The Pulse of Natural Health Newsletter

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Artificial Sweeteners Contribute to Diabetes


Microbes in our gastrointestinal tract power our immune systems and keep our insulin and blood sugar in balance. Aspartame and other manufactured no-calorie sweeteners are killing them. Action Alert!

Artificial sweeteners are among the most widely used food additives worldwide, regularly consumed by lean and obese individuals alike. Products containing artificial sweeteners bring in huge sales figures, and they’re touted as being a safe and healthful alternative to sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. The science, however, tells a different story.

An important study published in the journal Nature shows that all artificial sweeteners actually induce glucose intolerance, which leads to type 2 diabetes. A team of immunologists, molecular geneticists, and digestive tract disease specialists found that consumption of products containing artificial sweeteners actually change the composition and function of our intestinal microbiota.

A microbiota is “the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic, and pathogenic microorganisms that literally share our body space.” Joshua Lederberg coined the term to emphasize the importance of microorganisms inhabiting the human body in health and disease.

The research team identified sweetener-altered microbial metabolic pathways that are linked to our susceptibility to metabolic disease. They also demonstrated how the sweeteners create a dysbiosis (microbe imbalance) in the body, which in turn creates glucose intolerance and insulin resistance—even in healthy human subjects! And these are the precursors for type 2 diabetes. In light of these findings, the authors are calling for a reassessment of our massive artificial sweetener usage.

One widely used NAS, aspartame (marketed under the names NutraSweet and Equal) is an ingredient in approximately 6,000 consumer foods and beverages sold worldwide, including diet sodas and other soft drinks, instant breakfasts, breath mints, cereals, sugar-free chewing gum, cocoa mixes, frozen desserts, gelatin desserts, juices, laxatives, chewable vitamin supplements, milk drinks, pharmaceutical drugs and supplements, shake mixes, tabletop sweeteners, teas, instant coffees, topping mixes, wine coolers and yogurt—and of course in those little packets on your restaurant table, next to the sugar.

Dr. Joseph Mercola calls aspartame “by far the most dangerous substance added to most foods today” and says it accounts for over 75% of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Many of these reactions are very serious, including seizures and death. A few of the ninety different documented symptoms range from headaches, seizures, and numbness to depression, breathing problems, memory loss, and weight gain (particularly ironic for a “diet” product!). Researchers have found that many illnesses may be triggered or worsened by aspartame, including brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, lymphoma, and—another irony—diabetes.

This past spring, PepsiCo announced that Diet Pepsi and its other diet sodas will no longer contain aspartame due to “consumer perception” over its safety—and a decade of plummeting sales (see our article on how consumers are compelling Big Food make other major changes in this issue of Pulse).

Beginning last August, instead of aspartame, Diet Pepsi, Caffeine-Free Diet Pepsi and Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi contained sucralose, another artificial sweetener commonly known as Splenda. This has proven to be a somewhat unpopular move with its customers, who say they don’t like the new taste.

The problem, however, is not that Splenda doesn’t taste as good. The problem is that it is dangerous too. As we reported in 2012, Splenda is simply chlorinated sugar—in chemical terms, a chlorocarbon. The idea behind this is that the body would no longer recognize it as sugar. But, as Johns Hopkins-trained physician and biochemist James Bowen, MD, points out, chlorine is “nature’s Doberman attack dog—a highly excitable, ferocious atomic element employed as a biocide in bleach, disinfectants, insecticide, WWI poison gas and hydrochloric acid.” Common chlorocarbons include chlordane and DDT, a product so harmful that it is now banned for agricultural use the world over.

Chlorocarbons like Splenda appear to attack the human nervous system and can produce cancer, birth defects, and immune system destruction. In test animals, Splenda produced swollen livers (as do all chlorocarbon poisons), calcified their kidneys, shrunk their thymus glands (the biological seat of immunity) and produced liver inflammation. A Duke University study found that Splenda alters gut microflora, reducing it by almost 50%.

That’s right: the science strongly suggests that Splenda actually kills our gut microbes, which essentially trashes our immune system.

Now, with studies indicating that all artificial sweeteners alter, damage, and destroy our microbiota, and create a metabolic disorder that leads to diabetes, obesity, and chronic illness, it’s time we recognize that Splenda is no fitting substitute for NutraSweet.

Please take a look at our new video on artificial sweeteners!


Action Alert! Send a message to the FDA and ask them to recall both aspartame and sucralose—the evidence clearly shows that artificial sweeteners present a grave danger to consumers. Please send your message immediately!



