Artificial sweeteners, also called sugar substitutes, are compounds that offer the sweetness of sugar without the same calories. They are anywhere from 30 to 8,000 times sweeter than sugar and contribute much fewer calories to foods than table sugar (sucrose). Some people experience symptoms such as headaches and upset stomach when they consume artificial sweeteners; however, there is no credible information that artificial sweeteners cause brain tumors or any other illness. Follow the links below to find WebMD's comprehensive coverage about artificial sweeteners, their health benefits and risks, scientific research into artificial sweeteners, and much more.
For people who are trying to lose weight, or have to watch their blood sugar because of diabetes, too much sugar can be a problem. That's where artificial sweeteners can come in handy.