Beware! Zero Calorie Sodas Hazardous to Your Health
Artificial Sweeteners are Truly Dangerous!
I truly get upset when I see people consuming artificially sweetened sodas and other beverages, not to mention ‘food’ products.
Clinical nutritionists know the terrible health dangers associated with artificial sweeteners, not to mention the fact that they cause weight gain vs. the expected weight loss. Apparently, we have done little to share our knowledge with the general public so I wanted to start right now.
Zero Calorie Means I’ll Lose Weight, Right?
Wrong I’m afraid. It turns out that those who consume artificial sweeteners gain more weight on average than those who don’t consume these products. Why?
Several research studies showed that the brain has a ‘calorie counter’ associated with eating sweet foods. If you try to fool the brain by giving it something sweet with no accompanying calories, it simply causes the body to consume more calories from a different source to ‘make up’ for the missing calories of the sweet drink it consumed.
In fact, most studies reveal that diet soft drinks double your obesity risk by increasing cravings for carbohydrates, stimulating your appetite, and increasing fat storage. You may be thinking, then why do they tell us that we’ll lose weight? I’m sorry to tell you that they just want to sell their product. Most people are gullible enough to believe that they will lose weight drinking ‘zero-calorie’ drinks and the manufacturers of said products are delighted that you do not research to find the truth.
Frightening Health Hazards
While it’s frustrating to discover that one can’t expect to enjoy any weight loss, that’s really not the worst of it. Let’s begin by looking at Aspartame. Aspartame has been linked to the following health conditions:
• Cancer: Lymphoma, leukemia, and brain cancer
• Hormonal: weakness, fatigue & sleep disorders
• Digestive: cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
• Skin: rashes & hives
• Eye: visual changes
• Joint: join pain
• Neurological: headaches, depression, anxiety, seizures, memory loss, hallucinations, dizziness
• Metabolic: diabetes & weight gain
Why all the problems? While aspartame is made from ‘naturally occurring amino acids’, there’s nothing ‘natural’ about the way it’s produced. Monsanto, the mass producer of genetically modified food, also has its hand in the manufacture of aspartame. How?
Phenylalanine, one of the amino acids in aspartame, is naturally produced by bacteria. Monsanto genetically engineered the bacteria (E. coli) to make them produce more phenylalanine. Had you ever heard this before? I hadn’t either.
The loophole that Monsanto used in not declaring aspartame to be genetically modified is that there are no actual microorganisms in the finished product, therefore they did not have to declare the GMO aspect of it.
Aspartame has Many Aliases – Don’t Be Fooled!
The manufacturer knows that some consumers are trying to avoid aspartame, so they have created a number of aliases. Don’t be fooled. The following are ALL aspartame:
- Natra Taste
Most all of the independent studies designed to evaluate the safety of Aspartame found health concerns associated with it. However, the studies funded by the industry itself found the product to be completely safe. It’s no small wonder… Did you know that about 70% of the research done on drugs in this country is funded by the pharmaceutical companies themselves? Does that seem somewhat biased to you?
Well, it turns out that the research claiming artificial sweeteners to be ‘safe’ has been no less biased, in fact, it’s been even worse.
How About Splenda – Is it Safe?
In our clinical nutrition department, we ask our patients to put artificial sweeteners in the same category as toxins. You are about to see that is no exaggeration. Splenda contains chloride but natural foods do as well – that’s the argument for it. Not so fast, the Splenda containing chloride is anything BUT natural. Unfortunately, there’s a little biochemistry here, but we’ll keep it simple.
Chloride in natural foods has bonds that hold the molecules together. These bonds found in natural food break up easily, making it digestible and therefore a food. The bonds in Splenda are a different type – this type of bond is not found in any natural food, only man-made synthetic products (think DDT, PCBs, and Agent orange – yes, all known toxins with the latter two also suspected carcinogens). Why? Because the body is unable to break that type of bond and therefore it’s not a food.
Due to its indigestibility, Splenda is supposed to ‘pass right through you’, hence its non-caloric status. But research on animals estimates that about 15% is absorbed by the digestive tract and stored in the fat cells. Toxins stored in the fat tend to emerge at times of stress, putting an added burden on the body. Further, a study published in 2009 published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health stated that Splenda, in addition to being absorbed by fat, reduced the good intestinal bacteria found in the gut by half! These good bacteria make up the lion’s share of the gut’s immune system. The presence of these beneficial bacteria, in healthy numbers, has been established to keep bad, disease-causing genes turned off, thereby preventing disease.
As a clinical nutritionist, I spend a great deal of time helping my patients to increase the numbers of their healthy gut bacteria. Discovering that Splenda cuts that number by 50% is a serious issue. Are there other health concerns? It seems so based on consumer complaints, but there have been no long-term studies of the product formally executed so we really have no idea what the effects might be over an extended period of time.
The list of consumer complaints is lengthy including the following (most of these occurred within 24 hours of ingestion):
• Severe headaches
• Swelling of the face, tongue, and throat
• Joint pain
• Wheezing and shortness of breath
• Heart palpitations
• Hives and rash
• Itchy, swollen eyes
We do know the result of one study that showed a strong association between Splenda and migraine headaches. Animal studies also showed an increased incidence of:
• Death rate in rabbits – 3.5 X that of the control group
• Spontaneous abortions in 50% of rabbits fed Splenda, compared to 0% in the control group
• Infertility in males
The Solution? Eat Only Real Food
Here are the basics: If it doesn’t exist naturally in nature, don’t eat it. If it does exist naturally but now it’s genetically modified (remember to look at the sticker on produce – if it begins with the #8, it’s GMO), don’t eat it.
We have so many toxins in our environment, some of which, like air pollution, are impossible to avoid. But you CAN choose what you put into your mouth. Please, please do not consume artificial sweeteners. I promise you they are doing absolutely nothing positive for your health.
It’s interesting that if you speak to a qualified clinical nutritionist, they are often surprised that anyone is still consuming artificial sweeteners because we’ve known for so very long the problems associated with them. The ingestion of soda has decreased in the US, but only slightly – we have a long way to go. Please help me to spread the word. Urge everyone you know to discontinue using these toxic chemicals and please never, ever give them to children or pregnant women.
We are committed to improving your health as well as that of your friends and family. Feel free to send in your questions and comments. Our Destination Clinic sees patients from across the country and internationally. We are here to help!
Do you need help with your health?
We have the tools to discover why you may be having trouble with a weakened immune system. It’s not difficult as long as you’re ready to make some dietary and lifestyle changes. If that sounds daunting, don’t worry. We will hold your hand through the changes and make each step of change an easy one.
For more information, call Saratoga: (408) 542-0354 or Clearwater: (727) 339-6008
Dr. Vikki Petersen DC. CCN
Founder of Root Cause Medical Clinic
Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner
Dr Vikki Petersen is a public speaker, author of two books, several eBooks and creates cutting edge content for her YouTube community. Dr Vikki is committed to bringing Root Cause Medicine and its unique approach to restoring health naturally to the world.