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 earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
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