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FDA Approves Artificial Sweetener, Advantame

Update Date: May 22, 2014 03:06 PM EDT

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a new artificial sweetener called advantame. Advantame, which is chemically similar to aspartame, will be the sixth artificial sweetener available within the nation.

According to the experts, the results from 37 studies that were conducted on animals and humans were highly promising. The studies had examined the potential effects of eating too much advantame on the body's immune, nervous or reproductive systems and fetal development. Based from these findings, the FDA calculated that eating 32.8 milligrams per kilogram of body weight of advantame per day is safe, which is the same as eating 40,000 packets.

"It was virtually impossible to find a toxic dose in animals, and there were no signs of carcinogenicity, reproductive or developmental toxicity, or any other systemic toxicity in animals or humans," Josh Bloom of the American Council on Science and Health expressed reported by the Los Angeles Times. "About the only way this stuff could harm you is if you were run over by a truck that was delivering it."

Advantame is 20 times sweeter than table sugar when measured gram for gram. It will be the sweetest option available. The other five options, which are saccharine (Sweet'N Low), aspartame (Equal), sucralose (Splenda), neotame (Newtame) and acesulfame potassium (Sweet One), are around 200 to 700 times sweeter than table sugar. The only option on market that has not needed explicit FDA approval is Stevia, which is made from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant that is native to South America.

Advantame exists very close to a powder form that dissolves easily in water. It will not break down due to heat, which would make this option ideal for making desserts, jams, jellies, syrups and toppings. The sweetener can also be used in soft drinks but the agency stated that it should not be used in meat and poultry.

Despite concerns over whether or not artificial sweeteners are good for the body, the FDA reiterated its stance that all six sweeteners are safe to use under recommended amounts. The sweeteners do not add too many extra calories and they do not raise blood sugar levels.

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