Are sugar substitutes bad for your health?

Are sugar substitutes bad for your health?


Most Helpful Girl

  • Blaaa.

    There is NO QUESTION that actual sugar is far, far worse for the human body than artificial sweeteners.

    This whole idea of "Artificial sweeteners cause the body to crave *real* sugars, and that craving then leads people to overeat..."?
    There are some people who have reported this effect, but, of course, ACTUAL sugar has the SAME effect... only much, much, MUCH more so. (There's a reason why you end up eating the whole bag of cookies once you've eaten one, kids.)

    Soooo yeah. If the artificial baddies are bad, then, real sugar is WAY badder, in terms of every possible kind of bad.


    What's more remarkable, though, is the COMPLETE lack of ANY scientific evidence for *any* consistent effect of this sort (= artificial sweeteners "causing a craving for real sugar").
    If this effect were to occur, it would be the result of an insulin spike.
    Hmm, let's see here.

    • No insulin spike in non-diabetics:

    • No insulin spike in non-diabetics with or without carbs:

    • No effect on insulin -- or prolactin or cortisol or BG or GH either:
    ajcn. nutrition. org/content/49/3/427. full. pdf



    I mean, of course there's no such thing as a free lunch, and there ARE adverse effects of consuming too much of these things -- you can get the runs, flatulence, etc. -- but you can just feel those things out.

    But, basically, everything these do, real sugar does, and worse.
    Best course of action is just to avoid ALL of these things, altogether. If not, then, it's a decision of priorities, and of knowing yourself and how you personally react to the things.

    But... if you have a decision of real sugar vs. artificial sugar? Artificial sugar is more healthful, hands fucking down, every damn time.

    End of.


    End of story.


Most Helpful Guy

  • Artificial sweeteners get a bad rap in the media because the scientific information is reported by media and bloggers who lack the understanding to comprehend the information and relay it correctly.

    One of the most common things you'll hear about sweeteners is that "they're toxic". In the most technical sense, sweeteners contain chemicals that are toxic. But for each chemical, it is the dose that makes the poison. A chemical that requires a low dose for toxicity is more potent than one where you need to eat a lot of it.
    Examples of food with "toxic" substances are hot dogs (nitrosamines), any cooked starch like cereal, potatoes, chips (acrylamide), and cooked meat (polycyclic aromatic amines). However, one would never think that a box of Frosted Flakes contains poison, but it technically does.

    However, the potency of many "toxic" chemicals in food is very low.
    We measure toxicity as the LD50 (lethal dose to kill 50% of test animals). For something like aspartame, the LD50 is greater than 10 grams per kilogram of rat. So assuming the toxicity is the same for rats and humans, an 80 human being would need to eat 800 grams of aspartame in a single sitting, and it would only be lethal to half the people eating it.

    In this sense, table salt is a more toxic chemical than aspartame with an LD50 of 3 grams per kilogram. A person eating 180 grams of salt could receive a lethal dose.

    There are other factors like the potency of carcinogenicity (if the chemical is carcinogenic), but the concept of potency applies the same.

    • And what if in a timeframe of for example 20 year the intake of aspartame is 800 gram? Does your body store these toxic components?

    • In general, the body stores fat-based compounds in fat cells. Water-soluble chemicals like aspartame do not store in the body and aren't even digested/broken down. They simply pass out the urine.

      I made a slight mistake in my explanation. The lethal dose is based on a SINGLE dose, and taken all at once. So you'd need to eat 800 grams of aspartame or 180 grams of salt in one sitting for it to have a 50% chance of killing you.

      Small doses like in foods, over a long period of time are not harmful. Your question is no different than asking if eating 180 grams of salt over 20 years could be harmful. You'd probably eat many kilograms of salt over 20 years.

    • Thank you.

What Girls Said 3

  • yes absolutely horrible. my biochem prof explained it to me because he knew how much i used haha
    he told me when you eat it, your body is expecting something to be able to digest and when it tries to break something down, it can't cause the sweetener has nothing in it. therefore it really messes with the digestive process

    • That only suggests your body is spending energy creating enzymes that it is not using (assuming you're just eating packets of artificial sweetener).

      Usually, you are eating food containing sweetener, so those enzymes are still utilized for breaking down the food. The amount of sweetener you consume per meal is milligrams. The toxicity is very low.

    • @meowcow no, not with the drinks which is what it is most commonly used for. For example its in coffee, soda, flavored water, etc.

  • Yes, they are.

    There is no question in my mind that artifical sweeteners are bad.

  • they are ok but as long term they can be really bad


What Guys Said 4