Artificial Sweeteners Essay, Research Paper
Artificial sweeteners can taste wonderful to your taste buds, however can be
very dangerous to a persons health. Almost everything people consume today has
artificial sweeteners, such as Aspartame, Stevioside, Acesulfame, and Saccharin.
The artificial sweetener Aspartame (i.e. Nutrasweet), (APM) is a dipeptide. A
dipeptide is when 2 amino acids are linked together (as you know, amino acids
make up proteins). The 2 amino acids are phenylalanine and aspartic acid. There
is a certain configuration or "site" that is located on your tongue
for sweetness. If a molecule’s configuration fits that site – then you taste the
sweet taste. It is like a lock and key where your site on the tongue is the lock
and the molecule is the key. It is thought that how well the "key"
fits the "lock" is the degree to how "sweet" a molecule can
taste. APM has the right configuration – so it can taste sweet – 180X sweeter
than table sugar. APM does breakdown with heating. This is why you can’t bake
with it. Well, what is all the hype if APM is just a "mini-protein"
anyway? There are certain individuals who are born with a condition called
phenylketonuria. We are all screened for the condition at birth – this condition
is very serious. These individuals cannot consume high amounts of the amino acid
phenylalanine; otherwise they can get severe brain damage. They have to watch
all foods with this amino acid (i.e. tomatoes, cheese, etc.). Look at your diet
soda can – there is a warning to phenylketonuriacs. This is also why some
doctors tell pregnant women not to drink diet beves with APM – the effect on the
fetus is not known and the fetus may be PKU (pkenylketonuria positive). Some
individuals have claimed side effects such as migraines, etc. I believe all
individuals are different and have different sensitivities. For example – I am
allergic to sunflower seeds – I get hives. There has been a lot of research with
this food additive. It was approved for use in 1981 citing studies in humans and
animals for over 2 decades with over 100 clinical studies. In 1986, the FDA
reaffirmed its APMs safety by releasing the following after receiving pressure
from several consumer groups. "The data and information supporting the
safety of aspartame are extensive. It is likely that no food product has ever
been so closely examined for safety."
Stevioside (STV) is 300X sweeter than sugar – WOW! It is isolated from the
plant of the genus Stevia rebaudiana. It will be hard to find this out in the
market because the plant is rare (that is, compared to corn) and therefore it is
very expensive. No known side effects have been reported – but it hasn’t been
widely studied, either. Since it is naturally isolated from plants – there was
no FDA approval needed.
Acesulfame K (ACK) is approved for use in over 50 different countries; it is
200X sweeter than sugar. The FDA has approved it for some uses in the US. It is
stable to heat so it can be used in baking. Over 90 safety studies have been
carried out on ACK and has been deemed to be safe.
Saccharin (SAC): FYI if you drink diet soda at a restaurant – it is sweetened
with SAC, not APM. This is why your favorite diet soda may taste different in
the restaurant. There is proof of cancer in lab rats with VERY HIGH levels of
SAC. Also, APM is becoming available to a restaurant near you – it has been
stabilized to "survive" the soda syrups.
These are just a few of the natural artificial sweeteners approved by the
FDA, other natural sweeteners are being tested as we speak. Hopefully to be
approved, safe to our health, and still taste just as good as the ones not so
great for our health.
?Advocare Weight Loss Products & Distributorship Truth?[online]
?Body Ecology, candidiasis, stevia, kefir: Take charge of your own health?
[online] Available http://www.bodyecology.com
?Dangers of using artificial sweeteners? [online] Available http://forums.obygen.net
?Sugars and Artificial Sweeteners? [online] Available http://www.diabetes.org
?What are the effects of caffeine on weight loss?? [online] Available