Transcript: A Harmless Artificial Sweetener
So, this is where the more artificial sweeteners come in. Harmful or harmless? 6-methyl-1,2,3-oxathiazine-4(3H)-one,2,2-dioxide, also known as acesulfame K, sold as Sweet One. Aspartyl-phenylalanine-1-methyl ester, also known as aspartame or NutraSweet. Cyclohexanesulfamic acid, known as cyclamate, sold as Sugar Twin. (2R,3S)-butane-1,2,3,4-tetraol, or erythritol, sold as Zsweet. Benzoic sulfinide—saccharin— discovered by accident while experimenting with coal tar derivatives, and sold as Sweet’N Low. Steviol glycosides, extracted from the stevia plant, and now sold as Truvia by the Coca-Cola Company, and PureVia by the Pepsi Cola Company. Chlorinated hydrocarbon sucralose, discovered by accident at Queen’s College in London while trying to formulate a new pesticide, sold as Splenda. And finally, hexahydroxyhexane, or sorbitol. All sorts of choices!
Now, last year we learned aspartame may be harmful— in fact, recently also linked to hypertension. But what about these others? I’ll give you two hints. First, none of them are helpful. Why? Because none of them have any nutrition—no calories, but no nutrition. And, the second hint is that not all of them are harmful. Based on the best available science, at least one or more is harmless.
So, what do you think? Acesulfame? Harmful or harmless?
Harmful—linked to DNA damage last year.
What about Sugar Twin? Harmful or harmless?
You may not remember Sugar Twin, because the evil twin was banned 39 years ago. Still legal in Canada, though!
What about Zsweet? Harmful or harmless?
Harmless. Found naturally in pears, melons, and grapes, absorbed in the intestine, so it doesn’t have a laxative effect. And it’s excreted virtually unchanged in the urine.
What about saccharin? Causes bladder cancer in male rats, but not female rats. What about people? Harmful or harmless? Saccharin may cause bladder cancer in people, too.
What about stevia? Huge amount of new research on stevia, but the jury’s still out. Check back next year.
There is a verdict on sucralose, though. What do you think? Harmful or harmless? Harmful—based primarily on the role it may play as a migraine trigger.
And finally, the sugar alcohols: sorbitol and xylitol. Harmful or harmless?
Unlike erythritol, these other sugar alcohols are not absorbed, and so they draw fluid into your colon, and can have a laxative effect.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.
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