Artificial sweeteners or synthetic sweeteners can cause more harm than good in the long run. Extended consumption of artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, sucralose, saccharin and neotame (to name a few) can unleash a host of health problems ranging from uncontrolled weight gain to brain damage. Artificial sweeteners can even heighten the risk of Type II diabetes. Read on to discover some of the harmful health effects of consuming artificial sweeteners.
Here are 9 Harmful Effects of Consuming Artificial Sweeteners:
Regular intake of aspartame and saccharin, two popular artificial sweeteners, can initiate or exacerbate weight gain. Artificial sweeteners can affect the brain’s ability to gauge calorie intake. Non caloric artificial sweeteners can cause an orchestrated deception in the body by stimulating appetite (increased food craving), encouraging fat storage and increasing craving for carbohydrate rich foods. Artificial sweeteners like aspartame also stimulate the release of two specific hormones – leptin and insulin – which are linked to reduced satiety and increased fat storage.
Prolonged consumption of artificial sweeteners can increase the risk for the markers of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of health conditions, which arises from insulin resistance in conjunction with abnormal adipose deposition and functions. Metabolic syndrome can in turn increase an individual’s risk of suffering from potentially life threatening health conditions, which include diabetes, high cholesterol levels, and cardiovascular diseases.
Sugar substitutes or artificial sweeteners can amplify the risk of Type II diabetes. Artificial sweeteners can interfere with gut microbiome – the community of beneficial bacteria which reside in the digestive tract. A sudden drop in the population of these beneficial gut microbes can lead to a marked spike in blood sugar levels. A sustained increase in blood glucose levels can increase the risk of Type II diabetes.
News studies have indicated that artificial sweeteners enhance the risk of cardiovascular diseases. As mentioned earlier, excessive consumption of artificial sweeteners can lead to excessive weight gain / obesity. Obesity is one of the potent precursors for cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, artificial sweeteners increase triglyceride levels – which is another risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Medical research has also revealed the fact that protracted consumption of artificial sweetener like aspartame can lead to elevated risk of stroke.
Artificial sweeteners can lead to hormonal chaos. The not-so-sweet fact about artificial sweeteners is that they can lead to sudden surge in insulin secretion. Any imbalance in insulin levels can have a domino effect of sorts, affecting other hormones including progesterone, estrogen and testosterone. In short, consuming artificial sweeteners can initiate a vicious cycle of hormonal imbalance, where imbalance of one hormone can trigger widespread hormonal imbalance.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or spastic colon is a common gut disorder. Artificial sweeteners like sorbitol can aggravate the symptoms which are commonly associated with IBS. Sorbitol which is poorly absorbed by the body can lead to conditions like diarrhea and bloating. Artificial sweeteners can reduce the colony of good bacteria which reside in the gut. Sugar substitutes or artificial sweeteners also raise the pH level of the gut. These factors can aggravate existing IBS condition.
Artificial sweeteners like saccharin can unleash a host of allergic reactions. Sulfonamide one of the primary components in saccharine lead to allergic reactions which include but is not limited to skin eruptions, headache and diarrhea. Artificial sweeteners can also cause wheezing, tightness in the chest and shortness of breath.
Depression and Panic Attacks
Artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame, increase the production of phenylalanine – a type of amino acid. A sudden spike in the levels of phenylalanine can decrease the production of relaxing neurotransmitters like serotonin. Any imbalance in serotonin levels can lead to anxiety, panic attacks and depression. Individuals prone to depression or those on anti-depressant medication should avoid artificial sweeteners at all cost.
New and startling medical evidence has revealed the fact that there is definite link between excessive intake of artificial sweeteners and Alzheimer’s disease. Aspartame ( an artificial sweeteners) can increase plasma methanol levels. Methanol toxicity in turn can unleash a host of symptoms which are generally associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Consuming artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose can actually damage your brain in the long run. Aspartame increases the levels of aspartate – an excitotoxin. Excitotoxins are a class of toxins which fire up or stimulate brain cells to death. Sucralose on the other hand is a toxic chloro-carbon which can hamper the normal functioning of brain cells.