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The lurking dangers of artificial sweeteners

In recent years, the dangers of artificial sweeteners have become somewhat of a point of debate. There's no point in denying this involves a lot of money: adverts promoting the safety of aspartame are starting to pop up in all sorts of magazines. Are the producers of artificial sweeteners starting to feel the heat?


For each study that claims artificial sweeteners are safe (mostly conducted by the FDA or producers of the sweetener), there is another one (mostly independent) claiming that they're dangerous, and vice versa. So what it all boils down to, is that you have to make up your own mind. If you do decide to consume artificial sweeteners, we advise you to use common sense, and do so sparingly!

Let's have a look at some of the most common issues that over the years have been linked to the use of the artificial sweeteners approved by the FDA - splenda side effects, and the countless dangers of aspartame, saccharin and acesulfame K: all of these have been the topic of a lot of debate and investigation. If you are sensitive in any way to any of the problems described below, you should consider switching to a natural sugar substitute

  • Weight gain:

dangers of artificial sweetenersAlthough artificial sweeteners are used in "light", "diet" or "low calorie" products, they trick the brain into thinking that consuming sweet tasting food and drinks is okay. They throw the human body's natural ability to count calories off balance, thus stimulating cravings. Stevia is known to suppress cravings despite its sweet taste, and is considered a safe and natural sugar alternative.

  • Headaches and allergies:

This is the most common side effect of them all. Both independent studies and consumer complaints have associated artificial sweeteners with an increased frequency of migraine attacks. The headaches suddenly stopped after renouncing the artificial sweeteners. So did allergic reactions such as skin rashes and the formation of zits and boils.

  • Depression and panic attacks:

For people who are sensitive to depression and panic attacks, artificial sweeteners are particularly dangerous. They invoke mood swings, shortness of breath, tightness of the chest and muscles, and other symptoms linked to anxiety. A study on aspartame and depression had to be cut short because the side effects on the subjects were too severe.

  • Gastro-intestinal disorders:

As with sugar alcohols, this is a common complaint about artificial sweeteners, especially sucralose which has the toxic substance chlorine added to it. Symptoms include bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

  • Cancer:

It's very difficult to conclusively assign long-term illnesses such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and carcinogenic traits to the use of artificial sweeteners. So many studies have been conducted trying to link the dangers of artificial sweeteners to cancer, that it has become hard to see the forest for the trees. Studies funded by aspartame producing companies refute all the dangers associated with their product, while independent studies often point out that artificial sweeteners can definitely be tied to malign side effects in the long run.


As a final thought, it should be noted that not every individual responds the same way to a particular sweetener. Be careful, and pay attention to what you eat and drink at all times. We can't stress enough the importance of organic eating. Eat sweet, but be smart! 


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