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“Artificial Sweeteners: Are they Dangerous?”

Some medical scientists believe that we are becoming addicted to sugar. Even Gwyneth Paltrow got in on the act and vowed to completely quit sugar consumption, when she wrote, “….sugar works the addiction and reward pathways in the brain in much the same way as many illegal drugs. Sugar is basically a socially acceptable, legal, recreational drug with deadly consequences.”  The WHO recommends to consume no more than 10% of total daily calories from “free” sugars.  Others found that even consuming added sugars at recommended levels reduced lifespan in mice. This brings up the artificial sweetener issue and its questionable safety.  Many people turn to artificial sweeteners as a sugar alternative, but according to a 2014 study, these sweeteners may drive diabetes and obesity.  The study, published in the journal Nature, suggested artificial sweeteners – including saccharin, sucralose and aspartame – interfere with gut bacteria, increasing the activity of pathways associated with obesity and diabetes.  It appeared that this increase in artificial sweetener consumption coincides with the dramatic increase in the obesity and diabetes epidemics.  Apparently, artificial sweeteners may have directly contributed to enhancing the exact epidemic that they themselves were intended to fight.

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