October 21, 2009

Dangers, & Side Effects of Artificial Sweeteners on Health

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Artificial Sweeteners and Children

Artificial sweeteners are substitutes for common table sugar. They are supposedly sweeter than table sugar, but do not raise the sugar or glucose levels in the blood. As a result, artificial sweeteners are a boon for patients suffering from diabetes. Also, artificial sweeteners like aspartame and splenda are low in calories. These artificial sweetening agents contain just four calories per tablespoon, while the common sugar contains sixteen calories per tablespoon. In fact, these artificial sweeteners can replace common table sugars in most household preparations. Consequently, artificial sweeteners have become extremely popular among people who are hoping to lose weight and the health conscious. However, it is advised even those people looking to remain healthy or slim down should steer clear of such sweeteners owing to their negative effects.

Although these artificial sugars are extremely beneficial for diabetic patients, they may have a grave impact on the health of children. Some of the ill effects of artificial sweeteners on the health of children are as follows:
There is no scientific evidence that artificial sugars are safe for children. Despite the fact that these artificial sweetening agents are comparatively low in calorie content, there is no scientific research to back their safety with respect to children. As such, you are not recommended to give artificial sweeteners to your children.

It has been shown that children, who are fed artificial sweetening agents, develop a craving for chemical substances including foods and sweetening agents. Their tastes develop in a direction wherein they may not want to consume naturally sweet foods like fruits and vegetables.

Side Effects

Certain artificial sweeteners like aspartame are supposed to be instrumental in causing cancer. Aspartame has also been linked to a multitude of illnesses including ailments like depression, fatigue, nausea, insomnia, dizziness, muscle spasms, diabetes, heart palpitations, migraine, anxiety attacks, Alzheimer’s disease, and even brain tumors.

Artificial sweetening agents may also cause diarrhea, vomiting, gas and stomachache in children, and make them more susceptible to hyperglycemia and diabetes. In fact, it has been shown that artificial sweetening agents may hinder the normal development of a child’s brain. As a result, children may develop neurological problems like weak memory and poor concentration. Consumption of artificial sweetening agents by children may also aggravate the ailments related to the respiratory tract such as bronchitis and asthma.

Given the above and the lack of evidence to suggest that artificial sweetening agents are safe for consumption by children, it is recommended that children should not be fed artificial sweeteners and that they be encouraged to eat naturally occurring sweet foods like fruits and milk.