Equal and Splenda Increase Risk for Stroke and Heart Attack by Dr. Joseph Mercola
An urgent warning if you consume artificial sweeteners – these popular food additives have been directly linked to cardiovascular risks, making them an unsafe alternative to sugar.
- A nine-year study involving 103,388 people linked the artificial sweeteners aspartame (Equal), acesulfame potassium and sucralose (Splenda) to cardiovascular disease and stroke
- Total artificial sweetener intake was associated with increased risk of overall cardiovascular disease and cerebrovascular disease
- Aspartame was associated with an increased risk of stroke while acesulfame potassium and sucralose were associated with increased coronary heart disease risk
- Those in the highest-consuming group were 9% more likely to be diagnosed with cardiovascular disease and 18% more likely to suffer from cerebrovascular disease
- The study found that just 78 milligrams a day of artificial sweeteners — about the amount found in half a can of diet soda — posed a health risk
If you consume artificial sweeteners like aspartame (Equal), acesulfame potassium and sucralose (Splenda) you’re taking a gamble with your health. These no-calorie sweeteners have flooded the market, luring in diet- and health-conscious consumers who mistakenly believe that swapping sugar for artificial sweeteners makes sense.
In one of the latest red flags to date — a nine-year study involving 103,388 people — researchers have once again linked the products to health problems, this time cardiovascular disease and stroke.1 To protect your health, it’s essential to cut these additives from your diet; doing so is easy when you address the underlying emotional connection that may be driving you to consume these widely available products.
‘Direct’ Link Between Artificial Sweeteners, Health Risks
Researchers from France studied the detailed dietary records of adults with an average age of 42.2 Specifically, three non-consecutive days (two weekdays and one weekend day) of 24-hour dietary records were assigned at the study’s start and again every six months thereafter. Participants detailed all foods and beverages they consumed during that time, including quantities, brand names and even photographs to validate the recordings.3
The dietary records were further validated using blood and urinary biomarkers. Then, the researchers looked for any associations with cardiovascular diseases, including coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease, which refers to disorders that affect blood flow in the brain, such as stroke, aneurysms and vascular malformations.
Total artificial sweetener intake was associated with increased risk of overall cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cerebrovascular disease, the study found. Among the specific artificial sweeteners, aspartame was associated with an increased risk of stroke (defined in the study as cerebrovascular events), while acesulfame potassium and sucralose were associated with increased coronary heart disease risk.4
“Our results suggest no benefit from substituting artificial sweeteners for added sugar on CVD outcomes,” the study found.5 “The findings from this large scale prospective cohort study suggest a potential direct association between higher artificial sweetener consumption (especially aspartame, acesulfame potassium, and sucralose) and increased cardiovascular disease risk.”6