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Non nutritive sweeteners and its effects on health

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overview of the artificial sweeteners widely used in foods and beverages

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Non nutritive sweeteners and its effects on health

  1. 1. Prepared by Dr. Altamash Mahmood NIPSOM,Bangladesh
  2. 2. Abstract:  Obesity has become an epidemic across the globe.  Obesity is a result of many factors including poor dietary habits, inadequate physical activity, hormonal issues, as well as many psychological issues.  Of the many avenues for treatment, dietary interventions are the most common.  Amidst the rise of weight loss diets, there has been a surge of individual products advertised as assuring quick weight loss; one such product group is non- nutritive sweeteners(NNS).
  3. 3. Abstract:  Sugar, a common component of our diet, is also a major contributing factor to a number of health problems, including obesity and increased dental diseases both in adults and children.  Obesity related health issues, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, and hypertension, once only found in older adults, are increasing in youth.  Manufacturers of NNS are using this as an opportunity to promote their products, and are marketing them as safe for all ages.  But there is a lack of conclusive evidence based research to discourage or to encourage their use on a regular basis.
  4. 4. Nutritive vs Non-nutritive sweeteners  Sugar and other sweeteners like fructose, dextrose, lactose, maltose, honey and concentrated fruit juice sweeteners are called nutritive sweeteners.  Sugar alcohols, including sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, maltitol and erythritol, also are considered nutritive sweeteners.  Nutritive sweeteners add energy(calories) to the diet.  Non-nutritive sweeteners do not add energy.  The FDA has approved five non-nutritive sweeteners:  Saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame-K, sucralose and stevia(the latest).
  5. 5. FDA approved non-nutritive sweeteners Sweeteners Relative sweetness to sugar Energy (kcal/g) Acceptable daily intake Approved uses Saccharin 330-450 0 5mg/kg of body weight Tabletop sweetener, wide range of foods, beverages and non food item, can be used in baked foods Aspartame 200 4 50mg/kg of body weight General purpose sweetener in all foods and beverages Acesulfame potassium 200 0 15mg/kg of body weight Chewing gums, instant coffees, teas, gelatins, and no dairy creamers Sucralose 600 0 5mg/kg of body weight General purpose sweetener in all foods, stable at high temperatures Stevia 200-300 0 12mg/kg of body weight General purpose sweetener, safe for diebetics
  6. 6. Benefits of using non-nutritive sweeteners  Can contribute pleasurable sweet sensations without increasing energy intake.  Do not increase the incidence of dental caries.  Do not affect blood sugar.  Decrease calorie content of food.  Can be used in non food items to make them taste more pleasurable.  Can be used to replace sugar in cooking or baking.  Only require small amount to sweeten foods and beverages.  May aid in weight control.
  7. 7. Downside of using non-nutritive sweeteners  They may cause an aftertaste.  They are not all good substitutes for sugar in cooking and baking.  Limited history of some means not all is known beyond the accepted daily intake.  There is limited research on the safety during pregnancy.  Warning label is required on foods that contain aspartame.  Sweetener or sweet taste may increase appetite.  They may alter metabolism, which could lead to overeating.
  8. 8. Known non-nutritive sweeteners Natural extracts:  Steviol glycosides  Mogrosides  Brazzein  Thaumatin Synthetic chemicals:  Saccharine  acesulfame-K  cyclamate Semi-synthetic peptides:  aspartame  Neotame  Alitame  Advantame Semi-synthetic sugar:  sucralose
  9. 9. Background and public health importance  It is widely understood that of the many contributing factors, a high sugar/high fat diet is partly to be blamed for the increasing obesity and related health issues such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and certain cancers.  As a result of the many negative health conditions associated with the intake of excessive sugar, there has been an upsurge in the consumption of NNS as an alternative.  Consumption of NNS containing foods has increased among people of all ages, with 28% of the total population reporting intake.
  10. 10. Continued:  NNS are known to be at least 30 to 13000 times sweeter in taste compared with their natural counterpart, sugar(sucrose).  The intense sweetness allows for smaller portions to yield sugar like sweetness in food products, thus enabling the manufacturers to label them as virtually ‘sugar free’ or ‘non caloric’.  The fundamental principle behind this upsurge in use of NNS is that individuals struggling with obesity can enjoy foods and beverages without the risk of consuming additional calories contributed by normal sugar based products.
  11. 11. Continued  Overzealous use of these NNS brings to light the issue of safety, mainly with respect to the maximum amounts of said NNS considered safe for human consumption and whether there are any associated health issues with the use of these laboratory created sweeteners.  Since their discovery and introduction into the public market, there has been much debate regarding the health advantages and disadvantages of artificial sweeteners.  The NNS industry has come a long way and consumers now have products safe for consumption, even for kids.  However, irrespective of advancements in technology, it appears that scientific information regarding sweeteners and the established amounts considered safe for consumption seem to be scarce.
  12. 12. Saccharin:  It was discovered by Remsen and Fahlberg at John Hopkins University in 1879.  It is the oldest NNS and has been on the market for more than 100 years.  It is commonly used in soft drinks, baked foods, jams, canned fruits, salad dressing, candy, dessert toppings, and chewing gums, in addition to being used as a tabletop sweetener.  It is also used in other household products such as toothpaste, lip gloss, mouthwash, vitamins, and pharmaceuticals.  An important characteristic of saccharin is that its sweetening power is not reduced when heated, which makes it excellent candidate as an additive in low caloric and sugar free products.
  13. 13. Continued  Saccharin is not metabolized in the gastrointestinal tract and therefore does not affect blood insulin levels, which makes saccharin a viable sugar substitute for patients with diabetes.  Since its introduction into the market, saccharin has been researched extensively to determine its carcinogenic potential.  Clinical studies conducted have shown no association between saccharin consumption and cancer in humans.  The adequate dietary intake(ADI) for saccharin is set at 5mg/kg of body weight per day for adults and children.
