"Why Artificial Sweeteners are Bad for You" is an outstanding example of a paper on food and nutrition. The major objective of this research paper is to answer the question; Why are Artificial Sweeteners Bad for You? Answering this question will involve talking about the negative impacts which include weight gain, memory loss, anxiety, migraines, and source of seizures on the users. Introduction The artificial sweeteners refer to those compounds (both chemical and natural) that serve in substituting the sweetness of sugar and they include aspartame and acesulfame among others. Intuitively, the artificial sweeteners arrived with the era involving most people trying to reduce sugar intake due to associated adverse health effects associated with sugar.
The absence of the calories found in sugar makes the artificial sweetener gain a following because they come as perfect substituting products based on health reasons. Even though most people, especially teenagers have associated the products (sweeteners) to positive outcomes, it is important to study the negative side of consuming the product. This presents the turning point considering that everything that has a positive side must always have a negative side.
Naturally, this forms the major background for this research paper which seeks to answer the question, Why Artificial Sweeteners are Bad for You? Answering this question will involve talking about the negative impacts which include weight gain, memory loss, and source of seizures on the users. These factors helped in building the thesis for the research: Despite the beneficial aspects of artificial sweeteners in substituting sugar, there are associated negative impacts which make the product bad for the users. Weight gain Weight gain is one of the intrinsic side effects resulting from the habitual intake of artificial sweeteners.
The ability of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame to cause weight gains is because of their influence on three factors: stimulation of appetite increased carbohydrate craving, and stimulation of fat storage. 2.1 Stimulation of appetite The sweet taste associated with the products makes them stimulate appetite which then makes an individual eat more than when not taking the products. The artificial sweeteners have been known by their sweet taste which causes it to be a substitute for sugar. The sweet taste especially that of aspartame and acesulfame, enhances the appetite of the user.
As compared to the original sugar, the sweet taste caused by the artificial sweetener leads to more consumption of food. The use of artificial sweeteners promotes overconsumption because of its influence on weakening the relationship between sweet taste and the caloric consequences of eating (Mercola, 2006). Normally, the use of sugar, acting as a natural sweetener associate with stimulation of biological responses which serves in maintaining the energy consumption at a constant level. 2.2 Increased carbohydrate craving Apart from its stimulation on the appetite, the sweetness of the product also makes the user crave for more sugar.
Intuitively, their sweetness makes an individual be more dependent on sugar; consequently, increasing the carbohydrate intake of the individual. From this point of view, artificial sweetener is rather an enforcer of more sugar intake than a substitute. Intuitively, more sugar intake indicates more carbohydrate intake thereby making the individual subject to obesity. 2.3 Stimulation of fat storage The artificial sweetener also causes weight gain as a result of their action in causing stimulation of fat storage.
Taking the instance of aspartame, phenylalanine and aspartic acid makes 90% of its total composition. The two are amino acids known to associate with the release of insulin and leptin hormones which then stimulate fat storage (Yeager, 2008). In this way, the artificial sweetener serves in raising levels of insulin and leptin, regardless of zero calories in the form of sugar. Further, the resistance posed by then leptin causes an increase in fat storage as a result of its influence in triggering the release of visceral fat. More fat storage is a direct indication of weight gain. Memory loss Memory loss is another adverse effect which makes artificial sweeteners to be bad to their users.
When storing artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame for long, it may prove to trigger an adverse effect on the brain. Usually, aspartame contains phenylalanine which in the storage changes to diketopiperazine because of undergoing decomposition. Diketopiperazine is a carcinogen, which normally has an adverse influence on the structure of the brain. A study confirming the influence of aspartame on memory loss produced results showing the formation of holes in the brains of mice.
Further, methanol being one of the major components of aspartame also has an influence on destroying the state of the brain. After metabolization of methanol, they transform to formaldehyde in the brain. This contributes to the increased likely effect of the aspartame causing memory loss. In addition, the name given to aspartame (excitotoxins) is another reason to show that the product can interfere with the functioning of the brain cells. When much of the taken aspartame reaches brain cells, they kill neurons because of their effect in exciting the brain cells.
The excitation brought to the brain cells results in their deaths hence the memory loss. The brain cells are intrinsic in the storage of memory in human beings; consequently, any alteration will lead to loss of memory of the user. Migraines Even though this may seem like a light side effect of taking artificial sweeteners, it is worth mentioning since it is a pathway to other complications in human beings. The artificial sweetener, known as the excitotoxins are the most probable cause of migraines in the body of users.
Usually, these excitotoxins go to the brain causing the neurons therein to fire spasmodically (Fife, 2005). The firing up leads to gradual burning out and destruction to the neurons. Subsequently, this leads to inflammation and pain followed by killer headaches as a result of the action of the excitotoxins on the brain. The feeling of headache is often heightened when a user stops using the artificial sweetener for a period of months and then resuming the intake. This is because the break given heightens the sensitivity of the chemical consequently going back on consumption would cause a headache. Seizures Taking artificial sweeteners also makes a user susceptible seizure occurrence especially after an attack by associated migraines and headaches.
This means that the occurrence of seizures also originates from the adverse effect of the chemicals on the neurons. Further, the weight of the matter worsens considering that the seizures are genetic. This implies that a mother who had initially contracted the seizures from aspartame intake may pass the same to her offspring. A study done by H J Roberts MD reveals the influence of artificial sweeteners on the user and their offsprings.
The following is a quote from the book “ Aspartame Nutrasweet is It Safe” by Roberts: A 48-year-old-woman with mild migraine experienced severe headaches after drinking diet beverages. They subsided when she avoided aspartame products. Her 15-year-old daughter suffered two seizures under similar conditions. (Roberts, 1992) Rationally, the study indicates that taking artificial sweeteners may end up affecting a family from generation to generation. Anxiety and depression The habitual users of aspartame are also susceptible to anxiety and depression because of the influence the chemical has on the brain.
The anxiety and depression are caused by the increase in levels of phenylalanine in the brain. Normally, phenylalanine is an amino acid stored in the brain in small doses. This implies that an increase in the amount of this amino acid in the brain is harmful as witnessed by its influence in lowering the amount of Serotonin. Serotonin acts as a chemical messenger in the brain serving as a pathway for the communication between the brain neurons.
Consequently, a decrease in the levels of Serotonin will lead to depression and anxiety because of the effect on the balancing of the brain. Conclusion From the research paper, it is true that despite the beneficial aspects of artificial sweeteners in substituting sugar, there are associated negative impacts which make the product bad to the user. Even though most people, especially teenagers have associated the products (sweeteners) to positive outcomes because of its substituting nature on caloric sugar, it is important to get knowledgeable of the negative impacts. The negative impacts include weight gain, anxiety and depression, migraines, seizures, and memory loss.
Consequently, users should seek ways of cutting down on their consumption to help in reducing the influence of the chemicals.
Fife, B. (2005). Eat fat, look thin: A safe and natural way to lose weight permanently. Colorado Springs, CO: Piccadilly Books, Ltd.
Mercola, J., & Pearsall, K. D. (2006). Sweet deception: Why Splenda®, Nutrasweet®, and the FDA may be hazardous to your health. Nashville, TN: Nelson Books.
Roberts, H, J (1992). Aspartame Nutrasweet is It Safe? Charles Press Publishers,
Yeager, S. (2008). The doctors book of food remedies. Emmaus, Pa: Rodale.