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Safety of Artificial Sweeteners, Research Paper Example

Pages: 1

Words: 280

Research Paper

A great deal of controversy continues to surround artificial sweeteners. Often hailed as “better living through chemistry”, these sweeteners contain less calories than sucrose, or regular sugar, making them popular with those who want a sweet taste without the added calories that can lead to excess weight. The 2008 article by Bandyophadhyay, Ghoshal and Mukherjee sought to understand the effects of the most commonly used chemical sweeteners to ascertain whether or not these sweeteners had any significant genotoxic effects. The three chemical sweeteners that were tested were acesulfame-K (ASK), aspartame (ASP) and saccharin.

The results of the study concluded that all three chemical sweeteners caused significant DNA damage, however, of the three, acesulfame-K had the most damaging effects, followed by saccharin and then aspartame. The study revealed that at the cell level, chemical sweeteners can have toxic and damaging effects on the cell’s genes which can have long term implications for human health (Bandyophadhyay et al 453). In other studies, it has been shown that aspartame consumption “may constitute hazard because of its contribution to the formation of formaldehyde adducts (Bandyophadhyay et al 455) .”This study shows that there is more research needed on the long term effects of chemical sweeteners. While short term benefits may include adding a sweetening effect to foods without calories, the long term effects may be more worrisome.  Currently, the FDA does not make any warning against chemical sweeteners. However, since these sweeteners are regularly added to foods consumed by both adults and children, their potential health effects are of considerable public concern.

Works Cited

Bandyopadhyay, Atrayee, Ghoshal, Sarbani, Mukherjee, Anita Genotoxicity Testing of Low-Calorie Sweeteners: Aspartame, Acesulfame-K, and Saccharin Drug and Chemical Toxicology 31 (2008), 447-457. Print.

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