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GRUMPY- SparkPoints: (19,860)
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Posts: 162
1/26/14 11:23 A

WOW ! I got stressed just reading the replies to my question. Lighten up people ! I got enough information to make a decision for myself. So now let's move on to a more healthy pursuit. I am now officially abandoning this topic. emoticon

1/26/14 9:46 A

My "impression" of the original question was that the member was asking about the safety of using artificial sweeteners in his coffee. This would then be based on meta-analysis type papers. Numerous clinical, research studies are analyzed and then guidelines are based off the results of the studies. These usually start as rodent studies and advance to human studies. When many studies, test for the same thing and find the same result...then a guideline/recommendation can be made for the general public.

Thus...research supports that artificial sweeteners are safe for the general public to use.

To provide the original poster with factual information to answer the question I do not know of any other way, unless one uses this type research process.

I did not take his question to be an opinion question, such as "do you like artificial sweeteners--meaning like the flavor, taste, price, etc." If this had been the case then individual opinion could be provided to answer the question.

Your SP Registered Dietitian

Edited by: DIETITIANBECKY at: 1/26/2014 (09:47)
SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,297
1/26/14 7:27 A

I agree with JUSTEATREALFOOD that everyone has to decide for themselves about artificial sweeteners.

Yes, there is controversy and I was only providing info that I "personally" had with "methanol" and a link for those to help decide. Just because the FDA says it's safe doesn't necessarily make it true....They approved Byetta, Junuvia and Actos and now people are getting pancreatic cancer or pancreatitis and dying and the lawyers are having a field day. So, as it may be worth further investigation, "I" do prefer to stay on the safe side. There are many non-industry reported adverse reactions to artificial sweeteners.

I thought Diet & Nutrition is an open forum to discuss matters with free exchange of ideas and information and for matters of public interest....I can find nowhere on this site where you must quote peer reviewed studies to exchange any ideas or personal experiences. The link shared in the post below does not follow this Sparkpeople guideline. Where is this guideline stated?
If that's the case...then why are there even open forums?

Here is another interesting article that I read and still makes "me" want to stay cautious.

Edited by: SUNSHINE6442 at: 1/26/2014 (07:40)
1/26/14 5:32 A

Anarie - I dont want to argue about studies and the safety of artifical food additives and preservatives with you. The fact is everyone has to decide for themselves what they are going to put into their body.

I prefer to only put real food into mine.

SAMMI-SAM SparkPoints: (26,311)
Fitness Minutes: (4,595)
Posts: 844
1/25/14 11:15 P

Today was my first day using Stevia & it's great & has a sweeter taste than Splenda.....

ANARIE Posts: 13,192
1/25/14 10:30 P

"As a side note, there are many foods, colourings and otherwise that are allowed in the US but are banned in other countries because they are considered harmful. Foods that they sell here everyday, have to have warning labels in other countries. That's something to think about for sure."

Yes, but the opposite is also true. Cyclamates and, until recently, stevia are examples. Both are permitted throughout Europe (and much of the rest of the world) with no restrictions. Stevia was not permitted as a sweetener in the US until Monsanto and Cargill teamed up with Coca-Cola and Pepsico to do an end run around the FDA and get it declared "natural" so they didn't have to finish the safety studies.

Cyclamates is still banned in the US despite research that pretty soundly refutes the studies that found harm. (A study found cancer in male rats fed huge amounts of cyclamates, so they moved fast to ban it. Then they realized that the control rats got cancer, too, and it was a type of rat cancer that humans don't get.) In that case, it's not so much that it's still banned, as it is that no one cares enough to push to get it un-banned. The companies that might want to use it have found other, similar sweeteners, and they know that they would have an uphill battle to market it, so it's not worth the fight, and the FDA won't re-do the research unless someone asks.

The same is true of a lot of the colors and other additives that are banned in Scandinavian countries. For example, there's a blue food color that was banned because it was believed to contain a chemical that might cause harm in amounts higher than anyone would ever actually consume. It turns out that it has a related chemical that doesn't have that effect, so it's permitted in the rest of the EU and in the US, but there's not enough of a market for blue food to make it worth going through the process to lift the ban.

