The Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners

  • FDA Disclaimer
    The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. Learn More
  • Affliliate Disclosure
    In compliance with the FTC guidelines, please assume the following about links and posts on this site: Many of the links on are affiliate links of which I receive a small commission from sales of certain items, but the price is the same for you. If I post an affiliate link to a product, it is something that I personally use, support and would recommend without an affiliate link. Learn More
  • Privacy Policy
    Please read the Privacy Policy carefully before you start to use By using or by clicking to accept or agree to Terms of Use when this option is made available to you, you accept and agree to be bound and abide by the Privacy Policy. Learn More
artificial sweeteners, The Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners

artificial sweeteners, The Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners

The Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are easy to find in every restaurant and most sweet flavored products throughout North America and other westernized countries.  These artificial sweeteners give us the same pleasure as sugar without the calories and dangerous effects on insulin signaling and triglyceride formation.   This includes aspartame, acefultame potassium, monosodium glutamate, sucralose and many others.   Unfortunately, these artificial sweeteners and flavor enhancers break down into highly toxic chemical agents that damage important regions of the body.

Ideal sweeteners are formed in nature and are minimally processed. These would include monk fruit, organic sugar, stevia, raw honey, maple syrup, etc.  The greater the processing the more dangerous the sweetener can potentially be.  Artificial sweeteners are often devised completely in a laboratory or they begin as sugar and undergo massive processing.  Some of the most dangerous artificial sweeteners & flavor enhancers include the following:

artificial sweeteners, The Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners


Originally approved in 1981 for use in food is 200 times sweeter than sugar.  It is composed of 50% phenylalanine, 40% aspartic acid and 10% methanol.   Excess phenylalanine has been shown to disrupt normal serotonin levels in the nervous system which can lead to depressive, emotional & psychotic disorders.   Individuals who continually consume aspartame will have elevated phenylalanine (1, 2, 3).

Aspartic acid is an excitotoxin that literally over excites neurons and destroys cells.  Methanol is also a neurotoxin and its absorption is also increased when aspartame is heated above 86 degrees Fahrenheit.  This heating breaks methanol into formaldehyde which damages the nervous system and is highly carcinogenic (4, 5).

artificial sweeteners, The Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners

Acefultame Potassium:

This artificial sweetener is often times used in combination with other artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and/or aspartame to mask any form of after taste.   This sweetener has been shown to stimulate insulin secretions even though it does not increase blood sugar (6).

Elevated insulin increases inflammation and hampers immunity.  Since Acefultame does not increase blood sugar this insulin response can stimulate reactive hypoglycemia.  It has been linked to leukemia, breast cancer, thymus cancer and chronic respiratory diseases (7).

artificial sweeteners, The Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners

Monosodium Glutamate is Dangerous:

This flavor enhancer and preservative is used in many canned and packaged foods.  The Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine has stated that it promotes the growth of cancer cells and is highly neurotoxic in the body.

Other studies have linked it to liver damage, chronic inflammation, chronic pain and weight loss resistance (8, 9).  It is often included under deceptive names such as autolyzed yeast extract, natural flavorings, soy protein, whey protein isolate, etc.

artificial sweeteners, The Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners


This artificial sweetener is marketed as if it came from natural sugar.  However, it is highly processed with three chlorine atoms that damage the microflora within the human gut (10).   The biochemist Dr. James Bown says “sucralose is simply chlorinated sugar.”

Sucralose has been shown to damage the thymus gland and inflame the liver and kidneys.   Chlorine is a natural anti-septic that harms the human gut and destroys microflora leading to candida formation, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, obesity and cachexia.

artificial sweeteners, The Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners

Sodium Benzoate:

This is a type of water soluble preservative salt that is created by adding sodium hydroxide and benzoic acid.  It is found in many soft drinks, energy drinks and other processed foods and drinks.  Sodium Benzoate consumption has been strongly linked with neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD and inflammatory disorders such as asthma (11, 12).

The combination of sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) which is quite common in soft drinks and popular energy drinks creates the highly carcinogenic substance benzene.  Benzene is linked with many serious cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma (13).  Check out this article for more info on the best natural sweeteners.

