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Know the Types of Artificial Sweeteners and Their Impact on Health

Starting from the many diseases that arise due to excessive sugar intake, artificial sweeteners are made as an alternative to sugar substitution. Although it contains smaller calories, this artificial sweetener also has the potential to cause adverse effects on health, especially if consumed in excess.

Artificial sweeteners are substitutes for sugar produced through chemical processes. Artificial sweeteners are considered to have a higher sweetness than ordinary sweeteners or sugar.

Various Types of Artificial Sweeteners

There are several types of artificial sweeteners that are often used in food and beverage products, namely:

1. Aspartame

Aspartame is commonly used as a sweetener in gum, breakfast cereal, gelatin, and carbonated drinks. This artificial sweetener is 220 times sweeter than sugar. The content of aspartame consists of amino acids, aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and a little ethanol.

According to the results of a study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, evaluation of aspartame use needs to be done immediately for the sake of public health. This appeal was revealed after a study found the presence of carcinogens (trigger cancer) in aspartame.

The study found that aspartame can damage memory and increase oxidative stress in the brain. Not only that, but the results of the research also highlight the dangers of aspartame for pregnant or breastfeeding women. It is said that aspartame can increase the risk of babies experiencing metabolic syndrome and obesity later on.

2. Saccharin

The sweetness produced by saccharin reaches 300-400 times stronger than sugar. The use of saccharine in one presentation for processed foods must not exceed 30 mg. As for drinks, it should not be more than 4 mg / 10 ml of liquid.

3. Sucralose

Sucralose is produced from sucrose which has a sweet taste 600 times stronger than sugar. This material is commonly used in food products that are baked or fried. The ideal daily consumption of sucralose is as much as 5 mg/kg body weight.

4. Acesulfame potassium

This material is very stable in high temperatures and easy to dissolve, so it is suitable for use in many food products. The recommended daily consumption limit for acesulfame potassium is 15 mg/kg body weight.

5. Neotame

This artificial sweetener is widely used in low-calorie foods. Chemically, the content is almost the same as aspartame, but it tastes 40 times sweeter than aspartame. Compared to refined sugar, neotame sweetness levels reach 8,000 times higher. Neotame can be consumed up to 18mg / kg body weight a day.

Impact of Artificial Sweeteners on Health

In general, artificial sweeteners are relatively safe for consumption, as long as they do not exceed the intake limit per day. However, there is an assumption that artificial sweeteners can cause some side effects in some people.

The use of saccharin in the long term is feared to trigger cancer. In addition, the use of aspartame can also cause allergic reactions in some people, characterized by headaches, difficulty breathing, skin rashes, and diarrhea.

Not only saccharin and aspartame, but other artificial sweeteners are also thought to cause some side effects, such as increasing the risk of kidney disease, diabetes, and cavities. However, all of these side effects have not been proven, so it still needs further investigation.

There are certain conditions that are not permitted to consume artificial sweeteners, namely phenylketonuria. This rare genetic disorder makes the body of the sufferer unable to break down phenylalanine. This substance is found in some artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame and neotame.

Artificial sweeteners should be consumed in a limited manner to avoid adverse effects. If you have special health conditions, consult a doctor first about the rules and safe limits for using artificial sweeteners. Likewise, with children and pregnant women, you should consult with a doctor before using artificial sweeteners.



1. Komaroff, A. Harvard Health Publishing Medical School (2011). Are artificial sweeteners a healthy substitute for sugar?

2. Mayo Clinic (2018). Artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes.

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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