Other articles in this week’s Pulse of Natural Health:

Big Food vs. Big Medicine: One Fluid, the Other Frozen

Small and Organic Farmers Survive Latest Round of FDA Food Rulemaking

  • Ed

    What about Stevia/ truvia is this okay for you? Does anyone know?

    • Magnus Thunderson

      Stevia is ok but Truvia is another lab created crap with is mostly artificial with very little stevia in it so could be another HFCS which is also produced by Cargill who having a bad year as there several lawsuits against them for both HFCS and truvia

      • Daniel Brown

        I knew the packet stuff was processed, i just didn’t know if/how bad “truvia” was, thanks for the info.

        • Ed

          Thank you all

        • janmm1956

          all bad

      • Ed

        Thank you

      • janmm1956

        stevia is also chemical based. look it up!!

        • Magnus Thunderson

          stevia is a plant what some company’s do to it make it crap

      • Ed

        Thank you all!

    • Daniel Brown

      Get pure, additive-free stevia off amazon. Avoid those that add maltodextrin, it is a nasty processed sugar product.

    • Peter R Mare

      Only Organic Stevia is good. Truvia is GMO and must not be used. My wife, Terry, uses Organic Stevia from the “Now” brand. Other Organic brands left an aftertaste. Now brand Organic did not. Hope this has helped you.

      • janmm1956

        organic stevia, never heard of it

    • janmm1956

      no, very bad, it is a chemical form of a plant based sweetener, research it on line

  • Magnus Thunderson

    personally the only sweeteners I use are sugar honey and maple syrup

  • TeeJae

    Honey is by far the best sweetener. Not only is it natural, it also contains other nutrients beneficial to our health.

    • Peter R Mare

      Honey must be raw honey, not the artificial honey that have no pollen.

  • Dust of the Earth

    I used to get excited when I saw something labeled “sugar-free” because I thought I finally found a product that wouldn’t be super sweet. Nope!!! Full of artificial sweeteners instead. Now, “sugar-free” is a descriptor I avoid, along with “fat-free” (unless it’s on a bag of carrots or something similar…). Thankfully, I’ve never been on a diet, so “diet” food never appealed to me, even before I learned about artificial sweetener health problems.

  • FamilyHealthSOS

    New food chemicals are researched and added every day! Some are researched as good today and tomorrow the results say – “Sorry the results were wrong. It will harm you.”
    Well the rule of thumb I go by is- “have food closer to its natural form- the way god made it not the companies.” You cannot go wrong there.

  • janmm1956

    this is exactly what happened to me. i was using the Visalus shakes to lose weight and yes i did (15 pounds) but exactly 3 years ago, after drinking them for 3 months, i got very very sick with horrible migraines and dizziness, i could not hardly function. It was horrible, i got
    off the shakes and slowly recovered mentally, but not physically. My digestion has NEVER been the same. i am sensitive to sugar, salt, caffeine and chocolate. i get dizzy easy, i have had boughts of vertigo and just do not feel the same any more. there should be a class action suit against the makers of artificial sweeteners. splenda is the sweetener in Visalus shakes. it is deadly. now i am trying to get my bowels back into shape, as i also think now i have developed an overgrowth of bacteria. i am totally out of balance. i am now eating garlic cut up small in organic honey and eating brocalli every day and also fermented sauerkraut and kombucha. I am trying slowly to get my system back into balance. STAY AWAY FROM ALL ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS–THEY ARE DEADLY!!! my motto is everything in moderation, but now moderation is even too much for my system being destroyed by artificial sweeteners.

  • Magnus Thunderson

    and you defend HFCS also

    • Tim Reihm

      ANH-USA provides a comment forum for our readers to share their constructive thoughts and criticisms about our newsletter articles. All comments are pre-moderated regardless of author. We never censor comments based on political or ideological point of view. We only remove those comments that are abusive or off-topic, use foul language, include personal attacks or name-calling, or are otherwise discourteous and uncivil.

  • Karl McGaugh

    Artificial sweetener as opposed to “organic”? There are many kinds of sweeteners. Please be more specific. We need a clear factual message. For example fructose is more common than aspartame and since it is refined it could be considered artificial but no mention of this? Saccharin is also widely used but no mention of this? I advocate honey for all sweeteners because it is a healthy super food. Can you imagine the health benefits and the jobs it would create if honey was the only sweetener allowed in soft drinks? Think of the number of bee hives it would require.