General chatter - Definitive Thread on Diet Soda?




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doopdoop
05-24-2011, 02:37 PM
So, I've been thinking with all of the back and forth on the pros and cons of artificial sweeteners used in diet sodas, it would be nice to perhaps establish one thread where we compile all of the information we have found regarding the dangers (or lack thereof) associated with these chemicals.

Now, I don't intend to create a thread to house arguments about the subject, and unless you are a biochemist or a pharmacologist, I don't think a personal opinion will do anyone any good. Rather, I'd like to put together a list of links that offer up a bit of scientific evidence one way or another, so that we can all make our own educated decisions on the matter.


Basically, I know it is a touchy subject as many people depend on diet sodas to help keep snacking at bay or keep their diet on track, but I personally have seen so much conflicting research on the dangers of artificial sweeteners that I feel it warrants a thread so that we can at least have some information to form our own decisions on.



I'm open to all sorts of input on this, and if you have a link to share on the subject, pleaaaaase go ahead and do so. :wave:


Porthardygurl
05-24-2011, 08:44 PM
Well this is what i have learned:

Reasearch done by many doctors have suggested in recent years, that the ingestion of artificial sweetners or overdose of them through use of ingesting diet soda, has increased the number of auto-immune related symptoms showing up in people...AKA: People show up to the doctor complaining of "auto-immune related symptoms" and are often mis-diagnosed..only to find out that there patients diet is high in aspartame.Once the aspartame is reduced, the symptoms dissapear..What does that tell ya?? So over-consumption of aspartame results in poorer health.. However i have not found any scientifc studies pointing aspartame out as the cause of any known cancers or ulcers or any other related diseases.

What do i know splenda?

Splenda also known as succralose, is actually a natural form of sugar..Its found in the sugar molecule itself and is not man made. It has no effect on the blood sugar whatsoever, because even though its an actual real sugar, the body does not recognize at all..It simply passes through the body..aka:why some people get the runs after ingesting high quantities of splenda based products. Splenda is known as the only non-man made sugar that has no affect on the blood, goes through the body, and has known to not cause any side effects or health related issues..

Im all in favor of splenda sweetened diet sodas..there are some really tasty ones out there and i am proud to see that Crush has come on board and provided us with an array of splenda pop...makes my diet a lot more tolerable! and my baking a little more sweet!

kaplods
05-24-2011, 09:21 PM
The problem with trying to find objective information, is how little of it is out there, and how difficult it is to determine fact from fiction. A lot of the information presented as "fact" isn't fact at all (anyone can claim to be a doctor or a researcher online). Some of the sites claiming to be factual, even cite research that never took place (or cite unpublished research which therefore cannot be verified or refuted).

Decifering the information isn't easy, even if you have a background in research methodology. I've had 4 semesters of undergraduate research methodology and 1 semester in graduate school for my psych degrees (and that's not counting 3 semesters of statistics), and I still get flumoxed by some of the research.

I'm comfortable with my artificial sweetener use because of my review of research, but I had to go directly to the research journals, rather than reports claiming to review the research because I found so many discrepancies and out and out lies in the reviews and summaries.

I would love to see an unbiased review of the research, but unless we limit ourselves to research citations (specifically identifying the journal and publication date), I don't think that's possible.


jules1216
05-24-2011, 09:36 PM
my definitive answer is I am addicted to Coke....drinking diet for me is like giving an alcoholic a near beer...just makes me want the real thing...

Smiling_Sara
05-24-2011, 10:54 PM
As someone who would usually go through AT LEAST a 2 liter of diet coke a DAY, I can tell you it made my cravings worse, and I'd end up snacking even more.

I try and stay away from it, THAT being said, sometimes I just want a darn soda, (usually when I'm out to eat, and sometimes one on the weekends ) and I prefer the taste of diet coke to regular coke, and when the craving for a soda hits-I order the diet coke/diet pepsi-and feel zero guilt about it.


Remember-this comes from someone who would drink AT LEAST a 2 liter a day of the stuff.

Porthardygurl
05-25-2011, 03:15 AM
Does no one know what im talking about when i say diet rite? or diet crush??? Made with splenda?? Does anyone like this ?? other than me??

RiverWind
05-25-2011, 06:55 AM
Does no one know what im talking about when i say diet rite? or diet crush??? Made with splenda?? Does anyone like this ?? other than me??

I will have to look for those. I have been wondering what kinds of soda out there have started using Splenda. As of now, I usually drink diet 7 Up. I switched to it from coke zero because the caffeine in the coke affected my sleep.

