The Effects of Sugar Substitutes


Sugar substitutes also known as artificial sweeteners are often a tempting alternative to real sugar. They tend to be low in calories, and they seem like a reasonably healthy way of satisfying a sweet tooth. In reality, though, sugar substitutes can have several adverse effects on the body.

Sugar Substitutes

Severe Obesity

Sugar substitutes can have several side effects to a person’s body. The first side effect is obesity. This is mainly because a person’s digestive system is not able to break down the sugar substitutes as fast as it can break down sugar. Sometimes it can take as long as three to four days before the body is able to break down an artificial sweetener, when it only takes 24 hours to break down sugar. Therefore, a person is going to gain a lot of weight — because when sweeteners do not break down, they have to go somewhere.

Dental Cavities

The second side effect is that a person who is constantly drinking beverages that have sugar substitutes in them, is tooth decay — artificial sweeteners, like real sugar, are not good for your teeth. But cavities are not the worse thing that can happen to your teeth. A person could experience even more serious damage to their teeth over a period of time, especially if a person has a lot of sugar substitutes in their diet on a daily basis.

Developing Diabetes

The third side effect is that a person could develop diabetes. This is going to be especially true if the person is obese. This is because, as a person accumulates higher and higher glucose levels in the bloodstream from having consumed too much sugar substitute his or her insulin levels become relatively insufficient, and the body becomes unable to break down sugars. Even though all of these foods and drinks are going to taste good at the time, a person should think about the effects that the sugar substitutes could have all of their lives in the years after they have consumed the sugar substitutes.

Vitamin Deficiencies

The fourth side effect is that the more the artificial sweeteners that a person has in their diet, the more likely they are to develop a vitamin deficiency. This is because a person is not going to get the daily dosages of all of the essential vitamins and minerals that they need in their diet. Therefore, a person is going to be a lot more likely to have heart disease and high cholesterol. It is very important that a person gets all of their daily recommended vitamins and minerals in their diet on a daily basis.

Major Headaches

Sugar Substitutes Headaches

The fifth side effect is that a person is going to begin to get really bad headaches. This is mainly because a lot of people are very sensitive to the artificial sweeteners. Most of the time, this is going to happen within an hour after a person has come in contact with the artificial sweeteners. A lot of people are allergic to some of the ingredients that are put into the artificial sweeteners, and this is what causes them to get a headache as soon as they drink a soda with artificial sweeteners in it.

Sleep Disorders

The sixth side effect is that a person is going to begin to lose sleep. Therefore, a person is going to begin to start having problems with their eyes. These problems could include blurry vision, eye pain, and headaches. A person might also suffer from anxiety attacks that can be bought on by a slight case of depression. This could also mean that a person is going to begin to have problems with their ears like tinnitus.

Karen Jolings likes to ride her bike, attending NYC mixology classes, and she is a contributing author at

    • James Voedsel
    • November 8, 2012

    It’s interesting to me as well the whole “diet” product debate when research is showing they don’t actually help you lose weight at all. In fact, they provoke hunger to such a level that research shows you actually get fatter drinking diet soda than you would sugar packed regular soda.

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