Can People With Diabetes Consume Aspartame
Yes. Foods and beverages made with aspartame are frequently recommended to people with diabetes as an alternative to sugar-sweetened foods and beverages and as a way to help them satisfy their desire for sweet taste. Extensive research shows that aspartame does not raise blood glucose levels or otherwise affect blood glucose management in humans.13-15 In a 2018 randomized controlled trial, aspartame ingestion had no effect on blood glucose or insulin levels over the 12-week intervention as compared with a placebo.16 Recent consensus statements by experts in nutrition, medicine, physical activity and public health cite the neutral effects of low-calorie sweeteners on hemoglobin A1C, insulin and fasting and post-prandial glucose when concluding that the use of low-calorie sweeteners in diabetes management may contribute to better glycemic control.17-19
Sucralose: What Are The Pros
Sucralose is the newest nonnutritive sweetener on the market. It is most well known for its claim to be made from sugar. It is used alone or found in Splenda and is 600 times sweeter than sucrose . When used alone, it provides essentially no calories and is not fully absorbed. In 1998, it was approved for limited use, and in 1999, it was given approval for use as a general-purpose sweetener. It is currently found in over 4,500 products, including foods that are cooked or baked. This artificial sweetener that can be used for cooking, so it has rapidly become one of the most popular and highly consumed artificial sweeteners.
The FDA reviewed studies in human beings and animals and determined that sucralose did not pose carcinogenic, reproductive, or neurological risk to human beings. The acceptable daily intake for sucralose was set at 5 mg/kg of body weight/day. To determine your ADI, divide your weight in pound by 2.2 and then multiply it by 50. For example, if you weigh 200 lbs., your weight in kg would be 91 and your ADI for sucralose would be 455 mg .
Aspartame And Your Weight
Despite being lower in calories and sugar-free, it’s not all good news when it comes to aspartame and your health. More specifically, aspartame and other artificial sweeteners may not be a friend to your waistline.
According to a July 2017 systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal , which included more than 400,000 participants followed over a 10 year period, researchers found an association between the use of artificial sweeteners and an increase in body mass index. The researchers also noted an increase in diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hypertension and cardiovascular events in those who used sugar-free sweeteners like aspartame.
While it’s not entirely clear why use of calorie-free sweeteners are causing waistlines to expand, Harvard Health Publishing theorizes that use of the artificial sweeteners may make you feel as though you can indulge in other treats since you’re saving calories elsewhere, leading to overconsumption of calories. The artificial sweeteners may also alter your taste buds so you crave sweet, unhealthy foods which may lead to poor high-calorie food choices.
Despite the association between consumption of foods with aspartame, weight gain and obesity, the researchers of the CMAJ study suggest more clinical studies are needed to better understand the relationship between artificial sweeteners and your health.
Recommended Reading: Almond Extract Allergy Symptoms
Nutrition Labels Include Phenylalanine Statement
Since phenylalanine is one of the two amino acids that make up aspartame, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration requires all foods and beverages containing aspartame to include the following statement on their labels: Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalanine. Products that may contain this statement include breath mints, carbonated and non-carbonated diet soft drinks cereals chewing gum, flavored syrups and ice cream toppings, frozen ice and ice cream novelties, fruit spreads, sugar-free gelatin hard candies powdered soft drink, ice tea and cocoa mixes juice blends and juice drinks maple syrup meal replacements drinks and nutritional bars pudding and mousse sugar-free cookies sugar-free ketchup table-top sweeteners vegetable drinks and yogurts. Some medications, dietary supplements and other pharmaceutical products containing aspartame may also carry this statement.
Side Effects Of Sugar Substitutes
Regardless of where they come from or how they’re produced, sugar substitutes have side effects. You should be aware of these side effects so that you don’t confuse them with allergy symptoms.
