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Are Artificial Sweeteners Safe?

WebMD gets the low down on artificial sweeteners on the shelves and in the pipeline.

Overdosing on Equal? continued...

Another sweetener is Cyclamate, which is a 30 times sweeter than sucrose but as such it has the least "sweetening power" of the commercially acceptable intense sweeteners. It was banned in the U.S. in 1970, but currently there is a petition at the FDA for reapproval.

Dihydrochalcones (DHCs) are noncaloric sweeteners derived from bioflavonoids of citrus fruits that are approximately 300 to 2,000 times sweeter than sucrose.

Glycyrrhizin, a noncaloric extract of licorice root, is 50-100 times sweeter than sucrose. It is approved for use in the U.S. as a flavor and flavor enhancer.

Stevioside comes from leaves of a South American plant and is 300 times sweeter than sucrose. It is currently approved for use in 10 countries, including Japan, Paraguay, and Brazil. It can be sold in the U.S. as a dietary supplement only.

Another potential sweetener is Thaumatin (TalinTM), a mixture of proteins from a West African fruit that's approximately 2,000-3,000 times sweeter than sucrose. In the U.S., it's approved as a flavor enhancer for beverages, jams and jellies, condiments, milk products, yogurt, cheese, instant coffee and tea, and chewing gum.

Reviewed on November 01, 2006

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