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Do benefits of sweeteners outweigh their negative health effects?

Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine

The three primary artificial sweeteners currently in use are saccharin (Sweet'N Low), aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet), and sucralose (Splenda). These sweeteners are among the most controversial of food additives. Advocates argue that the benefits provided outweigh the potential negative health effects. The perception is that consumption of these sweeteners will lead to a reduction in calories consumed. This, in turn, will lead to weight loss or prevention in weight gain. Unfortunately, this is not the case as detailed studies have not shown these sweeteners to reduce the amount of calories consumed, or to have any significant effect on body weight. In fact, aspartame may actually increase appetite.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.