Category Archives: Artificial Sweetner

Another reason to avoid artificial sweeteners — they may actually RAISE blood sugar

artificial-sweetenersSeems sort of counterintuitive, doesn’t it? The sweeteners that have been developed to help people control their weight and avoid diabetes that are featured in diet soda, yogurt and other foods can raise the blood sugar level instead of reducing it, according to new experiments in mice and people.

The provocative finding—made possible through a new avenue of research—is likely to stoke the simmering controversy over whether artificial sweeteners help or hinder people’s ability to lose weight and lower their risk of diabetes.

The research shows that zero-calorie sweeteners such as saccharin, sucralose and aspartame can alter the population of bacteria in the gut and trigger unwanted changes such as higher blood glucose levels—a risk factor for diabetes.

“The scope of our discovery is cause for a public reassessment of the massive and unsupervised use of artificial sweeteners,” said Eran Elinav, a physician and immunologist at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science and lead author of the study, which appeared Wednesday in the journal Nature.

Though many people consume artificial sweeteners instead of sugar to control their weight, the scientific evidence that they work is mixed. Some studies have indicated that the sweeteners can help lead to weight loss, while others suggest they contribute to weight gain.

One reason is that it isn’t clear whether people who consume artificial sweeteners are overweight because of what they eat—or whether overweight people are the ones who typically gravitate to such products.

Based on existing evidence, guidelines jointly published in 2012 by the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association noted that artificial sweeteners “when used judiciously…could facilitate reductions in added sugar,” and thus influence weight loss.

The new Nature study marks a significant advance because it brings together two separate areas of research—the role of sweeteners in raising blood sugar levels, and the complex workings of the vast colonies of bacteria that inhabit the gut. Individuals can have differing bacterial colonies in their gut, meaning people respond differently to what they consume.

In one experiment, the researchers found that mice whose diets included saccharin, sucralose or aspartame had significantly higher blood-glucose levels than mice whose diet included sugar, or no sugar at all.

They next wanted to test whether the fake sweeteners caused that metabolic change by altering the balance of microbes in the animals’ gut.
They transplanted bacteria from artificial-sweetener-fed mice or sugar-fed mice into other mice that were bred to have no gut bacteria of their own and that had never consumed a sweetener product. They found that the bacterial transfer from the sweetener-fed mice raised the blood sugar levels in the transplant recipients—suggesting that the gut microbes had triggered the higher sugar levels in mice fed fake sweeteners.

Was the same link true for people? Dr. Elinav and his colleagues examined the relationship between long-term consumption of artificial sweeteners and various metabolic measurements in some 380 nondiabetic people.

They found that the bacteria in the gut of those who regularly ate fake sweeteners were notably different from those who didn’t. In addition, there was a correlation between the sweetener consumption and a susceptibility to glucose intolerance, which is a disturbance in the blood glucose level.

Correlation, however, doesn’t necessarily mean causation. In the next experiment, seven volunteers who normally didn’t consume fake sugar were asked to consume products high in the sweeteners. After four days, four of them had significantly higher blood-sugar levels as well as altered populations of bacteria in their gut—an outcome similar to what was seen in mice.

“This susceptibility to sweeteners [can now] be predicted ahead of time by profiling the microbes in the people,” said Eran Segal, a co-author of the study and computational biologist at the Weizmann Institute.
The results need to be corroborated through a study with many more participants.

In a statement, the Calorie Control Council, a trade group that represents makers of artificial sweeteners and other food products, said the Nature study suffered from several limitations. It said the results from the mouse experiments may not apply to humans, while the human experiments had a small sample size. It said further research was needed.

FoodFacts.com has never had anything good to say about artificial sweeteners. Reports of negative health effects have far outweighed the marketed benefits. Research like this points straight to the idea that artificial sweeteners are not only unnecessary, but actually harmful — harmful enough that Dr. Elinav, the study’s lead author, stopped using them completely once he saw the results. That should certainly tell us something.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/research-shows-zero-calorie-sweeteners-can-raise-blood-sugar-1410973201
http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20140917/artificial-sweeteners-blood-sugar?page=2

Panera Bread jumps on the healthier food bandwagon committing to remove artificial ingredients by 2016!

