Despite the many studies, research and scientific proof that artificial sweeteners are extremely detrimental to our health, thousands of people still use it in their tea and coffee, and it is widely found in many different food products, even those you would not expect. For those of us who have researched this in detail, it baffles us that it is even allowed into any food or drink! It is evident that the wide acceptance of sweeteners is down to very clever marketing and propaganda, not only by the corporations who manufacture these harmful chemicals but also the mainstream press who appear keen to sway public opinion to that which pleases their corporate sponsors and advertisers. These clever tactics have caused a refusal by many to even consider the negative effects artificial sweeteners are having upon their health, and that they could even be causing the symptoms or conditions they suffer from such as type 2 diabetes and obesity, some of the very conditions that cause people to buy the sweeteners in the first place!
Here is some further information on the sweeteners that are currently available:
Aspartame is an extremely toxic chemical produced by Monsanto. It is found in most diet soft drinks, and is marketed as sugar substitute sweeteners under brands such as Canderel, NutraSweet, Equal, and Spoonful. It is used as a sugar replacement in many processed foods, and is even found in many non-diet drinks.
Aspartame is marketed as a diet product, but it will cause you to GAIN weight, and one way it can do this is by making you crave carbohydrates. It is difficult to understand why authorities such as Trading Standards who are meant to be ensuring products are clearly and fairly described even allow this.
Aspartame is extremely toxic and is known as a neurotoxin, meaning it is toxic to the brain, and this is because it changes the brain’s chemistry, causing many neurological disorders including severe seizures. It alters the dopamine level in the brain, and it is particularly dangerous for anyone suffering from Parkinson’s diseases or PKU. This is why there are warnings on aspartame containing products saying 'contains a source of phenylalinine' as it can even be fatal.
One of the toxic ingredients of Aspartame is wood alcohol, which converts to formaldehyde and then to formic acid in temperatures exceeding 86 degF, which in turn causes metabolic acidosis. Formaldehyde is grouped in the same class of deadly poisons as Cyanide and Arsenic.
There are 92 documented symptoms of Aspartame Poisoning, ranging from headache and rash up to coma and death, the majority being neurological, because the Aspartame attacks and destroys the nervous system. It is linked to Lupus, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, candida, diabetes, and so much more. When people suffer these effects of aspartame, which is often very difficult to determine as the cause, and then continue to consume the sweetener, their condition can become life threatening. Aspartame Poisoning is very often misdiagnosed as Multiple Sclerosis as methanol toxicity mimics Multiple Sclerosis. However, methanol toxicity will often be fatal.
The Conference of the American College of Physicians stated, “We are talking about a plague of neurological diseases caused by this deadly poison”. Dr. Blaylock is renowned and respected for his work uncovering chemicals in foods such as aspartame, what he calls 'excitotoxins' entitled: “EXCITOTOXINS: THE TASTE THAT KILLS”. Dr. H.J. Roberts, diabetic specialist and world expert on Aspartame Poisoning, has written a book “DEFENSE AGAINST ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE” after his diabetic patients who used Aspartame presented “memory loss, confusion, and severe vision loss”. Dr. Roberts further details how Aspartame Poisoning brings on Alzheimer’s disease.
Aspartame poisoning is considered one of the causes of Gulf War Syndrome due to pallets of diet drinks being stored in the 120-degF Arabian sun for weeks at a time. The symptoms of the service men and women who suffered Gulf War Syndrome are identical to Aspartame Poisoning.
Another serious problem is that consuming Aspartame during pregnancy can cause birth defects, and in the original lab tests on Aspartame, it caused brain tumours in animal tested.
Ironically (or is it?) Monsanto funds the American Diabetes Association, the American Dietetic Association, Congress, and the Conference of the American College of Physicians meaning they have money in the pockets of those who control the information that is presented to mainstream, and therefore the power to keep their product on the market. Public health means nothing to a faceless unaccountable corporation.
More information on Aspartame can be found in my article Are our Children being Innocently Poisoned?
