Do You Know Nutrition: Artificial sweeteners can cause side effects

By Phylis Canion
April 2, 2013 at midnight
Updated April 1, 2013 at 11:02 p.m.

I have had incontinence, which had gotten worse until my physician suggested I should stop drinking diet sodas. I was amazed that within a couple of days, my problem had improved dramatically. I would have never guessed that drinking diet sodas could cause that problem (I do admit that I drank four sodas each day). Can you please list other symptoms that diet sodas, sugary drinks and artificial ingredients can cause?

There are many artificial ingredients in canned sodas that can lead to a number of health problems and compromise your well-being, not to mention the side effects of artificial sweeteners. The following list is compiled from information published in medical journals, scientific publications and found on health and medical websites.

Sweetened beverages can lead to weight gain, inflammation and have been implicated in the development of metabolic syndrome. Caffeinated sodas have been linked to mood swings, anxiety, depression and may promote tics in susceptible children.

Artificial sweeteners can cause bladder contractions, joint pains and aches, mind fog, insomnia, headaches, fatigue, constipation and allergies, to name the most common side effects.

Sodas can decrease high-density lipoproteins, have been linked to osteoporosis, can cause kidney stone development, can yellow your teeth, have been linked to cancer of the esophagus and can lead to reduced sperm concentration.

Drinking sugar-sweetened drinks on a regular basis causes high uric acid levels leading to an increased risk of gout. The acidity of sodas can leach calcium from your bones and dissolve tooth enamel.

Elevated soda consumption has been associated with epilepsy and can have serious side effects with children affected with autism. Excessive soda consumption can lead to low potassium levels, also known as hypokalemia, leading to muscle weakness and possible paralysis.

For more information, you can search The Journal of the American Medical Association, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology.

Thought for the week: Maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

The next free nutrition class will be at 7 p.m. Monday at Organic Emporium, Victoria location.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant, email her at This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.



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