Panera Bread to Remove Artificial IngredientsGreat news for Panera Bread fans: the popular fast casual chain is the latest to take a big step towards healthier menu offerings. It has announced that by 2016, artificial additives will be removed from its menu including major ingredients like artificial colors, sweeteners, flavors and preservatives.

“We believe simpler is better,” Scott Davis, chief concept officer said in a news release. “Panera is on a mission to help fix a broken food system. We have a long journey ahead, but we’re working closely with the nutrition community, industry experts, farmers, suppliers and others to make a difference.”

Panera will be taking artificial colors out of its roast beef, maltodextrin and potassium lactate will be removed from the citrus pepper chicken, and horseradish will lose the calcium disodium EDTA.Trans-fats will be removed from the bakery menu items as well.

The announcement is the latest in a string of similar moves from competing fast food chain outlets. Subway recently announced it was removing azodicarbonamide from its bread. The controversial chemical is also found in shoes and yoga mats.

Chick-fil-A also made the announcement that it was cleaning up its menu by reducing ingredients including dyes, HFCS and antibiotics in its popular chicken sandwiches after Vani Hari, the blogger known as “Food Babe” pressured the chain.

And then there’s Chipotle—the poster chain for “healthy” fast food. While Chipotle has been on the clean meat and local produce angle for a while now, it recently made a big step in removing genetically modified ingredients from almost all of its menu items as well as adding vegan sofritos to its offerings.

FoodFacts.com is always happy to hear of another fast food chain making the committment to work towards a cleaner, healthier menu. Panera Bread is an exceptionally popular chain with a solid reputation among consumers. While there menu options have always been thought of as fresher and healthier than many other available options, we’re certainly well aware of the poor ingredients included in so many of Panera’s dishes, tasty as they may be. Kudos to Panera Bread for this commitment. We’re positive that the flavor of their foods will only get better through this effort and that they’ll be gaining even more fans from this bold and necessary move.

This great trend has legs! We can’t wait to see which chain will be the next to make the move towards providing consumers with the healthier foods we all deserve!

http://naturallysavvy.com/eat/move-over-chipotle-panera-bread-is-removing-artificial-ingredients

New report on a popular artificial sweetener isn’t very sweet

iStock_000022507322SmallArtificial sweeteners are exactly what their name infers. They’re chemically created, zero calorie versions of sugar. They can also be referred to as non-nutritive sweeteners — another very telling term. There is no nutritional value involved in artificial sweeteners. So what’s so bad about a substance that contains absolutely no calories that provides no nutritional value?

To begin with, artificial sweeteners have recently been linked with weight gain. Kind of counterintuitive, isn’t it? The very substance that’s supposed to help people with weight loss and weight control may not actually do what it’s intended to. That certainly hasn’t stopped anyone from opting for diet beverages and foods containing any number of different artificial sweeteners. Now there is more news that presents another problem with one of the more popular sweeteners consumers are using.

One of the active ingredients in a popular artificial sweetener could have the potential to limit the impact of therapeutic drugs, reduce the number and balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut and alter hormone secretion, according to an article published in Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A: Current Issues.

Authored by Susan Schiffman and her colleagues, the article details an experiment involving a popular artificial sweetener, which is comprised of the high-potency sucralose (1.1%) and the fillers maltodextrin and glucose.

The study involved an experiment using Sprague-Dawley rats that were administered the artificial sweetener over a 12-week period. Following a bacterial analysis of the rats’ fecal samples and measurement of fecal pH, the article concluded that artificial sweetener resulted in various adverse effects in the rats, including:

-Reduction in beneficial fecal microflora
-Increased fecal pH
-Enhanced expression levels of P-gp, CYP3A4,and CYP2D1, which are known to limit the bioavailability of orally administered drugs

“At concentrations typically used in foods and drinks, sucralose suppresses beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract with less effect on pathogenic bacteria,” article co-author Susan Schiffman, Ph.D said. “Most consumers are unaware of these effects because no warning label appears on products containing sucralose.” Schiffman also said went onto saythat the change in balance of gastrointestinal bacteria has been associated with weight gain and obesity. At elevated levels, sucralose also damages DNA. These biological effects occur at the levels of sucralose currently approved by regulatory agencies for use in the food supply.

