(NaturalNews) The FDA is amending their food additive regulations to provide for the "safe" use of advantame, after receiving a petition from Ajinomoto Co., Inc., a Japanese company which produces most of the world's MSG as well as being a major supplier of aspartame. (1, 2) It will be marketed as a non-nutritive sweetener and flavor enhancer for foods, beverages and tabletop use. (3) Advantame is 20,000 times sweeter, gram per gram, than table sugar, making it the sweetest, by far, of the artificial sweeteners currently on the market. (4) Advantame does not yet have a brand name for the marketplace.
Why should I be concerned about advantame? Lisa Leffert, a Senior Scientist at CSPINET (The Center for Science in the Public Interest), raises concerns about test results noted in the Federal Register. She shares her concern that, in the study, the number of mice that survived to the end was below the FDA's own scientific recommendations and is therefore inadequate to provide confidence in the safety of a chemical likely to be consumed by millions of people. (5) The study information is available at FederalRegister.gov.
It's a derivative of aspartame. According to Science Direct, advantame is an N-substituted (aspartic acid portion) derivative of aspartame that is similar in structure to neotame, another N-substituted aspartame. (6)
Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. (7) Some of the reported side effects include headaches, nausea, dizziness, weakness, change in heart rate, seizures, difficulty breathing, sleep problems and neurological reactions. (8) Advantame doesn't have to be labeled on food packaging. Individuals with the genetic disorder PKU (phenylketonuria) have a difficult time metabolizing phenylalanine, which is a component of both aspartame and advantame. The FDA does require label information about aspartame to warn individuals about its presence in foods. (9) However, when evaluating whether or not this label should be applied to foods with advantame, the FDA decided that it was not necessary. Their reasoning is that advantame is much sweeter than aspartame, and the amount needed to achieve the same level of sweetness is so low, that alerts are not necessary.
What should you do if you think you are having a reaction to high-intensity sweeteners? (10) If you believe that you are having an adverse reaction caused by consuming a high-intensity sweetener, stop consuming it immediately and discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider.
You or your healthcare provider can report adverse events to FDA in the following ways:
By mail at: FDA, CAERS, HFS-700, 2A-012/CPK1, 5100 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, MD 20740
Be aware of other high intensity sweeteners in the marketplace (11):
Neotame -- brand name Newtame
Saccharin -- brand name Sweet 'N Low
Aspartame -- brand name Equal
Acesulfame potassium -- brand name Sweet One
Sucralose -- brand name Splenda
Are artificial sweeteners finally losing their appeal? Splenda sales have dropped 40% since 2009, along with a 16% drop for Sweet 'N Low and a 23% drop for Equal. (12) Perhaps consumers are finally being heard. We don't want chemicals in our food. We want whole, real, organic, non-GMO food, not something made in a lab. As for me, I'll skip the artificial stuff and enjoy the real thing in small quantities.
About the author: After sixteen years of struggling with MCS, Elisha McFarland recovered her health through alternative and natural healing methods. It was this experience that encouraged her to pursue an education in natural health. She has received the following designations: Doctor of Naturopathy, Master Herbalist, D.A. Hom., B.S. in Holistic Nutrition, Certified Wholistic Rejuvenist and EFT-ADV. You can visit her website at: http://www.myhealthmaven.com