Chemical sweeteners used as sugar substitutes do not aid in weight loss, in fact there is evidence that they cause weight gain.

Equal, Nutrasweet or Spoonful (Aspartame) - AVOID

Recent studies in Europe show that aspartame use can result in an accumulation of formaldehyde in the brain, which can damage your central nervous system and immune system and cause genetic trauma.

Aspartame breaks down into methanol (wood alcohol).

Methanol quickly converts to formadehyde in the body.

Formaldehyde causes gradual and eventually severe damage to the neurological system, immune system and causes permanent genetic damage at extremely low doses.

Aspartame, considered even worse than refined sugar, has been linked with MS, lupus, fibromyalgia and other central nervous disorders as listed below.

Possible side effects of aspartame include:

  • seizures and convulsions
  • dizziness
  • tremors
  • migraines and severe headaches (Trigger or Cause From Chronic Intake)
  • memory loss (common toxicity effects)
  • slurring of speech
  • confusion
  • numbness or tingling of extremities
  • chronic fatigue
  • depression
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • panic attacks (common aspartame toxicity reaction)
  • marked personality changes
  • phobias
  • rapid heart beat, tachycardia (another frequent reaction)
  • asthma
  • chest pains
  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • nausea or vomitting
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal pain
  • swallowing pain
  • itching
  • hives / urticaria
  • other allergic reactions
  • blood sugar control problems (e.g., hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia)
  • menstrual cramps and other menstraul problems or changes
  • impotency and sexual problems
  • food cravings
  • weight gain hair loss
  • burning urination & other urination problems
  • excessive thirst or excessive hunger
  • bloating, edema (fluid retention)
  • infection susceptibility
  • joint pain
  • brain cancer (Pre-approval studies in animals)
  • death

    It may also contribute to male infertility.

    Aspartame Disease has been shown to mimic or worsen symptoms in the following diseases:

  • fibromyalgia
  • arthritis
  • multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • parkinson's disease
  • lupus
  • multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS)
  • diabetes and diabetic Complications
  • epilepsy
  • alzheimer's disease
  • birth defects
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • lymphoma
  • lyme disease
  • attention deficit disorder (ADD and ADHD)
  • panic disorder
  • depression and other psychological disorders

    To avoid purchasing products that contain Aspartame, read the label and watch for the words aspartame or neotame.

    Note: Neotame is a newer sweetener, with a structure similar to Aspartame, perhaps more toxic than Aspartame. Neotame is 8,000 times sweeter than sugar.

    To learn more about the dangers of Aspartame visit the Aspartame Toxicity Information Center at

    Splenda, (sucralose) AVOID

    The advertising for this product is very misleading. Although sucralose may start out using sugar, the chemical transformation used creates a product that the body does not recognize as food.

    Splenda is not a natural substance, it is an artificial chemical sweetener manufactured by adding three chlorine atoms to a sugar molecule.

    There have been no long-term human studies on Splenda to determine the potential health effects on people, no one can say with certainty that the substance is safe to eat.

    Some of the common side effects of Splenda include skin rashes/flushing, panic like agitation, dizziness, numbness, diarrhea, muscle aches, headaches, intestinal cramping, bladder issues and stomach pain. If you suffer any of these symptoms avoid all use of this product to test if the symptoms continue.

    Short-term studies showed that sucralose caused shrunken thymus glands and enlarged livers and kidneys in rodents.


    As reported in Globe Newswire Sept. 2008

    "James Turner, the chairman of the national consumer education group Citizens for Health, has expressed shock and outrage after reading a new report from scientists outlining the dangers of the artificial sweetener Splenda (sucralose).

    In animals examined for the study, Splenda reduced the amount of good bacteria in the intestines by 50 percent, increased the pH level in the intestines, contributed to increases in body weight and affected P-glycoprotein (P-gp) levels in such a way that crucial health-related drugs could be rejected.

    The P-gp effect could result in medications used in chemotherapy, AIDS treatment and treatments for heart conditions being shunted back into the intestines, rather than being absorbed by the body.

    According to Turner, "The report makes it clear that the artificial sweetener Splenda and its key component sucralose pose a threat to the people who consume the product. Hundreds of consumers have complained to us about side effects from using Splenda and this study ... confirms that the chemicals in the little yellow package should carry a big red warning label."

    Sweet’N Low, Sugar Twin, Sweet’N Low Brown, Necta Sweet (Saccharin) – AVOID

    Chemical sweetener derived from coal tar has been approved by the FDA, but studies link this product to bladder cancer.

    Replace with:

  • Coconut Palm Sugar
  • Stevia
  • Agave
  • Rice Syrup
  • Date Paste
  • Fruit Juice Concentrates
  • Barley Malt Syrup
  • Honey

    To learn more about the natural, recommended sweeteners please refer to the page on Refined Sugar

    Return from Chemical Sweeteners to Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis Home Page

    This information is not designed as or intended to be used as medical diagnosis or advice. Patients should consult their physicians about diagnosis and treatment

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