- advertisement -

Natural sugars vs. sweeteners

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Sprocket, Aug 3, 2015.

  1. Theo's dad Joe

    Theo's dad Joe Approved members

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    802
    Swellman, I'm not saying that aspartame is harmful, but can you list any other chemical substance besides aspartame that do not exist in nature aside from being produced in a lab, that are fit for human consumption with no negative side effects? (There are synthetic drugs that will benefit on balance because they ameliorate pathological conditions of course, but except for the balance of treatment versus side effect, what other chemical substances (compounds) that are not found in nature are good to eat?)
     
  2. njswede

    njswede Approved members

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2015
    Messages:
    385
    There are hundreds of approved synthetic food additives that are extensively tested and found safe. Pretty much anything with an E-number.

    The problem is that the distinction produced in a lab vs. grown in nature is arbitrary and irrelevant. Whether a molecule is harmful or beneficial depends on the structure of said molecule, not where and how it was produced. It carries about as much relevance as saying that food that comes in a blue package is better than food that comes in a red package.

    But I really need to stop putting fuel on this fire. I don't think this is helping anyone care for their beloved diabetic children.

    [EDIT: And by the way, synthetic additives aren't even produced in a lab. They come from gigantic factories, just like pretty much everything else most people eat]
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
  3. swellman

    swellman Approved members

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    3,544
    I don't agree. If a parent is avoiding artificial sweeteners solely on some internet mumbo-jumbo and are having difficulties with sugar products then I think the discussion is relevant.

    You are truly a Naturalist.

    I could name a bazillion chemicals that come from "nature" or food for that matter, that are completely deadly. In fact, nearly all of them at some concentration.

    By the way, I completely incorrectly used Naturalistic Fallacy when it should have been Appeal to Nature and have edited my original post.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    6,771
    A few examples of "natural foods" that are poisonous:

    Mushrooms (Toadstools)
    Elderberry
    Castor Bean
    Bitter Almonds
    Apples (seeds contain small amounts of cyanide)
    Rhubarb (leaves)
    Tomatoes (leaves and stems)
    Potatoes (leaves and stems)
     
  5. Theo's dad Joe

    Theo's dad Joe Approved members

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    802
    I never said a thing was good because it was natural, so you misapplied that one too. I said that human natural selection would have had no way to select based on ability to tolerate chemicals that are not present in nature. It is a biological law of gene-enzyme-substrate specificity.

    I also should retract something I wrote before about aspartame not having a putative mechanism of harm.

    In was shown in 1998 to yield formaldehyde in body tissue http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9714421, but formaldehyde was not classified as a carcinogen at that time.
    In 2011 formaldehyde was classified as a carcinogen.
    (and of course formaldehyde is totally natural and I'm not defending it, but it can accumulate due to the lack of a mechanism needed to tolerate aspartame)

    See, THAT is how science "works." Once something becomes approved or accepted in a field, the burden of proof shifts to disproving what is accepted. Even though a mechanism has been elucidated, because it has been classified as safe, it will take clear evidence of actual, not just potential harm to undo the accepted status.
    See, that is how science works
     
  6. Theo's dad Joe

    Theo's dad Joe Approved members

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    802
    Again, this is a deflecting fallacy as I never suggested that natural substances were healthy because they were natural. Tell me that you can see the logical inconsistency in going there, please! Do you see the difference? If A can be B, and C is not A does not mean that C is any less likely to be B. If you can't follow, that is A=natural compound; B=Toxic compound; C=Compound not occurring in nature.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
  7. njswede

    njswede Approved members

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2015
    Messages:
    385
    Rat experiment on cirrhotic rats. Human trials have not found any significant accumulation of formaldehyde. If I remember correctly, the mechanism goes something like this: Aspartame is partially metabolized into methanol, which is then oxidized (by alcohol dehydrase) to formaldehyde. The problem is that the amount of methanol produced by normal consumption of aspartame is less than what you get from consuming common fruits and is well within the limit of what the body can safely dispose of. Also keep in mind that formaldehyde is a natural metabolite of many natural (and healthy) foods.

    STOP. THE. FEAR. MONGERING.
     
  8. swellman

    swellman Approved members

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    3,544
    I mean, you DO know that formaldehyde plays a part in our metabolism, right? Our bodies produce it naturally. So, calling it a carcinogen is EXACTLY fear mongering. Sure, it's classified as a carcinogen but there a HUGE difference between small amounts in the body and industrial us.