Beach Patrol
05-25-2011, 12:01 PM
I think, no matter what we "read" or "hear", in the end, we can only go on the experimentation of our own selves - use our own bodies to learn what is good/not good for it.

Having said that, I have gone back & forth on the "yes diet soda" and "no diet soda" merry-go-round. What have I learned?

1) Too much of any one thing is not good for you. Period. So if you drink 5 12oz sodas/diet sodas a day, not good.

2) Aspartame is a man made chemical. That's right - I said it! CHEMICAL! I'm not hip on putting chemicals into my body. However! -there are chemicals in nearly everything these days, and the body is an amazing machine. It can handle a lot more than you think it can. A little aspartame never hurt anybody.

3) It's better to EAT your calories than to DRINK them. Common sense, folks.

4) The American Council on Science & Health maintains that aspartame is safe. Aspartame, known as "NutraSweet" and "Equal," is safe. Aspartame is one of the most thoroughly tested substances in the U.S. food supply. Numerous authorities, including the Food and Drug Administration, the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives of the FAO/WHO, the European Community, and the American Medical Association have concluded that aspartame is a safe product, except in the rare cases of phenylketonuria (a rare condition in which a baby is born without the ability to properly break down an amino acid called phenylalanine.) For more information on aspartame, please refer to ACSH's peer-reviewed booklet Low Calorie Sweeteners.

I, personally, think a LITTLE aspartame is safe FOR ME. I drink usually one Diet Mtn Dew per day, on occasion, I'll have two. I have coffee in the morning (2 cups) with REAL sugar. Some evenings I'll have a glass of tea (with REAL sugar) with my dinner. But mostly I drink water, usually up to 72 ounces per day. I asked my doctor's opinion on a little bit of aspartame, and she said it is no worse than a little bit of sugar. And I trust my doctor.

Lastly, always remember... the internet is infamous for "OMG!-you're in danger!" type articles. DO YOUR HOMEWORK! - research for yourself, and beware of internet health hoaxes. ;)

MariaMaria
05-25-2011, 12:14 PM
The American Council on Science & Health maintains that aspartame is safe.

And who is the American Council on Science and Health? Sounds like an industry lobbyist group, just from the name.

(You will take my diet coke out of my cold, dead hands. But my point is that "groups" with impressive names aren't necessarily reliable, impartial sources for information about controversial topics.)

Beach Patrol
05-25-2011, 12:35 PM
The American Council on Science & Health maintains that aspartame is safe.

And who is the American Council on Science and Health?

"where did the American Council on Science & Health come from?"

http://www.acsh.org/news/newsid.852/news_detail.asp

As ACSH begins its second quarter of a century, its missions remain the same: a) promote sound science in regulation, in public policy, and in the court room; and b) assist consumers, via the media, in distinguishing real health threats from purely hypothetical ones.


:)

MariaMaria
05-25-2011, 12:44 PM
Still-- not part of a teaching hospital, not part of NIH, I'm guessing lobby group. 25 year old lobby group, but we're not concerned about it being able to buy a drink or rent a car.

Beach Patrol
05-25-2011, 12:47 PM
Still-- not part of a teaching hospital, not part of NIH, I'm guessing lobby group. 25 year old lobby group, but we're not concerned about it being able to buy a drink or rent a car.

Did you read the link? :?:

MariaMaria
05-25-2011, 01:15 PM
Yes, I read the link.

aliquot
05-25-2011, 03:50 PM
2) Aspartame is a man made chemical. That's right - I said it! CHEMICAL! I'm not hip on putting chemicals into my body. However! -there are chemicals in nearly everything these days, and the body is an amazing machine. It can handle a lot more than you think it can. A little aspartame never hurt anybody.

I actually agree with about 99% of what you said in your post. However, your use of the word "chemical" is a misnomer. WATER is a chemical. Sugar is a chemical. Salt is a chemical. You get my drift. We are made of chemicals. I think it would be more descriptive if perhaps you wrote that it is a synthesized artificial sweetener. Or that it is not naturally occurring.

Here is my take. Diet soda does not contain nutritive sugar (sugar we can use for energy). Most artificial sweeteners by scientific definition aren't even technically sugars at all. Most of them are structurally similar enough that your taste buds interpret them as "sweet", but your body is not able to break them down for use as energy. To my knowledge, there is no scientific evidence that artificial sugars are "worse" than nutritive sugars. However, there IS evidence that artificial sugars do not help you feel full, but if you're drinking a diet coke, I don't think you're looking to be feel full, you're looking to quench your thirst.

