Sugar or a ‘healthy low calorie’ sweetener with your coffee?

I apologise for the tone of this article. It’s not my usual jovial style of writing, but, then this is a serious issue facing us all, both as adults and our children. I’ve been aware of the problem with so-called healthier sweeteners for some time, however further research has left me with significant cause for concern.

The information presented here has been adapted from an article written by Dr Mercola among several others. I have significantly condensed the information into an easily readable format for this limited paper article, but I do urge you to read further around the subject.

Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame are used as an alternative to sugars to sweeten “diet foods”. Research is now showing they have the opposite effect they are supposed to be good for, ie weight loss, by increasing sugar cravings. And a study in 2014 in Nature demonstrated you put weight on when introducing Aspartame to your diet because they kill off good gut bacteria, essential for health!

Research has shown that artificial sweeteners worsen insulin resistance and can affect cardiac health.

In the Journal of Alzheimers Disease April 30th Part 1 and Part 2, they have also proposed links to aspartame and Alzheimers! According to Mr Kennedy the former head of the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) and current editor-in-chief of Science Magazine. In an email shares his concerns about aspartame’s potential toxicity.

“The whole sweeteners issue has interested me since my early time at FDA … A little later, still during my time as Commissioner I was called on by Don Rumsfeld, who introduced himself as the CEO of Searle …

[W]e told him that we would look carefully at the evidence and rely on our expert committee structure as usual.

Aspartame continued to attract concerned critics, and we at FDA saw no resumption of Searle’s effort to get it approved. I looked up one piece on that history, which I append below. Not a very nice story.

‘In 1985 Monsanto purchased G.D. Searle, the chemical company that held the patent to aspartame, the active ingredient in NutraSweet.

Monsanto was apparently untroubled by aspartame’s clouded past, including a 1980 FDA Board of Inquiry, comprised of three independent scientists, which confirmed that it ‘might induce brain tumors.’

The FDA had actually banned aspartame based on this finding, only to have Searle Chairman Donald Rumsfeld … vow to ‘call in his markers,’ to get it approved’ … “

A study by Science Daily concludes children absorb double the amount of Aspartame than adults. Do your kids drink a lot of diet drinks?

“The same research team previously found that these artificial sweeteners were also present in breast milk when mothers ingested foods, drinks, medicines or other products that contained artificial sweeteners.

Since infants have less ability to clear substances from their bloodstream via the kidneys (lower glomerular filtration rate up to age 2 years), the authors speculate that the infants’ artificial sweetener blood levels may be proportionately even higher.

These results are important because early life exposure to artificial sweeteners may influence a child’s future taste preferences, diet and metabolic fate.”

Research has found that artificial sweeteners alter metabolic pathways associated with metabolic disease. Saccharin (Sweet’N Low) had the strongest impact, followed by sucralose and aspartame. This can lead to glucose intolerance and hence on to diabetes.

Professor Dr Adam Balen, chairman of the British Fertility Society (BFS), told The Daily Telegraph:

“This is a very interesting study that suggests the false promise of artificial sweeteners that are found in soft drinks and added to drinks, such as coffee, may have a significant effect on the quality and fertility of woman’s eggs and this may further impact on the chances of conception. These findings are highly significant to our population. There should be more scrutiny of food additives and better information available to the public and, in particular, those wishing to conceive.”

An interesting study published in The New York Times reported that water beats diet soda for weight loss. Eighty-one overweight women diagnosed with type 2 diabetes ate the same diet, with one exception. Half drank diet beverages five times a week while the other half drank plain water.

After six months later, water group lost 14 pounds. The diet soda group lost 11.5 pounds. Additionally, with the water group, their diabetic symptoms significantly improved. This proved previous research demonstrating that artificial sweeteners promote weight gain and worsen diabetes.

Some of the most concerning studies published in PubMed in 2006/7 and 2012, link aspartame to Leukemia, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The studies were carried out over 22 years and appear to demonstrate significant increases in these cancers, that according to the studies is impossible to be attributed to chance alone.

To be safe, I would personally knock all artificial sweeteners on the head if you can. As can be seen, they don’t help with weight loss and if the research is to be believed they are seriously bad for your health!

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