    TL;DR: OMG humans produce formaldehyde and shouldn't be allowed in California without a Prop 16 warning.
     
  9. swellman

    swellman Approved members

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    3,544
    So, in context, eating a naturally sweet apple with also produce formaldehyde in the body.
     
  10. njswede

    njswede Approved members

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2015
    Messages:
    385
    That was sort of my point, yes. The bottom line for me is that synthetic sweeteners are a useful tool for me and my son and the scientific consensus is that they're safe, so we'll keep using them. You can always find outlier studies that show a different result, but we must keep in mind that they're just that: Outliers.
     
  11. Timmy Mac

    Timmy Mac Approved members

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    238
    I probably use artificial sweeteners more than most, and after 17 years, I don't have any ill effects so I'll continue using them. I'm still on MDI, and I don't feel that things like a can of soda between meals are worth an extra shot. That's the main reason I drink diet. The only 2 things I actively avoid are regular pancake syrup and regular soda. Everything else is fair game to me!
     
  12. Theo's dad Joe

    Theo's dad Joe Approved members

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    802
    OK I made a mistake in bringing up the formaldehyde issue. I had written earlier that there was no putative mechanism by which Aspartame would cause cancer, and I wanted to correct that because there is a putative mechanism by which it could, but my mistake was that I let you off the hook about the misapplication of the appeal to nature by giving you something else to talk about instead.

    Let me edit my post to the first paragraph:

    'I never said a thing was good because it was natural, so you misapplied (the appeal to nature) that one too. I said that human natural selection would have had no way to select based on ability to tolerate chemicals that are not present in nature. It is a biological law of gene-enzyme-substrate specificity.'

    Formaldehyde, incidentally is the product of human metabolism in that we turn something much much worse-formic acid produced from trace methanol which is in many foods-into something slightly less harmful-formaldehyde.
    Saying that formaldehyde is not bad because we produce it in our bodies is like saying that urea and ammonia are not bad because we produce them in our bodies.
     
  13. Theo's dad Joe

    Theo's dad Joe Approved members

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    802
    The good news is I am packing for a flight and so I won't be posting anymore and probably will forget about this thread by the time we are back-maybe because of all the aspartame I've ingested over the years, maybe not.

    FINAL EDIT: I just got a response from my medicinal chemist contact who I tend to trust very much on nutritional issues, and hopefully it makes people feel better. I would be more likely to use artificial sweeteners after hearing back from him, and I will note that it doesn't eliminate the fact that the "appeal to nature" is utterly misapplied. I have nothing particular against aspartame. I think we balance things and that toxicity is dose dependent, and a little aspartame is probably better than a little more sugar much of the time for many people. Here is his response (by the way, he considers the methanol and formaldehyde issue around aspartame to be "nonsensical." Also my specific question to him was about Aspartame, sucralose, sorbitol, and Stevia. Also lastly note that I never said that aspartame was bad. I have been exposed to plenty of chems including formaldehyde in the lab and things that are definitely not good. I said that with a non-natural compound the strong burden of proof should be on demonstrating that it is safe because of the way that natural selection works in the evolution of enzymes, and that substances have gotten approval and clearly found later to be harmful and that there may be economic and political forces that affect that process: (finally, his response):

    So far as I know it's impossible to really prove the point from published studies, other than that it's possible to show that some assertions are unsupported or even nonsensical. (Alleged methanol toxicity from aspartame being the specific one I have in mind there.)

    It may well be the case that artificial sweeteners disrupt the gut microbiota. It's demonstrated in animals, not proven in humans, not disproven either.

    It may well be the case that artificial sweeteners disrupt the brain's ability to regulate caloric intake, by confounding the natural relationship between perceived sweetness and actual caloric intake. It's demonstrated in animals, but again neither proven nor disproven in humans.

    If there's an indirect result of increasing blood sugar, I don't know of it.

    My suggestion in general is to try avoiding them. Some absolutely are persuaded by experience that they do better with avoiding them, others not. It's easy enough to try.

    If there is disturbance of gut microbiota, then I don't at all think that occasional small intake will make much difference.

    As total guesswork, if there's an effect on appetite regulation, I'd personally guess that occasional small intake would not disrupt that ability much.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
  14. njswede

    njswede Approved members

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2015
    Messages:
    385
    Don't take this the wrong way, but what exactly, with regards to the topic of sweeteners, is your point? Are you recommending the use of artificial sweeteners or are you saying they're harmful?

