Sodium cyclamate

Sodium-cyclamate

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.

Agave

blue_agave_syrup

There are many different sweeteners and sugar substitutes out there and Agave is one more to add to the list. Agave is a sugar substitute that is low glycemic. Agave is also organic and kosher certified. It is a natural sweetener that can be used on or with many different dishes. There are different kinds of Agave, like Blue Agave, however the side effects are generally the same as long as it is a high quality Agave. There are a few sites that sell high quality Blue Agave like Global Goods as one example.

Agave is usually made from the Blue Agave plants that live in Southern Mexico. The Agave plants look a lot like cactus but they are more similar to the Aloe Vera plants. The Blue Agave plants have higher carbohydrate contents so it is the preferred plant for producing the Agave nectar.

Unlike Stevia side effects, Agave has more recorded positive and negative side effects because Agave is an approved food additive. Stevia is forbidden in the European Union and a few other countries as an additive because there are not enough studies confirming that it is un-harmful. Still, there are tribes in South America who have used Stevia as a sweetener a food additive and as a healing plant for a very long time.

Agave does have both positive and negative side effects and some of those side effects are listed here:

Positive side effects:

  • Glycemic Index of 27. This is much lower than traditional sugar.
  • Contains minerals that are not present in refined sugar.
  • Blood sugar levels become more stable.
  • Provides more calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium.

Negative side effects:

  • Though Agave is very low on the glycemic index it can still affect a diabetic if taken in high amounts.
  • The side effects of high blood sugar can include nerve damage, vision, pregnancy complications, and an increased risk of heart disease.
  • Some Agave’s on the market are a lower-quality because fructose is being added as a filler. Fructose is a cheap filler.
  • Refined fructose has bad side effects like increased cholesterol, increased chance of blood clots and weight gain. So obviously, if you are eating a low quality agave you could suffer from some of these side effects as well.

Agave has been compared, in taste, to honey. Another nice thing about Agave is that it does not have a bitter aftertaste like artificial sweeteners. Agave comes in two different types, a light and a dark. The lighter agave has a milder taste and the darker agave is less filtered for a more strong taste.