'Artificial Sweeteners' & Their Hidden Dangers'

Essay by charvioletA+, December 2003

download word file, 5 pages 3.0

Sugar is bad for you, right? Sugar has a lot of calories and makes you fat! This Thanksgiving and holiday season millions of Americans will cut back on pies, cookies, ice cream, and so on to avoid sugar. In a desperate attempt to avoid this excessive sugar intake, many Americans will eat foods containing artificial sweeteners instead. They have found a taste that is sweet and that won't make them fat. That is the scary thinking that supports the widespread use of artificial sweeteners.

"Some 69 million Americans 18 and older are now consuming products containing Aspartame, Saccharin, or a combination of the two, according to the Calorie Control Council, a trade group of manufactures of dietary foods and beverages." (Mullarkey 4) These 'compounds' are usually sold under the traditional names of Equal (Nutrasweet) and Sweet n' Low. These chemical ingredients are found in all kinds of diet foods, diet drinks, and even toothpaste! It is sprinkled out of small packets into coffee and tea.

It is sold all over the world. "According to a 1998 survey by the Calorie Control Council, 144 million American adults regularly consume low-calorie, sugar-free products such as artificially sweetened sodas and desserts." (Mullarkey, 6)

Approved in 1981, Aspartame is considered to be about 200 times as sweet as sugar. It is commonly used in products such as breakfast cereals, chewing gums, beverages, yogurt, wine coolers, & multivitamins. "It is calorie-free and when it is ingested and metabolized, it breaks down into three substances: Phenylalanine (50%), Aspartic Acid (40%), and Methanol (10%)." (http://www.freediettips.com/diet_artificial_sweeteners.html) These ingredients may sound harmless, but they are anything but.

"Phenylanine is one of the amino acids needed for the production of neurotransmitters essential to brain functioning. People with 'PKU' also known as Phenylketonuria are missing the enzymes to break down...