The first artificial sweetener, saccharin, was discovered merely by accident in 1879 when Constantin Fahlberg, a John Hopkins scientist, who was working on a coal-tar derivatives, noticed a substance on his hands and arms, and decided to lick it. Then noticed it was sweet. An attempt in 1911 was made to ban the sweetener by skeptical scientists, but saccharin grew in popularity.
It is 300 times sweeter than sugar, has zero calories, and leaves a unpleasant metallic aftertaste in your mouth. So when cyclamate came on the market in 1951, food and beverage companies opted to go with it as it had a more natural taste. By 1968 people were consuming more then 17 million pounds of this calorie free substance in snack foods, soft drinks and canned fruits to name a few items.
By the sixties studies began to emerge linking cyclamate to cancer. When injecting chicken embryos with the chemical they noted extreme deformities were occurring. This left scientists wondering about unborn humans, and if they could have the same birth deformities when their mother’s consumed diet soda’s.The sweetener was also linked to rats forming malignant bladder tumors.
By 1969 the government ordered cyclamate to be removed from all food products and is still banned today in the U.S. Cyclamate is still being used in Canada and other countries. In Canada it is used in sweet and low, sugar twin, and weight watcher products.
Saccharin also was under controversy in 1977 when a study found that it may very well be contributing to cancer found in rats. Afterwards products containing saccharin were required to carry warning labels.
In 1981 aspartame was approved for use. And because of saccharins “bad rep” it became the leading artificial sweetner in diet sodas.
Headaches are one of the most common side effects of aspartames. Patients with chronic migraine headaches report that aspartame is one of the leading triggers. It is also linked to various neuropsychiatric disorders including, panic attacks, mood changes, visual hallucinations, depression, manic episodes and dizziness.
So as you can see it is not recommended to use any artificial sweetener at all, and is always best to choose natural healthy alternatives, such as honey and maple syrup or raw sugars. Your health is important for you and your family so take the first steps in avoiding these harmful sweeteners.