Are Artificial Sweeteners Like Aspartame & Splenda A Problem For Health?

August 12 200921 Commented

Categorized Under: Healthy eating, Healthy lifestyle, Natural health

Artificial Sweeteners

Today I would like to talk about Artificial sweeteners – which I have a real issue with.

Different types of Artificial Sweeteners

As you will be aware,  there are many different types of artificial sweeteners, that can be found in many different types of products these days.  We have Aspartame marketed as NutraSweet and Equal – which is contained in a lot of low calorie and diet products, and also Sucralose which is marketed as  Splenda.  Aspartame and Sucralose are the two main artificial sweeteners around these days and there seems to be a lot of controversy about these.

The artificial sweetener Aspartame

If we start with aspartame I have personally had first hand experience with the effects of this and my customers. For example, I had a lady who came to see me suffering from anxiety problems, couldn’t sleep, stressed out all the time and she had bad headaches. I went through her whole diet and really couldn’t find anything at all of concern but then she divulged to me that all of the food she was eating was low calorie, containing artificial sweeteners.  I got her to check the ingredient section and we noted that most of the food she was eating, containing Aspartame. As soon as we cut it out of her diet, low and behold all of her previous symptoms cleared up!  It was like she was suddenly a different women.  It was as simple as that.

Aspartame has been linked to many neurological disorders and I have a big issue with it and the fact that it is sneaked into our food, and made out to be ok to consume on a regular basis.

I have an issue that it’s in virtually all chewing gum;  particularly because I



feel I can’t chew chewing gum anymore. I think one of the main problems with aspartame is the effect it has on your nervous system; which as I mentioned above has been linked with many neurological disorders and I think it is definitely something that you should be avoiding.  Luckily Annies have their chewing gum range which uses xylitol as the sweetener.  I love the cinnamon one.

Sucralose or  Splenda are both marketed as artificial sweeteners that are meant to be healthier or safer to use, but really,  I believe that these are little or no better an alternative than aspartame.  Read my document on Aspartame here.

The people marketing Splenda tell us it is derived from sugar, to try and make us feel like we are choosing a better alternative.   You really have to ask yourself the question though, Why would you want to consume artificial sweeteners?   I would recommend that you have a look on the internet and conduct your own research about these products.  Make sure you read what real people are saying about it, not what the manufacturers or marketers are saying.

Artificial sweeteners affecting gut flora

Something I read about Splenda recently, was about a study done on Splenda at the Duke University, where they found that using Splenda effects your gut flora by up to 50%.  Now we need ever bit of that good bacteria so we can absorb all of the good nutrients from the food that where eating and all the supplements that we are taking.  It is also important because 70% of your immune system is situated in your intestinal wall.  If you alter the balance of good bacteria in here, or worse still, kill off some of it, this could directly affect your immune system, as well as interfere with nutrient absorption ability.  The other thing that Duke University found is that Splenda makes the pH level in our intestinal tract a lot more acidic.  You can test your own pH level with test strips

Artificial sweeteners and pH balance

Now if you do any research on acid and alkaline you will know that an acid environment is not ideal and those people who have diseases like cancer have a very high acid environment in there body.  It is well known that trying to correct an imbalance between acid and alkaline is important for good health.   We have these pH test strips so you can do this.

Artificial sweeteners affecting some medications

The other thing that Duke University found about  Splenda is that it affected the way that some drugs work as well. You’ll notice that none of these things are written on the label of Splenda.   There is nothing to warn us about these effects. What about all the people out there who are taking some sort of medication while using something like Splenda without realising that they aren’t getting the full effect from there medication.

Diabetes and artificial sweeteners

Now of course if you’ve got diabetes, you cant have sugary foods or drinks, so alternative sweeteners are a consideration for you, but for the rest of us, Think of your our great ancestors;  they were able to use normal sugar without any problems. I think one of the main problems is we consume too much of it, rather than having it for occasional use.

Stevia, a natural alternative to artificial sweeteners

If you really have to use some sort of substitute rather then good old cane sugar then why not consider Stevia.  We stock these different forms:  Tablets for your drinks, or this liquid, or these convenient sachets .  We also have this 100% organic extract powder.  Sandra Cabot talks about one  Stevita Spoonable Stevia as it is not quite as bitter.  We also have this cookbook, that takes the guess work out of how to cook with stevia.

