The driving force behind the public’s inclination towards alternative sweeteners is to avoid the health risks caused by unchecked sugar consumption. Patients of Type 2 diabetes, heart ailments and obesity also resort to such sweeteners to keep their respective medical conditions in check while they satisfy their sweet tooth. However, what the average consumer fails to realise is that while keeping their calories and cholesterol in check, most artificial sugar substitutes expose them to a more fatal health hazard.
The link between artificial sweeteners and cancer- how did it come to be?
The seed of doubt was first sown in the minds of researchers in the 1970s, when saccharin and cyclamate were reported to cause bladder cancer in lab rats. After many subsequent studies, saccharin was delisted from the US National Toxicology Program’s Report on Carcinogens in 2000 due to the lack of clear evidence of it causing cancer in humans (the cancer-causing tumours formed in the bladder of those rats were resulting from a mechanism that was irrelevant to the human body).
As the link between artificial sweeteners and cancer in humans is still neither established nor refuted with absolute certainty, there remains a certain ambiguity about artificial sugar substitutes and their potential association with cancer. Some Inserm research associates, for instance, found that aspartame and acesulfame-K were linked to increase cancer risks in humans but both remain approved for consumption by FDA due to lack of concrete epidemiologic evidence against the same. On the other hand, some researchers believe that more experimental studies need to be conducted on artificial sweeteners for a confirmed statement on its correlation with cancer.
The way forward
Precaution is better than cure, right? So our best bet in the matter is to keep the intake of artificial sugar substitutes in check. And given that the market is full of other healthier options in the form of natural sweeteners, it really shouldn’t be much of a challenge. One of the most popular names among organic sweeteners, at the moment, is stevia, sourced from the herb called Stevia rebaudiana.
Available in the form of dried leaves or stevia extract, this plant-based sweetener has an almost negligible glycemic index and calorie count, and is not known to trigger any inflammatory responses in the body. Stevia in bulk is purchased and used by many F&B brands for sugar reduction in their recipes.
Arboreal is an Indian plant biotechnology company, and a large-scale supplier of premium quality stevia leaves and different varieties of stevia extract. The food technologists on team Arboreal have conducted extensive R&D through the years and compiled it all under the label of ArboEdge- a sensory technology platform containing expert stevia know-how. They also provide custom reformulation support to their F&B clients seeking to replace sugar with stevia in their recipes.
For quality solutions to any sort of stevia query- be it purchasing stevia in bulk or expert assistance on using stevia extract in different food and beverages- contact team Arboreal. They are confident about turning your stevia ideas into reality in not more than 30 days.