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The Problems with Artificial Sweeteners

Real Sugar, Fake Sugar?
Uriia Underhill, B.Sc. 


Artificial Sweeteners = Chemicals

Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal) is 300 times sweeter than normal table sugar.

Acesulfame (Sunett, Sweet & Safe, Sweet One) is 200 times sweeter than normal table sugar.

Neoptame (made by nutra sweet) is 7,000-13,000 times sweeter than normal table sugar.

Saccharin (Sweet “N’ Low) is 300 times sweeter than normal table sugar.

Keep in mind most of these sweeteners are deemed 0 calories – 5 calories, which let’s be honest is not anything that will tip the scale…. or will it?

In 2012 at least 46 million Americans ingest drinks or foods that are sweetened by these CHEMICALS. Some of these artificial sweeteners can even be found in baby food.

In studies conducted by Dr.Susan Swithers at Purdue, concluded that rats that consumed their normal type of food consumed more food per meal and gained more weight when artificial sweeteners were added.

Studies conducted by Dr. Bandyopadhyay showed that animals that consumed acesulfame, saccharin, and aspartame showed an alarming DNA damage in the bone marrow. It should be noted that even though these studies are conducted on animals the doses of artificial sweeteners that they consume is far lower than that of a typical day in the American diet.

In 2010 a study was conducted on 59,334 pregnant women residing in Denmark, it showed that the consumption of artificial sweeteners increased the risk of pre term labor.

It is common knowledge that anyone who regularly consumes food that is made with sugar has an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity.

It is not to be said that sugar and artificial sweeteners are the main cause of these issues however it is found that they most certainly play a huge part.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination survey has concluded strong links between consumption of artificial sweeteners and metabolic syndrome, high cholesterol, high blood glucose and obesity. Alarmingly these results are not just apparent in adults but in children as well.

The Scientific Breakdown

Food reward in the brain consists of two branches, the Postingestive and the Sensory. The Postingestive component relies solely on the metabolic content of the food.  When food is eaten, the signal is sent to Postingestive to be either negative or positive. In the positive aspect the brain is signaled that it is full and satisfied, if the food is not nutrient dense then it will trigger a negative response. The negative response trips your brain and tells your body that you need more food.

In the case of artificial sweeteners the caloric and nutrient content is not able to fully activate the Postingestive component, which in turn tells your body that is not satisfied and “NEEDS MORE”.

All in all if your brain is unable to get what it needs in the forms of fuel, vitamins, and minerals it will tell you that you need more. Without the knowledge of this you might think you need more of artificial sweetened drinks as well as over eat at every meal, which in my opinion is NO DOUBT a reason for obesity and t other health related diseases our world currently faces.


Cordain, L., Ph.D. (2012) Artificial Sweeteners, The Paleo Answer, (Chapter 3, pgs. 33-36) Retrieved January 11, 2013

Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine (2010) Gain weight by “going diet?” Artificial sweeteners and the neurobiology of sugar cravings, Retrieved January 11, 2013 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2892765/

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