Artificial sweeteners are used as sugar substitutes in sweet dishes, desserts, or beverages. Artificial sweeteners are many times sweeter and have a significantly lower calorie count than the sucrose found in natural sugar. These artificial sweeteners might claim to be effective in weight loss and diabetes, but they are not 100 percent safe and free from side effects. Sugar substitutes like aspartame, saccharine, or sucralose can be a health hazard.
Constituents of Various Artificial Sweeteners
- Sucralose: Sold by the brand name of Splenda, sucralose has zero calorie content derived from sucrose. The hydroxyl groups in sucrose are replaced by the chlorine atoms to achieve sucralose.
- Aspartame: Another sugar substitute sold in the market by the brand names of Nutrasweet and Equal. Aspartic acid and phenylalanine makes this artificial sweetener.
- Saccharine: This sugar substitute is made of carbon primarily; ionically bonded compound comprises hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and sulphur elements. This is another no-calorie artificial sweetener. Sweet’N Low is the brand name for this sugar substitute.
Side Effects of Artificial Sweeteners: How Safe are the Sugar Substitutes?
These artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes though helpful in lowering body weight and controlling diabetes due to low calorie content are not safe to be consumed regularly. The dangers caused by artificial sweeteners and the major side effects of these sugar substitutes include:
- Sugar substitutes may cause dangerous side effects; it can cause short-term memory loss, depression, lack of concentration, severe headaches, etc.
- Side effects such as muscle spasm, fatigue, nausea, and joint pain are the reason why artificial sweeteners are not considered safe.
- Severe cardiac and pulmonary side effects of sugar substitutes like aspartame make them unsafe sweeteners that can cause breathing difficulty and heart irregularities.
Artificial sweeteners can impair the functioning of internal organs and cause adverse side effects. Some of the shocking side effects of these sugar substitutes include:
- Some artificial sweeteners might cause bladder cancer.
- Asparmate intake by women with phenylketunoria might have serious side effects.
Sucralose as a Safe Artificial Sweetener: How Safe is Sucralose?
According to the Center for Science in Public Interest, sucralose is the safest artificial sugar substitute. But CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson says, “the forthcoming Italian study warrants careful scrutiny before we can be confident that the sweetener is safe for use in food.” Currently, there has been no proven side effect of sucralose or any brand of sucralose.
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