Saccharin and Cancer Information

By | November 11, 2008

Does Sugar Cause Cancer?

Saccharine is an artificial sweetener that can be consumed safely in recommended doses. Saccharine was linked with bladder cancer 4 decades ago in combination with cyclamate. Saccharine and its potassium and sodium salts have been commercially produced for many years now. Saccharine is basically an older non nutritive artificial sweetener. It is a natural plant derivative that was discovered accidently in the 1870s in a university.

During World War I saccharin became very popular as there was a shortage of other sugar in that period. There was a wide spread use of saccharin in during the time which even continued through World War II. Saccharin has been widely studied for its safety and side effects in humans and animals for many years. Some studies in the past also suggested that saccharin can be carcinogenic especially if used in large amounts. Some even linked saccharine with an increased rate of bladder cancer in rats but not mice. But later it was delisted from the list of carcinogens as it was proved that the cancer effects of saccharin were due to very large amount being administered to test subject rats (more than hundred times higher than the normal human recommended daily doses). After this incidence safety of saccharine has been studied largely but none of the studies prove or link saccharin with any health risks including cancer.

Saccharin Information and Causes of Cancer

Saccharin is approximately 300 times sweet as sucrose. But it’s bitter or metallic after taste can be unpleasing for many individuals. To mask this taste saccharin is often blended with other high intensity artificial sweeteners to give sweetness similar to sugar. For instance cyclamate is often a choice along with saccharine (ratio of 10:1) to give a synergistic effect to the product. A food addictive code is allotted all the artificial sweeteners. The E number or code allotted to saccharine is E954. Saccharine is heat stable and also stable to acidic and alkaline medium. It also doesn’t react with other food ingredients chemically so can help to increase the shelf life of a product. These unique properties of saccharin make it the base for many low calorie sugar free products worldwide.

Saccharin is widely used as a sugar substitute in various products like soft candies, hard candies, baked goods, canned foods, chewing gums, dessert toppings, salad dressings, table sweetener and even toothpaste. Saccharine has no food energy, it can pass the digestive system without being digested and absorbed. This is the reason that saccharine is a popular choice among people with diabetes as it does not affect blood sugar or causes any insulin spikes. Saccharine doesn’t cause any tooth decay or dental carries and is in general tooth-friendly. Saccharine can be considered calorie free as very low amount of saccharine required sweetening a product. It can also be used effectively by people on a weight loss diet or a low carbohydrate diet.