Aspartame and Sucralose dangers

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 2/18/2006 8:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I've noticed in my short time visiting this forum that both Aspartame (Nutrasweet\Equal) and Sucralos (Splenda) are recommended artificial sweeteners by some folks.  Has there been any discussions regarding the reported health problems caused by these chemicals?  If you are a user of these products, do yourself a favor and start Googling.  If you find that you have to use some sweetener (I don't), people have substituted stevia powder.
If I want a dessert, I put .5 teaspoon organic fruit spread into .5 cup organic plain whole milk yogurt (the kind with the cream on top) total carbs around 10g.  These products typically use evaporated cane juice for sweetening rather than refined sugar or high-fructose corn syrup.
I know that we're all told to avoid saturated fats, but I think it's pretty obvious by now that triglycerides from carbs are more of the health risk than healthy saturated fats like real butter, cream, and grass fed beef.  Some researchers are indicating that the Food Pyramid diet could be triggering the increase in adult diabetes.  I can say that since reading the Maker's Diet in 2004 and recently Dr. Mercola's website, my life-long asthma history is history.  No inhalers period.  It costs us twice as much money shopping organic, but it is worth it to me.
We try to buy organic foods mostly (Whole Foods Market and some at Kroger).  I'm buying raw, unpasteurized milk from a farm even though I rarely eat cereals.  You can also buy raw cheeses now.  I eat two eggs cooked in real butter most every day, cooked with veggies, and cheese added.  We try to buy grass fed beef .25 cow at a time, if we miss out on opportunities, we buy natural beef, chicken, and turkey at Whole Foods Market.  It's not exclusively grass fed, but at least no hormones or antibiotics are used.  They have added grass fed ground beef recently -- just bought some last night but haven't tried it yet.  For the entire family, I religiously avoid purchasing products with: high fructose corn syrup (found in just about everything), partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (most baked goods, cereals, margarine), Nutrasweet\Equal\Splenda.  Instead, we buy real butter, sweetened products with evaporated cane sugar juice, whole grain cereals with more than 7 grams of fiber, and a few cookie mixes without the bad stuff.
Since 1999, I've been doing my own research in diabetes to figure out what more I can do.  I have noticed that there are definitely two camps -- those that avoid meds and those that avoid suppliments.  I have been waffling with that for the past two years and came to the conclusion that if meds have been around and proven to work, then I'll use them.  I've tried some suppliments and they just don't work as well as my current meds.  This is the first time that I've committed to exercising five to six times a week, and I've been able to do it for four weeks now!
Long post, but I just wanted to share some of my experience with the forum.
"Running is an emergency reflex due to danger."  James Halbardier, 1985

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 2/19/2006 1:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Just a suggestion here but even pasturized milk has been suspect in causing Crohns Disease. I think you are really pushing the envelope drinking raw milk. Milk is made to grow baby cows who have hooves and horns and hides. Adult humans can do just fine without ever drinking milk itself... (Many of the peoples of the Asian continent are lactose intolerant and NEVER drink milk or eat cheese.)

I'm not advocating that you give up cheese and yogurt, just offering some information here. There's a website called (it's a bit radical) that has tons of info about dairy problems. My personal interest stems from the fact that my daughter has Crohns disease.

You are right on with your assessment of the meds vs. supplements discussions. In a way it's too bad because there are good points on both sides of the arguments. Some of us do sort of mix and match when we don't feel that we are being ripped off or taken advantage of. Case in point- cinnamon has been found to have bloodsugar lowering properties but the price of cinnamon hasn't gone thru the roof (except by the companies that are putting it in little gelatin capsules!) I use it in my oatmeal and on my toast to help ward off the 'spike' demons. I also use psyllium fiber regularly to even out my post prandial spikes after an especially carb laden meal. These are simple tools that I use to help keep my sugars in line.

The artificial sweetener debate has been around for a while and for myself I have to say that for overall health benefits using splenda or nutrisweet is better than using sugar and helps me stay on the straight and narrow with my food program. Whenever I "google" or 'dogpile' anything I tend to gravitate toward the sites like Massachussetts Institute of Technology or New England Journal of Medicine rather than the sites with an ax to grind. Impartial studies are much better for me to make informed decisions. Just my 2¢ here but with so many new diabetics visiting this site I hate to make them feel like they can't have sugar and they can't have the readily available substitute either. (and not everyone likes stevia!) I live in a sugar-producing state (Michigan excels in production of sugar beets) and ANYTHING that makes sugar look bad is badmouthed here. Some of the sugar producers have even been suspected in starting the 'Aspartame makes you bald!' emails and stuff. I try to stay open minded on this and do what works best for me...

