Artificial sugar is far from the low calorie, "healthy" option it is touted to be by the manufacturing companies and those hand-in-glove with them. The chemical name for Splenda is "sucralose", chosen deliberately for how much like "sucrose" it sounds. Only, it isn't sucrose, but tricholosucrose, meaning that it is has chlorine in it. So calorie counting dieters beware, you might be doing your body more harm than good in the long run.
Artificial sweeteners mess with your metabolism
The scoop on artificial sweeteners is that they slow down the body's metabolism and put you at the risk of metabolic disorders and consequent weight gain. The idea that obesity could very well have it's roots in a diet of low calorie sweets and soft drinks, as ludicrous as it sounds, could be entirely true. According to a scientific study done in the United States in 2008 on a sample of 18,000 people consuming one or more artificially sweetened, "diet" drinks per day increased their risk of acquiring metabolic disorders by 30 to 40 percent. This might give us an inkling as to why obesity is on the rise, for instance.
Aspartame: The deadliest of them all
Another artificial sweetener Aspartame is known for causing a range of health problems and worrying symptoms from seizures to brain tumors. The controversy runs that the FDA has approved Aspartame as "safe", yet it is one of the most dangerous additive to be forced upon the public by deceitful means. Only 90 different symptoms have been documented as a result of Aspartame consumption and these include anxiety attacks, slurred speech, fatigue, depression, migraine, tinnitus, vertigo, heart palpitations, nausea and muscle spasms. Epilepsy, brain tumors and chronic fatigue have not been ruled out either as chronic symptoms of long-term exposure to Aspartame.
Aspartame is combination of chemicals, namely aspartic acid (an amino acid with excitatory effects on brain cells), methanol and phenylalanine and scientists are placing it at the higher end of the range of what is considered toxic.
Aspartame acts as neurotransmitter with the singular goal of causing neural damage. There is evidence to show that it can damage more than three quarters of the brain cells of a particular part of the brain before any signs of clinical illness of chronic symptoms are noticed. And then, presumably, it will be too late. One of the most common complaints of people suffering from excessive exposure to Aspartame is memory loss, and most ironically, the original manufacturer of Aspartame, GD Searle, tried to find a drug that could "combat memory loss caused by excitatory amino acid damage".
And as if all this is not enough, a neuroscientist from the University of Washington and an authority on excitotoxins warned Searle that Aspartame, when tested on mice, created holes in their brains. Add to everything else we have read the following: people suffering from phenylketonuria, a genetic disorder, are incapable of metabolizing phenylalanine. They end up with levels of phenylalanine concentration in the brain considered dangerous to the point of being lethal.
The question we are left with (and unfortunately it is for us, the consumers, to work out the answer to) is this: do labeling laws leave us enough room to steer clear of artificial sweeteners altogether or is it just plain rhetoric?
About the author:
Nanditha Prasad Ram is a consumer and health journalist and a practicing holistic therapist whose mission it is to inform, educate, empower and transform.
Her blog is available at http://www.bindumandalayoga.blogspot.in