Category Archives: Non-nutritive sweeteners

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

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