Are Artificial Sugars Carcinogens?
Mary-Catherine, Sarah, Christianna, and Lauren
What is a "Carcinogen?"
The sweeteners that are not approved in the United States are Alitame, Cyclamate, Neohesperidine dihydrochalcone and Thaumatin.
Questions the FDA asks when evaluating if a sweetener should be approved are questions such as:
-How is the artificial sweetener made?
-What are its properties when added to foods and beverages?
-How much of the sweetener will be digested or absorbed by the body?
-Does this artificial sweetener have any known toxic effects, including hereditary disorders or cancer?
What Color Should You Choose?
Each colored packet is a different type of artificial sweetener: sugar, saccharin, aspartame. sucralose. Essentially, synthetic sweeteners are molecules that stick to certain parts of your taste buds, signaling your brain that you are tasting something “sweet”. The FDA has placed all common sweeteners in the “generally recognized as safe" category.
Saccharin (Pink): Studies in the 70's proved that rats given the substance developed bladder cancer. Movements were made in attempt to remove the sweetener from tables in restaurants, however, it remained, and the warning label was lifted in 2001 when testing proved that saccharin reacted differently in rats than humans. Although it is common knowledge now that the risk of cancer due to saccharine is low, people still avoid it. "Alissa Kaplan Michaels (a public relations consultant in New York) for one, never picks pink. She still associates saccharin with cancer." (Chang)
Aspartame (Blue): Sold primarily as Equal or NutraSweet, these two sweeteners have been known to cause headaches, neurological disorders and cancers, all of which are symptoms that are being overlooked by regulators. Aspartame contains a molecular supplement known as he methyl ester which turns into methanol in the body. Illnesses such as multiple sclerosis has been linked to low level methanol poisoning. Rats given aspartame during a study in Italy had higher rates of leukemia and lymphomas. Yet, The National Cancer Institute in Maryland found no correlation between aspartame-filled beverages and these types of cancer in half a million retirees.
Sucralose (Yellow): The dreaded Splenda starts out as sugar, but as it is digested, undergoes dramatic chemical changes. The sugar molecules are replaced with chlorine atoms, which essentially “camouflages” the sugar. The chlorine’s cover allows the sugar to pass through the body undigested. Hence, “zero calories”. There has been no apparent detection of cancers from sucralose.
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