Other bans are 100% political. For example, banning milk from cows that aren't certified rbst-free means Europe can protect its market from cheaper US dairy imports. The hormones don't affect people in any way, they're not transmitted into milk, and far fewer than 1% of US cows are treated with them anyway, but it's so expensive to get the cows certified that it makes it impossible to compete. It's probably not really unfair; US dairy is so heavily subsidized that you almost have to fight dirty. The unfortunate thing is that it makes people here think there's something wrong with the dairy, when it's really just a political excuse.

1/25/14 4:10 P

Sunshine, I checked out your links. They don't seem to support what you mean for them to.
The link to the Mayo Clinic web site isn't a study, and the article seems to suggest artificial sweeteners are fine unless you have a few specific serious health conditions like PKU.

And regarding "peer-reviewed," at least one study you link to below was indeed peer-reviewed -- and found by its peers to be junk science. Regarding the European Ramazzini study, "Reported flaws were numerous and included, but were not limited to, comparing cancer rates of older aspartame-consuming rats to younger control rats; unspecified composition of the "Corticella" diet and method of adding aspartame, leading to possible nutritional deficiencies; unspecified aspartame storage conditions; lack of animal randomization; overcrowding and a high incidence of possibly carcinogenic infections; and the U.S. National Toxicology Program's finding that the ERF had misdiagnosed hyperplasias as malignancies."

At least two of the other links are reiterations by the same researchers.

SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,297
1/25/14 2:16 P

Becky, I am happy to provide peer-reviewed studies.....

The American Journal of Industrial Medicine

And here is an article Mayo Clinic Backs....

Edited by: SUNSHINE6442 at: 1/25/2014 (14:18)
1/25/14 9:55 A

I don't eat or drink things that aren't food. That means I don't eat artificial sweeteners or preservatives. If its not a real food I'm not eating it.

As a side note, there are many foods, colourings and otherwise that are allowed in the US but are banned in other countries because they are considered harmful. Foods that they sell here everyday, have to have warning labels in other countries. That's something to think about for sure.

I'm only going to get one body in this life. I'm going to take the best care of it I can and that means fuelling it with real whole food.

Getting off my soapbox now :)

1/25/14 9:25 A

Let's be sure to use published, peer-reviewed, scientific research when addressing this topic. The link shared in the post below does not follow this Sparkpeople guideline.

Here is a great overview on the topic with all research studies provided.

Your SP Registered Dietitian

Edited by: DIETITIANBECKY at: 1/25/2014 (11:49)
MISSRUTH Posts: 4,294
1/25/14 8:55 A

idk. I'm with Becky on this one. What I really don't like about links like the one posted below, is that the article says stuff like "According to the FDA...." and "According to researchers and physicians....." but provides no links to actual studies or peer-reviewed papers etc backing up those claims. The guy who wrote that article (on a website hawking books and other stuff) could say anything he wants, whether it's true or not.... and people will believe it because he said "according to the FDA" even if it's not true. People don't take the time to actually look and see if that's what the FDA actually said. It would be a lot easier to verify what the FDA said if there was a link provided-- but he doesn't provide a link. hmmmm. Now, why would he not provide the link, if it was indeed true?

jmho based on my own personal experience.... I've used a variety of artificial sweeteners over the years. They have never made me crave sugar. However, eating a lot of sugary stuff HAS made me crave more sugar. Some of the sugar alcohols give me gas. (sorry if TMI, but that's the bottom line truth) Some of the sweeteners are expensive and I'm just not going to spend that kind of money on that stuff. I stick to the cheaper ones.

I don't use a lot of artificial sweeteners and don't buy things like sugar free baked goods or ice cream. I use artificial sweetener in my first cup of coffee in the morning. I happen to add milk too, but if I really really liked Internation Delight low fat creamer and tried using plain milk or something else lower-calorie.... but it just didn't cut it.... I'd make room in my meal plan for the creamer calories, and probably try to limit myself to just one super-fabulous, sit down and truly savor this, cup.

SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,297
1/25/14 7:50 A

I read that Aspartame is made up of three chemicals Aspartic Acid, Phenylalanine and Methanol....Methanol is also known as methyl alcohol, a wood alcohol and is used to clean steel..... in manufacturing steel products we used a storage tank for methanol, and the fumes could burn the lungs if your not wearing a mask and we had to use it in well ventilated is also extremely flammable. I don't consume anything with Aspartame. To Me sweet is less important than my health.

Here is a very interesting link that may help you decide about artificial sweeteners

SAMMI-SAM SparkPoints: (26,311)
Fitness Minutes: (4,595)
Posts: 844
1/25/14 12:20 A

I have been type 1 diabetic 28 years now & bought my first box of Stevia today. I will have it in my coffee tomorrow am.

GIVEUP30 Posts: 28,111
1/24/14 11:35 P


ANARIE Posts: 13,192
1/24/14 10:49 P

You'll get a million opinions on this. My recommendation is to try to find and read real, controlled studies on artificial sweeteners (the actual scientific papers, not reports about them in newspapers and on the internet) and decide for yourself.

I've seen enough cases where researchers who are either unbiased or who have reason to be slightly biased against artificial sweeteners have tried and failed to find harmful effects, to feel pretty safe in using them. Everything you hear about as a side effect of sweeteners has been studied, and usually they find that something else in the sweetened food causes the effect, or that the effect is a pre-existing condition that's not related to the sweetener.

For example, several studies have deliberately recruited people who believed that their migraines were caused by a specific artificial sweetener. They found that those people had the same number and intensity of headaches regardless of whether they got the sweetener or a placebo. So then they looked a little closer at those people's habits, and discovered that they often used a sweetened beverage just before reporting a headache-- and those beverages had caffeine. It turned out that people were reaching for coffee or cola when they got the first subconscious warnings of the headache, because they instinctively felt that the caffeine would help relieve the headache. If it didn't work, they believed that the beverage had caused the headache, but in fact it just failed to prevent it. Using sweeteners didn't cause the headaches; getting the headaches caused them to use sweeteners.

There's no evidence that sweeteners harm you. There's plenty of evidence that obesity harms you, and there's some evidence that sugar is harmful. For me, the remote possibility that thousands of studies may have missed a danger of sweeteners is far less frightening than the sure knowledge that diabetes runs in my family on both sides and being overweight indisputably increases my already high chances of getting it. Being able to have an occasional sweet thing makes it much easier for me to keep my weight down, so I have decided that I will use moderate amounts of sucralose and the occasional dose of aspartame, and cyclamates when I'm overseas and can get it. If you don't have a risk for diabetes and/or you don't mind cutting out sweets or reducing your calories some other way, then you can avoid both sugar and artificial sweeteners and undoubtedly you'll be even safer. But if it's a choice between sugar and sucralose, I'm going to take sucralose.

Erythritol is another option. It's a sugar alcohol like sorbitol or maltitol, but it doesn't cause tummy issues like the other sugar alcohols. It has more calories than artificial sweeteners, but fewer than sugar. The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a health watchdog group that thinks EVERYTHING is going to kill us, says it's the safest low calorie sweetener. (They also say sucralose is probably safe, and "probably safe" is high praise from them.) It's what I would use all the time if I could find it easily and I didn't have to watch my budget so closely. The main drawback is that it's expensive and regular stores don't always carry it.

Of course, the best option is just to try to quit eating sweets. With your coffee, measure how much sweetener you're using now, and every week, decrease it just a tiny bit. Play up the flavor in other ways, for example by using better quality beans or adding a few spices to the brew basket, etc. You might not ever decide to cut it out completely, but you can probably get down to half or even a quarter the amount of sweetener you're using now, and still enjoy it. If you can slowly wean yourself away from sweet things, you can get to a point where you don't feel the need for them very often and you enjoy them more when you do eat them.

GIVEUP30 Posts: 28,111
1/24/14 10:23 P

I don't use any tea is fine without any thing. Don't drink coffee have tried with lot of sugar ,milk just can't do it. Had to give 1/2 cup of coffee to my oldest before going to school doctor said the him would be a lot less. He does drink coffee some as a grown up. I think he drinks it black like dad. Dad need to not use sugar so had been told stevia is the best.. He is getting some so will see what happens......

