Acesulfame Potassium: Good or Bad?

So my blogging is not going as I would like.  I am having difficulty finding time to research and write.  Therefore, I am going to try a different approach to get more information out; brief and to-the-point information.

Today, my husband brought home a bottle of dietary supplement tablets that a friend gave him to try instead of drinking such mixtures as Propel, Gatorade, etc.  The bottle reads “sport drink tablets.”  The claim, as stated by my husband’s friend, is that the tablet/water mixture will provide a boost of energy.  Thank goodness my husband asked my opinion on the supplement before he used it.  

So, as I usually do, I read the label.  The first part didn’t sound harmful with such ingredients as sodium, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, magnesium, vitamin C, etc.  But…….the fine print has an ingredient called acesulfame potassium, which is a no-calorie artificial sweetener added to foods and beverages as a flavor-enhancer or to preserve sweetness.  It is 200 times sweeter than regular table sugar(sucrose).  It is added to such food items as candy, baked goods, frozen desserts, dessert mixes, tabletop sweeteners, alcoholic beverages, other beverages, and many other food/beverage items.  It is used alone or in combination with other artificial sweeteners.  

Acesulfame potassium is, also, known as acesulfame K, Ace-K, or Sunett.  It was first approved as a sweetener in 1988 by the FDA, who has set an acceptable daily intake of up to 15mg/kg of body weight per day.

So what is acesulfame potassium?  It is a salt containing methylene chloride, a known carcinogen.  Long-term exposure to methylene chloride can cause such side effects as mental confusion, depression, mood problems, kidney and liver impairment, vision impairment, depression, nausea, headaches, cancer in humans, including breast tumors, and insulin stimulation by the pancreas, which may cause hypoglycemia.  

Of all the artifical sweeteners, acesulfame potassium has undergone the least amount of testing and long-term studies.  To date, the FDA has not required further safety testing. 

As with any food or beverage item that you put into your body, try to be aware of the ingredients and what they truly are and if they have any potential harmful effects on your health.  So many of our diseases and illnesses are caused by what we ingest and long-term exposure.  It’s like I tell my patient’s who smoke, you don’t pick up a cigarette and take a few puffs and get cancer.

Until next time (sooner I hope)………………………………………many blessings:)

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