Artificial Sweeteners

10 Replies
kristenk0329 - January 22

Should I be concerned about using artificial sweeteners while pregnant? My doctor told me its fine, actually, regular sugar is more harmful to me because i have been diagnosed gestational diabetic. I don;t use it often, only in sugar free jello and pudding or yogurt. Has anyone else read anything about these a/s causing problems?


Alexandra - January 23

My understanding is that the safest artificial sweetener to use while pregnant is Splenda (made with sucralose). I bought a big box and I just carry a few of them in my purse since most coffee shops and restraurants use Sugar Twin or Sweet N' Low, but these are made with aspertame or saccharin - not recommended while pregnant.


Dr. DENISE - February 15

You are harmfully misinformed. Splenda is in no way natural or is it safe. Splenda is the least researched of all ARTIFICIAL sweeteners and has no long term human studies shown it's safety. In fact splenda is a chemically altered sugar molecule that contains Chlorine. Sound healthy to you? In fact, in research studies performed on animals, it was found that Splenda caused: * Shrunken thymus glands (up to 40% shrinkage)-a major immune organ. * Enlarged liver and kidneys * Atrophy of lymph follicles in the spleen and thymus * Increased cecal weight * Reduced growth rate * Decreased red blood cell count * Hyperplasia of the pelvis * Extension of the pregnancy period * Aborted pregnancy * Decreased fetal body weights and placental weights * Diarrhea You would be better off staying away from sugar all together. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a fresh piece of fruit eaten with a handfull of nuts to balance your blood sugar. The decision is yours. Be informed.


karen - February 15

Ideally, pregnant women (or anyone else, for that matter) wouldn't eat added sugar OR artificial sweeteners, but that's not very realistic. I am a diet coke drinker so I have researched this to find out if it is harmful during pregnancy. My doctor said it's fine in moderation, like as in one diet coke a day. I drink caffeine-free, and admittedly I feel like I probably shouldn't be drinking it at all because it doesn't have any nutritional value. But most of the research I've seen says it's only harmful if ingested in very large quant_ties, or only to those who have the genetic abnormality PKU. The FDA says aspartame is not harmful to pregnant women, but is recommended to be consumed in moderation. It says sweet & low (saccharin) is not recommended for pregnant women, however. Here is a link to the article: There are also several articles claiming that artificial sweetners are all harmful, but I don't know that there is any medical research/evidence to back this up. Again, I'm NOT a medical professional and I'm not condoning aspartame--just telling you what I've read.


Sarah - April 20

Have you ever thought of trying Really Raw Honey? It's great as a sweetner in everything and safe for diabetics.


Bakerswife - May 1

Aspartame products actually have had lawsuits placed against them. They have been shown to cause seizures, blindness, etc. The lawsuit was in California, BTW. I never put anything artificial in my body, especially when I am pregnant. Why not use flavored Stevia in seltzer water.


Trish# - May 10

I too have done my research and want the Splenda-users not to worry or freak out unneccessarily: "Splenda is a trade name given to a generic, low calorie sweetener called sucralose. According to the Food and Drug Administration and the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives, sucralose is safe for everyone to consume, including pregnant women. Many people have questioned the safety of the additive because the process to make sucralose involves taking real sugar and subst_tuting three chlorine atoms for three hydrogen-oxygen groups on the sugar molecule. The addition of chlorine atoms renders the sugar molecule inactive so that it pa__ses through the body without being metabolized. This is what makes it low calorie. Your body does not recognize the molecule as either a sugar or a carbohydrate, so it has no effect on blood sugar levels or insulin production making it a safe sugar subst_tute for diabetics to use. US and international health authorities indicate that the safe level of sucralose for people to consume on a daily basis is 5mg/kg of body weight (2.2 pounds). This amount is well within the range of normal daily consumption. You will find sucralose being used in a variety of products including baked goods, dessert items, salad dressings, dairy subst_tutes, beverages and beverage mixes, jams and jellies, syrups, coffee, tea and chewing gum. Although sucralose is considered safe for pregnant and nursing moms, as well as children it is best to try and stay with natural, wholesome foods to ensure that the necessary calories and nutrients are consumed. Pregnant and nursing women, as well as kids, need the calories found in whole foods, such as fresh fruits and grains. If their diet is full of artificially sweetened foods such as frozen desserts and baked goods, they may not have enough of an appet_te left to consume more nutritious foods that provide the calories, as well as the vitamins and minerals necessary for the very important growth and development which they must support." From another doctor's website: "Splenda is the brand name for sucralose, a modification of the regular sucrose (table sugar) molecule making it 600 times sweeter than sugar and not metabolized by the body. So it reaches your taste buds but not your bloodstream. The American Council on Science and Health, a non-profit consumer education consortium concerned with issues related to food, nutrition, chemicals, etc., has reviewed over 100 scientific articles about this new sweetener. They have not found anything that indicated any health risks--including reproductive risks. Of course, sometimes there are surprises when it comes to risks during pregnancy, since animal studies don't always reflect human risk, and there isn't a lot of research using pregnant women as the guinea pigs. All in all, it is reasonable to feel comfortable with using Splenda during pregnancy, with the caveat: everything in moderation." And from another dr: "During pregnancy, the American Dietetic a__sociation states that use of artificial sweeteners within Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines appear safe for pregnant women when consumed in moderation and within the context of a diet consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This means you can use splenda however, be very moderate in it's use. On the other hand, pregnant women should avoid the use of saccharin. According to the ADA, saccharin can cross the placenta and may remain in fetal tissues due to slow fetal clearance. Splenda has not been shown to cross the placenta so I believe it is highly unlikely to harm the unborn baby. " Sorry for the long post, but I believe one of the prior posts was a little off-base and unreasonable. We are pg--not quarantined! Moderation is the key, and if you've indulged in Splenda while pg, please don't beat yourself up or worry about it!!!


drea - May 10

Trish.....I want to thank you for your extremely well researched comments regarding Splenda. As a Splenda user myself, it is nice to see someone give an intelligent explaination of something that there is a bit of controversy over. I appreciate your comments and hope others will as well. Thanks again, and good luck.


MyFirst - May 10

I am sure the best thing would be to avoid artificial sweetners anytime pregnant or not. Unfortunalty I am addicted to Diet Coke like its crack! I have about one a week. I hope the baby will be fine. The doc thinks moderation is okay.


soimpatient - May 15

My First, I'm sure your baby will be fine!! One a week is definitely moderation...if only crack addicts could do just one a week :) My Diet Coke addiction is about 2 a day!!! (I'm not yet preggos though)


CaliTrish - May 19

I was also diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Luckily, I don't have much of a sweet tooth. Moderation is key. Just saw my OB this morning, and she recommends sucralose & aspartame. Bakerswife, my husband just discovered Stevia at the plant nursery. He tried to research it on the internet but couldn't find much info except that it's from S. America, used widely in Asia, but not so much in "Western" countries. The FDA has deemed in an "unsafe food additive". Curious to know how true this is or how influential the artificial sweetener lobbyist are. In the meantime, I am playing it safe and avoiding "herbal" remedies.



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