For example, according to a January 2014 article in the Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Healthcare, artificial sweeteners have been associated with a variety of side effects, including:
Read more:The 12 Best and Worst Sugar Substitutes
Also Check: Allergy Swelling Treatment
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.
Sucralose: What Are The Cons
The most misunderstood fact about sucralose is that it is nothing like sugar even though the marketing implies that it is. Sucralose was actually discovered while trying to create a new insecticide. It may have started out as sugar, but the final product is anything but sugar. According to the book Sweet Deception, sucralose is made when sugar is treated with trityl chloride, acetic anhydride, hydrogen chlorine, thionyl chloride, and methanol in the presence of dimethylformamide, 4-methylmorpholine, toluene, methyl isobutyl ketone, acetic acid, benzyltriethlyammonium chloride, and sodium methoxide, making it unlike anything found in nature. If you read the fine print on the Splenda web site, it states that “although sucralose has a structure like sugar and a sugar-like taste, it is not natural.”
The name sucralose is misleading. The suffix -ose is used to name sugars, not additives. Sucralose sounds very close to sucrose, table sugar, and can be confusing for consumers. A more accurate name for the structure of sucralose was proposed. The name would have been trichlorogalactosucrose, but the FDA did not believe that it was necessary to use this so sucralose was allowed.
You May Like: Can You Take Robitussin With Allergy Medicine
Research Casts Doubt On Aspartame Sensitivity
“Sweetener linked to cancer is safe to use,” reports the Mail Online.
Aspartame a commonly used artificial sweetener has been dogged by controversy, despite being deemed safe by food regulators in the UK, EU and US.
Some believe they are sensitive to the sweetener. Anecdotal reports suggest it can cause headaches and stomach upsets.
This study recruited 48 “aspartame-sensitive” individuals and tested whether giving them a cereal bar with or without aspartame would elicit the suspect symptoms. The study was a gold-standard double blind randomised controlled trial , meaning neither the participants nor those analysing the results knew which bar they had eaten. This made it a fairer and more rigorous test.
It showed that there was no difference in the symptoms reported after eating the aspartame-laced bar compared with the normal bar.
This provides evidence that aspartame fears may not be warranted in some people who believe they are sensitive to the ingredient. However, the study may have failed to recruit those most fearful of the sweetener, so we cant rule out aspartame-related symptoms in this group.
This study also cant tell us whether regular aspartame consumption may have any health effects in the longer term.
To find out more, read “The truth about aspartame“.
Natural Vs Artificial Sugar
There are many different types of natural and artificial sugar-free products. According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are eight different non-nutritive sugar substitutes that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration .
You’re probably familiar with artificial sweeteners like sucralose, aspartame and Splenda . These are the sugar-free alternatives that you’ll most often find in diet beverages, sugar-free yogurts and reduced-calorie products. Other FDA-approved artificial sweeteners include neotame, saccharin, acesulfame potassium, sucralose and advantame.
There are two natural sugar substitutes that are FDA-approved, as well. These are monk fruit extract and stevia, which is extracted from stevia plant leaves.
In addition to these non-nutritive artificial and natural sugar substitutes, the FDA has also approved sugar alcohols like isomalt, xylitol and sorbitol. Sugar alcohols are produced from a wide variety of different plants, including corn, rice, barley and birch.
As you can see, these sugar substitutes are all made in different ways and come from different sources. It’s consequently possible to have an artificial sweetener allergy but not a sugar alcohol allergy. Alternatively, you might have an isomalt allergy but be perfectly fine consuming stevia.
Read more:The Ultimate Guide to Natural Sweeteners
Recommended Reading: Robitussin Allergic Reaction
Do Artificial Sweeteners Cause Weight Gain
One of the most disturbing claims against artificial sweeteners is that they can cause weight gain. The majority of the people who use these products often do so in order to save calories to lose or maintain weight. We are told that this is why we need to consume them and it would be upsetting to find out that they have actually been a part of the problem and not the solution. At this time, the research is showing both possibilities.
