sweeteners are often considered as “health food” because they replace the sugar
in foods or beverages.
With the knowledge, that the
content of a beverage became a huge health challenge, Temple and Alp suggest
that a combination of a high-quality public approach, an improvement in
education and an easier way to purchase healthier alternatives, is the most
constructive strategy to lower the health risk (Wilson and Temple, 2008, p.
According to a survey,
absolved by 30’000 costumers in 60 countries, the Nielsen’s Global Health and
Wellness Survey points out that the young generation carries much more about
the organic ingredients of food and beverages than their parents did (Horovitz,
2015, p. np).
Furthermore, the report
indicates that the producers try to fulfil their consumer’s desire by renewing
the formulas of their beverages to reduce or even eliminate the sugar (The
Nielsen Company, 2015, p. np).
Dr Hu (Harvard Health
Publishing, 2017, p. np) claims that the effects of added sugar consumption
increases the blood pressure, the weight and the risk of a fatty liver disease
or diabetes and could therefore, cause a heart attack or a stroke.
Professor Novak explained the
impact of diabetes on the brain as the following (Edwards, 2017, p. np):
type 1 and type 2 of diabetes, directly affect the brain and its neurons. An increased
level of blood glucose could harm the brain’s functional connectivity, which is
responsible to lead a correct functional brain. Moreover, it can negatively
influence the size of a human brain. Finally, the risk of having small-vessel
disease increases and reduces the blood flow in the brain, which could lead to
cognitive difficulties or even to dementia.
As stated in beverage impacts on
health and nutrition (Wilson and Temple, 2008, p. 282), children and adults
should not drink more than one sugar-sweetened beverage per day. The sugar in
the beverages could lead to a decreasing consumption of various nutrients.
As cited in studies (Wilson
and Temple, 2008, p. 280-281) the intake of sugar-sweetened beverages is linked
to a higher risk of dental caries. A sugar-concentrated diet supports the
growth of bacteria, including streptococci and lactobacilli, which are
primarily involved in the aetiology of dental caries.
After 1985, when the consumers
started to drink more sugar-added beverages, their bodies reacted on the
sugar-overdose. Coca Cola was attacked and sued by consumer health advocates
for actively supporting the obesity. (Elmore, 2015, p. 263)
Coca Cola reacted on their
customer’s desire of living healthier by launching Coca Cola Zero in which the
company replaced the sugar with aspartame.
Before Coca Cola Zero, they
started to produce Diet Coke with artificial sweetener in the early 1980s. This
product gained an extremely high popularity. In the beginning, it was linked to
a possibility to control the weight while enjoying soft drinks (Wilson and
Temple, 2016, p. 353).
Aspartame is a combination of amino
acids aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Amino acids are the elementary unit of
proteins. They are natural contents of many foods.
Aspartame is known for being
around 200 times sweeter than the actual sugar and therefore, used in foods and
beverages as a replacement. Much less of it can be used to give the beverage
the same level of sweetness (American Cancer Society, 2014, p. np).
There are three main
advantages of aspartame. First of all, the taste, the fact that aspartame can be
seen as low caloric and finally, aspartame does not increase the blood glucose
level and therefore, does not raise the risk of diabetes (diabetes.co.uk, 2017,
p. np), but on the other hand, experiments clearly pointed out, that the sweet aspartame-taste,
has an increasing appetite as a consequence (Yang, 2010, p. np).
In addition to these
experiments, statistical evidence, carried out in the 1990s proved that
aspartame does not have the desired effect on losing weight. (Elmore, 2015, p.
Scientific research from 2008
and 2009 suggested a possible explanation for why diet drinks failed to help
people slim down:
“A study conducted at Purdue University pointed out that rats fed
non-caloric sweetener had an increased appetite and thus ate on average more
than control subjects. As a result, the responsible researchers defined that
artificial sweetener consumption “may lead to increased body weight and obesity
by interfering with fundamental homeostatic, physiological processes”.
The biggest surprise of this study was that the rats, fed with non-caloric
sweeteners gained even more weight than the control group, which consumed fewer
The result of this study was
analysed by Physician Mark Hyman in 2009 (Elmore, 2015, p. 279). His
explanation was the following:
human body and metabolism get deceived into believing sugar is on its way. As a
consequence, the body produces more insulin, which is known as the fat storage
hormone. On one hand, the metabolism is confused and burns fewer calories and
on the other hand, the produced insulin lays down more fat.
Another experiment, which was
conducted by Tanzer and Slee, revealed that a consumption of five times daily
rinsing with 0.05% (at pH 3.0- similar to pH and concentration to that found in
carbonated beverages) does not have any impacts on the dental plague organisms
(O’Donnel and Kearsley, 2012, p. 44).
Furthermore, it was tested if
aspartame could affect the behaviour and cognitive performance of children. The
result of this study shows that there is no negative connection between the
behaviour, cognitive function and a high aspartame-diet.
Only a few impacts where
discovered and none of the children, used as an experimentee, responded
negatively to either sucrose or aspartame (Wolraich, Lindgren, Stumbo, Stegink, Appelbaum, and
Kiritsy, 1994, p. np).
Nevertheless, after all the
studies and experiments on animals and humans, the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) established an ADI of 50mg/kg body weight (Weerasinghe and DuBois, 2008,
Apart from the fact, that
aspartame can increase the appetite, it could also influence brain
neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, and be neurotoxic because of
one of its byproducts (phenylalanine) crossing the blood-brain barrier fairly
However, researchers still
debate in which way the human body is really damaged. Concerning this factor,
many studies need to point out the actual impact.
Researchers also believe that a
higher aspartame-consumption than recommended, could lead to an increased oxidative
stress and inflammation in many different cell types and tissues (Bienvenu,
2017, p. np).
As an explained by Betty
Martini (Barbee, 2004, p. 50):
contains methanol, or wood alcohol, which is responsible for having killed or
blinded so many skid-row alcoholics. Therefore, the Environmental Protection
Agency decided to set a safety limit for methanol consumption at 7.8 mg per
day. As a comparison, a one-litre container of “diet” or “sugar-free” soda
contains 56 mg.
A higher consumption of this
poison could trigger or worsen multiple sclerosis, brain tumours, epilepsy,
chronic fatigue symptoms, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, mental
retardation, birth defects, fibromyalgia, diabetes, hyperactivity and symptoms
Furthermore, as an additional
regulation for the producers of sugar-free beverages, sweetened with aspartame,
the FDA prescribed that beverages and food must carry a warning label. This
warning concerns a genetic disorder known as phenylketonurie (PK) which, today
in developed countries, is diagnosed at birth and of which only 1 of 15’000
consumer worldwide suffers (Weerasinghe and DuBois, 2008, p. 456).
FDA, responsible for the
consumption-regulation of aspartame and other non-caloric sweeteners in the
United States cited in 2007, that:
to the results of a large number of studies and experiments on the safety of
aspartame, even including five previously conducted negative chronic
carcinogenicity studies, a recently reported large epidemiology study with
negative associations between the use of aspartame and the occurrence of tumours,
and negative findings from a series of three transgenic mouse assays, revealed
that, in order to these findings, the FDA does not see a reason to modify its
previous conclusion that aspartame is considered as safe as a general purpose
sweetener in food (American Cancer Society, 2014, p. np).
Despite the fact that Coca
Cola Zero and its contents, when consumers follow the limits, were declared as
relatively safe, the sales of diet soda fell 7% in 2012 and therefore 5% more
than the sales of regular soda (Wilson and Temple, 2016, p. 353).