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    Diabetes, weight gain and artificial sweeteners

    Artificial sweeteners can be found in diet drinks, "zero" drinks, and things labelled "sugar free". As Yang concludes, "Unsweetening the world's diet may be the key to reversing the obesity epidemic."

    The recent study in the scientific journal Nature suggesting a link between diet fizzy drinks and diabetes is supported by other studies, despite the reassurances given to us by some New Zealand scientists that have been quoted in mainstream media.

    A few studies can be quoted to support the link between the artificial sweetener aspartame and diabetes. Rats exposed to a lifetime dosage of aspartame within the acceptable daily intake, were more likely to have high blood glucose levels, resulting in worsened glucose sensitivity. Moreover these rats were also more likely to suffer cognitive impairment (Collison 2012). A large scale study of 3318 women found that consumption of two artificially sweetened drinks per day resulted in a two fold kidney function decline (Lin 2010). Research by Ferland and others in 2007 found that aspartame raises blood sugar levels as much as sugar.

    Studies have repeatedly found that aspartame and other artificial sweeteners cause weight gain. A review by Yang in 2010 for example found that several large scale studies have found a correlation between weight gain and artificial sweeteners, of which sucralose (955), aspartame (951) and acesulfame potassium (950) are the most common. As Yang concludes, "Unsweetening the world's diet may be the key to reversing the obesity epidemic."

    Much more could be described about research showing worrying effects of aspartame on brain function, and how the acceptable daily intake of methanol, a breakdown product of aspartame, is exceeded by consuming a diet drink containing aspartame. (The isolated methanol as found in aspartame is not counter balanced by other ingredients which are found in normal food.)

    The Safe Food Campaign contends that the continued consumption of aspartame is causing an ignored epidemic. We recommend that if you have unexplained health symptoms you should go without aspartame (found in over 6,000 products worldwide) for at least 60 days and see what happens.

    Letter to Radio NZ 28/9/14 by Alison White (not published as far as we know) . References can be supplied upon request.

    Alison White Safe Food Campaign See the Contact us page for contact details. New Zealand organic by 2020!

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