If anyone does want to search a large database of primary literature (aka papers written by the scientists who actually did the research), http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed is a good place to start. And yes, I have a masters in Biotech and am currently in a phd program for Micro and Molecular Biology.

oddreee
05-25-2011, 04:22 PM
Still-- not part of a teaching hospital, not part of NIH, I'm guessing lobby group. 25 year old lobby group, but we're not concerned about it being able to buy a drink or rent a car.

:rofl: High-larious.

JohnP
05-25-2011, 04:22 PM
I used to have a 120 fluid oz a day habit of diet soda. Yes - you heard that right. I had a large 64 ounce insulated cup and could refill it at the 7-11 right next to my job for 99 cents. I'd drink 2 a day. One or two 12 oz cans after work. Accounting for ice I figure around 120 oz a day.

I experienced no negative effects from this large consumption that I know of. This went on for a couple years.

When I decided to get healthy I read a lot about diet soda being bad so I quit soda completely. I didn't feel any better.

I still suspect diet soda is not good for you so I keep consumption relatively low. (Relative to my own standard lol) I drink 1 or 2 cans of diet coke a day.

One thing I don't believe is the idea that diet soda increases insulin levels. Based on the research I've done and studies I've read diet soda does not raise insulin levels. If it did - I would have gone into a diabetic coma drinking all that diet soda on an empty stomach.

kaplods
05-25-2011, 06:48 PM
What I find ironic is the number of people in my life criticizing my artificial sweetener use as "ingesting harmful chemicals" who use thousands of dangerous chemicals, even known carcinogens in their daily life and thinkg "that's different" because they're spreading them on their skin, breathing them in, rather than swallowing them. They use cosmetics and chemical cleansers, they clean their bodies, clothes, cars, and home with solvents known to be carcinogens and fill the air they breathe with solid, spray, and oil fragrances. They think "that's different" because they're breathing them, or wearing them rather than swallowing them.

These are chemicals which have been proven unsafe (by the same supposedly "biased" organizations that has found artificial sweeteners safe). These companies have just as much money or more as those who manufacture artificial sweeteners - heck sometimes they're the same company. It makes no sense to say these organizations are responding to pressure from the companies to find a product safe, or they would have said the same thing about the other products. Instead, those products contain warning labels so long they should scare people away from the product (and yet it doesn't).

If I wanted to be as safe as possible from man-made chemicals as possible, I'd have to move to the Canadian wildnerness and live without modern conveniences (and then I'd still risk death and illness by natural causes, and lack of access to medical help).

My own experiment with sweeteners, is about six years ago, I gave up caffeine altogether and artificial sweeteners almost entirely. (A coworker had half-convinced me that my fibromyalgia was caused by artificial sweeteners and caffeine).

At the end of almost a year, I was still feeling a lot more fatigue than was functional, and I talked to my doctor about it, and he told me that I should reintroduce caffeine into my diet. I'm not a big fan of coffee or tea, and I asked the doc abour diet soda. He said if I was going to experience a negative reaction to either the caffeine or the artificial sweetener, it would be immediately noticeable when I started it back up. He warned specifically about headaches.

I didn't experience any ill effects, and in fact the caffeine did help me with relatively side-effect free alertness (as long as I stop using caffeine by 3pm or so).

I never returned to my old level of diet soda drinking (at work I always would have one in my hand - mostly because the fatigue of the fibro/cfs was so bad only a constant influx of caffeine kept me conscious), but I don't have any problem with my current use (Usually 1 or 2 cans most days. Often less, and sometimes more).

I'm not concerned with my sweetener use, because of my own experience and review of the research.

For the same reason, I avoid most common household chemicals, mostly because I wasn't used to them (my family used relatively few as I grew up - vinegar and water was used to clean almost everything. My father has severely sensitive skin and so even laundry soap had to be very gentle).

I use very few soaps, lotions and cosmetics and fragrances, and am careful with ones I buy. Ironically it's a "natural" substance that I have the most trouble with. I am allergic to beeswax (my lips swell and burn and I get a sore throat if there's even a trace of beeswax in a product).

A lot of people say "if you can't pronounce it don't eat it," and decide that ingredients must be scary ingredients because they don't know what they are. I've had to educate friends and relatives that some of the "scary additives" they were avoiding were actually vitamins and natural ingredients - such as the vitamins niacin, riboflavin, folic acid...

I can never remember which ones I've read, but there are a lot of great guides on amazon.com just search using the words food additive guide


I've heard good things about The Nutrition Bible: The Comprehensive, No-Nonsense Guide to Foods, Nutrients, Additives, Preservatives, Pollutants, and Everything Else We Eat and by Jean Anderson and Barbara Deskins (Paperback - Oct 1995)