The research that shows weight gain with artificial-sweetener consumption has been around since the 1970s. The Nurses’ Health Study in 1970 found weight gain over eight years in 31,940 women using saccharin. In the early ’80s, the American Cancer Society’s study of 78,694 women found that after one year 2.7% to 7.1% more regular artificial-sweetener users gained weight compared to nonusers. The San Antonio Heart Study followed 3,682 adults over eight years on the early ’80s. Those who consumed more artificial sweeteners had higher BMIs, and the more that they consumed, the higher the BMI.
The best way to know if artificial sweeteners are impacting your weight is to experiment. Cut them out of your diet and see what happens. The key is not to add too many calories from sugar. Give your body time to get used to the change. Your sugar cravings will start off strong, but you should see a decrease over time. It may be the diet secret that you have been searching for.
Can Aspartame Make Me Hungrier
Highly palatable foods activate brain regions of reward and pleasure. This positive association can enhance appetite, and if left unchecked, the resulting increase in food intake can lead to overweight and obesity.47 Substituting full-calorie and added-sugars-containing foods with their counterparts made with low-calorie sweeteners has exhibited a similar effect on reward pathways, but without contributing additional calories.
Some have expressed concern that activating reward pathways without delivering calories to the body may have unintended consequences, and the role that low-calorie sweeteners have on appetite and food cravings is a developing area of research. As noted in recent reviews,28,42 some research in animal models has demonstrated changes in food intake and appetite-related hormones after consuming low-calorie sweeteners. And yet, similar effects have not been seen in humans. To date there is no strong evidence that low-calorie sweeteners, including aspartame, enhance appetite or cravings in humans,48 and some randomized trials have demonstrated the opposite effectincluding a decrease in hunger 34 and reduced dessert intake compared with those who drank water.49
Don’t Miss: Cetirizine For Allergic Reaction
Acesulfame K: What Are The Pros
Acesulfame K has been an approved sweetener since 1988, and yet most people are not even aware that this is an artificial sweetener being used in their food and beverages. It is listed in the ingredients on the food label as acesulfame K, acesulfame potassium, Ace-K, or Sunett. It is 200 times sweeter than sucrose and is often used as a flavor-enhancer or to preserve the sweetness of sweet foods. The FDA has set an acceptable daily intake of up to 15 mg/kg of body weight/day.
What Is An Aspartame Allergy
Chances are high that you have several foods or beverages in your pantry and refrigerator that contain the sweetener aspartame. Approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1981, aspartame can be found in approximately 6,000 foods as an artificial sweetener. Unfortunately, a lot of controversy surrounds the additive, leaving many medical professionals and health food experts alike claiming that aspartame allergy or aspartame toxicity truly exists.
Most of the controversy surrounds the chemicals that aspartame breaks down into when digested, which includes methanol, formaldehyde, formic acid, aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Methanol breaks down into formic acid and formaldehyde and is a carcinogen and some claim, is neurotoxic. Aspartic acid has been shown in some studies to cause hormonal disorders, headaches, nausea and anxiety disorders. Those who have PKU, or Phenylketonuria, cannot metabolize the phenylalanine, which may result in toxic levels in the body.
To date, there are 92 reported symptoms of aspartame allergy, from a variety of sources. While many of these claims are anecdotal, many medical doctors and health professionals have seen cases of aspartame allergy that have been resolved after removing it from the diet.
The following are common symptoms of aspartame allergy:
Don’t Miss: Major Allergy Tablets
Evaluation Of Consumer Complaints Related To Aspartame Use
In February 1984, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requested CDC’s assistance in evaluating consumer complaints that FDAhad received about consumption of aspartame-containing products. Therequest followed an increase in aspartame-related complaints in thelatter half of 1983. Complaints to the FDA increased from 108 in thefirst 6 months of 1983 to 248 in the last 6 months. This increasecoincided with approval of aspartame for use in soft drinks in July1983.
