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Back in the late 1950's or so, a sweetener called Sucaryl was taken off the market.  We were told that this sweetener, when fed to rats in quantities of 100 times the amounts humans would use, could cause cancer.

Later, there were rumors that the fight to remove sucaryl from the market was more of a political coup than a safety move and that it was actually one of the safer chemicals around.

There was a sweetener which rushed in to take sucaryl's place - Saccharin.  Saccharin wasn't as sweet as Sucaryl but it was, we were told, totally safe.

So when I went on Weight Watchers in 1972 and drastically cut the calories, diet pop was a great help.  It tasted like the sweet stuff and sipping it all the time helped combat the hunger a bit.  The idea of a "free food" was delightful.  I drank diet cola sweetened with Saccharin. I also used Saccharin in lots of other foods too.

And after about 8 months of a daily six pack or more of diet cola plus sweetening lots of foods with Saccharin, I got the granddaddy case of optic neuritis coupled with a horrendous case of conjunctivitis.  I even went to the eye doctor for it.  "You have lumps in your eyelids," he told me.  Like duh.  He offered no suggestion on how to cure it. 

I never connected it with my high consumption of Saccharin however after trying everything else to cure my eyes, that was about the only thing left I had not tried to eliminate.  But - how could this totally safe chemical additive be doing this, I thought.  After all, didn't the FDA tell us that Saccharin was as safe as sugar or safer?

Never-the-less, I tried eliminating all Saccharin and diet pop.  The conjunctivitis was gone within a couple of weeks and the lumps in my eyelids disappeared almost overnight.

After that incident, I easily got conjunctivitis again if I consumed Saccharin even in small amounts.  I also got another residual problem - what they now call chemical sensitivity.  Which means my body's tolerance for chemicals is about nil.

If you look up Saccharin on the net, you will not find any "bad side effects" from it.  Certainly no mention of it being neurotoxic or causing conjunctivitis.  The only thing I've seen is that a couple of studies (loudly debunked by the Saccharin industry) showed a link between the sweetener and bladder cancer.

When using ANY of those sweeteners we should keep in mind something stated by the laboratory which developed Splenda which is in vogue at present, something which you won't read in the mainstream media:

>>>"Sucralose is made from sugar, but is derived from sucrose (sugar) through a process that selectively substitutes three atoms of chlorine for three hydrogen-oxygen groups on the sucrose molecule. No artificial sweetener made in the laboratory is going to be neither natural to the body nor safer than unprocessed sugar,"<<<<<

Dr Janet Hull: How Splenda Was Discovered

Why would sugar be less safe than chemicals? Answer: it is not less safe... on the contrary!  Seems a no brainer now.  I wish I had thought about it a bit more THEN.

Note: Recent theories opine that ALL artificial sweeteners with raising the insulin levels which can overwork the pancreas and cause weight gain. Also several studies found more weight gain among consumers of diet sodas than those of regular sugar sodas.

Article by SueW