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Let's see if I can make this another 24oz. day.

Edit: Ew, maybe it'll only be 12oz. This Diet Coke expired June 7. The aspartame has gone inert. I can hardly bring myself to finish the can. *chug* er, maybe not. I guess I'm an addict. :)


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 5th, 2004 09:00 am (UTC)
Aspartame goes inert?
Aug. 5th, 2004 08:35 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't say inert. It can break down producing methanol, but contrary to urban legend the result is not particularly harmful.
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 5th, 2004 10:41 am (UTC)
Have you eve *tasted* a toxic chemical spill? *grin*

You know, I go back and forth on that rumor, because, while there's no real evidence that they cause cancer, they do taste sweet, which fools the body into thinking it's had sugar, which causes the insulin response to kick in, but when all this insulin that's now in your blood doesn't find any sugar to shepherd around, you're stuck with it for a while. Over time this leads to blood-sugar problems.

And, personally, aspartame tastes sweet but has a bitter, chemical aftertaste, and after a few minutes my throat starts to feel tight and breathing gets annoying. so, yeah. no aspartame for me.
Aug. 5th, 2004 11:02 am (UTC)
The "can confuse your insulin" is really the only theory I take even remotely seriously. So much of the artificial sweetener fear-mongering is, well, exactly that. My response to the insulin thing is to avoid drinking diet soda except with meals. When I'm doing between-meal beveraging, I attempt to stick with water or fizzy water.

I fully accept that some people may have idiosyncratic reactions to particular sweeteners, though. Makes sense. People have idiosyncratic reactions to all sorts of things. So if someone has observed that aspartame, for instance, always gives them a headache, I certainly believe them.
Aug. 5th, 2004 03:21 pm (UTC)
Except that your pancreas doesn't react to whether something tastes sweet, it reacts to glucose levels in the bloodstream. (And specifically glucose levels.)

If someone has observed that aspartame gives them a headache, I believe that they get headaches when they eat it. I do not therefore believe that aspartame causes them to have a headache. Indeed, it has been conclusively shown that for such individuals, it is the belief that they are eating aspartame which causes the headache, not the aspartame itself.
Aug. 5th, 2004 11:27 am (UTC)
It seems unlikely to me that the chemical receptors in the pancreas that decide there's more sugar so it should make more insulin would be confused by the same chemical receptors in the tongue that decide something tastes sweet. It sounds like the sort of thing someone who didn't really know what they're talking about would make up.

That said, I really don't know what I'm talking about, so maybe it's true. But I'm not going to believe it unless I see it from a reputable source that's done studies.

Not that I'd do anything different if I believed it.
Aug. 5th, 2004 03:28 pm (UTC)
"Hard sugar" (do you mean sucrose?) doesn't trigger an insulin response. The only thing that triggers insulin is blood glucose. Not flavors, not other chemicals, not glucose in other parts of the body, not brain activity. The only reason sucrose causes an insulin response is that it is converted into glucose, and absorbed fairly quickly into the bloodstream.

Mind you, in normal individuals (that is, neither diabetic nor hypoglycemic--and the latter is much much rarer than the former) the pancreas does a very good job, releasing just the right amount of insulin. The sugar crash theory turns out to be entirely psychosomatic. If you monitor the blood sugar levels of normals, eating sugar causes a spike, which is gone within fairly quickly, and then back to normal.

Aspartame is a substance which is a jillion times sweeter than sucrose, so tiny amounts of it taste just as sweet. It is converted to glucose, and the pancreas releases the right amount of insulin for the actual glucose produced.

Saccharine and sucralose taste sweet but are indigestible; so they don't produce any insulin response at all.

Also, hypoglycemia doesn't have the long-term problems that diabetes does, and if the effect you were talking about were real, then the effects would be hypoglycemic, not diabetic.

As for tightness and breathing, this may be a consequence of believing you are eating aspartame, rather than the actual chemical. Studies have conclusively shown that the MSG and aspartame headache effects are cause by the belief one is eating the substance, and not the substance itself.
Dec. 29th, 2004 08:05 pm (UTC)
"Studies have conclusively shown that the MSG and aspartame headache effects are cause by the belief one is eating the substance, and not the substance itself."

I know it's terribly late to be responding to your comment, Thomas, but I've not caught up on LJ since I went away to Pennsic, really.

Anyway, the way I usually know that I've ingested MSG is that I'll eat something, start getting a headache and/or numb lips and then read the label that says, 'Mono-Sodium Glutamate' in the ingredients list.... So, while _some_ studies may say that belief in eating the substance causes reaction, my personal experience leads me to believe that actually eating MSG (& not just believing that I am) is what causes my reactions. (& ingesting the stuff usually reminds me for about a month that I ought to read more labels before purchase/consumption; then I forget to read & the cycle resets.)
Dec. 31st, 2004 12:49 am (UTC)
Hey, if you don't want MSG, don't use it; it doesn't really matter to me. There are surely some people who have a reaction to it, just as there are people who have a reaction to nearly anything out there. Those people should avoid it.

The real test would be for you to engage in a double-blind trial, and the things you describe are a sort-of short-cut around a real double-blind trial; partially blind, but not entirely.

For example, you don't know whether there are cases where you are unknowingly ingesting MSG without any adverse affects, because in those cases you don't get prompted to go check the ingredients list.
Dec. 31st, 2004 12:57 am (UTC)
"For example, you don't know whether there are cases where you are unknowingly ingesting MSG without any adverse affects, because in those cases you don't get prompted to go check the ingredients list."

Yes, that's quite possibly true. Thanks! :)

I just wanted you to know that there are those of us (at least me) who might appear to have a true sensitivity to something even when 'studies say' that some people have reactions to stuff just because they think they should. (& hopefully you'd consider me to be not _too_ over-reactive, since I try not to be one of those people who has lists & lists & lists of their ever-growing food/environment/life allergies.)
Aug. 5th, 2004 03:19 pm (UTC)
Saccharine is carcinogenic in huge doses when fed to lab rats.

Aspartame is dangerous if you have phenylketonuria. If you have it, you already know you have it, so if you don't know you have it, you are safe.

Sucralose is harmless.
Aug. 5th, 2004 07:08 pm (UTC)
Harmless except for that "tasting terrible" bit. I consider eating something that tastes that bad to be pretty harmful, at least to my well-being that day.

(he says, as someone who can afford to entirely ignore artificial sweeteners)
Aug. 5th, 2004 07:10 pm (UTC)
Indeed! All three taste icky to me.
When I think I'm eating too much sugar, I start drinking water or coffee more instead of soda.
Aug. 5th, 2004 10:45 am (UTC)
Ewwwwwwwww! Ick Ick Icky Poo. You make me so glad that I don't drink cola anymore.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )