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DANGER: Diet Soda

Updated on April 23, 2015

Diet Sodas Could Be Detrimental to your Health

Many people throughout the world drink diet soda simply because they like it, but also because they perhaps think diet sodas are somehow preferable because they contain less calories and no sugar. In fact, artificial sweeteners may be linked to weight gain, headaches, digestive issues, and nausea, among other things. Many experts claim artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda or NutraSweet, are worse for your body than natural sugar and can even be more detrimental to a diabetic than sugar. Claims are out there that suggest that studies show artificial sweeteners can raise your risk of heart attack or stroke by up to 50%. Another potential problem with drinking a diet soda is that this could mean you are not getting adequate water, which is at least 64 ounces per day. This lens will look at some of the potential problems associated with diet soda and artificial sweeteners so we can all be aware of the possible risks if we decide to down a Diet Coke today.

Image credit: free image from wikimedia commons

Please Note

I am not a doctor, a chemist, a microbiologist, a biochemist, or even an expert on this topic. I'm a concerned consumer. Sharing information about possible risks is my objective since it appears that avoiding artificial sweeteners may be in our best interest.

Aspartame - a Poison?

If you're sipping on or eating something containing NutraSweet or Equal at the moment, you may want to pause a bit and reconsider after reading this article. Aspartame, otherwise known as AminoSweet, NutraSweet, or Equal, is believed by many experts to be carcinogenic. That's right, it may actually cause cancer. Note, I said "may". Keep reading.

According to Dr. Mercola's website, Aspartame accounts for 75 percent of adverse reactions to food additives that were reported to the FDA. That is more than the adverse reactions due to all other foods and food additives COMBINED. Ninety different not-so-great affects may be linked to aspartame, including loss of taste, weight gain, joint pain, nausea, anxiety attacks, breathing difficulty, fatigue, headaches and migraines, memory loss, and hearing loss. What's worse is that many diseases and disorders may be worsened with the intake of aspartame. Some of these include Fibromyalgia, Diabetes, brain tumors, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Now, according to an article on, "Aspartame may have long-term carcinogenic effects. However, as of 2011 there is still no scientific evidence proving that aspartame causes cancer." The American Cancer Society says that claims have been made that aspartame is responsible for things such as headaches, lupus, Gulf War syndrome, birth defects, and seizures, but research is limited and shows no negative effects of aspartame thus far. They also say that research continues.

Is aspartame going to give you cancer or any other of these issues? I don't really know, do you? Why risk it?

Learn more! Here are some of my sources and loads more info:

Aspartame Articles on

American Cancer Society

Info about methanol from the EPA

Aspartame Article on

"Foods With Aspartame To Avoid" at

Aspartame on Wikipedia

The Dangers of Aspartame - (NutraSweet)

One Recent Study

From CBS News

In an article entitled "New Study is a Wake Up Call for Diet Soda Drinkers", CBS News reports that a recent study indicates people actually gain weight from drinking diet soda. The study followed 474 people between the ages of 65 and 74 for ten years and showed that the people who drank diet soda regularly grew bigger in the waist 70 percent more than the people who refrained from drinking it. In addition, risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer are said to be higher as well in the diet soda drinkers, according to the article from CBS News. Mice who consumed aspartame showed higher blood sugar levels than mice who did not consume it.

Does your doctor talk about artificial sweeteners and diet soda?

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Photo Credit: Harbin, wikimedia commons
Photo Credit: Harbin, wikimedia commons

So, What About Splenda?

aka: Sucralose

Splenda is an unnatural substance called sucralose. You may hear that it IS natural because it comes from natural sugar, which is partially correct. Sucralose is a derivative of sugar. During the process of manufacturing sucralose, the sugar molecules are converted, using chlorine, into fructo-galactose molecules. This substance does not exist in nature, therefore it is not natural. Our bodies do not metabolize sucralose, hence the "zero calorie" claim. So, what happens if your body can't metabolize it? Some reports claim that about 15 percent of the sucralose you consume is absorbed by the digestive system and ultimately stored within your body. Sucralose is absorbed by fat. Disconcerting, to say the least.

Photo credit:, click on image for site
Photo credit:, click on image for site

There is a definite lack of long-term studies of the effects of sucralose in humans. In fact, I read that the longest trial only lasted three days. Again, disconcerting. Reports of adverse effects include problems with heart palpatations, seizures, weight gain, gastrointestinal problems, headaches and migraines, and dizziness. Again, since studies and truthful reports are lacking, these effects are not verified. A disturbing claim by some experts is that sucralose reduces the amount of good bacteria within our stomachs and intestines. Of course we need the good bacteria to support our immune systems and for our overall health, so killing the helpful bacteria probably isn't recommended. Other reports claim sucralose may cause rejection of drugs like chemotherapy, AIDS treatment, and treatments for heart conditions. DISCONCERTING! Sucralose may also increase the pH level in the intestines.

More information about sucralose:

The Potential Dangers of Sucralose (Splenda)

Sugar Substitutes and the Potential Danger of Splenda

"Dangers of Sucralose" on

Dangers of Splenda Revealed

Weigh In!

Do you think the argument against diet sodas and artificial sweeteners holds water? Why or why not?

Diet Soda Health Dangers - Segment from The Early Show on CBS

Thanks for Visiting!

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    • davenjilli lm profile image

      davenjilli lm 4 years ago

      All soda is processed as a poison in our bodies! Really it should be outlawed and only available to adults with serious fair warning - not unlike what we do with tobacco & alcohol in this country.

    • profile image

      mathew31 4 years ago

      I'd have to agree with you on all of these points. I've heard a lot about aspartame and artificial sweeteners, and there's no doubt that they're bad for you - even without scientific research in my opinion. Great lens, very informative. Thanks for sharing :)

    • jericho911 lm profile image

      jericho911 lm 4 years ago

      I've read studies that say that if you choose to use artificial sweeteners, then sucralose is the way to go because it doesn't raise your insulin levels like all of the other sugar substitutes.

    • marktplaatsshop profile image

      marktplaatsshop 4 years ago

      I am not a great fan of soda, diet or regular, I love coffee, and sometimes a coconut pineapple juce

    • merfzel profile image

      merfzel 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      @anonymous: Thanks for visiting and commenting :) Since I've started reading and reporting on this stuff, I don't go near anything w/ artificial sweetener... a couple people have tried to argue with me, but, I guess I just believe the reports and personally choose to steer clear!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I personally have never been a soda drinker anyway, but everyone around me is. I've known about the dangers of aspartame for years, but convincing others is hard. Thanks for sharing.

    • Katie Hazel profile image

      Katie Hazel 5 years ago

      I don't drink any soda (diet or regular) but if I did drink it, I would definitely stay away from diet drinks for sure. All the facts are here in front of us.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 5 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      I wish I had never seen aspertame. The CEO of Searle at the time aspertame was approved was Donald Rumsfeld who was also Secretary of Defense under presidents Ford and GW Bush.

    • whiteskyline lm profile image

      whiteskyline lm 5 years ago

      As far as diet stuff, and aspartame and all that, and this big YEP!