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Friday, May 6, 2011

Talk Show Host/Nutritionist Martie Whittiken re: Aspartame & Stevia

My thoughts about artificial sweeteners:

 Always be suspicious of chemicals that have not been on the planet before such as the commercial sweeteners below (except Stevia). There is a high likelihood that they will ultimately be found to have previously unknown toxic or drug-like effects on humans.

• The FDA approval process depends on studies done by the manufacturer who obviously has much to gain by structuring the tests in a way that finds no problems.

• The safety studies are, of necessity, short term studies. No one looks at the long term effects or the effects of one agent combined with others.

• Studies are almost always on animals and may not correlate exactly with human chemistry.

• Studies typically look for immediate poisoning signals and cancer, not other effects like depression for example.

• Once in the marketplace there are $ billions in profits at stake for the manufacturers and the FDA's reputation is on the line, so we shouldn't even expect any efforts to prove them unsafe.

• The herbal sweetener Stevia seems appears to be the safest choice.

• Our craving for sweetness is nature's way of guiding us to more nutritious foods. However, the foods that use artificial sweeteners are not usually nutritious and when we short-circuit that instinct with chemicals the body still is hungry for the nutrients. The craving continues.

• There is not really evidence that these products support weight loss. In fact, the reverse may be true.

• Moreover, there is evidence that the sweet taste, even from a calorie-free source, will stimulate an insulin response. High insulin levels lead to chronic health problems.

• The safest bet overall is to reduce our dependence on sweet foods. After you stay off of sweeteners for even a week or two, your taste buds become more sensitive and can taste the subtle natural sweetness in real foods such as almonds.