That’s not very good news for sucralose fans. While the effects observed in this report are accounted for in earlier materials, those earlier accounts claim that these effects can only be seen with the consumption of sucralose at higher levels than currently approved in products in our food supply. When you consider how sucralose is manufactured, the news may not be very surprising. Sucralose is produced by the “selective chlorination” of table sugar. One of the synonyms for chlorinate is bleach. Doesn’t sound like a process that should be used in the production of anything edible.

FoodFacts.com makes it appoint to avoid all artificial sweeteners, simply because they are just that. Artificial. Any product we consume should be actual food and not something created in a lab.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/278366.php

The correlation between your brain’s perception of sweetness and carbonation

FoodFacts.com has followed a lot of information that’s come to the forefront about artificial sweeteners and diet soda. We know that artificial sweeteners are chemical concoctions that serve no purpose nutritionally and have been linked to cancer. Interestingly, in the last 12 months, studies have linked drinking diet soda to diabetes and weight gain, negating their original purpose in the food supply.

Today we came across a new study that sheds new light on why artificial sweeteners may be adding to the obesity crisis. Carbonation, an essential component of popular soft drinks, alters the brain’s perception of sweetness and makes it difficult for the brain to determine the difference between sugar and artificial sweeteners, according to a new article in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association.

“This study proves that the right combination of carbonation and artificial sweeteners can leave the sweet taste of diet drinks indistinguishable from normal drinks,” said study author, Rosario Cuomo, associate professor, gastroenterology, department of clinical medicine and surgery, “Federico II” University, Naples, Italy. “Tricking the brain about the type of sweet could be advantageous to weight loss – it facilitates the consumption of low-calorie drinks because their taste is perceived as pleasant as the sugary, calorie-laden drink.”

The study identifies, however, that there is a downside to this effect; the combination of carbonation and sugar may stimulate increased sugar and food consumption since the brain perceives less sugar intake and energy balance is impaired. This interpretation might better explain the prevalence of eating disorders, metabolic diseases and obesity among diet-soda drinkers.

Investigators used functional magnetic resonance imaging to monitor changes in regional brain activity in response to naturally or artificially sweetened carbonated beverages. The findings were a result of the integration of information on gastric fullness and on nutrient depletion conveyed to the brain.

Future studies combining analysis of carbonation effect on sweetness detection in taste buds and responses elicited by the carbonated sweetened beverages in the gastrointestinal cavity will be required to further clarify the puzzling link between reduced calorie intake with diet drinks and increased incidence of obesity and metabolic diseases.

FoodFacts.com has never been a fan of soda consumption. Sugary sodas and diet sodas alike are chemical formulations in cans and bottles. They do nothing to fulfill our nutritional requirements and replace better beverages in our diets. The allure of zero calories for consumers is quite powerful and often people believe that as long as something is “diet” it’s a better choice. We are hopeful that information regarding the many downsides of artificial sweeteners helps consumers to understand that these beverages are not healthier options. While we certainly don’t need the equivalent of a little over 10 teaspoons of sugar in the average can of soda, we also don’t need an artificial substance replacing that sugar – especially since it appears that in the long run, people can gain weight just as easily relying on zero calorie sweeteners. Let’s help others in our network become more nutritionally aware of the health effects of diet sodas!

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/266292.php

Questions about the safety of sucralose

FoodFacts.com has never been a fan of artificial sweeteners. Most are controversial, have undergone insufficient safety testing and have been linked everything from gastrointestinal disturbances to cancer. We advocate for the avoidance of artificial sweeteners and the products in which they are contained, like diet soft drinks and low-fat, reduced-calorie food products.

Splenda (the brand name for sucralose) is now joining the list of artificial sweeteners with questionable health effects. While sucralose has been deemed “safe” by the Center for Science in the Public Interest for years, they are now downgrading it to “caution” after the release of an Italian animal study linking sucralose to a higher risk of leukemia. CSPI says it is waiting for the review of the study before deciding on the long-term safety grade it will finally assign for sucralose in its Chemical Cuisine guide to food additives.

The study that has called the safety of sucralose into question comes from the Ramazzini Institute in Bologna, Italy. Here, researchers fed 843 laboratory mice varying doses of sucralose daily from when they were fetuses until they died. Post-mortem examinations on the mice showed an association between the development of leukemia and lifetime sucralose consumption. The more sucralose the mice consumed, the higher their risk of leukemia.