Saccharin has been on the market for the longest. Until 2000, there was a warning placed upon the labels that stated that mice had developed bladder cancer tumours in tests after consuming saccharin. However in a reevaluation it was apparently found that this result was not relevant to humans and therefore the warning was removed. According to Green Med Info, saccharin has a negative effect upon insulin levels, effects sleep patterns, contributes to an increased risk of cancer, cause weight gain, alter the gut microbiome (gut bacteria) and much more. It is also stated to be more addictive than cocaine! It is suggested that saccharin was demonised in a bid to bring aspartame onto the market as an alternative, then once it was well established and accepted, saccharin was then again declared safe. The timing could fit in well with this theory, but who knows?
Splenda has its own problems, although it may not penetrate the blood brain barrier as aspartame does.
Sucralose is the product behind the brand-name Splenda, has not been tested for long term effects, and studies and research results are identical to those used for aspartame. So it appears that the public who consume Splenda have become the lab rats on which long term testing is being carried out, as it sadly has become the case for so many other products.
Splenda is made by Johnson & Johnson who claim it is “made from real sugar.” But it is a far cry from the natural source and may be just as dangerous as aspartame.
Splenda contains chlorine. The inventors of Splenda admit around 15% of sucralose is absorbed by the body, but they cannot guarantee how much of this is chlorine.
ACEULFAME K & SWEETENER BLENDS
Acesulfame K is rarely found alone, but generally in a toxic sweetener blend with aspartame, sucralose and acesulfame K. But it is by no means an innocent bystander. It contains cancer-causing methylene chloride and according to medicnenet, "long-term exposure to methylene chloride can cause headaches, depression, nausea, mental confusion, liver effects, kidney effects, visual disturbances, and cancer in humans".
Food companies are blending sweeteners in an attempt to improve the taste and get closer to the taste of sugar, so now we have to contend with a cocktail of toxic chemicals instead of just 1! Not only that, all substances will react with each other in some way, and it is simply untested to determine the short and long term effects of the synergy of these chemicals will have on our bodies. So again we are the lab rats, the cost being our health.
Truvia is manufactured by Cargill who claim it is safe, however have not carried out any safety studies. It is commonly mistaken as stevia, however it is not - it is Rebaudioside A, derived from genetically modified plants, using stevia as a model for its development. Due to clever marketing of half truths, the public have been manipulated to accepting it as a safe alternative to aspartame and sucralose.
Artifical Sweeteners and your Children
Children react badly to artificial sweeteners, and parents, schools and nurseries are thinking they are doing the right thing by giving them 'No Added Sugar' products. The reason the effects and causes have gone unnoticed is because sweeteners have an accumulative effect, and so the symptoms build up slowly over time. ADD, ADHD, behaviour, mood, depression, frustration, inability to concentrate, excessive emotions, tantrums, are all linked to chemicals such as artificial sweeteners in the diet. So maybe cut these out of your children's diet, as they could very well be a cause of your child’s poor health or mental/emotional problems!
SUGAR - Good & Bad
There is a huge difference between the many sugars available and some can benefit us, some can be extremely harmful. Sugars in their natural state can be fairly healthy for us. Sugars such as coconut sugar and even raw sugar cane/beet are generally fine. But it's a different story when it has been chemically altered or heavily processed, such as with refined sugars, fructose-based sweeteners such as agave nectar, glucose-fructose syrup, corn syrup, etc. Then it can have very negative effects upon our health and has been stated, like saccharin, to be more addictive than cocaine! It can feed cancer and have disastrous effects upon our gut bacteria, causing us many problems such as a compromised immunity, candida overgrowth, obesity and diabetes, and much more. Despite agave syrup being sold as a healthy sweetener, fructose, when isolated from the plant and its matrix of phytonutrients and fibre to assist the digestion, can be extremely detrimental to health, even more so than sucrose!
Natural honey, particularly local to us and manuka honey, are generally good for us and can even have therapeutic properties. Honey produced locally to your home can act almost like a natural vaccine, offering some immunity from hayfever as the honey is made from the pollen you are reacting to. Manuka honey is renowned for its antibacterial and antifungal properties, amongst many other benefits. Cheap honeys are sometimes diluted with glucose fructose syrup so beware!
Maple syrup can often be consumed without negative effects upon the body, when it is pure, natural maple syrup and preferably organic. Beware of fake maple flavoured syrup!
Safe Alternative Sweeteners
The two safest choices of sweeteners to date are xylitol and stevia.