Wish I could do exercise like you... Just can't get around the fibromyalgia, but I sure admire your efforts. LIke I said, just my 2¢.
~ Jeannie

"People are like stained glass windows: they sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."

- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 534
   Posted 2/19/2006 1:31 AM (GMT -6)   
confused  In fairness to all the negative stuff that has been posted about sweetners let me present the other side.
  • Is Aspartame Safe?   (FDA):
    To date, FDA has not determined any consistent pattern of symptoms that can be attributed to the use of aspartame, nor is the agency aware of any recent studies that clearly show safety problems.
  • Aspartame and the Internet   (The Lancet):
    Our research revealed over 6000 web sites that mention aspartame, with many hundreds alleging aspartame to be the cause of multiple sclerosis, lupus erythematosis, Gulf War Syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, brain tumours, and diabetes mellitus, among many others. Virtually all of the information offered is anecdotal, from anonymous sources and is scientifically implausible.
  • ACSH Debunks Internet Health Hoax   (American Council on Science and Health):
    Health scare artists have found a whole new medium for terrorizing the public — the Internet. Individuals in search of accurate health information may literally become caught in the Web, where health hoaxes and urban medical myths run rampant. The health scare messages are always the same — whatever it is, it will make you sick.
  • Beware The E-Mail Hoax: The Evils Of Nutrasweet (Aspartame)   (Dr. Dean Edell):
    A highly inaccurate "chain letter" is being circulated via e-mail warning the reader of the health dangers of aspartame (Nutrasweet) diet drinks.

    There is so much scientific untruth in it, it’s scary. Be careful, because others know how to manipulate you by this. Just because something is beyond your comprehension doesn’t mean it is scientific.
  • FDA Statement on Aspartame   (FDA):
    Analysis of the National Cancer Institute's public data base on cancer incidence in the United States — the SEER Program — does not support an association between the use of aspartame and increased incidence of brain tumors.
  • Study Reaffirms Safety of Aspartame   (MIT News):
    Even daily large doses of the high-intensity sweetener aspartame, also known as NutraSweet, had no adverse effect on study subjects' health and well-being, a visiting scientist at MIT reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition last week.

    "We conclude that aspartame is safe for the general population," said Paul A. Spiers, visiting scientist in the Clinical Research Center (CRC).
  • A Web of Deceit   (TIME magazine):
    A widely disseminated e-mail by a "Nancy Markle" links aspartame to Alzheimer's, birth defects, brain cancer, diabetes, Gulf War syndrome, lupus, multiple sclerosis and seizures. Right away, the long list warrants skepticism. Just as no single chemical cures everything, none causes everything.
    So who's correct???  It's insideous because this stuff is in most everything that is "sugar free".  But my motto is "everything in moderation".  My mom used to tell me about going to parties "Taste everything and eat nothing and at the end of the night you've had a full meal".  Well I think that applies to stuff with aspartame.  Personally, I try to avoid it, but will I give up my sugar free ice cream because it's sweetened with aspertame???  Not on your life!!!! tongue Will I put equal or splenda in my coffee?  For the time being I'll use stevia.  In the long run, all this stuff will probably kill you, but the REAL question is
    "Will it kill you as quickly as if you used real sugar?"
    scool  Warren

    It's not that some people have willpower and some don't. It's that some people are ready to change and others are not. - James Gordon, M.D.
    What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease. - George Dennison Prentice

    I can only please one person per day, today is not your day...tomorrow doesn't look good either.

    Regular Member

    Date Joined Feb 2005
    Total Posts : 76
       Posted 2/19/2006 11:45 AM (GMT -6)   
    Hello, just to add to what jeannie was saying about milk, there has been research suggesting that children who drink cow's milk while very young may be vulnerable to diabetes later in life. And I use splenda and have used it for over 10 years now with no problems and LOVE it! Robyn

    Veteran Member

    Date Joined Apr 2003
    Total Posts : 924
       Posted 2/24/2006 10:37 PM (GMT -6)   


    Regarding aspartame. I have been reading about the negative reports going around about it. There is no denial that it can cause some reactions in people from diarhea to headaches. I do find it confusing that some studies admit to that and others will not, so I have to believe the difference is in the way the study was conducted. I have not read any of them in their entirety, just reviews similar to what Warren has printed. My husband is diabetic and has no problem tolerating it, but I cannot. I certainly agree that moderation is probably the best way to go with any food.

