Know the Types of Artificial Sweeteners and Their Impact on Health

Know the Types of Artificial Sweeteners and Their Impact on Health

Starting from the many diseases that arise due to excessive sugar intake, artificial sweeteners are made as an alternative to sugar. Although it contains fewer calories, this artificial sweetener also has the potential to cause adverse health effects, especially if consumed in excess.

Artificial sweeteners are sugar substitutes that are produced through a chemical process. Artificial sweeteners are considered to have a higher sweetness than regular sweeteners or sugar.

Various Types of Artificial Sweeteners

There are several types of artificial sweeteners that are often used in food and beverage products, namely:

1. Aspartame

Aspartame is commonly used as a sweetener in chewing gum, breakfast cereals, gelatin, and carbonated drinks. This artificial sweetener is 220 times sweeter than sugar. Aspartame contains amino acids, aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and a small amount of ethanol.

2. Saccharin

The sweetness produced by saccharin is 300-400 times stronger than sugar. The use of saccharin in one serving for processed foods should not exceed 30 mg. As for drinks, it should not be more than 4 mg/10 ml of fluid.

3. Sucralose

Sucralose is produced from sucrose which has a sweet taste 600 times stronger than sugar. This material is commonly used in baked or fried food products. The ideal daily consumption of sucralose is 5 mg/kg body weight.

4. Acesulfame potassium

This material is very stable at high temperatures and dissolves easily, making it suitable for use in many food products. The recommended daily intake for acesulfame potassium is 15 mg/kg body weight.

5. Neotam

This artificial sweetener is widely used in low-calorie foods. Chemically, the content is almost the same as aspartame, but tastes 40 times sweeter than aspartame. Compared to refined sugar, neotam's sweetness level is up to 8,000 times higher. Neotam can be taken up to 18mg/kg body weight in a day.

Impact of Artificial Sweeteners on Health

In general, artificial sweeteners are relatively safe for consumption, as long as they do not exceed the daily intake limit. However, there are allegations that artificial sweeteners can cause some side effects in some people.

Long-term use of saccharin is feared to trigger cancer. In addition, the use of aspartame can also cause allergic reactions in some people, characterized by headaches, difficulty breathing, skin rashes, and diarrhea.

Not only saccharin and aspartame, other artificial sweeteners are also suspected to cause some side effects, such as increasing the risk of kidney disease, diabetes, and cavities. However, all of these side effects have not been proven, so they still need to be investigated further.

There are certain conditions that are not allowed to consume artificial sweeteners, namely phenylketonuria. This rare genetic disorder makes the sufferer's body unable to break down phenylalanine. This substance is found in some artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame and neotam.

Artificial sweeteners should be consumed in a limited way to avoid the bad effects. If you have special health conditions, first consult with your doctor about the rules and safe limits for the use of artificial sweeteners. Likewise with children and pregnant women, you should first consult a doctor before using artificial sweeteners.