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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Our Friend Nutritionist Martie Whittiken on Bloomberg's Law & Artificial Sweeteners

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.

(I have been a guest on Martie Whittiken's Radio Talk Show Many Times in Dallas. Thank you Martie for including this topic in your latest Newsletter. Mary S./author Deadly Deception Story of Aspartame - Shocking Expose of the World's Most Controversial Sweetener 1992)

Food Nanny Foiled
New York City Mayor Bloomberg's plan to limit the size of soft drinks for sale in his city to no more than 16 ounces ran into a roadblock this week when a court ruled against the regulation. I discussed some pros and cons of his plan in the newsletter last year. It seems the judge thought it was unfair that some businesses would be limited, but others (possibly right across the street) were regulated by the state rather than the city and would not have the limit. The passionate Mayor will appeal and may or may not prevail. However,  if nothing else, the issue has gotten a lot of press and the sales of soft drinks have been steadily declining. Good.
Fake Isn't Better
Diet soft drinks, like the regular kind, contain phosphoric acid which might be a factor in tooth damage and bone thinning as well as being hard on those with kidney problems. They may also have caffeine and various chemicals. The artificial sweeteners themselves are of concern on many levels. But here is the most surprising point: although they do not contain sugar or calories, there is no evidence that they are less likely to make you fat and diabetic.  When we trick the brain into thinking it is getting something sweet but don't provide that nourishment, the brain seems to keep us hungry until we do get calories. And we can easily overcompensate. It is just hard to beat good clean water! 

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My first book
 Natural Alternatives to Nexium, Maalox, Tagamet, Prilosec & Other Acid Blockers. Subtitle: What to Use to Relieve Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and Gastric Ailments.

My latest book:
 Aloe Vera - Modern Science Sheds Light on an Ancient Herbal Remedy

Copyright 2013 Martie Whittekin, CCN