Sodium cyclamate

August 30th, 2011 by Helen Scholz

There are two different types of sweeteners, natural sweeteners and artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are chemically produced and natural sweeteners come from fruits, honey and plants.

Natural sweeteners may sound like the better deal, but natural sweeteners can have side effects as well. For example stevia side effects can be dangerous to some people, just as artificial sweetener side effects can be dangerous for some people.

One type of artificial sweetener is Sodium cyclamate. Cyclamate is sweeter than sugar by about 30 to 50 times. Cyclamate is usually mixed in with other types of sweeteners and is less expensive than a lot of other sweeteners. Some people say that cyclamate has a weird aftertaste. Cyclamate, though it is an approved sweetener in over 55 countries, has been banned in the United States since 1969. The ban came because of some studies that provoked harmful side effects in animals during animal studies; however, these have not been proven in humans.

The side effects of Cyclamate on animals include the following:

  • Bladder Cancer. Rats were given cyclamate and over time they developed bladder cancer, this is when the ban was put on this sweetener in the United States. In other countries humans have not shown these negative side effects, however they are not taking the high doses that were given to the rats during animal testing.
  • Other Cancers. Monkeys were tested and some developed cancers, more than the placebo group.
  • Male Reproductive effects. Rats had negative side effects like testicular atrophy but mice did not.

Cyclamate is the sodium or calcium salt of cyclamic acid, which itself is prepared by the sulfonation of cyclohexylamine. Cyclamate was found in 1937 at the College of Illinois by graduate student Michael Sveda.

Sveda was working in the laboratory on the synthesis of anti-fever medicine. He put his ciggie down on the laboratory bench, and, when he put it back in his mouth, he discovered the sweet taste of cyclamate. Discussion developed when, in 1966, a study announced that some abdominal bacteria could desulfonate cyclamate to provide cyclohexylamine, a compound suspected to have some protracted lethality in animals.

Further research led to a 1969 study that found the common 10:1 cyclamate:saccharin mix to extend the occurrence of bladder cancer in rats. The released study was showing that 8 out of 240 rats fed a mix of saccharin and cyclamates, at levels of humans eating 350 cans of diet soda each day, developed bladder growths. On October eighteen, 1969, the Food and Drug Administration banned its sale in the U. S.