sunshine22

Q:

Is it safe to use the artificial sweetener Sweet-n-Low?

Amy Campbell

A:

Sweet ‘N Low is a nonnutritive sweetener that contains saccharin, which has been around for more than 100 years and is 200 to 700 times as sweet as table sugar. Saccharin does not contain any calories or carbohydrate, so it’s a good choice for a person with diabetes, as it will not affect blood glucose levels. Back in the 1970s, there was some concern about its safety because lab rats fed saccharin developed bladder tumors. The FDA proposed a ban on saccharin, but due to public outcry, the ban was lifted. However, products were required to carry a warning about saccharin’s possible health hazards. Since then, numerous studies with humans (not rats) showed no harmful side effects from saccharin, and in 2000, saccharin was removed from the list of possible carcinogens (cancer-causing agents). Thanks to other nonnutritive sweeteners that have hit the market, such as aspartame, sucralose and now a stevia-based sweetener, saccharin isn’t as widely used as it once was.

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