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-   -   Diet soda, diet energy drinks, and zone bars... (

Ted Williams 04-13-2006 05:03 PM

DAMN! Sucks man...I'll have an extra cup in your honor (I'm a bastard)...

Marc Moffett 04-14-2006 07:03 AM

"Acute side effects from synthetic compounds are interpreted by me as having the potential to create chronic disease in those not acutely sensitive."

I see the rationale behind this, but is it really right? Plenty of people, for instance, have acute side effects from eating shellfish and nuts. Should we cut them out? I even have a friend who can't eat avocados.

It seems likely that there are multiple physiological mechanisms which give rise to acute effects in particular individuals but only some of them should be generalized.

Jamie Clark 04-14-2006 08:00 AM

I think Garrett was talking about the unknown long-term effects. If there are this many people reporting short term effects, what might the long-term effects be? No one knows.

I personally use Splenda for coffee and I (and the rest of my family) drink sugar free Kool-Aid with Aspartame.

In theory, there shouldn’t be any effects long or short term, because they are not designed to enter the bloodstream. Splenda works because it is an engineered sugar. Basically, sugar with the hydrogen ions removed and chlorine ions added to make it indigestible. That’s why it works. It doesn’t really have zero calories, but the fact that it can’t be absorbed makes it have zero relative calories (and therefore theoretically impossible to cause an insulin spike). Unlike stevia, saccharin, and others that enter the system and cause an insulin response. Could an insulin response still be possible with Splenda? Sure as a psychological response to the taste (like Pavlov's conditioned response).

But once again, no one knows how it will effect every person who takes it, short or long term. We pretty much know the effect sugar has on the body. You can eat sugar and go with the devil you know, use an artificial sweetener and go with the one you don't, or give it all up.

I don’t have the discipline to give up everything sweet. Personally, I'll stick with Splenda and aspartame and take my chances.

Garrett Smith 04-14-2006 08:40 AM

In my statement, I did make a point of noting that I was referring to synthetic compounds, made by man, that the human body has never had any time to develop specific detoxification/metabolism for.

If people have reactions to whole, natural foods, they have two options. (1) Avoid the food. (2) Fix the base problem in the GI system that is allowing excessively large proteins to enter the bloodstream and thus cause an excessive "immune" reaction. Note that the second option is not always possible, it is rarely even attempted or known about in most conventional medical circles. I recently rid a patient of his hay fever (and 5 associated medications) in two weeks by getting him off gluten. Similar mechanisms.

Personally, I'd rather know I was eating something G-d/Nature created and intended me to eat (thus Paleo) than have second thoughts at the end that whatever disease might be taking me was caused by me needing to get a sweet fix from a synthetic chemical.

For all those taking their chances, try not to be too upset if/when the scientific cover-up is exposed. Some would have a quick look around the internet and say it already has been.

No need to worry though, there will be a new artificial sweetener on the market that you can switch to when the time comes.

Do what you like. My job is to fix people who "do what they like". I end up having to tell them that "what you like, is what's making you sick." I will never have any shortage of potential patients.

Jeremy Jones 04-14-2006 09:13 AM

I guess the real question here is:

Is it worse to eat truely sweet foods, or to eat artificial sweeteners?

You know, if you HAD to choose one way or another.

Marc Moffett 04-14-2006 12:19 PM

Garrett, Point taken. You and I differ with respect to how benign we think nature is. In fact, I would go so far as to assert that if evolutionary theory is true, then there is no diet that doesn't come with associated long term chronic downsides in at least some percentage of the population. We agree that I hard core paleo diet is as good as it gets, but disagree over how good it is that it gets.

FWIW, this discussion reminds me a bit of the discussion between hunters and animal rights activits who think that nature will eventually come to equilibrium and so game management is not necessary. Even though I am a hunter, I am all for animal rights (taking into moral consideration the pain and suffering caused by our actions), but think that doing so requires a realistic view of ecological and evolutionary processes--not a romanticized one. In fact, I think the superiority of the paleodiet is one reason why the animal rights arguments don't go through. But again, one needs a realistic picture of what evolution tells us about diet. Remember, evolution seeks to maximize reproductive success. And what maximizes reproductive success may or may not be well correlated with modern health goals. Nor is nature a bountiful Eden of benevolent foods, but an arena that is "red in tooth and claw". Adaptions are rarely optimal, especially at the margins.

That said, I do hope that it is clear that we are in about 99% agreement. :happy:

Jeremy, one thing to consider. Occasional massive insulin spikes were themselves probably part of the evolutionary story. So if you are going to partake occassionally, defintely go for the naturals. If you are going to partake chronically, I would still go for the naturals I think (depending on how much we are talking about).

Garrett Smith 04-14-2006 01:35 PM

We are in great agreement.

If one wishes to get a sweet fix, why not use things like unheated honey (known as a medicinal food in many cultures), raw fresh fruit juice, or similar unprocessed sources of sugars? Same goes with alcohol, why not have some true apple cider or wine? I see no need to bring the slew of synthetic chemicals (or gluten, for that matter) into the mix when what one desires (sweetness or a buzz) can easily be had in a less potentially harmful way.

That's what I do, not very often at that.

Tim Weaver 04-14-2006 03:39 PM


What about all the donuts...? :rofl:

Tom Corrigan 04-14-2006 05:08 PM

Nutrasweet is the Devil's sweetner IMO

Our Fire Dept. buried one of our own who was only 52, non-smoker and no major health problem, but he drank 10-12 cans of Diet Pepsi a day, and he came down with an aggressive brain tumor, which was cut out, then it grew back within 3 months. He died 5 months after diagnosis. After I read about all the brain tumors in the monkeys who were given aspertame, I believe this was the main cause.

I've had people I know with neuro-diseases/problems get "off" aspertame, and they have said they've felt better and had less problems.

Anecdotal I know, but it hits close to home with me.


Garrett Smith 04-14-2006 05:13 PM

Anecdotes are often all we have to combat the propaganda and deep pockets of the multinational chemical corporations. I personally take them seriously enough until I gain reason (or already had reason) to doubt. Some may not like that approach.

Anyway, thanks for sharing.

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