Stevia comes from a plant.  I have actually had the opportunity to try a Stevia leaf when one of my clients bought one up for me to try. When I popped in my mouth it was incredible to taste how so intensely sweet it was.

Stevia is a fantastic natural sweetener derived specifically from this plant and again it has the effect that it doesn’t raise your blood sugar levels.

Another great thing about Stevia is for all of those women and men out there who have a Candida overgrowth (which can cause thrush, urinary tract infections, athletes foot, digestive problems, fatigue and skin problems to name a few), Stevia is a fantastic alternative because it doesn’t feed all of that yeast in your intestinal tract.  Read my document on Stevia here.

21 responses to “Are Artificial Sweeteners Like Aspartame & Splenda A Problem For Health?”

  1. Kristie says:

    I am in agreement that sweeteners are bad and people are generally unaware. I wanted to post this on my Facebook page, however feel it doesn’t have enough punchy facts and seems very subjective. Not saying it’s not a good cause, because it is! Just some more factual, statistical based links or references would give it more validity.

    Thanks! 🙂

  2. vishaka says:

    I really agree that artificial sweeteners are harmful to health. They cause diverse side affects and long term hazards.

  3. jody murphy says:

    i have always been wary of artificial sweetners. you can never be sure what they’re made of. I personally dont get how Splenda can be made of sugar but it is’nt sugar…why not just have sugar?! everything in moderation

  4. ck smith says:

    great factual article, have sent it on to some friends to read. I have long believe these artificial sweeteners r bad for us, thanks for putting it simply so people who dont know about it can understand

  5. Bronwyn Varcoe says:

    I agree with staying away from artificial sweeteners. Our family has sugar but in moderation. Thanks for the great article.

  6. J says:

    My mum used to only use artificial sweeteners and has had so much trouble with all sorts of areas in the last 7 years, she no longer uses then anymore just a little sugar and she had none of the symptoms she had problems with, including mood swings.

  7. Fran says:

    A really interesting article, but I don’t think you give enough time to the plight of the diabetic. I am not diabetic but I do have a familial connection and therefore I try to avoid sugary foods. What healthy alternatives are there for those who have to avoid sugar?

    • Leanne James says:

      Thanks Fran. Their are a lot of options. As a Naturopath, I like the herbal option of Stevia. This comes in a number of different forms, such as little tablets you can put in your hot drink, a 100% extract powder (where 1/4 tsp is equivalent in sweetness to 1 cup of sugar) a liquid and also a powder, that is not quite as strong as the 100% extract powder. Other alternatives are the polyols, or sugar Alcohols. You can tell which these are, as they generally have ol on the end – like xylitol, maltitol, Erythritol, sorbitol, malitol, lactilol and also isomalt. The biggest problem with sugar alcohols is that because they are not digested, they can cause as lot of gas, once consumed. I hope this answers your question?

  8. Richard says:

    wow, thank you for opening up my mind! I am a low calorie drink drinker and I get headaches. Very interesting article!!

  9. christie says:

    I use artificial sweetner in my 2 coffees a day and have no problem with it, in excess it may be harmful but really in moderation I doesn’t concern me.

  10. Rochi says:

    Wow, things I never knew, I recently brought a packet of splenda to make a cake for a diabetic friend… its advertised as being so safe, “its made from sugar” – they assured me, better than other artificial sweetners… Now really wanting to keep my intestinal tract healthier and immunity strong… (hmmm…) Thanks

  11. bren george says:

    thank you for opening up my mind! I am a low calorie drink drinker and I get headaches. Very interesting article!!

  12. Linda McPadden says:

    Very interesting article . I have several larger family members who use artificial sweetners in an attempt to lose weight . Since they started they have had high blood pressure and severe headaches – now we know why !!! You have raised our families awareness .

  13. John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition) says:

    Your comments about aspartame safety are outdated and thoroughly rejected by science. There are two poorly understood realities and they both revolve around the vitamin folic acid.