  14. 14. Aspartame :  Originally discovered by James Schalatter, a chemist.  It is the methyl ester of the two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenyl-alanine.  As because it is made from amino acid, it provides 4kcal/g.  Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than sucrose and therefore very small amounts are required for sweetening foods, thus making its caloric contribution insignificant.  The acceptable daily intake of aspartame for humans is 50mg/kg body weight, for both adults and children.  Aspartame is used as a sweetener in many products including chewing gums, diet soda, dry drink mixtures, yogurt and pudding, and instant tea and coffee.
  15. 15. Continued:  In a study on the effects of artificial sweeteners on food intake, aspartame was found by participants to have more pleasant taste compared with stevia or sucrose.  Furthermore, aspartame does not elicit the same response as sugar does in the brain or the pancreas. In the pancreas, aspartame does not stimulate an insulin response as sugar does.  Common side effects from aspartame consumption include dizziness, headaches, GI issues and mood changes.  There are mixed reports about the safety of aspartame.  There are some claims that a number of health problems are associated with consumption of aspartame including; Alzheimer’s disease, attention deficit disorder, birth defects, cancer, diabetes, gulf war syndrome and lupus.
  16. 16. Acesulfamne-K  It was discovered in 1967 by the pharmaceutical company, Hoechst.  It is about 200 times sweeter than the table sugar sucrose.  Initially acesulfame-K was permitted to be used only in foods such as sugar free baked goods, chewing gums, and gelatin desserts.  Later, it was approved to be used in soft drinks by the FDA.  The ADI of acesulfame-K is 15mg/kg body weight.  It is a blended product comprising of an organic acid and potassium.  Typically found in food products in combination with other artificial sweeteners, which helps in developing an optimum flavor profile.
  17. 17. Continued  It is usually combined with aspartame and sucralose to provide a synergistic sweetening effect.  Concerns about the safety profile of blends of artificial sweeteners are addressed in a study that found no synergistic genotoxic effects when acesulfame-K was used in combination with aspartame in mice.
  18. 18. Sucralose  Sucralose was discovered in 1976 and was granted FDA approval in 1998 for use as a sugar substitute in 15 food and beverage categories.  It has a taste profile very similar to sugar and has no unpleasant aftertaste, an undesirable trait found in many other NNS.  Extensive testing has established an excellent safety profile for sucralose, allowing it to be used among all population groups, including pregnant and nursing mothers.  It is 600 times sweeter than table sugar.  Sucralose is most similar to table sugar, but unlike sugar, sucralose does not promote tooth decay.
  19. 19. Continued  Sucralose has been reported to be non-carcinogenic and non-genotoxic and is considered to be safe for long term use.  Sucralose has been deemed safe for consumption by patients with diabetes because it has no effect on carbohydrate metabolism.  However, case studies have identified sucralose to be a causative agent in triggering migraine headaches.  Based on its strong safety background, it is even promoted for use among children.
  20. 20. Stevia  It is a natural NNS, a glycoside isolated from the plant Stevia Rebaudiana Bertoni .  Recently, stevia has been marketed as a non caloric sweetener in baked food and soft drinks.  Studies have indicated possible role of stevia in increasing insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance in humans.  As far as safety issues concerning stevia, no negative side effects have been reported thus far.  Study shows that, consumption of stevia significantly lowered insulin levels compared to both aspartame and sucrose, thus suggesting that using stevia in place of sucrose might be an effective way of managing food intake and satiation concerns.
  21. 21. Continued  It is about 200-400 times sweeter than sucrose depending on the type of application and formulation.  Its acceptable daily intake(ADI) is 4mg/kg body weight.  Steviol glycosides sweetness accompanied by after taste.  Blending steviol glycoside with sugar alcohol erythritol helps masking this after taste property.  The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates stevia market could eventually replace 20-30% of all non nutritive sweeteners.  It is widely used in soft drinks, Japanese style vegetable products, tabletop sweeteners, fruit products and seafoods.
  22. 22. Neotame  It is a peptide derivative of aspartic acid and phenyl- alanine.  Approved as a sweetener and flavor enhancer.  7000 times sweeter than sucrose.  60 times sweeter than aspartame.  Neotame can be blended with nutritive sweeteners to match the taste while providing significant cost savings.  It has wide application for using in beverages and cereals, tabletop sweeteners, chewing gums and confectionary, frozen yogurt, ice cream.
  23. 23. Global market of non nutritive sweeteners  Global market for the year 2010 was 9.2 billion dollars.  Global market for the year 2011 was 9.3 billion dollars.  Global market for the year 2016 was 9.9 billion dollars.  Global market for the year 2017 is expected to reach 10 billion dollars.
  24. 24. Conclusion  The clinical and epidemiologic data available at present are insufficient to make firm conclusions regarding the benefits of NNS displacing caloric sweeteners in energy balance maintenance or decrease of body weight or cardiometabolic risk factors.  As a result scarce epidemiologic and clinical data on the pros and cons of consuming NNS, very few recommendations regarding consumption of artificial sweeteners are made available.  For optimal health it is recommended that only minimal amounts of both sugar and NNS to be consumed.  Today, there is renewed emphasis on eating fresh, local, and natural foods to maintain good health and promote sustainability.
  25. 25. Continued  This calls for a balanced diet that includes whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds, low fat dairy and lean meats, and avoidance or minimal inclusion of processes foods and additives.  If these general principles of lifestyle are followed, artificial sweeteners, like sugars they replace, will have an insignificant role in our diet and our lives.

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