View Full Version : Sugar Substitutes?

07-16-2008, 05:15 PM
I read in another post that maybe sugar substitutes weren't good for us (other than Splenda). Why is that? :shock:

Last year, before my diagnosis, I was a diet-coke and Tylenol addict. I wouldn't eat for most of the day, I would drink 6 to 8 diet cokes a day, and would take Tylenol almost daily for stress (and hunger) headaches.

After my diagnosis, I have had zero diet cokes (gave the foul things up) and no Tylenol (switched to Advil and take less often). But, none of my doctors said to do that. I just figured all things that I was doing to excess needed to stop. None of my doctors have mentioned anything about diet that needs to be followed for lupus. Maybe they should have.

But, I do still have sugar and sweet-n-low and other sugar substitues. Is there a reason we're not supposed to have those? Just wondering.

Thanks -

07-16-2008, 05:23 PM
Hi MCityMom -
As I usually say at the beginning of each post, Im sure someone with far more experience than me will be along soon to give you more info. But I do know this: Sugar can cause inflammation. I actually had a bad flare last week, and I mentioned that I had been eating a TON (like a pint a night) of ice cream every night. A wonderful woman here told me that could definately have contributed to it (not the sole cause) and even said her doctor wrote "No sugar/substitutes" on a prescription pad!! lol...
I have heard other places too, that cutting out sugar helps with arthritis and other imflammatory diseases.
Also a personal experience of mine is Tylenol. I developed acute hepatitis (not chronic,like having the virus) and was almost in liver failure due to too much Tylenol. I was on Vicodin at the time for chronic pain, and they said the Tylenol (level were elevated) caused my liver to shut down. In retrospect, I think there was MORE to it than that (my level werent TOO TOO high) and I had just had gallbladder surgery two weeks before, AND my kidneys started to decline, too, so it may have been triggered by this disease. In any case, however, Tylenol can be very bad for your liver - particularly if you drink alcohol on a regular basis.
These are the reasons I am aware to avioid these things, BUT.....I went food shopping today and literally bought SIX different ice creams!!! I am going to moderate (hopefully)but I just couldnt resist...lol
Help this helps and welcome to the site!!

07-17-2008, 10:22 AM
There is a big controversy regarding Aspartame and Lupus. Aspartame is found in sugar substitutes such as nutrasweet, equal, and sweet n low. THe controversy links aspartame consumption to systemic lupus, multiple sclerosis, vision problems, headaches, fatigue, and even Alzheimer's disease.

While it is true that aspartame ingestion results in the production of methanol, formaldehyde and formate (substances that could be considered toxic at high doses), the levels formed from their use are modest, and substances such as methanol are found in higher amounts in common food products such as citrus juices and tomatoes.

There is also a claim that two amino acids in aspartame phenylalanine and aspartic acid can cause neurotoxic effects, such as brain damage. This is true in certain individuals and if it is ingested in high enough doses. There is a very small group of people who have the rare hereditary disease, phenylketonuria, who have to watch their intake from other sources as well. Women with certain genetic traits (e.g., phenylketonurics) may metabolize the amino acid, phenylalanine, poorly and thus accumulate far higher than normal blood levels of phenylalanine. During pregnancy, high maternal levels of blood phenylalanine can be transferred to the fetus and produce serious adverse effects on brain development. While the protein eaten by these pregnant women contributes most of the resulting elevation of phenylalanine, they should also be aware of the presence of phenylalanine in beverages and foods that contain aspartame. FDA requires all products containing aspartame to be labeled for phenylalanine so consumers will be aware of the substance's presence and can avoid or restrict it.

Aspartic acid also has the potential to cause brain damage at very high doses. But under normal intake levels, the brain's mechanism for controlling aspartic acid levels ensures no adverse effects. It is unlikely that any consumer would eat or drink enough aspartame to cause brain damage.

In 1996, a study raised the issue that aspartame consumption may be related to an increase in brain tumors following FDA's approval of the sweetener in 1981. But analysis of the National Cancer Institute's database on cancer incidence showed that cases of brain cancers began increasing in 1973 well before aspartame was approved and continued to increase through 1985. In recent years, brain tumor frequency has actually decreased slightly. NCI currently is studying aspartame and other dietary factors as part of a larger study of adult brain cancer.

For safety, and because there is no authoritative study that says "yes it is dangerous" or "no it is not dangerous", doctors tell Lupus patients not to use sugar substitues, with the exception of Splenda, which can also be used by diabetics.

Peace and Blessings

07-18-2008, 12:00 PM
HI, i have to say i love my sweets too! but my mom is a nurse and health nut at that.....but she has guided my healthy ways in eating. i decided to do a little more research on splenda, i just googled "splenda" and found this website called splenda exposed. Personally i like brown sugar, specificallyl sugar in the raw or at least organic sugar if im baking! if you have a sugar cane tree its even better! i dont know the doctor preaching about splenda but she does mention lupus in her article with a bunch of other numerous disease it may attribute to. check it out, dont know how valid and reliable it is but its worth reading! education/knowledge is the key to life!