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Use of artificial sweeteners raises many questions

By Staff
Michelle Blaylock, Mom's Corner
Over the last few weeks, as I was picking up my children from school, I began to "people" watch. Well, actually I was children watching. I have to agree with researchers that say our children are getting chubbier. However, I have to disagree with what our government has done to supposedly help the situation.
My first complaint is the new health guidelines they have forced the schools to implement. I don't agree with giving children artificial sweeteners. They are dangerous. This isn't just my opinion. According to the web site Women to Women, all artificial sweeteners carry health risks, especially to people who are sensitive to them. Who is sensitive? Well, you can't tell until they start having side effects and are sometimes already ill.
For example, Splenda, the new wonder sugar, isn't a sugar at all. The ads all proclaim it to be like a sugar, however, it is still a synthetic molecule that is very similar to chlorocarbons found in pesticides. The FDA says that it's fine because our bodies supposedly don't recognize Splenda as a food and, therefore, doesn't digest it or digests very little of it, maybe around 15 percent.
Also, the FDA chose to ignore the short term findings of the manufacturer on lab rodents that showed shrunken thymus glands and enlarged livers and kidneys. Why? The tests were not conducted on "human test animals." The really frightening part is that there has been no long-term studies on Splenda. So, in effect, our kids have become the guinea pigs for the long term study. However, short-term observations have shown that some people who have a sensitivity or are allergic to it develop skin rashes/flushing, panic-like agitation, dizziness and numbness, diarrhea, muscle aches, headaches, intestinal cramping, bladder issues and stomach pain. My question is: so what about the people or children who are not showing any effects currently? Is this substance slowly building up? Will we eventually have a whole generation of people with some malady related to this "non-food" that the government is poking down our children?
How about those other sweeteners, like aspartame and saccharin? Recent studies in Europe show that aspartame can cause a build up of formaldehyde in the brain. Formaldehyde can cause serious damage to the central nervous system. Here is the kicker, the FDA admits it true, but says the levels are low enough not to raise concern. In fact aspartame has been linked to MS, lupus, fibromyalgia and other central nervous disorders. I wonder if the researchers at the FDA eat this stuff or feed it to their children!
Saccharin is actually considered safest because it caused only bladder cancer in rats. Most researchers say it is the safest when used in moderation. How much is too much?
In all honesty, I think it is a mistake to feed our children things with artificial sweeteners. Whatever happened to teaching moderation? Some studies have shown that people who use artificial sweeteners eat as much as three times the amount of calories as those who do not use them.
I look at it this way. The way our society is today; we are exposed to many types of chemicals that can be harmful to us. Even our medications can sometimes have negative side effects. Why on earth would I purposely give my children a food that isn't a food to begin with, that I know can cause serious consequences?
In all fairness, I have to say I also found many web sites that say all the above is untrue and that when used in reasonable amounts that artificial sweeteners are a safe effective way to control sugar intake especially for people who have conditions like diabetes. All I know is that I can't use artificial sweeteners, because within an hour or so I have a terrible migraine. For me it's not worth it. I believe it is an individual's choice to use or not use artificial sweeteners, but I really don't think the government has the right to force it on our children.
If you would like to read more about this subject. Here are some of the web-sites I viewed:
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