Would you recognize the names used for artificial sweeteners in your favorite foods or medications? It is easy to spot the more popular sugar substitutes. However, these products are frequently hidden among chemical names and are not easily recognized for what they are. Trying to figure out if a product contains an artificial sweetener can take detective work. Knowing the ingredient names behind these popular brands will help you determine if artificial sweeteners could be lurking in your medications or favorite foods.
Acesulfame K is an artificial sweetener that many may not recognize. It is sold and marketed under the brand name Sweet One. Acesulfame K is frequently used as an additive that improves and preserves flavor to sweetened products. This artificial sweetener is also listed under the name ace-K and acesulfame potassium. Acesulfame K is surrounded in controversy because of the cancer causing additive methylene chloride.
Sucralose is sold under the brand name Splenda and is widely used for baked products and goods. Sucralose can also be found in medications and in some brands of toothpaste. Many feel more comfortable using this artificial sweetener because it is derived from sugar. However, Splenda does not contain sugar and has controversy attached to it because of its unique discovery and connection to an insecticide. Critics of Sucralose claim many side effects can be attributed to this artificial sweetener.
Aspartame is sold under the brand name NutraSweet or Equal. Aspartame can be found in thousands of products including prescription medications, nonprescription medications, and even vitamins. Many over the counter medications for children contain aspartame. Individuals with the inherited disorder PKU should be wary of aspartame because of the protein phenylalanine. Aspartame is claimed by its opponents to trigger a very long list of side effects. It is further argued, that it may worsen many medical conditions.
Neotame is chemically similar to the artificial sweetener aspartame. Neotame is also made by NutraSweet but lacks the issue concerning the protein phenylalanine. This eliminates worries for those suffering with the metabolic disorder PKU. In spite of over 100 animal studies, critics claim it to be just as dangerous as the older version, aspartame.
Saccharin is the oldest artificial sweetener on the market. This artificial sweetener is sold under the brand name Sweet’N Low and Sweet Twin. Research on Saccharin has found it to cause bladder cancer in rats. However, current research does not find this to be the case in humans. There is some belief that allergic reactions are a concern with this product because it contains sulfonamides. Those allergic to sulfa drugs should be alerted that breathing problems, headaches, and gastric upset could occur.
If you wish to limit any of these FDA approved artificial sweeteners in your diet, watch the ingredients in your food, candy, and drink items. Another source these artificial sweeteners may sneak into your diet is through certain vitamins and medications. The Institute for Responsible Technology has provided a list of pharmaceutical companies that use aspartame, as well as a list of the medications in question. If you would like more information on the use of aspartame in medications, please consult the link for The Institute of Responsible Technology provided below.
Institute for Responsible Technology: Use of Aspartame By Pharmaceutical Companies