Artificial Sweeteners

Angie Szumlinski News

Remember the day when we used saccharine to sweeten our coffee or tea? Then researchers discovered that this additive can cause cancer and bam, off the market. I remember neighbors running out to stock up on diet soda before the stores removed it from the shelves. I wondered why someone would stock up on something that isn’t healthy. Well, these neighbors are still alive and healthy, just saying.  

Today I read an article about the artificial sweetener replacement called erythritol and its impact on atherothrombotic disease risk. What they found in the initial study was that patients undergoing cardiac risk assessment who had erythritol circulating in their bloodstream were at higher risk for a major adverse cardiovascular event. These events could be fatal or non-fatal but bottom line, erythritol is associated with enhanced thrombosis, meaning risk of blood clots, a major cause of cardiac events. 

At the end of the day, the study does not indicate how much of the chemical you need to ingest to cause harm. Additionally, earlier studies have identified that erythritol may have some antioxidant benefits in animal models of diabetes. Erythritol has “zero calories,” is excreted through the urine and many medical experts recommend artificial sweeteners for their patients with type 2 diabetes and obesity. I think the jury is out, I’m a believer that each person is unique and what our bodies do with what we ingest can vary widely. Do a risk/benefit analysis, make informed choices and as always, stay well and stay informed!