Researchers noted that previous studies involving rats showed increases in liver and lung tumors in male animals consuming aspartame. These studies increased the health concerns regarding aspartame and have led consumers to switch from aspartame sweeteners to sucralose (Splenda). Splenda has been widely promoted as a safer alternative. Researchers believe that with this new link between sucralose consumption and leukemia, further study is urgently needed in order to assess cancer risk in humans.

The rise in rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes worldwide has led to an increase in the consumption of reduced-calorie food products and diet beverages. All of these products contain some type of artificial sweetener. They can even be found in over the counter medications. In addition, people are adding Splenda to their coffee, tea or homemade beverages like lemonade. It is often used in cooking and baking as well. The Center for Science in the Public Interest points out that while sucralose may prove to be safer than saccharin, aspartame and acesulfame potassium, this new study warrants careful scrutiny before we can be confident that the sweetener is safe for use in foods and beverages.

Everyone in the FoodFacts.com community is aware of the potential health effects of artificial sweeteners. This new information calling into question the safety of sucralose places yet another sweetener into the questionable category. While it’s understandable that there are many in the worldwide population who seek sugar alternatives based on health and weight concerns, it is so important for all of us to remain aware of the potential risks involved in the consumption of artificial sweeteners. Processed foods and beverages contain too much added sugar. And for those that want to avoid sugar, manufacturers have replaced it with too much artificial sweetener. We can continue to do our best to avoid both by reading nutrition labels and ingredient lists and making our best effort to prepare healthy, whole foods in our own kitchens.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/262475.php

Diet Alert: Foods and beverages containing Aspartame might actually cause weight gain, not help weight loss

FoodFacts.com has been warning consumers about the possible dangers of the non-nutritive sweetener Aspartame for quite a while now. We’ve always understood that the ingredient has not received the type of analysis that would verify its overall safety for the population and that several studies have shown the potential side effects of the substance.

Aspartame, and other non-nutritive sweeteners, like saccharin, have been marketed to consumers as an aid to dieting and weight loss. While its safety has always been in question, aspartame’s use for weight loss hasn’t actually been questioned. Today, we read with interest new evidence that Aspartame might actually be contributing to weight problems, instead of helping to solve them. A new study out of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil has found that the intake of aspartame affected the calorie intake and weight of rats who consumed it as compared to those who contained plain old sugar.

It was discovered that rats fed diets containing aspartame had a significantly larger weight gain than those fed diets containing sugar. The research focused on 29 rats who were fed two different diets. Some of them consumed a plain yogurt sweetened with sugar, while others were fed a plain yogurt sweetened with aspartame. They also ate a regular rat chow and were given water. Their physical activity was restrained. The rats were followed for total body weight gain and caloric intake over a 12 week period. The rats fed yogurt sweetened with aspartame had a measurably larger weight gain than those who were fed the sugar-sweetened yogurt. The caloric intake was similar between the two groups, as well as the physical activity permitted. The conclusion was reached that the rats eating the aspartame-sweetened yogurt needed to consume more of the rat chow to satisfy their hunger. In a manner, they adjusted their consumption to satisfy their needs.

The study is far from conclusive, but it certainly suggests a link between the consumption of aspartame and weight gain – not weight loss. Its results call for further analysis of the ingredient and its benefits to weight control. There are thousands and thousands of products containing Aspartame lining our grocery store shelves. Our population is consuming the ingredient constantly and consciously, believing that Aspartame will help their weight control efforts. This study points to the concept that Aspartame has the opposite effect for weight-conscious consumers. That’s pretty eye-opening.

When we put this possibility together with the many, many other potential dangers of Aspartame, FoodFacts.com can’t help but reiterate our original idea. Aspartame is an ingredient we should avoid. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this study and any that come from its results.

In the meantime, we encourage you to read more: http://www.foodnavigator.com/Science-Nutrition/Sweeteners-linked-to-higher-weight-gain-Rat-study and http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Safety/chemical/artificial_sweeteners_weight_gain_1128121243.html

Aspartame, cancer and controversy

FoodFacts.com read an interesting new study today that we wanted to make sure to share with you. This long-term research has actually linked aspartame to blood cancers in humans. Cancers like leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma are all blood-related and of tremendous concern for the population

The research period lasted 22 years and showed that drinking one or more soft drinks containing aspartame every day increases the risk of the development of several blood-related cancers in men. Coming out of the Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

It was determined by the end of the study that men who consumed one or more sodas each day that were sweetened with aspartame had an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma compared with men who didn’t drink diet sodas. The women involved in the study showed no increased risk, regardless of whether or not they drank diet soda.

