Artificial sweeteners have been touted as one of the greatest alternatives to high-fructose corn syrup, corn syrup and even fructose itself. They are generally thought to be better because these sweeteners are seldom metabolized by the body in the same way as other sugars. This means everything from blood glucose levels to the amount of acid in the mouth maintains more regular levels while eating.
The problem is that some of these sweeteners may have hidden dangers. Aspartame represents one of the most controversial artificial sweeteners, as big brands like Pepsi have abandoned it over potential health concerns.
What is Aspartame?
This is one of the most common artificial sweeteners available for both commercial and consumer use. It is made by attaching phenylalanine with aspartic acid, the latter being a naturally-occurring amino acid.
It is used as a sweetener because it is perceived by the body as being 200 times sweeter than regular sugar. This allows for more sweetness with fewer calories, which helps to avoid many of the problems associated with excessive sugar consumption.
Is It Dangerous?
Various concerns over aspartame have arisen in the past 20 years. From an increased risk of cancer to links between kidney disease and aspartame, many claims have been published. To understand the validity of these claims, it’s important to first understand why this artificial sweetener has been targeted as a potentially dangerous substance.
Aspartame is broken down into three separate chemicals in the body: aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol. It is that third chemical, methanol, that has caused many of the claims of danger to arise. Large amounts of methanol break down into formaldehyde, formic acid and formate, which are all highly toxic at certain levels. Each of these elements has been linked to the presence of certain cancers, kidney failure, liver failure and a long list of unhealthy conditions.
This does not, however, mean that aspartame is dangerous. The amount of methanol released from the artificial sweetener is generally less than it is with the methanol in other natural foods. A liter of diet soda, for example, releases about 50 milligrams of methanol while a liter of juice can release over 650 milligrams.
Offering Only the Best Supplements
Based out of St. Louis, Doctors Supplement Store offers only safe and reliable supplements, leaving controversial artificial sweeteners like aspartame out of the picture. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you provide your patients with healthy dietary supplements.