MAR 23, 2018 10:19 PM PDT

Are Artificial Sweeteners Really Harmful?

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Many individuals use artificial sweeteners as a better alternative to sugar; however, many wonder if artificial sweeteners do harm. The most common form of an artificial sweetener is aspartame, which results when two naturally occurring amino acids join to form an artificial product.
However, synthesizing an artificial sweetener occurs in the laboratory with varying amounts of: cyclamic acid, hydrochloric acid, barium, chloride, and sodium nitrite. The addition of sodium nitrite is what precipitates the mixture forming the salt of cyclamic acid (sodium cyclamate), a.k.a the "sweetening" substance. But, to ensure that synthesis of the artificial sweetener was successful (and free from contamination), scientists run the mixture through "gas chromatography" for chemical analysis.
The suspicion of artificial sweeteners causing harm is due to the fact that it is made in the lab and therefore not "natural". However, expert toxicologists can confirm that there is no study indicating the harm of ingesting aspartame. In fact, no correlation was found that showed that cancer was caused by aspartame use.
About the Author
  • Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
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