Sep 23, 2009 | By Richard Nilsen

Sugar substitutes have been under controversy for some time in their relationship to their carcinogenic properties and how they may cause health problems. There have been links to different types of cancers associated with various labeled sweeteners, but according to the National Cancer Institute, “studies of other FDA-approved sweeteners have not demonstrated clear evidence of an association with cancer in humans.” Sugar substitutes are used every day, and, when used in moderation, they are not a health threat.


High-fructose syrup is corn syrup in which fructose has been added to make it sweeter. It is a manmade product. Fructose it is a free molecule that the body doesn’t know what to do with and may be a cause of heart disease and degenerative illnesses. Many soft drinks contain high-fructose corn syrup.


Saccharin, marketed as Sweet ‘n’ Low, is a synthetic sweetener that has been associated with bladder cancer in animals when combined with cyclamate, according to the National Cancer Institute. It is labeled as being hazardous to your health. However, the NCI states on its website that later studies did not provide evidence of the same problem.


Sorbitol/mannitol are alcohol-derived sugars that may cause serious gastric distress, gas cramps and flatulence. They are used in sugar-free chewing gum.


Aspartame, marketed as NutraSweet and Equal, is a synthetic sweetener found in diet sodas can actually turn into formaldehyde at normal body temperatures, according to This is because it turns into methanol and then can turn into formaldehyde. Apartame has been associated with weight gain, brain tumors and breast cancer.


Sucralose, marketed as Splenda, is another synthetic sugar substitute that has been associated with weight gain, brain tumors and breast cancer.


Article reviewed by Brad Walters Last updated on: Sep 23, 2009

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