Artificial sweeteners can taste wonderful to your taste buds, however can be very dangerous to a persons health. Almost everything people consume today has artificial sweeteners, such as Aspartame, Stevioside, Acesulfame, and Saccharin. The artificial sweetener Aspartame (i. e. Nutrasweet), (APM) is a dipeptide.

A dipeptide is when 2 amino acids are linked together (as you know, amino acids make up proteins). The 2 amino acids are phenylalanine and aspartic acid. There is a certain configuration or "site" that is located on your tongue for sweetness. If a molecule's configuration fits that site - then you taste the sweet taste.

It is like a lock and key where your site on the tongue is the lock and the molecule is the key. It is thought that how well the "key" fits the "lock" is the degree to how "sweet" a molecule can taste. APM has the right configuration - so it can taste sweet - 180 X sweeter than table sugar. APM does breakdown with heating. This is why you can't bake with it. Well, what is all the hype if APM is just a "mini-protein" anyway There are certain individuals who are born with a condition called phenylketonuria.

We are all screened for the condition at birth - this condition is very serious. These individuals cannot consume high amounts of the amino acid phenylalanine; otherwise they can get severe brain damage. They have to watch all foods with this amino acid (i. e.

tomatoes, cheese, etc. ). Look at your diet soda can - there is a warning to phenylketonuria cs. This is also why some doctors tell pregnant women not to drink diet be ves with APM - the effect on the fetus is not known and the fetus may be PKU (phenylketonuria positive).

Some individuals have claimed side effects such as migraines, etc. I believe all individuals ar different and have different sensitivities. For example - I am allergic to sunflower seeds - I get hives. There has been a lot of research with this food additive. It was approved for use in 1981 citing studies in humans and animals for over 2 decades with over 100 clinical studies. In 1986, the FDA reaffirmed its Apm safety by releasing the following after receiving pressure from several consumer groups.

"The data and information supporting the safety of aspartame are extensive. It is likely that no food product has ever been so closely examined for safety." Stevioside (STV) is 300 X sweeter than sugar - WOW! It is isolated from the plant of the genus Stevia rebaudiana. It will be hard to find this out in the market because the plant is rare (that is, compared to corn) and therefore it is very expensive. No known side effects have been reported - but it hasn't been widely studied, either.

Since it is naturally isolated from plants - there was no FDA approval needed. Acesulfame K (ACK) is approved for use in over 50 different countries; it is 200 X sweeter than sugar. The FDA has approved it for some uses in the US. It is stable to heat so it can be used in baking.

Over 90 safety studies have been carried out on ACK and has been deemed to be safe. Saccharin (SAC): FYI if you drink diet soda at a restaurant - it is sweetened with SAC, not APM. This is why your favorite diet soda may taste different in the restaurant. There is proof of cancer in lab rats with VERY HIGH levels of SAC. Also, APM is becoming available to a restaurant near you - it has been stabilized to "survive" the soda syrups. These are just a few of the natural artificial sweeteners approved by the FDA, other natural sweeteners are being tested as we speak.

Hopefully to be approved, safe to our health, and still taste just as good as the ones not so great for our health. Bibliography Advocate Weight Loss Products & Distributorship Truth[online] Available web Body Ecology, candidiasis, stevia, kafir: Take charge of your own health [online] Available web Dangers of using artificial sweeteners [online] Available web Sugars and Artificial Sweeteners [online] Available web What are the effects of caffeine on weight loss [online] Available web >.