Artificial sweetners have been in use for over one hundred years. A low calorie substitute for sugar it is used in many ways. Like it or not artificial sweetners are used in may low calorie products. Its no surprise that in todays weight conscious world people in an effort to lose weight will switch to these sweetners without a thought as to how these products have been made.. The soft drink industry has capitalized on dieting with their lines of soft drinks eg diet coke, diet pepsi,diet tonic water etc, all these diet drinks use sugar substitutes such as aspartame, saccharin or sucralose to sweeten their beverages and keep the calorie count low, In many cases diabetics use these substitutes to control their sugar intake. Artificial sweetners are also found in ice cream & canned fruit
Saccharin also known as “sweet n low” was the first artificial sweetner to be discovered by a researcher in the basement of a chemistry building. A researcher had fallen asleep with a cigar hanging out of his mouth – the cigar fell into a petrie dish , setting a chemical reaction into motion Saccharin is not only the oldest but it is the most challenged sweetner on the market. Saccharin has no calories & is several hundred times sweeter than sugar, used in canned fruits, ice cream . Studies suggest that it is a mild carcinogen with rats showing high rates of bladder cancer after being fed this sweetner. The only advantage is that saccharin doesn’t convert to glucose in the body making it a popular choice of diabetics, However, it is a chemical that must be metabolized and eliminated from the body. Saccharin is not considered safe depending on the amount consumed and the overall health of the consumer. Especially of concern would be young children, teenagers & pregnant women.