumption of aspartame and the development of brain tumors.

Acesulfame potassium, Sucralose, and Neotame

In addition to saccharin and aspartame, three other artificial sweeteners are currently permitted for use in food in the United States:

o    Acesulfame potassium (also known as ACK, Sweet One®, and Sunett®) was approved by the FDA in 1988 for use in specific food and beverage categories, and was later approved as a general purpose sweetener (except in meat and poultry) in 2002.

o    Sucralose (also known as Splenda®) was approved by the FDA as a tabletop sweetener in 1998, followed by approval as a general purpose sweetener in 1999.

o    Neotame, which is similar to aspartame, was approved by the FDA as a general purpose sweetener (except in meat and poultry) in 2002.


Because the findings in rats suggested that cyclamate might increase the risk of bladder cancer in humans, the FDA banned the use of cyclamate in 1969. After reexamination of cyclamate’s carcinogenicity and the evaluation of additional data, scientists concluded that cyclamate was not a carcinogen or a co-carcinogen (a substance that enhances the effect of a cancer-causing substance). A food additive petition was filed with the FDA for the reapproval of cyclamate, but this petition is currently being held in abeyance (not actively being considered). The FDA’s concerns about cyclamate are not cancer related.”

We have moved so far away from whole foods, natural foods, unprocessed foods for the sake of “cheap” foods.  Partially by demand from the consumer by significantly by the corporations who want a bigger profit margin.  Our foods once were all fresh picked by hand with no pesticides and the prices were still at an attainable fair market inexpensive price.  Now, everything in our market has the price of shipping attached to it which in turn rises or lowers based on oil prices.  So our food has to be made with inexpensive unhealthy unnatural substitutes to keep foods cheap because processing and shipping are costly. 

All of these chemical changes to our food is just wrong, they are making us sick America....why mess with Mother Nature!  Just sayin'....make some healthier choices this year with some whole foods, natural and less processed foods.   We have seen how the power of the consumer dollar can make companies change their tune...Bank Of America stopped the $5 fee....Netflix ended their thought to divide into two companies with two separate charges....Verizon stopped the $2 fee....why because of consumer complaint and protest.  We can make companies change by not shopping or bying their product or threatening to change to their competitor so why not our food too!  We can do it one buck at a time!!!  It is worth our health and our future.


1 comment:

Tami said...

Hi! It's Tami from Vegan Appetite. I wanted to reply to you here in case you wouldn't see it on my blog.

Cooking is so much easier than you think! We all start with baby steps, but the more you do it, the better you get. Cook as much as you can! And don't be frustrated when things don't turn out as you'd hoped. It happens.

You might want to start with quick cookbooks, just to get your feet wet. Two good ones are 30 Minutes until Dinner by Bryanna Clark Grogan and Quick Fix Vegan by Robin Robertson.

I'm glad to have found your blog and look forward to seeing where cooking takes you! Thanks for reading mine. :)

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