Artificial Sweeteners (cont.)

Medical Editor:

Can you get something for nothing?

Our innate desire for sweetness may be interfering with our ability to judge right from wrong. There is nothing in our diet that we can consume without a cost. The cost can be excess calories, fat, protein, or carbohydrates. It's even possible to consume excess water. We see calorie- and sugar-free sweeteners and believe that there isn't a cost, but maybe there is. Unfortunately, the research that has been done is failing us. With two sides battling over the safety of these sweeteners, it's imperative that we get the answers from the "gold standard" of research studies: independent, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled studies. It's our responsibility to be aware of what we are consuming and to protect our safety.

Acceptable daily intakes have been set for each nonnutritive sweetener for a reason; we can't ingest unlimited quantities of these additives. If you believe that you are experiencing any of the symptoms from the consumption of a nutritive or nonnutritive sweetener, then eliminating them from your diet is the best way to determine if it's so. Sweeteners are not essential nutrients in our diet, so they exist to nurture our sweet tooth, not our bodies.

Medically reviewed by Martin E Zipser, MD; American board of Surgery


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Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/16/2014

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