Saccharin. Bad for us, awful for our children and babies.

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This clip is just over 9 minutes long, but is entertaining and covers the wondrous history of saccharin; how it was originally developed from coal tar into an artificial sweetener many times sweeter than sugar.  How it is linked to bladder cancer, so has had warning labels attached to this effect – and then removed.  It is like a potted history of mammon vs common sense.

To expound on this last point, I would like to add to this video a little  more information I have found in the book Radical Medicine by Louisa L Williams. Saccharin was discovered by a chemist working at Johns Hopkins University in 1878/1879 and initially used as a food preservative.  Then in 1901 John F Queeny founded a new company called Monsanto which produced and sold saccharin as a sweetener to the United States.  After 2 years, Monsanto began to ship its saccharin to a small company in Georgia, called Coca-Cola.  With the dearth of sugar in both world wars, due to rationing, saccharin became more and more commonplace in the American and the British diet.  Monsanto and Coca-Cola were off.

As the video clip goes into, saccharin is strongly linked to causing bladder cancer in rats and mice – but scientists working for such companies as Coca-Cola point out that rat’s urine is different in composition to human’s and this will explain the carcinogenic effect, hence why saccharin carries no warning labels.  However, several analyses have shown a link with artificial sweetener useage and increased bladder cancer in both men and women, as the video goes into.  Radical Medicine makes the point that saccharin is so foreign to our bodies – we really are not designed to eat coal tar, after all,  that it is not metabolised by our digestion and is rapidly excreted through the urine.  So a sign to watch out for after having taken some saccharin in, is frequent urination afterwards  – this is not a good thing.  The book also states that

saccharin-sweetened infant formula has been linked with irritability, hypertonia (abnormal muscle tension), insomnia, opisthotonus (rigidity and severe arching of the back) and strabismus (eye muscle focusing deviation).

The blog, How much sugar in a can of coke? went into a couple of studies showing the terrifyingly addictive nature of sugar, especially when in liquids.  The second study compared the addictive powers of sweet water with cocaine – and the study actually used saccharin, not sugar.  So to replace sugar with saccharin is playing with fire.  In truth, the addictive power of sugar has to be overcome and all sugar severely restricted in the diet.  Yes, we have an innate sweet tooth and in a natural environment this is not a problem since sugar is not readily available.  And so we really do have a problem – we actually have to fight our nature in order to stay healthy.  However, once weaned off a sweet tooth, which only takes days, things do normalise.  I well remember a client telling me about how he felt a bit blue and thought, “Oh bother it, I’m going to have a chocolate biscuit,” and then having to spit the biscuit out, it tasted so disgustingly sweet.  If we give into our taste for sweet things, we want sweeter and sweeter and sweeter things, there is no end to this.  The food company’s profits expand, our waistline expands, our health declines, no matter what form of sweetener we use, our energy sinks and we blame it all on aging and eating too much fat.

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