Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Dangers of Artificial Sweetners

Do you use artificial sweeteners? One of the most commonly used artificial sweeteners, Splenda, has been under scrutiny for many years. Yet, despite the health risks associated with its use, people continue to use this and other similar substances for sweeteners daily.

A recent report from scientists detailed in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health (2008) reveals that Splenda has been found to reduce the amount of friendly bacteria in the intestinal tract by 50 percent, increases acidity levels in the intestines, and affects a glycoprotein in the body that can have significant effects on health - and especially if you take certain pharmaceutical drugs. In addition, they found unmistakable evidence that Splenda is absorbed by fat, contrary to previous claims. The intestinal bacteria help maintain the body's overall balance of friendly versus unfriendly micro-organisms and supports general health. Because so many people are already deficient in good bacteria, heeding the results of these findings is not only critical, but taking a good probiotic supplement daily is also important in regaining health conditions compromised by modern lifestyle habits.

It is important to keep in mind that although Splenda and other sweetners taste like sugar, they are not sugar. Splenda is a chlorinated artificial sweetener which resembles other artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and saccharin. All have been reported as causing side-effects and dangerous health problems.

In 1998, Splenda was approved by the FDA for use in products such as baked goods, nonalcoholic beverages, chewing gum, frozen dairy desserts, fruit juices, and gelatins. Sucralose, the main ingredient in Splenda, is also permitted as a general-purpose sweetener for all processed foods. If you want to avoid Splenda, read labels and make certain that what you consume does not contain this ingredient. The best choice, however, is simply to avoid all processed foods.

Approval for this product was granted after FDA review of over 110 animal and human safety studies. However, only two of the 110 studies were human studies, the lengthiest one conducted over only four days.

As with any unnatural substance, if your body does not recognize what you are consuming, it will likely store it somewhere. Chemicals and toxins stored in the body cause health problems, plain and simple. And getting the chemical into the body is much easier than its removal process. Because scientists discovered that artificial sweeteners are stored in the body as fat, this can mean serious health repercussions from consuming them. This is because the molecules are too large to be absorbed by the digestive tract and it also has an adverse affect on your body's ability to burn fat as well.

Good alternatives to artificial sweeteners are Stevia, raw agave nectar, raw organic sugar, rapadura, real maple syrup, raw organic honey, date "sugar", concentrated organic fruit juices, molasses, and sucanat. Check with your health food store for more details about these products.

For more information on the dangers of Splenda, visit The Truth About Splenda.
Dr. Janet Hull has a booked called Splenda Exposed with detailed information about this chemical sweetener.

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