While the study was fairly intensive and certainly long-term, there are many questions surrounding the validity of the results. It appeared that the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma was also increased among men who drank higher amounts of soda sweetened with sugar. There are many different ingredients present in all soda – diet or regular – that may be carcinogenic, that and many are saying that this alone weakens the implication of aspartame as the cancer cause. A controversy is brewing over the “questionable” strength of the results.

It’s important to note that this is the longest study to date that has been done on the possible relationship between aspartame and cancer. The longest research before this spanned only four and a half months. While the beverage industry responded to this newest research by reminding us that aspartame has been declared safe by the world’s leading scientists for decades, the studies performed in the past were always short-term. Toxicity may not be apparent from this type of exposure.

Aspartame contains methanol. When methanol is metabolized by the body it becomes formaldehyde which can damage protein and DNA, leading to the risk of cancer and autoimmune disease. While FoodFacts.com understands that the concluding data in this research does hold some questions, we’re also well aware that aspartame is, to say the least, a questionable ingredient in our food supply. We also understand that food and beverage manufacturers using aspartame in their products have a lot to potentially lose from these findings. We’ll be keeping an eye on the controversy that may be forming around this study and keep you posted. In the meanwhile, read more about it:

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/336384#ixzz2C9HibBYm
http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Safety/chemical/aspartame-leukemia_1107120713.html

Aspartame Detoxification Program

aspartame-side-effects
Foodfacts.com looks into the Aspartame Detoxification Program. Aspartame is the common denominator for over 92 different health symptoms at the root of modern disease. The Aspartame Detoxification Program demonstrates the most effective way to reverse disease symptoms is removing the underlying cause – aspartame.

Some nutritionists and physicians who have counseled aspartame victims worldwide have witnessed nine out of 10 clients restore their health by following an Aspartame Detoxification Program. Begin with detoxifying your body of all residual chemical toxins from aspartame’s chemical make up of phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol and their toxic by-products, and see if any adverse health symptoms remain. Some claim that, by trying the Aspartame Detoxification Program, within 30 days your symptoms should disappear.

Steps:

1. Remove all sugar-free products with aspartame from your diet.
2. Learn to “read” your body. Begin recording any health changes.
3. Get a hair analysis.
4. Be happy with yourself.
5. Detoxify.
6. Restore depleted nutrients.
7. Exercise and get plenty of rest.
8. Eat 75% raw foods at every meal.
9. Drink water, water, water.
10. Get control of your life.

This Ten Step Program is alleged to help protect your health and the health of those you love from being seduced by the sugar-free diet craze.

What can you do about aspartame side effects?

Set an example by changing your diet.

• Tell everyone you know.
• Talk to the schools and day care centers. Offer to speak at parent-teachers meetings.
• Contact your local, state, and Federal government representatives.
• If you see someone with a diet drink, ask if they have had any of the typical aspartame side effects.
• Spread the word at your work.
• Tell your doctor about the scientific research available proving the negative side effects of aspartame.
• Register a complaint with the FDA, the FAA, the NutraSweet Company about aspartame poisoning.
• Return all food products with aspartame, opened or unopened, to your grocer. Tell him/her the products make you sick. The grocer can return them to the manufacturer for a store refund.
• Spread the word on computer networks.
• Publish articles in newsletters at your church, place of work, or neighborhood association.
• Set a personal example for health and wellness.

Let us know what you think, follow us on facebook!

Aspartame Causing Severe Depression?

Aspartame Causing Severe Depression? | Foodfacts.com

Aspartame Causing Severe Depression? | Foodfacts.com

Our Foodfacts.com Blog research on aspartame has revealed additional speculation and claims worth exploring.

The National Institutes of Health characterize aspartame as an artificial sweetener that’s 220 times sweeter than sugar. It’s a combination of phenylalanine and aspartic acid. Both of these ingredients are considered amino acids, which can make them sound somewhat healthy in nature. However, there are links between the consumption of aspartame and depression. Continue reading