Sunday, May 4, 2008

Everyone should avoid sweeteners...

So, I just received the newest edition of the Centre for Science in the Public Interest’s (CPSI) newsletter, Nutrition Action. They have listed common food additives and their assessment of their safety, categorizing them as Safe, Cut Back, Caution, Certain People Should Avoid and Everyone Should Avoid.

Interestingly, under the category of “Everyone should avoid” are sweeteners: Aspartame, Acesulfame-Potassium and Saccharin.

This is their reasoning:

A new Italian animal study found that long term use of aspartame (marketed as Equal and found in soft drinks ), in amounts similar to that found in the human diet and below the acceptable intake deemed safe by Health Canada and the States, could increase the risk of leukemia, lymphoma and breast cancer.

The CPSI points out that studies done on Acesulfame-Potassium (Acesulfame-K- found in diet soda and foods) in the 70s showed a link between the sweetener and cancer and the US FDA hasn’t required better research since.

They also point out that animal studies have shown that Saccharin (Sweet n’ Low) can cause cancer of the bladder, uterus, ovaries, skin and other organs. A US National Cancer Institute study found that people that ate large amounts of saccharin had higher rates of bladder cancer than people who used smaller amounts. The use of saccharine in foods and drinks is illegal in Canada but Sweet n' Low is sill around.

Sources:

CPSI Nutrition Action Health Letter “Chemical Cuisine: A guide to food additives”. May 2008.
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/21/opinion/21tues4.html

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Any information on Stevia, the "natural" sweetner. I use alot of it so I hope it's not as bad as the others you listed!

mike

Sybil Hebert, RD said...

Hey Mike,
Check out the latest post (May 7) for info about stevia.
Thanks!