With the realization that sugar-laden drinks aren’t exactly the healthiest things to consume, many companies (and individuals) turned to using artificial sweeteners to amp up the flavor of their drinks and food. As with any product, claims have emerged regarding cancer and more recently, gut health. This can be quite concerning and scary for individuals who are trying to improve their health. It seems like everywhere they turn, something is dangerous or poisonous.
In a review of the studies done regarding artificial sweeteners, there has been no indication that sweeteners cause a negative effect on the health of the body, when consumed in reasonable and real-life dosages.
So where did these claims come from? How did people get the idea that artificial sweeteners could cause cancer or G.I. distress? One particularly popular mouse-based study did show a negative effect on one particular strain of gut bacteria when it came into contact with the tested sweetener. Here’s the catch…the sweetener applied was in a dosage 3 times the Acceptable Daily Intake, every day, for a time period that would equate to 6 human years.
In relative terms; a 150 pound person would have to consume 85 packets of splenda every day for 6 years.
How reasonable or real-life-like does that sound to you?
Dose makes the poison; even oxygen and water can be toxic to humans…in the right amounts. Now what we can argue is that some people may be more sensitive, very similar to how some people are more sensitive to certain vegetables, or dairy, or carbonated drinks. I personally can’t eat broccoli more than 2 days in a row without dealing with a little intestinal discomfort; that doesn’t mean broccoli is bad or toxic, it just means I know to spread out my broccoli eating days. If something causes noticeable problems for you; first look at your dosage, and then assess whether the problem lies in the product or the level of consumption.