What is an Artificial Sweetener and Artificial Sweeteners Side Effects?

September 28, 2010- Since our birth, we have inclination towards sugar and for some it is really hard to resist the sweet taste. But intake of too much sugar leads to dental problems like cavity, blood sugar (diabetes), over weight and associated heart diseases. Sugar rich food also causes the problems of osteoporosis and loss of vitamins and minerals from the body as sugar in the food replaces the more nutritive substances. Owing to this so many ill effects, invention of artificial sugar has been done. But everyone who suffer from the above mentioned problems consume artificial sugar without inquiring whether it has any side effect or not. So here we are presenting an overview on what is artificial sweetener and what are the side effects of major artificial sweeteners. .

What is an Artificial Sweetener?

Artificial sweeteners are just like sugar but devoid of any extra calorie. So artificial sugar is actually the sugar substitute. These are made either in natural way or through chemicals. It is regulated as food additive by The US Food and Drug Administration. High intensity sweeteners taste sweeter than sucrose and common table sugar, so required in a very less quantity.

In USA six artificial sugars that are: saccharin, aspartame, sucralose, neotame, acesulfame potassium, and stevia are approved and used as sugar substitute.

Artificial Sweeteners Side Effects

A study has been conducted on laboratory rats and found out that intake of saccharin causes bladder cancer. Owing to this reason, it was banned in Canada in 1977. But soon this was replaced by moratorium that indicates the warning label. Later it was found out that the mechanism through with bladder cancer is caused in rat is not found in humans.

Although it has been approved by FDA, yet some researchers have found out that artificial sweetener aspartame causes an increase in brain tumor rate. Also after consuming this you will feel the problem of dizziness, vomiting, headache and diarrhea. Many times abdominal pain, seizures and change in vision is caused by aspartame. In the more serious side effects of aspartame are the breast cancer, renal cell carcinoma, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer etc.

Sugar alcohols are used in low carbohydrate products can cause gas, bloating, diarrhea and vomiting.

Sucralose is used in carbohydrate or sugar free products that is slightly chemical in taste. It is 600 time more sweeter than sugar but without any calorie. It is a chlorinated artificial sweetener that is used in baked food, chewing gums and beverages. Although if taken between limits there is no side effect but it can lead to kidney enlargement and shrinkage of thymus gland if taken in excess.

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