Individuals who consume a diet high in artificially sweetened drinks are more likely to experience a decline in kidney function, according to a paper presented at the American Society of Nephrology's annual meeting in San Diego, California. Research conducted by Julie Lin MD, MPH, FASN and Gary Curhan, MD, ScD, FASN of Brigham and Women's Hospital examined the influence of sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened beverages on kidney function decline in a group of 3,000 women subjects in a Nurses’ Health Study. This investigation reported "a significant two-fold increased odds, between two or more servings per day of artificially sweetened soda and faster kidney function decline; no relation between sugar-sweetened beverages and kidney function decline was noted.” The association persisted even after the study authors accounted for age, caloric intake, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cigarette smoking, physical activity, and cardiovascular disease. Sources: ScienceDaily November 2, 2009 This latest study found a two-fold increased risk of a decline in kidney function among women who drank two or more artificially sweetened beverages a day. This adds to the growing list of serious health risks from consuming these toxic substances, which are deceptively marketed as though they are safe and even healthy! There is enough evidence showing the dangers of consuming artificial sweeteners to fill an entire book -- which is exactly why Dr. Joseph Mercola wrote Sweet Deception. If you or your loved ones drink diet beverages or eat diet foods, this book will explain how you've been deceived about the truth behind artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose -- for greed, for profits ... and at the expense of your own health. To get the complete low-down, I suggest you read Sweet Deception, but I want to give an overview of the dangers of two common artificial sweeteners, aspartame and Splenda, so you can get an idea of just how toxic they really are. Aspartame Dangers You Need to Know Aspartame goes by the brand names NutraSweet and Equal. It is one of the first generation of artificial sweeteners and is 180 times as sweet as sugar. There are over 6,000 products containing aspartame, sold in over 100 countries and consumed by over 250 million people worldwide. There have been more reports to the FDA for aspartame reactions than for all other food additives combined. And, there are over 900 published studies on the health hazards of aspartame. You can find a list in the National Library Medicine Index. There are also some 10,000 documented reports of adverse reactions to aspartame, including death. Since it is estimated only about 1 percent of people who experience a reaction report it, it is safe to assume at least a million people have had a reaction to this chemical. Among the risks, the phenylalanine in aspartame dissociates from the ester bond and increases dopamine levels in your brain. This can lead to symptoms of depression because it distorts your serotonin/dopamine balance. It can also lead to migraine headaches and brain tumors through a similar mechanism. Furthermore, the aspartic acid in aspartame is a well-documented excitotoxin. Excitotoxins are usually amino acids, such as glutamate and aspartate. These special amino acids cause particular brain cells to become excessively excited, to the point they will quickly die. Excitotoxins can also cause a loss of brain synapses and connecting fibers. Then the ester bond in aspartame is broken down to formaldehyde and methanol, which have their own toxicities. So it is not surprising that this popular artificial sweetener has also been found to cause cancer. Why Splenda is Not so Splendid Splenda was approved by the FDA in 1998 as a tabletop sweetener and for use in products such as baked goods, nonalcoholic beverages, chewing gum, frozen dairy desserts, fruit juices, and gelatins. Sucralose is also permitted as a general-purpose sweetener for all processed foods. The approval was given after the FDA supposedly reviewed more than 110 animal and human safety studies, but out of these 110 studies, only two were human studies, and the longest one was conducted for four days! And, those animal studies reveal plenty of problems, such as: • Decreased red blood cells -- sign of anemia -- at levels above 1,500 mg/kg/day • Increased male infertility by interfering with sperm production and vitality, as well as brain lesions at higher doses • Enlarged and calcified kidneys (McNeil stated this is often seen with poorly absorbed substances and was of no toxicological significance. The FDA Final Rule agreed that these are findings that are common in aged female rats and are not significant.) • Spontaneous abortions in nearly half the rabbit population given sucralose, compared to zero aborted pregnancies in the control group • A 23 percent death rate in rabbits, compared to a 6 percent death rate in the control group A recent study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health also found that Splenda: • Reduces the amount of good bacteria in your intestines by 50 percent • Increases the pH level in your intestines • Affects a glycoprotein in your body that can have crucial health effects, particularly if you’re on certain medications They also found unmistakable evidence that Splenda is absorbed by fat, contrary to previous claims. It’s truly disturbing that Splenda can destroy up to 50 percent of your healthy intestinal bacteria, as these bacteria help maintain your body's overall balance of friendly versus unfriendly micro-organisms, and support your general health. My site also contains a long list of personal case studies from readers who have been injured and suffered side effects from Splenda. In fact, we have more people on our site that have reported adverse reactions to Splenda than were formally studied in the research submitted for FDA approval! The symptoms are so numerous I can’t include them all here, but the following are common symptoms, usually noticed within a 24-hour period following consumption of Splenda products: • Skin -- Redness, itching, swelling, blistering, weeping, crusting, rash, eruptions, or hives (itchy bumps or welts). These are the most common allergic symptoms that people have. • Lungs -- Wheezing, tightness, cough, or shortness of breath • Head -- Swelling of the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, or throat; headaches and migraines (severe headaches) • Nose -- Stuffy nose, runny nose (clear, thin discharge), sneezing • Eyes -- Red (bloodshot), itchy, swollen, or watery • Stomach -- Bloating, gas, pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or bloody diarrhea • Heart -- Palpitations or fluttering • Joints -- Joint pains or aches • Neurological -- Anxiety, dizziness, spaced-out sensation, depression Artificial Sweeteners Can Even Make You Gain Weight Truth be told, most people opt for artificial sweeteners over regular sugar not because they taste so good but because they contain zero calories. However, the belief that eating artificially sweetened foods and drinking artificially sweetened beverages will help you to lose weight is a carefully orchestrated deception. So if you are still opting for diet choices for this reason, you are being sorely misled. In reality, these diet foods and drinks ruin your body's ability to count calories, thus boosting your inclination to overindulge. Unfortunately, most public health agencies and nutritionists in the United States recommend these toxic artificial sweeteners as an acceptable alternative to sugar, which is at best confusing and at worst harming the health of those who take their misguided advice. The research clearly shows: • Drinking diet sodas may double your risk of obesity • Artificial sweeteners can stimulate your appetite, increase carbohydrate cravings, and stimulate fat storage and weight gain So when you add up all the evidence, there is really NO reason to be consuming these dangerous artificial substances. Are You Ready to Ditch Artificial Sweeteners? You may become addicted to artificial sweeteners because you have cravings for sweets and think you are making a healthy choice by swapping out sugar for artificial sweeteners. For those times when you just want a taste of something sweet, there is a healthier alternative called Stevia that you can use in moderation. Stevia is a natural plant and, unlike aspartame and other artificial sweeteners that have been cited for dangerous toxicities, it is a safe, natural alternative that's ideal if you’re watching your weight, or if you’re maintaining your health by avoiding sugar. It is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar and truly has virtually no calories. Like most choices, especially sweeteners, I recommend using Stevia in moderation, just like sugar. However, in excess it is still far less likely to cause metabolic problems than sugar or any of the artificial sweeteners. I want to emphasize, however, that if you have insulin issues, I suggest that you avoid sweeteners altogether, including Stevia, as they all can decrease your sensitivity to insulin. So if you struggle with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or extra weight, then you have insulin sensitivity issues and would benefit from avoiding ALL sweeteners. But for everyone else, if you are going to sweeten your foods and beverages anyway, I strongly encourage you to consider using regular Stevia, and toss out all artificial sweeteners and any products that contain them immediately. Shared from the files of: Lisa Mittry, CNC, CPT
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