Aspartame, sucralose, and sorbitol are the common ones used today. Aspartame is Nutri-sweet (Equal) that was marketed highly in the late 1980’s and 1990’s.
What is Aspartame?
It is an odorless powder that is about 200x sweeter than sugar. It is promoted as a low-calorie sweetener, and is in products that say “diet, low calorie, no sugar, sugar-free, light, less sugar, zero sugar”. It is in over 6000 products on the market- drinks, candies, gum, salad dressings, and condiments.
The ingredient of aspartame is a synthetic compound of aspartic acid and phenylalanine with a methyl ester. Both are naturally occurring amino acids, but when this combination is broken down, they turn into methanol in the body which then can become formaldehyde. There is some question about if it remains in the body in the research... but it is still formaldehyde - a known carcinogen.
It was banned from the FDA twice because there was evidence that it caused brain tumors, but after some miraculous circumstances, it was approved in 1981.
Finally, after 42 years, the WHO admits: “Besides not helping with the long-term reduction of body fat, non-sugar sweeteners may — with long-term use — increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and early death”.
Effects on health:
Cancer: Increased cancer risk has been associated, (study in 2022).
Gut bacteria: They have been shown to alter the bacteria of the gut (microbiome). The gut contains millions of bacteria, micro-organisms and fungi, and the brain are directly connected. If it has been damaged, then the brain is negatively affected as well.
Neurological issues: Seizures, headaches, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), behavioral and cognitive effects, dizziness, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS).
Cardiovascular System: A large study published in the BMJ found that a high intake of artificial sweeteners increased the risk of cardiovascular problems such as strokes and coronary heart disease. A study recently found that people who drank one artificially sweetened drink per day had up to three times the risk of stroke, compared to people who drank less than one drink per week.
Weight gain: Sweet cravings, increased appetite and food intake, Type 2 diabetes, poor blood glucose control, allergies, skin problems, chronic kidney disease, and birth defects.
What can you do about it?
Stop eating/drinking them! Read food labels and look for the cause of the sweetness. Replace with actual sugar (in moderation).
Detoxify – At Healthy Living Chiropractic, we can help with clearing the brain/liver/fat cells/body and repair the gut from previous damage. Reach out to our office today to find out more!
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Eden Prairie, MN 55344