For years I have been concerned about the overuse of artificial sweeteners. In nursing school over 22 years ago I remember learning about the dangers of sorbitol causing the clogging of small blood vessels and damaging nerves, particularly dangerous in diabetics, possibly leading to the loss of toes, vision loss and kidney damage.Since then I have avoided them. Recent studies have confirmed that there is link between several artificial sweeteners and cancer. Here is an article from the National Cancer Institute regarding the research on this topic:
Because fiber is useful in helping to prevent colon cancer (not to mention useful in preventingandtreating constipation), I began trying out different fiber cereals and fiber products to see what was the most helpful. In doing so, I was quite alarmed to find that many fiber cereals contain artificial sweeteners. I also found that most fiber laxatives did as well. Buyer beware! Please read the labels! Look for saccharin, aspartame, and sorbitol in particular. So far Splenda, Acesulfame potassium, Sucralose, and Neotame have not been linked to cancer, but I am still avoiding them.
Of all the fiber laxative powders that are out there, I have found Benefiber, made entirely of gluten-free wheat dextrin, to be the most gentle on my body, without using artificial sweeteners. The only disadvantage to it is that it seems that I have to use more of it to get the benefit, but that is a small price to pay for the good results and the reduced risk.