Sweeteners. The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly Part 2

Dr Leisa

Some of the popular sweeteners were covered in my last article. I’d like to talk about the other popular ones in this article.

Another popular packet people use, is the blue one, or aspartame. Nutra Sweet or Equal are the brand names. Aspartame is about 200 times sweeter than sugar. Side effects may include, cancer, dizziness, weight gain, ADHD, and more. There is research proving these, however the FDA believes there is insufficient data proving as such. There are some contraindications of some medications including schizophrenia meds. Those who have PKU, the inability to process phenylalanine, should not take aspartame. Research also shows that there is an increase in blood sugar, and therefore increasing insulin resistance. This is when the body doesn’t respond properly to insulin. It’s the main reason for developing type 2 diabetes, and pre-diabetes.

The next packet based sweetener, is the pink one. Sodium saccharin, or brand name Sweet & Low. This is about 300-400 times sweeter than sugar, and was discovered in 1878 as a coal tar derivative. It’s made from chlorine and ammonia. Studies done in the 70’s showed bladder cancer to be found in rats given saccharin, and was labeled as such instead of being removed from the market, In 2010, it was removed from the EPA’s list of hazardous substances because the bladder condition found in rats does not occur in humans. This cannot be proven, as there are no descent studies that anyone wants to do using humans to prove or disprove this. There has been a link to artificial sweeteners and bladder cancer since the 70’s. There is, however, research being done showing drugs made with sodium saccharin may treat some forms of aggressive cancer. Still, maybe used as a chemotherapy drug, but may not be the best choice as a food product. In 2008, a study was done with people only rinsing their mouths out with saccharin. Even without ingesting it, insulin levels were raised. More problems for diabetics.

Stevia, or the green packet, is also a form of artificial sweetener, as the packets are processed forms of it. Stevia, in its natural leaf form, can be dried and ground to a green powder. This is 30-40 times sweeter than sugar, and is the best form to consume due to its minimal processing. In 2012, a study connected it to the reduction of breast cancer. Some brands process stevia into a white powder from one of the sweeter compounds it’s made of. Still not a lot of research, but a better choice than the other artificial sweeteners I’ve mentioned. The most highly processed form, is Truvia. It is about 200 times sweeter than sugar, and is made by a 42-step process that contains about 1% of stevia in the end. Not a good choice.

So now this leaves us with raw honey. It is unheated, unpasteurized, and un processed. If you buy honey, be sure and get local only for the best health benefits. A good honey person will explain the different types of honey that are available. They will ask you what part of Arizona or the Valley you live, and will recommend the specific type for your area. It’s best for immune building, and allergy prevention. Be sure to get it form a local beekeeper, not from the supermarket. Regular pasteurized honey is lacking in many of the live enzymes, minerals, and more, that are beneficial to us. Many times, store-bought honey isn’t real honey at all. Raw honey has anti-oxidants, antiviral and anti-fungal properties. It also aids in leveling blood sugar, unlike the abovementioned artificial sweetener. All-in-all, the best choice!

If you have a question for any of my articles, please email me at DrLeisa@CaringPainRelief.com

Leisa-Marie Grgula, D.C.

Chiropractic Physician

Accurate Care Pain Relief Center

21043 N. Cave Creek Rd. #A9

Phoenix, AZ 85024