Are Artificial Sweeteners Safe?

(Michelle) #1

I’ve avoided artificial sweeteners for the past several years due to the chemical make up and uncertainty of long-term safety. I do use sweeteners that are more natural like Stevia and Xylitol to sweeten my foods, however, I’ve been doing keto for a month now and I really enjoy Cherry Coke Zero as a treat… YUM! I also drink Zevia soda which is natural and “safe”, but it’s really expensive! Does anyone have opinions on the good, bad or ugly of artificial sweeteners? The FDA claims there are no studies proving that Sucralose and Aspartame are unsafe, and yet there are so many claims out there that say otherwise… and we all know that the FDA is still pushing “Lies My Doctor Told Me”… AWESOME book by the way. I don’t want to “poke the beehive” here or cause arguments, and I know this can be a really hot topic, but I’m open to suggestions and would love to hear what you think. A link to some solid research would be really helpful too!

(Janelle) #2

I have no idea if it’s true, but my doc says the last completely believable and sound sweetener study was regarding saccharine. No one disputes that huge amounts (huge) caused cancer in lab animals. People here who test for blood sugar and insulin spikes seem to report varied results when they, themselves use sweetener. For some, nothing. For some, a slight but noticeable rise.

(Robert C) #3

FDA tests about being “not dead” after a low dose (a couple of cans of Diet Coke) over a short duration (weeks or months) don’t really take into account people’s real usage and certainly doesn’t actually measure anything about changes in the gut. Being “not dead” is fun but having hard-to-detect gut issues is not.

If you Google “artificial sweeteners and gut microbiome” you will get plenty of links like:

  • Artificial Sweeteners May Change Our Gut Bacteria in Dangerous …
  • Non-nutritive sweeteners possess a bacteriostatic effect and alter gut …
  • Artificial Sweeteners Have Toxic Effects on Gut Bacteria …

I think you might find a Diet Coke backed study trying to negate other studies or minimize harm but it seems the “judgement” is in.

Essentially, a lot of this stuff was never intended to be consumed by a human and dealt with by a human’s gut (that includes the “all natural” things that are processed and refined to levels our gut cannot deal with).

So, minimizing exposure might be a good idea - especially avoiding bottles and cans of water plus artificial sweeteners plus chemicals (chemicals to remind you of whole food flavors but are still really just chemicals).

(Michelle) #4

Thank you @RobC! I have heard both sides of this debate, but I’m leaning hard on the facts that our ancestors never had artificial sweeteners, and it was originally developed as rat poison (so they say). There are so many diseases that weren’t around until the past few hundred years, and there’s GOT to be a link between food and disease. Once my soda runs out I don’t think I’ll be buying any more.

(Complete legend) #5

The dose makes the poison. Drink enough water and it will kill you, too.

(Michelle) #6

I agree @juice. The studies they do on rats/animals and the lethal amounts of what a human would have to eat… those test results are so skewed and misleading that it’s really hard to find solid evidence and realistic findings to base nutritional choices on. You can’t believe every study that comes out and it’s very frustrating to say the least.

(Complete legend) #7

Ain’t that the truth.

(traci simpson) #8

If the goal is to be healthy and eat a whole food diet, why use artificial, lab created foods? Just my thoughts…

(Jennifer) #9

In general, I don’t partake in sweeteners. Natural or artificial. I don’t think we were meant to have sweet tastes all the time like we’ve become accustomed, in history. Do I think they’ll kill you? Nah. I still have a giant Coke Zero every time I go to the movies, so I’m obviously not completely avoiding them, but I stay away from most sweeteners most of the time. Oddly enough, my sweetness sensitivity has become more amplified. Things like the occasional carrot or cantaloupe are SUPER sweet to me now, which is a nice treat every now and then.