Diabetes is one of the most common diseases to date. This disease is attributed by a high sugar level in the body. Doctors often recommend the use of artificial sweeteners to diabetic people in order to lessen the sugar intake of the patient. This may not be the case now because of several reasons why the artificial sweeteners must not be ingested by people.
The US Food and Drug Administration had shared information on the artificial sweeteners regarding the risk that a particular individual may experience. Aspartame is considered as one of the artificial sweeteners. The brand names of the sweeteners that carry this is Equal and Nutrasweet. Aspartame is converted into phenylalanine and this particular substance is difficult to metabolize. If a particular person has a phenylketonuria (a disease that causes mental retardation) would not be able to metabolize phenylalanine. As per Dr. Pick, Aspartame also causes poisoning. She had stated that Aspartame must be avoided by women because the body digests the sweetener and does it also causes neuropsychiatric problems in the brain. Studies in Europe show that this substance causes accumulation of formaldehyde in the brain which damages the central nervous system, immune system and genetic trauma.
Saccharine, popularly known as Nutra Sweet is another artificial sweetener widely used before. This particular product has been known to be a component in gums, sodas and medicines. Although this product has cause lesser damage than Aspartame, there are possibilities that saccharine may cause irreversible brain damage according to Dr. Pick (2007). There have been cases in experiments that Saccharine had cause bladder cancer to rats. Even though there are still no direct evidences that link Saccharine to Human bladder cancer, it can be assumed that this may have also harmful effects on the health of an individual.(www.fda.gov, 2007).
Splenda which has a tradename of sucralose, had a structure in biochemistry of chlorocarbon. Although the molecule of the substance have a sucrose, the main component of Splenda is formed like a pesticide which is a chlorocarbon molecule. Eventhough there are no evidences yet that the structure of Splenda had been the cause of several health problems, this show a doubt in the back of a persons; mind that Splenda could be toxic to humans. Dr.Pick (2007) had noted in her article that there have been evidences that Splenda had been the cause of shrunken thymus glands and enlarged livers and kidneys in rodents. This does not particularly show a direct effect on humans because rats are not humans. However, the mere fact that there have been harmful effects of such substance in a living thing may show that the Splenda is toxic to humans.
As a conclusion, most of the artificial sweeteners have been tested to rats and some had shown harmful results to the health of the rat. This gives the impression that artificial sweeteners is harmful for the health of humans. The extent of the damage of the artificial sweeteners to rats is very large. If humans were able to consume artificial sweeteners in doses that are above the recommended level, this may cause health problems for the consumers of the artificial sweeteners.
Pick, M. (14 November 2005). Sugar Substitutes and Potential Danger of Splenda. Diet, Nutrition and Weight Loss. Retrieved last February 6, 2008 from Women to Women. Website: www.womentowomen.com/nutritionandweightloss/splenda.aspx
FDA Consumer (July/August 2006). Artificial Sweeteners: No Calories… Sweet!. Maturity Health Matters Retrieved last February 6, 2008 from Department of Health and Human Services-Food and Drug Administration. Website: http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/maturityhealthmatters/issue4.html#6