February 28, 2019

The Truth About Artificial Sweeteners

Debunking myths around the use of artificial sweeteners!

Picking up from my last Quick Tip on the sideeffects of artificial sweetners (that gained a lot of question), here’s my blog on what side effects are experience when a diet relies heavily on artificial sweetners.

1. Can cause cancer

Regular usage of artificial sweeteners can result in blood cancer or brain cancer. Also, some studies have confirmed the strong links of artificial sweeteners to various diseases like chronic kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, neurological effects and metabolic disorders.

2. Can lead to depression, bipolar disorder & panic attacks

According to Harvard Health Publishing, the use of artificial sweeteners can create severe conditions of depression, bipolar disorder and panic attacks. A person suffering from bipolar disorder who consumes artificial sweeteners can have extreme mood swings. Consuming artificial sweeteners in large amounts can also lead to depression, which then has to be controlled by medications.

3. Chemical ingestion

Artificial sweeteners are developed artificially to mimic the sweetness that naturally made sugar can produce. They are not packed with calories; however, they are made using synthetic or man-made substances. This can cause issues like chemical ingestion, which the body isn’t designed to deal with.

4. Leads to weight gain

Artificial sweeteners do not appear to help people in losing weight. People who regularly consume them by drinking one or more artificial-sweetened beverages a day have a higher risk of health issues like being overweight or obese. Artificial sweeteners directly affect the composition of your gut bacteria which is linked to weight gain. In addition, they increase your sugar cravings which don’t completely satisfy the brain’s desire for natural caloric sweet ingestion.

5. Disrupts metabolism

Sweetness does play a role in how the body reacts to food by regulating the metabolic signal. If you consume diet soda with carbohydrates it may disrupt your metabolism and cause metabolic dysfunction. It happens due to the blending of sweeteners and carbohydrates that could be damaging the body’s metabolic response. But, if you only drink diet soda it is less harmful than one consumed with carbohydrates.

6. Increases diabetes risk

The intake of excess sweeteners may lead to a spike in blood sugar levels after meal consumption. If an individual consumes high amounts of artificial sweeteners, it will affect the body’s response to glucose. This is linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

7. Leads to cardiovascular disease

Women who consume more than two artificial sweetened beverages a day have an increased risk for coronary heart disease and it also elevates the risk for hypertension. In addition, daily consumption of diet sodas increased the risk for stroke and a decline in kidney function.

8. Causes inflammation

As artificial sweeteners are chemically altered, they can react in an opposite way in the body which may lead to inflammation. When the chemical structure is altered in sugar, it also affects how the body responds to it. The body can’t recognize the artificial ingredients well so, sweeteners like aspartame triggers an immune response. And as aspartame is a neurotoxin, it causes inflammation and other possible health complications.

9. Bad for dental health

Most common foods with artificial sweeteners are soda, diet drinks, low-fat and low-calorie foods. All these foods have other add-on ingredients like citric acid or phosphoric acids which can damage your teeth. If your tooth is exposed to sweeteners regularly it will erode your tooth enamel[14] .

In addition sugar from the drinks stick to the tooth surface forming plaque and the bacteria in your mouth uses the sugar from the plaque and forms acid. This turns out to be harmful to your teeth.