Over 30 Sweeteners and Associated Safety Concerns

 

Here are 34 different sweeteners and the safety concerns most often expressed with each:

  1. Acesulfame potassium (Ace-K) – Concerns about potential carcinogenic effects and risk to kidney health. Some reports suggest potential concerns regarding cancer risk due to its metabolism and formation of byproducts.
  2. Agave nectar – Concerns about its high fructose content and potential adverse effects on liver and blood sugar levels.
  3. Allulose – Generally considered safe, but concerns about potential gastrointestinal discomfort with high consumption.
  4. Aspartame – Concerns about potential neurological effects and carcinogenicity. Some studies have linked aspartame consumption to an increased risk of cancer, particularly lymphoma, leukemia, and brain tumors.
  5. Brown rice syrup – Concerns about potential contamination with heavy metals, such as arsenic, due to the rice’s natural ability to accumulate these elements from soil or water.
  6. Coconut sugar – Concerns about potential adulteration or contamination during production, such as inclusion of harmful additives or traces of pesticides used in coconut cultivation.
  7. Cyclamate: Banned in some countries (e.g., the United States) due to concerns that it may cause bladder cancer. However, it is still used as a sweetener in many other countries.
  8. Date sugar – Generally considered safe, but concerns about its high glycemic load.
  9. Erythritol – Usually well-tolerated, but concerns about potential gastrointestinal discomfort with excessive intake.
  10. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) – Concerns about potential contribution to obesity, diabetes, and other metabolic health issues.
  11. Honey – Concerns about potential presence of bacteria, and the risk of infant botulism in babies under 1 year old.
  12. Inulin – Concerns about potential gastrointestinal discomfort and bloating with high consumption.
  13. Isomalt – Concerns about potential gastrointestinal discomfort with excessive intake.
  14. Maltitol – Concerns about potential gastrointestinal discomfort with excessive intake.
  15. Mannitol – Concerns about potential gastrointestinal discomfort and laxative effect with high consumption.
  16. Maple syrup – Minimal safety concerns reported.
  17. Monk Fruit Extract  (Luo han guo) – The most common safety concern is the potential for allergic reactions in individuals with known allergies to other fruits.
  18. Neotame – Concerns regarding the lack of comprehensive long-term safety studies.
  19. Polydextrose – Minimal safety concerns reported.
  20. Raw cane sugar – Main safety concern is its high calorie content and potential link to obesity and other related health issues when consumed in excess.
  21. Raw honey – Primary safety concern with raw honey is the risk of infant botulism, as it may contain spores of the bacteria that causes the illness and should not be given to infants younger than 12 months old.
  22. Reb A (a component of stevia) – Concerns about its genotoxicity and potential for allergic reactions.
  23. Saccharin (Sweet-n-Low) – Concerns about potential bladder cancer risk. Once considered a possible carcinogen.
  24. Sorbitol – Concerns about potential laxative effect and gastrointestinal discomfort with excessive intake.
  25. Stevia – Concerns regarding its purity, potential impact on reproductive health, and genetic toxicity. There have been debates and concerns about potential carcinogenic effects. Some laboratory studies have shown mixed results regarding its carcinogenic properties, but no conclusive evidence has been found.
  26. Sucralose (Splenda) – Concerns about potential impact on gut microbiota and long-term safety. There have been concerns raised about the potential carcinogenic effects of sucralose when heated at high temperatures (such as in baking or cooking).
  27. Sugar alcohols (xylitol, maltitol, erythritol, etc.) – The most common safety concern is potential laxative effect or digestive discomfort when consumed in high amounts.
  28. Sugarcane juice – The most common safety concern is the potential presence of harmful bacteria or pathogens due to inadequate processing or poor hygiene practices.
  29. Tagatose – Concerns about potential digestive discomfort with high consumption.
  30. Thaumatin – Concerns about the limited research on its long-term effects or potential allergic reactions, although it is generally considered safe for consumption.
  31. Trehalose – Possible association with an increased risk of spreading Clostridium difficile bacteria, leading to serious infections.
  32. Truvia (a blend of stevia and erythritol) – Concerns about the long-term health effects of consuming large quantities of the artificial sweetener, particularly due to its high content of the sweetener stevia and other non-nutritive additives.
  33. Xylitol – Potential laxative effect and gastrointestinal discomfort with excessive intake, especially in pets.
  34. Yacon syrup – Concerns about potential gastrointestinal discomfort and increase in blood sugar levels.

Please note that the information provided here may be incorrect, so take this as rumor, a place to start researching. Individual sensitivities, health conditions, and specific circumstances may vary. It is always recommended to consult with a non-compromised healthcare professional with biochemical expertise in sweetener safety for personalized advice.

Wilma Stone

Wilma Stone is a reporter, writer and former attorney. She joined the News i8 team in 2023.

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