Artificial Sweeteners. Acesulfame K

Acesulfam

Acesulfame K has been an approved sweetener since 1988, and yet most people are not even aware that this is an artificial sweetener being used in their food and beverages. It is listed in the ingredients on the food label as acesulfame K, acesulfame potassium, Ace-K, or Sunett. It is 200 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar) and is often used as a flavor-enhancer or to preserve the sweetness of sweet foods. The FDA has set an acceptable daily intake (ADI) of up to 15 mg/kg of body weight/day.

The problems surrounding acesulfame K are based on the improper testing and lack of long-term studies. Acesulfame K contains the carcinogen methylene chloride. Long-term exposure to methylene chloride can cause:

  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Mental confusion
  • Liver effects
  • Kidney effects
  • Visual disturbances
  • Cancer
There has been a great deal of opposition to the use of Acesulfame K without further testing, but at this time, the FDA has not required that these tests be done.

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