    The first reality is that all aspartame research prior to 2009 is fatally flawed (and hence so is all criticism of aspartame based on such science including your comments). It was all done in a scientifically unacceptable manner as was established in preliminary work presented at the Society of Toxicology (Seattle, USA) and the American Chemical Society (New Orleans, USA) national meetings in 2008. Full comments are currently being preparing for regular publication, but in essence it was demonstrated that inappropriate controls were used in all aspartame rodent research starting with the original Searle work and extending through the oft-cited Soffritti et al work published over the past several years (and even other work thereafter). The standard control-versus-treated animal experiments are invalid for aspartame, because aspartame’s methanol (actually through its oxidation products formaldehyde and formate) depletes a vitamin, namely folic acid. No properly done experiment can deplete a vitamin, but all experiments to date claiming problems have done just that! And those experiments showing the greatest effect (Soffritti et al) took 2-3 years and caused dose- and time-dependent depletion of this critical vitamin. And the cancers reported are well-known consequences of folate deficiency. Studies not finding a problem with aspartame were either of such short duration as to avoid this issue or used diets that provided extra folate such that this issue was not encountered.

    The second reality is that this same underlying folate issue explains human problems attributed by critics to aspartame. The folate enzyme system metabolizes the common dietary ingredient methanol’s oxidation products formaldehyde and formate. These are innate metabolites of many substances and are required for normal biological function. In humans, however, the issue is not any aspartame depletion of folate, but widespread preexisting folate deficiency (see , especially before 1998 when supplementation was begun (and this criticism of aspartame began) or folate genetic issues,, and/or related biochemistry linked to vitamin B12 ( Folate deficiency or genetic issues facilitate formation of homocysteine. Much has been written about the “excitotoxic” amino acids that form the aspartame framework (phenylalanine and aspartic acid) by aspartame critics. However, those excitotoxic amino acids occur at far greater concentrations in everyday food, so neither of these amino acids are issues for most people. However, what seems to be consistently missed by the antiaspartame critics is that homocysteine is a far stronger excitotoxin than any constituent of aspartame.

    Explaining problems with aspartame only suggests it is even safer. Given these new, stronger indications of safety, science no longer has any reason to doubt the safety of aspartame. And the European equivalent of the US FDA on April 20 again just validated the safety of aspartame,

    John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

    (FYI, the author has absolutely no financial or biasing connection with the aspartame, the soft drink or their related industries. The author has a Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry (Pharmacy) from the University of Iowa, postdoctoral experience at Yale University (Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry) and at Vanderbilt University and taught nutritional toxicology at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) besides having conducted federally funded research at Vanderbilt, UIUC, and at several other universities before recently entering into retirement.)

  14. Selena Z says:

    Wow, this is a very interesting article.

  15. Lisa says:

    Food today has changed completely even from a generation ago. I don’t know whether artifical sweetners really are harmful but personally I don’t think we should be eating so many foods when we don’t really know what is in them. Surely all the chemicals and artificial ingredients can’t be doing us any good – especially now we’re seeing higher rates of terminal illness & diseases.

  16. Amber Davenport says:

    My mum told me this since 1995 and i have stayed away ever since! I heard that it turns to cyanide at body temp?

  17. Is Aspartame & Splenda A Threat To Your Health? « Are Artificial Sweeteners Like Aspartame dangerous says:

    Excellent Post about Splenda and Aspartame

  18. Christian Aube says:

    Hi there, I have just found your website hunting on the Internet as I am looking for some information on yeast infections. Appears like an interesting website so I have bookmarked this site and I will return tomorrow to give it a more indepth read when i have more time. Great site!.

  19. Charmaine Llera says:

    If there’s anything unsettling to the stomach, it’s watching actors on television talk about their personal lives.

  20. Hanna says:

    First of all, I enjoyed the video clip and it was very useful.
    I need to say also that I agree with Stevia as sugar substitute. I personally use the natural sweeteners, “Natvia”, as my sugar substitute. Now, let me tell you about Natvia and how great they can do to you. First, they don’t use aspartame and saccharine. And they are made by the purest part of stevia (Reb A), and as Leanne said, stevia is a very good substitute. Because they use the purest part, it leaves no bitter aftertaste! Also, it has only 0.6 calories per 1 tsp whereas sugar has 16 calories per 1 tsp. i just can’t get enough of spreading how good Natvia is than other artificial sweeteners. I have told my friends and not only for me, but it works out good to everyone so far

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