Is Saccharin Good Or Bad For Health? Find Out!
Saccharin is one amongst the oldest artificial sweeteners available. It has been used as a sweetener for 100 years now. However, it became a popular replacement for sugar only in the 1960s and 1970s.
Some people feel that by replacing sugar with saccharin can help weight loss, oral health and diabetes. The others are scared about the safety of using this artificial sweetener.
What is saccharin?
Saccharin is an artificial sweetener. It appears like a white crystalline powder. It used commonly as a sugar substitute as it does not have calories or carbs. The human body cannot break down saccharin and that is why it leaves the body unchanged.
Saccharin is 300 to 400 times sweeter than normal sugar, so only a small amount is needed to get a sweet taste. However, it has an unpleasant and kind of bitter aftertaste which is why it is mixed with other low calorie and zero calorie sweeteners.
Food manufacturers prefer saccharin as it is very stable and has a long shelf life. Apart from diet drinks it is used to sweeten low cal candies, jellies, jams and cookies. It is used in medicines also. Saccharin can be added to cereal or used as a substitute to sugar in coffee or while baking.
Is Saccharin Good Or Bad For Health – Find out?
It is safe for humans?
Health authorities like WHO, USFDA and EFSA agree that saccharin is safe for human consumption. There was a link between saccharin consumption and cancer in rats but observational studies in humans did not indicate any cancer risk in humans. Many people still avoid saccharin.
How much saccharin can you consume?
According to FDA, the acceptable daily intake of saccharin is 5 mg /kg of body weight. This means that if you weigh 70 kgs, you can consume 350 mg of it a day without any health risks.
Saccharin has slight weight loss benefits
When you replace sugar with a low calorie sweetener it will possibly benefit weight loss and protect you against obesity. This is because you ingest fewer calories that way.
Effect of saccharin on blood sugar is not clear
People with diabetes are often asked to replace sugar with saccharin. This is so because saccharin is not metabolized by the body and it gets out of the system unchanged. So, it does not affect blood sugar levels the way refined sugar does.
Though different studies have been conducted and have given slightly different evidences with regard to artificial sweeteners. The majority of evidence says that artificial sweeteners do not affect blood sugar levels significantly.
Use of saccharin instead of sugar helps in reducing the risk of cavities
The leading cause of dental decay is added sugar. A low calorie sweetener can help reduce the risk of cavities. Artificial sweetener like saccharin does get fermented into acid by the bacteria present in the mouth. However, foods and drinks containing artificial sweeteners can have other ingredients that can cause cavities.
Does saccharin have negative effects?
There still is some skepticism about the probable negative effects of saccharin on human health.
A recent study discovered that using saccharin, aspartame and sucralose can disrupt the balance of gut bacteria. Research is quite new in this regard. However, evidence says that changes in gut bacteria are linked to type 2 diabetes, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease and cancer. The studies are in the preliminary stage though!
The bottom line
Based on currently available evidence, saccharin is generally safe for consumption.
Hope you liked reading this post on ‘Is saccharin good or bad’!
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