Xylitol is granulated wood alcohol from trees, most commonly the birch tree (though it can also come from corn - and this is often GM). It is considered safe for candida, diabetics and is less than 40% of the calories of sugar. It has a low GI and is good for the teeth and gums (often an ingredient in toothpaste and chewing gum!). Maltitol and sorbitol are other sweeteners that are wood alcohols. These are generally considered to be safe, but are not as beneficial as xylitol. They are often found in diabetic foods. Care should be taken when you eat foods containing wood alcohols as if you have a lot, especially when you are not used to it, they can cause your stools to be loose and sometime cause excessive wind!
Stevia as a natural herb which is extremely sweet. It has quite a strong liquorice aftertaste in its natural form. It can be found in powder form with the licorice taste removed, and is now being used in some low sugar foods and drinks. It is especially attractive as it has 0 calories! However, it is uncertain that the new stevia-based sweeteners are as healthy as the natural plant they come from. Steviol glycosides are the chemicals responsible for the ultra sweetness of the stevia leaves, they are chemically extracted and cleaned during the processing to make the sweetener. There are a lot of conflicting accounts of the safety of steviol glycosides and it has certainly not been involved in studies for long term effects. Personally I would avoid and stick to other safe alternatives, natural sugars such as honey and maple syrup, or natural stevia leaf extract.
IN SUMMARY, MY ADVICE:
Many people are documented to have recovered from their health conditions or at least have found dramatic improvements in their conditions and symptoms, just by changing their sweetener to something natural and cutting out sugar! So here is a summary of my advice:
SWEETENERS TO AVOID: Artificial: These are current anti-nutrient (they rob nutrients rather than give us nutrients) sugar substitutes - ASPARTAME, TRUVIA, NEOTAME, SACCHARIN, ACESULFAME-K, SUCRALOSE, SPLENDA, ALITAME. Although not as bad, I would also suggest avoiding STEVIOL GLYCOSIDES for the reasons I mentioned. There may be more by the time you are reading this, but these are correct at time of writing! There are new sweeteners currently in various stages of development and approval.
Natural (so-called): AGAVE nectar/syrup, FRUCTOSE-based sweeteners, maple FLAVOURED syrup, cheap honeys.
OPT FOR: good quality honey - local or manuka, pure maple syrup, xylitol from birch, coconut sugar, natural stevia or stevia leaf extract.
TAKE CARE: when you find a mainstream product without sweeteners (there are still some!), keep reading the labels. So often the food companies change the ingredients and although normally the label will state something like "New Improved" or "Now with less Sugar", sometimes the ingredients change without notice. My family have been caught out a few times in the past by this!
The same can be said for ALL chemical additives. The two things to remember are this:
1. Our bodies are NATURAL and ORGANIC so we cannot put anything UNNATURAL (artificially created) into them and expect it to be processed without damage, stress and strain on our system. Natural needs Natural.
2. All artificially manufactured products – be it sweeteners, preservatives, pesticides, herbicides, Genetically Modified, whatever – have all been manufactured by a chemical manufacturing corporation. All these corporations have proven to be more concerned with their money than with our health. (In fact many are connected to pharmaceutical corporations and therefore can make money off us when we are ill!
So eat NATURALLY, ORGANICALLY whenever possible – you will find you eat less as you will gain more nutritional value from your foods and it therefore doesn’t cost more to eat organically in the end. Use WHOLEFOODS – a whole food is unprocessed and intact as nature made it. Most meals and products you buy can be made quite easily using pure wholefoods. If you make something yourself you know exactly what has gone into it! And always choose unrefined, wholegrain, etc – the less processing the better as processing kills the nutrients in the food making them nothing but ballast – dead, empty calories.
Knowledge is Power
As an educated consumer, you have the awareness to choose what you and your family will consume. Unnatural artificial sweeteners may affect your health, and if they don't seem to be now, their accumulation will almost certainly have some effect in the future with continued use, so why take the chance?
Please teach your children of these dangers so they make informed choices. Young people drink a lot of Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi and so they are the most susceptible to Aspartame Poisoning.
Word is getting around and this information is spreading, but there is still much work to do! So please share this information, and you don't have to take my word for it - for more information, search on Google for “dangers of artificial sweeteners”. If you want more scientific results, go to greenmedinfo.com and search for research documents. You will be surprised by what you will find!