Can I Take Artificial Sweeteners During Pregnancy?

Artificial Sweeteners
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Pregnancy causes a lot of concern regarding almost everything including artificial sweeteners. It wouldn’t be surprising if you are wondering whether or not can you take artificial sweeteners during pregnancy.

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It’s best to avoid artificial sweeteners during pregnancy, however, if you get set to detect products that may contain harmful artificial sweeteners you may find that most unsuspected products like fruit juices, microwave popcorns and energy drinks include artificial sweetener.

So how do you ensure that you avoid artificial sweeteners? Well, it’s definitely a cumbersome task but what you need to understand is that, artificial sweetener is not always harmful.

Some doctors are of the opinion that in general most artificial sweeteners are safe during pregnancy when taken in moderation, but toxic levels may harm you and the growing foetus in the womb.

Artificial Sweeteners And Pregnancy – What’s Safe And What’s Not

The FDA has approved the use of aspartame in artificial sweeteners like NutraSweet for general consumption. Except for those suffering from Phenylketonuria, which is a genetic disease, where the level of phenylalanine in the blood is high.

The reason being, it has been observed that individuals suffering from Phenylketonuria have great difficulty in metabolizing an amino acid found in aspartame.

Sucralose based artificial sweetener or Splenda as it is commonly called is a non-caloric sweetener found mostly in frozen dairy products, fruit juices, syrups and sauces. Splenda is considered to be safe for consumption during pregnancy and also during the breast feeding period.

Acesulfame Potassium available as Sunett, Sweet One and Ace-K is used in Sugar-free gelatins, baked products, frozen deserts, puddings and even in some beverages. The FDA has approved it as safe for use during pregnancy provided it is used in moderation.

Saccharin which is sold as “Sweet and Low” is not as commonly used as before but can still be found in many food items including  beverages. The use of saccharin is unadvisable during pregnancy as it crosses the placenta  and can remain in the fetal tissues.

In addition, high consumption of saccharin has been related to bladder cancer in the past, however, there is no substantial evidence to prove it.

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Stevioside which is a natural sweetener is extracted from the  Stevia leaf. Though banned in the US in the early 90′s, it has now been approved as a dietary supplement in the US.  There is no evidence of Stevioside causing complications during pregnancy or causing genetic defects in the baby.

It is considered safe, however,  make sure to first consult your doctor regarding the artificial sweetener you use during pregnancy and the intake quality in order to be on a safe side.

Artificial Sweeteners
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Editorial Staffs, a team of writers and experts in their fields.
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