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April 24, 2006

Sweet Nothings – The Artificial Sweetener Controversy

I’ve always felt a bit guilty about consuming so much aspartame (my fake sugar of choice). I put it in my coffee, my iced tea and of course its in the diet soda I can't live without. (I also sprinkle a packet on my morning cereal). I’ve always felt in my heart or hearts, ‘this can’t be good’.  Any chemical going in your body causes concern, especially, when you know that although it’s been sanctioned as ‘safe’ by some research, at one time or other, a year from now you’ll read that (oops!) over-consumption of fake sugar leads to male pattern baldness…or worse.

But, today I breathed a slight sigh of relief when I read the following arcticle, reporting that the 5 approved ‘fake sugars’ currently approved for consumption in the United States are again being declared safe. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way promoting them, I still suspect they can’t be good.

The recent conclusions about the safety of sugar substitutes was reached by a panel of scientists affiliated with the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), and basically what they concluded is there’s no reason to worry about the following sweeteners:

• Acesulfame-K
• Aspartame
• Neotame
• Saccharin
• Sucralose

I want to conclude by saying, for me the use of artificial sweeteners isn’t about calories (although, in my youth it was), it’s about taste. I prefer it. I think because I’ve grown tragically accustomed to the over-the-top sweetness. So, for now,  I’ll just try and consume my laboratory produced chemicals in moderation and cross my fingers I don't go bald...

PS: Its important to mention that the ACSH, as an organization, is not without its detractors.

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Posted by Cindy on April 24, 2006 | Permalink



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