CHERIAH1993 SparkPoints: (49,246)
Fitness Minutes: (85,241)
Posts: 231
1/24/14 9:04 P

I use all of them; stevia, sweet n low, equal and splenda,,,,have for favorite is equal and you dont need a lot of any of them...only use in my coffee though, nothing else emoticon

1/24/14 8:56 P

I use Splenda and drink diet drinks all the time, and I've lost 85 pounds. I feel great. Sometimes, to me, the difference between a ho-hum lunch and a lunch that tastes good is a cold Diet Coke. It would probably be the same for breakfast when it comes to sweetener in your coffee.

1/24/14 8:46 P

There are many artificial sweeteners available on the market in the United States. All have been extensively studied and researched. All have received approval by the FDA regarding safe for consumption. You have nothing to worry about.

If you like a sweet flavor to your coffee and are looking for a way to decrease calories, there is no reason not to use the artificial sweetener that you enjoy most.

Your SP Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

WEWRTFO Posts: 192
1/24/14 8:01 P

Eliminating all artificial sweeteners has turned my life around as explained on my spark page.

While Stevia is a far better choice than aspartame, saccharin and sucralose in terms of negative side effects. Stevia does affect you the same way in regards to sugar cravings as other artificial sweeteners like Aspartame. Stevia extract is not totally ‘natural’ since it’s derived from dried leaves using a water-extraction process, then is refined using ethanol, methanol, and crystallization. Stevia extract undergoes ultrafiltration to remove those alcohols.

Truvia is a chemically-processed sweetener, sugar substitute derived from the stevia plant. IMO its best to just avoid products like Truvia which has three ingredients: rebiana, erythritol and natural flavors. Consuming erythritol can causes a laxative effect because the chemical compounds in the sweetener are not completely absorbed into the digestive system. Erythritol can cause calcium and potassium loss through the urine that could damage kidney function over time. Truvia side effects may included bad breath, a metallic taste in the mouth, headaches, lethargy and even insomnia.

I have researched Study's that suggest artificial sweeteners including stevia elevates insulin levels for over two hours after eating. Which leads to being hungry all the time if your constantly consuming artificial sweeteners. Unless your able to maintain a health weight with sweeteners, It's best to stay away from all artificial sweeteners, including all-natural Stevia. Diet soda is just as bad as regular soda. Diet foods are just as bad as high glycemic sugary foods. Sugar in your coffee does the same thing as artificial sweeteners in your coffee. Yourr bodies hormonal response is not able to distinguish between sugar or any of the artificial sweeteners.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
1/24/14 7:35 P

GIVEUP30, it's a matter of personal preference. Some people like the taste of stevia, some don't. If you like it, use it. If you don't, use something else.

GIVEUP30 Posts: 28,111
1/24/14 7:33 P

great stevia is what we are suppose to use it is the healhiest now I read here doesn't taste good do I or do I not get it is the questions???????

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
1/24/14 7:03 P

There's nothing wrong with Splenda.

I agree with you on the stevia - doesn't taste good to me either.

How many calories-worth of International Delights Fat Free creamer would you be putting in your morning coffee? Maybe it is 'worth it' to purposely budget those calories into your day?

I'd say just keep using the one you like, and work on reducing the amount you add to each cup.

Or try regular milk or coffee-cream and one of those no-sugar flavoured syrups.

I never was a fan of the stuff. I liked plain old cream and sugar - two cream, two sugar, in each little cup. Over a period of time I cut down to one cream/2 sugar, then 1/1, then cream and half-a-sugar, then just cream... then milk... and now (if it's GOOD coffee) i'm happy to drink it black. Small-changes-adding-up-over-time.

GRUMPY- SparkPoints: (19,860)
Fitness Minutes: (3,029)
Posts: 162
1/24/14 6:20 P

Should I be using these or not? If not what are my options? I don't like my coffee or tea without something to sweeten them. Sweetened creamers add too many calories. Stevia doesn't taste good. Splenda does but I hear that it is not good for you. What do I do? Don't tell me to drink water cause it probably ain't gonna happen.
When I get up early in the morning I want my coffee. I have tried many no calorie sweetners and they all don't give me that taste of good old International Delight Fat Free French Vanilla creamer. emoticon

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