    As far as headaches go, it appears that our oldest boy gets a bad headache if he is drinks too many beverages sweetened with aspartame. I'm wondering if anyone has heard an explanation as to why some of these reactions occur in some people? It is consistent in some people, though obviously not in everyone. I am not an alarmist and I don't believe it is "the" cause of some of those dreadful diseases listed, but at the same time I do believe it can make some people ill. True, it still may be safe for the "general population".

    The point I am trying to make is while rumors need to be quashed, let's not totally deny there are plenty of people around that can not tolerate aspartame. It is my opinion, that if a study fails to show that then a good cross-section of people were not used. At the same time, I do feel it is a very useful product and I am glad it is available. I think that little question at the end about "will it kill you as quickly as if you used real sugar" puts it into proper perspective.

    New Member

    Date Joined Feb 2006
    Total Posts : 7
       Posted 2/27/2006 11:26 PM (GMT -6)   

    Sorry it's taken me awhile to reply - I can't access the site during the day while at work.  Security warning pops up.  mad

    I could post several sites stating the dangerous chemicals in these sweeteners, but it's basically people believe what they want and can find sites supporting either side of their case.  I personally won't use them, but I realize that some people have to keep the variety in their lives while trying to maintain the dietetic goals.  From a personal note - my mother and father-in-law have been major consumers of both artificial swetteners for years.  He has stomach trouble all of the time and she has lost one kidney to cancer and has tumors on the other one.  Maybe coincidence, but I'm not going to use it period.

    I'm extremely frugal in my use of the real stuff.  If I want flavored yogurt, I put one-half teaspoon blackberry spread in one-half cup yogurt.  That amounts to about 11 grams of carbs for the entire snack.  And, I only eat that snack a few hours after eating no carbs for supper.  I like wheat bread, so I buy Rudi's Organic Low-carb and eat only one slice.  It's the most natural, Healthy bread that I've found.  I even know which burger places in the region have whole wheat buns.  I only eat one part of the bun -- hard to hold but it's what I do.  No fries, chips, or onion rings either.  Some places will sell just the patties for under $1, which comes in handy when I need a protein snack on the road.  I have found that totally abstaining from things just causes more problems with the eventual binge.

    The good news is that I've been right at or below 100 in the morning after getting back on Glyburide and Metformin.  The 2 hour post readings are usually around 120- 140.  I dropped the suppliments except for alpha-lipoic acid and evening primrose oil.  I'm taking 2.5mg Glyburide morning and evening.  Does anyone know the maximum dosage?

    "Running is an emergency reflex due to danger."  James Halbardier, 1985

    New Member

    Date Joined Mar 2006
    Total Posts : 3
       Posted 3/1/2006 4:53 PM (GMT -6)   
    Hi, I'm new to the forum.  I am just wondering whether anyone has any information on white stevia powder or drops used as a sweetener?  I know that it is derived from the aster (flower) plant, that it is totally natural, that it has been used in Japan and South America for many years as their #1non-sugar sweetener, supposedly with no ill effects.  I also know that it is not legal to put it in foods in the U.S. (supposedly because being from a plant it could not be patented and faced heavy opposition from the Splenda,Sweet and Low, etc. lobby).....but it is legal to sell it in health food stores and I have purchased some.  I put it in muffins.....two drops sweetened an entire batch of muffins, it is really much sweeter than sugar.  Anyway, I am eating it myself but have not given any to my kids, pending some more information.  Thanks in advance

    Regular Member

    Date Joined Mar 2005
    Total Posts : 137
       Posted 3/2/2006 6:23 PM (GMT -6)   
    I heard on CNN that aspartame caused cancer in "male" mice. I don't know what's true anymore. As a diabetic, I just decided to choose my poison. i can't eat sugar and I like "sweetner" on my cereal, so it has to be splenda. I liked aspartame better bcuz it was cheaper, but I 'v switched to splenda.

    Until i hear something negative about splenda, i'll keep using it.
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