Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Sugar Subtitues: Saccharin

"In the United States, five artificially derived sugar substitutes have been approved for use. They are saccharin, aspartame, sucralose, neotame and acesulfame potassium. These compounds are all high intensity sweeteners. There is ongoing controversy whether artificial sweeteners are health risks. Some studies show that some may cause disease in laboratory rats. There is also an herbal supplement, stevia, used as a sweetner. Controversy surrounds stevia's safety, although natural, and there is a battle over its approval as a sugar substitute"

Saccharin was the first artificial sweetener and was originally synthesized in 1879 by Remsen and Fahlberg and its sweet taste was discovered by accident. It had been created in an experiment with toluene derivatives. A process for the creation of saccharin from phthalic anhydride was developed in 1950 and currently saccharin is created by this process and the original process by which it was discovered. It is 300-500 times as sweet as sugar (sucrose) and is often used to improve the taste of toothpastes, dietary foods, and dietary beverages. The bitter aftertaste of saccharin is often minimized by blending it with other sweeteners.

Fear about saccharin increased when a 1960 study showed that high levels of saccharin may cause bladder cancer in laboratory rats. In 1977, Canada banned saccharin due to results from animal research. The FDA in the United States considered banning saccharin in 1977, but Congress stepped in and placed a moratorium on such a ban. The moratorium required a warning label and also mandated further study of saccharin safety.

Subsequently, it was discovered that saccharin causes cancer in male rats by a mechanism not found in humans. At high doses, saccharin causes a precipitate to form in rat urine. This precipitate damages the cells lining the bladder ("urinary bladder urothelial cytotoxicity") and a tumor forms when the cells regenerate ("regenerative hyperplasia"). According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, "Saccharin and its salts was downgraded from Group 2B, possibly carcinogenic to humans, to Group 3, not classifiable as to carcinogenicity to humans, despite sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity to animals, because it is carcinogenic by a non-DNA-reactive mechanism that is not relevant to humans because of critical interspecies differences in urine composition."

In 2001, the United States repealed the warning label requirement (the threat of an FDA ban had already been lifted in 1991). Most other countries also permit saccharin but restrict the levels of use, while other countries have outright banned it.

full article (link)

so better not use Saccharin,, not even any kind of artificial sweetners!


Alia said...

whether it's good or not , banned or allowed ..
i think im goin' to tell my dad not to use it ..
having a diabetes is way much better than cancer ..
at least he can burn all the sugar with a 20 min. excercising ..
thx alot for the artical
thx alot for sharing
take care

Anonymous said...

Did you even read to the part that says "saccharin causes cancer in male rats *by a mechanism not found in humans*"?