What’s the Deal with Non-Nutritive Sweeteners?

By October 20, 2020 Nutrition

Business is booming for manufacturers of NNS (non-nutritive sweeteners). In an industry worth over $2 billion globally, we gradually turn our attention away from the villainy of processed sugar.

The huge increase in NNS consumption is most markedly seen in the increased consumption of diet soda.

However, while NNS may be a blanket term for many familiar named sweeteners, not all sweeteners are made equal, and each are processed by our bodies in very different ways.

You may be familiar with name brands such as Sweet One, NutraSweet, Sweet’N Low, Truvia, and Splenda. I wonder if we would we be as keen to consume them if they were called by their chemical name?

Acesulfame-K = Sunset  Sweet One

Aspartame = NutraSweet

Saccharine = Sweet’N Low

Steviol Glycoside


Rebaudioside A. = Stevia, Truvia

Sucralose = Splenda

They are also made in differing ways, for example NutraSweet with the chemical name of Aspartame is manufactured by genetically modified E. coli, which is cultivated in tanks and fed so that it can defecate the proteins that contain the aspartic acid-phenylalanine amino acid segment used to make aspartame. The proteins are then collected and treated in a process called methylation to produce the sweetener.

As bad as all this sounds, are non-nutritive sweeteners a better choice?

Well, the answer to that is none conclusive.

There have many studies carried out covering many aspects of NNS consumption from adverse health effects, safety, effects on appetite to increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus, and this is what we know so far:

Contrary to popular belief, there appears to be no link with NNS and cancer which is always a great start. However, there may be an increased risk of coronary heart disease and chronic kidney disease with heavy consumers of diet sodas (over 2 cans per day).

Generally, when consumed in moderation NNS are considered pretty safe unless you have phenylketonuria (an inherited disorder that increases the level of phenylalanine in the blood. Phenylalanine is a building block of proteins that is obtained through diet. It is found in all proteins and in some artificial sweeteners. If PKU is not treated, phenylalanine can build up to harmful levels in the body causing intellectual disability and other serious health problems).

We would recommend that if you do use NNS, opt for brands that the body does not metabolize or store and is excreted unchanged. We do not promote products but information on NNS is readily available on line.

How did your last weight loss program go? If you’re ready to try something that actually works, contact us now.

We believe in making healthy, lifelong changes to your daily eating and exercise patterns. Physician’s Weight Control & Wellness’s programs are different from other weight loss programs in that they are specifically constructed by bariatric specialists to meet each patient’s individual needs based on their body chemistry, lifestyle, and weight loss goals. Our individualized programs focus on providing positive alternatives to unhealthy habits and targeting foods that provide your body with the specific nutrients it needs for optimal energy and fat metabolism. Practical exercise and hydration are also implemented into our overall program.

In addition to our advice in these areas, our patients have the added benefit of physician-prescribed appetite suppressants (diet pills). These medications are all approved and found to be safe and effective by the FDA., and we strictly follow the Obesity Medicine Association’s guidelines for long-term use of diet pills.

We encourage you to become a part of our successful weight loss program. We offer 50 years of safety, experience, knowledge, and expertise found nowhere else!