Saccharin (Saccharine)

October 10th, 2011 by Helen Scholz

Saccharin is an artificial sweetener used as a substitute for sugar. It is used to sweeten drinks, candies, biscuits, medicines and toothpaste.  Saccharin comes from the word Saccarine which means it resembles or relates to sugar. Saccharin stores better than sugar, thus it is perfect for putting in food products. Saccharin is considered a wonderful discovery, especially for diabetics, because it passes through the body without being digested. Even though Saccharin has no food value it still triggers the release of insulin in the body, this is thought to be because of the taste triggering an automated response.

In 1958 the United States congress required that all products that contain Saccharin needed to have a warning label telling everyone that eats it is a risk of cancer. However, in the year 2000 more tests were done and it was found even though Saccharin causes cancer in animals it does not have the same effect in humans because of our difference in pH balance. That is when the entire United States, including California, decided that Saccharin was safe for human consumption. Also, the EPA has removed Saccharin from their list of hazardous materials claiming that there are no known adverse side effects caused to humans.

Like any kind of sugar usually causes some side effects in individuals, especially children that are undesirable. However, Saccharine because it has no food value, does not cause any adverse side effects. It just tastes sweet and passes through the body. It does cause a release of insulin in humans, and has been known to cause cancer in experimental animals, but not in humans. Other sweeteners, on the other hand, may have some side effects. Sweeteners like Stevia; Stevia side effects include:

  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle pain
  • Numbness

People who are pregnant or breast-feeding should not use Stevia because its full side effects are unknown. If you are allergic to ragweed and plants that are related to those, Stevia could cause an allergic reaction to occur. If you have low blood pressure it is also recommended that you stay away from Stevia.

If you have any questions about sugar replacements and how they will affect you, consult with your Doctor. If you have been using Saccharine and have experienced an adverse side effect feel free to contact the FDA to report your findings. Like any kind of supplement be cautious about using it if you have any adverse health conditions.