If you enjoy information like this, you may be interested in my advanced nutrition and recipe book the Keto Metabolic Breakthrough.

artificial sweeteners, The Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners

Sources For This Article Include:

1. Humphries, E Pretorius, H Naude. Direct and Indirect cellular effects of aspartame on the brain. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2008) 62, 451–462;
2. Van den Eeden SK, Koepsell TD, Longstreth WT Jr, van Belle G, Daling JR, McKnight B. Aspartame ingestion and headaches: a randomized crossover trial. Neurology. 1994 Oct;44(10):1787-93. PMID: 7936222
3. Walton RG, Hudak R, Green-Waite RJ. Adverse reactions to aspartame: double-blind challenge in patients from a vulnerable population. Biol Psychiatry. 1993 Jul 1-15;34(1-2):13-7. PMID: 8373935
4. Rycerz K, Jaworska-Adamu JE. Effects of aspartame metabolites on astrocytes and neurons. Folia Neuropathol. 2013;51(1):10-7. PMID: 23553132
5. Jacob SE, Stechschulte S. Formaldehyde, aspartame, and migraines: a possible connection. Dermatitis. 2008 May-Jun;19(3):E10-1. PMID: 18627677
6. Liang Y, Steinbach G, Maier V, Pfeiffer EF. The effect of artificial sweetener on insulin secretion. 1. The effect of acesulfame K on insulin secretion in the rat (studies in vivo). Horm Metab Res. 1987 Jun;19(6):233-8. PMID: 2887500
7. Cong W-n, Wang R, Cai H, Daimon CM, Scheibye-Knudsen M, et al. (2013) Long-Term Artificial Sweetener Acesulfame Potassium Treatment Alters Neurometabolic Functions in C57BL/6J Mice. PLoS ONE 8(8):
8. Nakanishi Y, Tsuneyama K, Fujimoto M, Salunga TL, Nomoto K, An JL, Takano Y, Iizuka S, Nagata M, Suzuki W, Shimada T, Aburada M, Nakano M, Selmi C, Gershwin ME. Monosodium glutamate (MSG): a villain and promoter of liver inflammation and dysplasia. J Autoimmun. 2008 Feb-Mar;30(1-2):42-50. PMID: 18178378
9. Tsuneyama K, Nishida T, Baba H, Taira S, Fujimoto M, Nomoto K, Hayashi S, Miwa S, Nakajima T, Sutoh M, Oda E, Hokao R, Imura J. Neonatal monosodium glutamate treatment causes obesity, diabetes, and macrovesicular steatohepatitis with liver nodules in DIAR mice. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014 Sep;29(9):1736-43. PMID: 24730643
10. Abou-Donia MB, El-Masry EM, Abdel-Rahman AA, McLendon RE, Schiffman SS. Splenda alters gut microflora and increases intestinal p-glycoprotein and cytochrome p-450 in male rats. J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2008;71(21):1415-29. PMID: 18800291
11. Beezhold BL, Johnston CS, Nochta KA. Sodium benzoate-rich beverage consumption is associated with increased reporting of ADHD symptoms in college students: a pilot investigation. J Atten Disord. 2014 Apr;18(3):236-41. PMID: 22538314
12. Petrus M, Bonaz S, Causse E, Rhabbour M, Moulie N, Netter JC, Bildstein G. [Asthma and intolerance to benzoates]. Arch Pediatr. 1996 Oct;3(10):984-7. PMID: 8952792
13. Golding BT, Watson WP. Possible mechanisms of carcinogenesis after exposure to benzene. IARC Sci Publ. 1999;(150):75-88. PMID: 10626210

artificial sweeteners, The Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners

Was this article helpful?
Dr. Jockers

Dr David Jockers is passionate about seeing people reach their health potential in mind, body and spirit. He is the host of the popular “Dr Jockers Functional Nutrition” podcast and the author of the best-selling books, “The Keto Metabolic Breakthrough” and “The Fasting Transformation.”


Foods Nutrition

Let's Improve Your Health Today!

Get instant access to 2 FREE eBooks when you subscribe to Dr. Jockers’ newsletter.


"Join my tribe today to discover hidden strategies to improve your energy, brain, digestion & metabolism."

— Dr. David Jockers
Dr Jockers



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.