The CDC investigation had two major purposes: to provide abasic descriptive analysis of the symptoms reported and theepidemiologic characteristics of the persons reporting those symptoms and to determine whether specific individual symptoms orconstellations of symptoms were reported with enough consistency toindicate where further clinical studies, should they seem necessary,would be most productive. It was recognized from the outset that thisinvestigation alone would be unlikely to establish anycause-and-effect relationship between the ingestion of aspartame andthe occurrence of reported symptoms.Application of criteria
Evaluation of dose-response relationships might have been fruitfulhad individuals reported symptoms with increasingly high consumptionof aspartame-containing products. However, due to the difficulties inquantifying intake from the available data, evaluation ofdose-response relationships was not possible.General Findings
Aspartame Withdrawal Symptom Influencers
Time Span of Consumption
Have you been consuming aspartame for many years?Big soda drinker?
If you have been drinking sodas or consuming aspartame for many years, you are likely to have more severe and even longer aspartame withdrawal symptoms than someone who has a random can of soda from time to time.
Amount Consumed Daily
Sticking with the soda example,the average carbonated drink has 180 mg of aspartame.
If you drink several per day, you may experience more significant aspartame withdrawal symptoms than someone who consumes aspartame by way of chewing gum, which has only 6 to 8 mg per stick.
Your individual makeup and circumstances greatly affect how aspartame withdrawal symptoms can affect you.
Some people naturally have an easier time coping with the cravings of withdrawal while others struggle daily. Even your nervous system may recover at a quicker rate than that of others.
Certain medications or other addictions play a role in withdrawal severity as well.
If youre seeking the help from a professional, your symptoms severity and length can be greatly lessened.You can schedule a free consultation with HealthierU today and be on your way to an aspartame-free body while getting the relief you need from aspartame withdrawal.
Recommended Reading: Can You Eat Twix With A Peanut Allergy
What Kind Of Research Was This
This was a double-blind randomised control crossover study looking at whether aspartame causes any harmful symptoms in people who report sensitivity to it.
Aspartame is a commonly used artificial sweetener that is around 200 times sweeter than normal sugar. Since its introduction in the 1980s, there have been concerns over whether aspartame is safe. There are many anecdotal reports of it causing stomach upsets, headaches and other problems. However, this concern doesnt match the evidence.
Aspartame has been approved as a safe food ingredient after assessment of the evidence by regulators in the UK, EU and US, all of which have independently assessed the best available evidence. Despite the regulatory assurance, some people report they are sensitive to aspartame and are convinced that it causes them problems. The current study wanted to investigate this “aspartame-sensitive” group, to see if the claims were true.
A double blind RCT like this is the gold standard of single study research. It is one of the best ways to investigate whether aspartame is affecting people who report being sensitive to it. Neither the study participants nor those analysing the results knew whether they were consuming aspartame. This helps to eliminate bias caused by pre-conceived ideas of whether it is harmful or not. The only thing more convincing in the evidence stakes than an RCT like this is a meta-analysis of many of them.
Allergic Reactions To Stevia
According to a January 2015 study in the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology, hypersensitivity and allergies to stevia are rare. However, various different cases have been reported.
Stevia allergy symptoms can vary based on the type of stevia sweetener that was consumed. People have had allergic reactions to whole stevia leaves, stevia sweeteners and food products that contain stevia.
The article in the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology says that symptoms of stevia hypersensitivity have been reported as nausea, vomiting, dizziness and fainting. Stevia allergies, on the other hand, tend to involve changes in blood pressure, swelling and anaphylactic shock.
People who are allergic to certain plants like ragweed, mugwort and sunflower might be at increased risk for stevia hypersensitivity or allergy. This is because all of these plants come from the same family. Their similarity means that your body might perceive stevia as an allergen, too.
Also Check: What Allergy Medicine Is Stronger Than Zyrtec