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Old 08-08-2008, 07:48 PM
bjh
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
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Can someone clear this up? Is nutrasweet the same thing as aspertame?

I asked my doctor a few months ago about artificially sweetened drinks and he said something like, long term of effects of synthetic drinks are not fully known.

The word synthetic stopped my in my tracks. It may be better to have some sugar in moderation than to drink or eat all of these 'phony' substances.
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjh View Post
Can someone clear this up? Is nutrasweet the same thing as aspertame?
Yes.
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Old 08-09-2008, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
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"Freaking out" is not appropriate, but it IS the reaction that alarmists strive to provoke.

I've lived long enough (and known enough people who have lived a LONG time) to realize that if all of the things that the alarmists want us to think are BAD FOR US truly were (and to see the cycle of "it'll kill you!" to "it's good for you!" go around on any number of things often enough) were truly that bad for us, the current generation wouldn't exist to be freaked out because their parents and grandparents (depending on what it is) wouldn't have survived long enough to reproduce.

There are no more saber-toothed tigers. We've conquered smallpox, polio, and any number of other such threats (though I've also noticed that when we do so, Mother Nature always has another trick up her sleeve for population control). Yet we're hardwired to be constantly on the alert for dangers, and when there aren't sufficient true ones, we invent things to be on guard against. That's my theory, anyway. So I try, whenever one of these "oh, no, it's going to kill you!" things comes down the pike, to see if I can find non-biased information.

With aspartame, that's pretty difficult, because of all of the extremely biased, non-scientific information floating around out there. I don't use it, because I don't care for the taste, personally, not because a lot of people want me to jump on the anti-aspartame bandwagon.

Recent studies have turned up an explanation for why 80% of smokers DON'T get lung cancer (you don't hear that statistic bandied around much, do you?). Seems there is a gene that a small percentage of the population has that effects how you react to nicotine. If you have that gene, and smoke, you're more likely to get lung cancer; if you don't, you're not any more likely than the general population to do so. Also, if you have that gene, you're more likely to get lung cancer, period, whether you smoke or not. It's not the tobacco, it's the gene. I wouldn't be at all surprised, if there is ANYTHING to the claim that aspartame causes cancer (and there are studies, pooh-poohed by the anti-aspartame crowd but by less-biased researchers, showing otherwise), if there were just such a genetic connection. But that's strictly speculation.

Snopes on the subject, with links to other information.

Last edited by TexasHorseLady; 08-09-2008 at 07:14 AM.. Reason: Edited to add snopes link.
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Seattle Area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasHorseLady View Post

Recent studies have turned up an explanation for why 80% of smokers DON'T get lung cancer (you don't hear that statistic bandied around much, do you?). Seems there is a gene that a small percentage of the population has that effects how you react to nicotine. If you have that gene, and smoke, you're more likely to get lung cancer; if you don't, you're not any more likely than the general population to do so. Also, if you have that gene, you're more likely to get lung cancer, period, whether you smoke or not. It's not the tobacco, it's the gene.
I've read about that study, while it is interesting it does not address the issue of heart and pulmonary disease.

Even the researchers involved in that study advise that smoking is still potentially deadly.
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Sunny Florida
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Great question!

thaI wouldn't say I'm freaked out by it, but I won't consume it. When I got pregnant with my first child my doctor told me to cut out all artificial sweeteners because it wasn't good for the fetus. I got online, read some research, and it was a bit scary. I decided then and there that if it wasn't good for the fetus it probably wasn't good for me either and stopped consuming it. I went cold turkey and it was hard because I had been a daily consumer. I was afraid of weight gain, but that hasn't happened and I've been free of artificial sweeteners for about nineteen years now.
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Way up high
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Told my bf about it as he drinks diet coke. He doesn't plan on stopping so I guess he'll just get cancer. Then I'll tell him "I told you so"
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Old 08-09-2008, 06:23 PM
 
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Aspartame just has an off/nasty taste. Splenda at least tastes better, and some products are now being sweetened with stevia, which is a natural sweetener.
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Old 08-09-2008, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seattlerain View Post
I've read about that study, while it is interesting it does not address the issue of heart and pulmonary disease.

Even the researchers involved in that study advise that smoking is still potentially deadly.
Nope, that hasn't been addressed - yet. They addressed the main "boogie man" that smokers (and I'm not one) were threatened with (and, as I said, it wasn't until this study was published that that interesting fact about 80% of smokers not getting lung cancer got any press at all - THAT I found interesting - the not mentioning, not the fact).

The point was that it's not an easy black and white, cause and effect thing. Many of those who have the gene and who got lung cancer and smoked, very likely would have gotten lung cancer if they hadn't smoked or been around smokers. And 80% of those who smoke don't get the Big C that they've been warned about forever - any wonder people don't take the warnings, any warnings, seriously sometimes?

A story about a little boy and a wolf comes to mind . . .
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:33 PM
bjh
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
26,105 posts, read 22,785,932 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasHorseLady View Post
Nope, that hasn't been addressed - yet. They addressed the main "boogie man" that smokers (and I'm not one) were threatened with (and, as I said, it wasn't until this study was published that that interesting fact about 80% of smokers not getting lung cancer got any press at all - THAT I found interesting - the not mentioning, not the fact).

The point was that it's not an easy black and white, cause and effect thing. Many of those who have the gene and who got lung cancer and smoked, very likely would have gotten lung cancer if they hadn't smoked or been around smokers. And 80% of those who smoke don't get the Big C that they've been warned about forever - any wonder people don't take the warnings, any warnings, seriously sometimes?

A story about a little boy and a wolf comes to mind . . .
I have a friend who right now is dying of congestive heart failure brought on by smoking since teens years, now only in her 50s. She likely won't make it to 60. Her non-smoking parents both lived into their 80s.

Plus, emphysema, other cardiac ailments, pneumonia susceptibility, etc. Clearly smoking is bad for anyone, wolf or no wolf.
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Old 08-09-2008, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
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My MIL died at almost 80. Chainsmoked for at least 50 years, drank nothing but cup after cup of black coffee for just about as long. Had surgery for breast cancer in her 70's and her doctors just KNEW when they opened her up they'd find lung cancer. Nope. In fact, they were astounded at what great shape her lungs were in for a woman her age. So much for "clearly smoking is bad for anyone". (She's not the only example I know of, but the most extreme.)

My mother had high cholesterol (they got it DOWN to 300 with a low fat diet, which made her miserable, and medication and exercise). She died at 80, not from anything having to do with cholesterol, but from complication of a broken hip that she got when she slipped running from the shower to the phone because she thought it was her boyfriend calling and they'd been playing phone tag about their date that night.

I had a lifelong friend who died in her early 50's of ovarian cancer after living an exemplary life (maintained her weight pretty close to what it was in her teens, exercised, was a vegetarian, did everything right). Of course, every member of her family died of cancer - a different kind of cancer in each case.

My sister, now 70, had breast cancer a few years ago. The sister who is also at her teenaged weight, whose diet is 10% fat or less, who is a competitive square dancer (meaning LOTS of exercise several times a week). The only case of breast cancer in our family.

My point being, first, there is a heck of a lot we DON'T know about these things and assuming that any one thing is the cause is reckless. Second, that assuming that any one thing is the cause and telling everybody that X is what causes it and if they do X they'll get it when we don't know that, we're assuming it, and then later having information like that above pop up, does more harm than good because if you do it enough (like the little boy who cried wolf), when you DO know something nobody's going to take you seriously.

When there's all sorts of hysteria going around about this, that and the other thing causing cancer, with nothing solid to back it up and with studies that show that it's NOT true, that does just as much damage.
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