Artificial Sweetners – The Effects of the Sugar Substitute

The term ‘artificial sweetners’ refer to synthetic sugar substitutes that are many times sweeter than sugar but low in calories. People suffering from diabetes and those who are conscious of weight gain are turning to various sugar substitutes available in the markets. These sweeteners are found in different food products.

Artificial Sweetners – Know More about Sugar Substitutes

Artificial sweetners are synthetic sugar substitutes that may be derived from naturally occurring substances and even sugar itself. They are marketed for consumers who look for low calorie alternatives to sugar and for people who suffer from diabetes. These sugar substitutes are several times sweeter than sugar, add very little calories or none at all, and do not cause tooth decay. Some of the commonly available artificial sweetners approved by FDA are saccharin, sucralose, aspartame, neotame, and acesulfame potassium. They are widely used in many processed food products like soft drinks, canned foods, dairy products, beverages, jellies, jams and other confectionaries. FDA recommends an Allowed Daily Intake (ADI) of sweetners that is considered safe for consumption. Sugar substitutes should be used with caution because of the health concerns associated with them.

Sucralose Side Effects – Identifying its Effects

Sucralose is a popular sugar substitute that is about 600 times sweeter than sugar, adds virtually no calories, and is marketed as Splenda. A lesser known fact about sucralose is that it was accidentally discovered while trying to produce a new kind of insecticide. The chemical name for sucralose is trichlorogalactosucrose and sucralose side effects can be attributed to its chemical composition. This sweetner is derived by treating sugar with different chemical compounds. Sucralose also contains chlorine which is known to be a potent carcinogen. Some of the commonly observed sucralose side effects are bloating, diarrhea, skin irritation, wheezing, cough, itchy eyes, runny nose, mood swings, and depression. Long term studies are performed on sucralose to find its other effects on the body.

Artificial Sweeteners Side Effects – an Analysis

Several artificial sweeteners, nutritive and non-nutritive, are available in the markets. They offer sweetness without the added calories but artificial sweeteners side effects are many and are also associated with health concerns. Aspartame causes many side effects like headache, dizziness, gastrointestinal discomfort, skin rashes, and depression. It also causes hyper-excitement of the brain cells leading to neurological diseases and even brain damage. Sucralose has many toxic side effects due to the presence of chlorine in its composition. Saccharin is associated with allergic reactions and causes side effects like dizziness, breathing difficulties, headache, and skin eruptions. Acesulfame potassium contains the compound methylene chloride. Prolonged use of this sweetener can cause headaches, depression, nausea, liver and kidney problems, visual disturbances and even cancer. The best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle is to choose the safer sugar substitutes from the many varieties available in the market.

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