    EDIT: "Saying that formaldehyde is not bad because we produce it in our bodies is like saying that urea and ammonia are not bad because we produce them in our bodies". Yes, it makes perfect sense for something to be beneficial, harmless and harmful all at the same time. It all depends on the dose. I'll give you a perfect example: Insulin. BAZINGA!
     
  15. rgcainmd

    rgcainmd Approved members

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    Messages:
    1,379
    Joe, are you able to finally see all the mishegas you start with so many of your posts? I (and many other parents on this Forum) would appreciate it if you would just stop with these kinds of posts, the ones in which you spout biochemical reactions, link to numerous (often quite fuzzy and woo) outlying studies, and jump to an irrelevant and/or error-ridden conclusion that I suspect scares several (especially "newbie") parents and/or results in them feeling guilty or responsible for their children's T1D.

    Speaking for myself, I am not impressed by your ability to google and link, ostensibly to "inform" and "educate" other parents. I see it for what it likely is: an unquenchable need to appear intelligent (perhaps you struggle with feelings of inadequacy because your wife is a physician and you are not...) and feed your boundless narcissism. (Pretty harsh, but if this is what it takes, I guess I have to go there.)

    Please wake up and smell the coffee. Can you truly not see how many people you have annoyed and/or downright p1$$ed off? The parents on this Forum are, on the whole, incredibly supportive, helpful, and knowledgable (the invaluable kind of knowledge that results from years of dealing with T1D, knowledge that very few endos themselves possess) and are the people you need in your corner, now and when the you-know-what hits the fan at the end of your son's honeymoon. Don't cut off your own nose to spite your face.
     
  16. Theo's dad Joe

    Theo's dad Joe Approved members

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    802

    It is clear that you are annoyed very easily. It is clear to me that you have feelings of anger about me, and I don't know why. You do not communicate the way that most of the perhaps 10,000 people I have communicated with in my life communicate. I won't try to clinically define it. Look at your post #18. I asked 3 questions and you decided to basically stalk me and interject yourself to tell me that I was trying to look smarter than someone else. When I asked how my post was trying to make me look smarter, you disappeared. You have relentlessly hounded me like that and posted non-substantial snark, and again slipped away when I asked you to explain or pointed out your lack of logic.

    Are you representing the views of posters on this site who have PMed you about me (or are you just projecting your own feelings here?) because I got several PMs from people within the first 2 days on this site telling me specifically to ignore you and a couple of others by name because your were a typical 'overly defensive internet troll.'

    I appreciate all of the other posters, save maybe 3 or 4 who I have found to communicate atypically among members of the human species. They have helped me immensely. I don't know why you communicate differently, or why you are specifically angry at my posts because you avoid constructive discussion and move from one insult to another.

    You refuse to talk to me on this forum like a human being, period. Good bye.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
  17. rgcainmd

    rgcainmd Approved members

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    Messages:
    1,379
    Yes, I am representing the views of quite a few posters on this site who have PMed me about you. Repeatedly. Do you not read the responses your posts generate?
     
  18. Theo's dad Joe

    Theo's dad Joe Approved members

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    802
    Yes, from you and 2 others, every time.

    Look you called leaky gut "woo science". I posted 17 pubmed articles on leaky gut research. You disappeared. That is not appropriate communication.

    Another description that I was PMed about you: 'inherently and mindlessly confrontational'
    My experience with you leads me to agree at this point.

    Christopher pops up on a thread to question why I would ask parents (who have successfully navigated airport travel issues) about cgms and airport security instead of calling the manufacturer. And you stick your head up long enough to throw out a non-constructive insult.

    (Boy I have quite a few only positive PMs that have gone into my box in the last half hour...)
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
  19. swellman

    swellman Approved members

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    3,544
    NO!!! Formaldehyde is an important component of our metabolism. In fact, it has been said it's essential. Pectin, from maybe apples?, is converted to formaldehyde.

    Your analogy is so horrible. Urea isn't bad nor is ammonia. Being bathed in industrial quantities is. Small amounts is not.

    You're going off the rails.
     
  20. njswede

    njswede Approved members

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2015
    Messages:
    385
    Not to nitpick, but you got the reaction backwards. Methanol is turned into formaldehyde FIRST (by alcohol dehydrase) and THEN into formic acid and formate. Not the other way around.
     

Share This Page

- advertisement -

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice