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10 Dangerous Sweeteners in Coca-Cola®

Sold in over 200 countries, Coca-Cola® is one of the most familiar brands of beverages in the world. As Coke is flavored mostly with caramel and sugar, the latter being such a controversial ingredient, the makers of Coke have long since began using artificial sweeteners instead of sugar.

In 1999, I visited the Coca Cola Museum in Las Vegas. It was glorious, I believed.

Studies continue to show that these artificial sweeteners can cause weight gain, disruption of sleep patterns, sexual dysfunction, increases in cancer, MS, Lupus, diabetes, and a list of epidemic degenerative diseases. How ironic that a product originally intended for medicine can actually make you sick.

1. Aspartame (phenylalanine)

Used in the majority of diet products, including Diet Coke®, Aspartame can be up to 200 times sweeter than regular (real sugar). The high levels of phenylalanine (detrimental to people with PKU disorder) and methanol in Aspartame destroys neurons and can lead to memory loss, brain tumors and cancer. Twelve ounces of Diet Coke® can contain about 200 mg of Aspartame. Aspartame is a half-billion dollar industry and is the main ingredient in Equal® and NutraSweet®

2. Acesulfame-K (acesulfame potassium) or Ace-K

An artificial sweetener used in Coca-Cola Zero®. Acesulfame-K is 150-200 times sweeter than sugar and is a potential cancer-causing agent. Similar to saccharin, Acesulfame-K enhances a beverages’ sweet taste while extending its shelf life. Acesulfame-K failed to meet FDA standards. Acesulfame-K is marketed under the brand, Sunett and is in Sweet One sweeteners.

3. Neotame (dimethylbutyl)

7,000 to 13,000 times sweeter than sugar (one quarter teaspoon of neotame contains the equivalent of 22 pounds of sugar). Neotame is relatively new and is being marketed to replace high fructose corn syrup in many Coca-Cola products. Neotame can cause ADD/ADHD and other emotional and behavioral disorders. Currently not available in individually wrapped packages.

4. Saccharin

Made from an organic petroleum molecule and can be 300 times sweeter than natural sugar. Saccharin is found in fountain Diet Coke® and should be avoided during pregnancy. Especially harmful to children, saccharin has been implicated as a carcinogen and can cause tumors in the bladder as well as cancer. Saccharin is used in Sweet and Low®

5. Cyclamate or sodium cyclamate

Found in Coke Zero and Coca-Cola Light. Banned by the FDA, cyclamate is especially harmful to the male reproductive system causing infertility and diminished testicles. Cyclamate is a carcinogen, which when combined with other harmful substances, can increase the onset of cancer. Look for this harmful sweetener in products when traveling overseas, especially in Latin America. Cyclamate is in Sugar Twin.

6. Sucralose (E955)

600 times sweeter than sugar and is found in Diet Coke. Preliminary research indicates that sucralose can cause organ damage and intestinal complications as it is removed from the blood stream by the kidneys. Sucralose has also been found to trigger migraines. Sucralose is the ingredient known as Splenda®.

7. Maltodextrin

A bulking base for most, common artificial sweeteners. A type of carbohydrate, Maltodextrin is only slightly sweet or almost flavorless. Affects people with allergies to corn or wheat. It is found in Equal, Splenda and many others.

8. Sucrose

Regular table sugar. In one can of Coke there can be over 40 grams of sugar, equivalent to eight to ten teaspoons. If you substitute water with cola beverages, you could gain 18 pounds in one year. Excessive sugar consumption can cause mood swings, nervous disorders, diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. Sugar feeds every cell including cancer cells. In Mexico, Coca-Cola is made with sugar.

9. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS 55)

Quite possibly the single most common sweetener. High fructose corn syrup also extends the shelf life of products and is cheaper than sugar. Linked to obesity possibly due to the pervasiveness of its presence, digestion of high fructose corn syrup promotes the storage of fat in the human body. High fructose corn syrup is found Coca Cola Classic.

10. Alitame

2000 times sweeter than sugar and is not calorie free. Alitame is not approved for use in the U.S. and petitions have been withdrawn. Alitame is approved for use in Coke beverages found in Australia, Mexico, New Zealand and China. Alitame was developed by Pfizer®, and is marketed under the brand name, Aclame™.

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  • This, via a new, disturbing report (why am I not surprised?):
    In 2003, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry accepted a $1 million donation from Coca-Cola. That year, the group claimed that “scientific evidence is certainly not clear on the exact role that soft drinks play in terms of children’s oral disease.” The statement directly contradicted the group’s previous stance that “consumption of sugars in any beverage can be a significant factor…that contributes to the initiation and progression of dental caries.”

    Read more here:

    Stefan Pinto

    5:19 pm

  • gross, this has made me sweat, God i just had a cola with lunch @stefanpinto


    6:14 pm

  • @heatSouthAfrica @samcowen NOOO! Coke Zero is BAD for you.

  • Wow, Stefan! Did you used to drink Coke? And you look so different!

    Simone Cruz

    12:24 am

  • Not just diet soda. Original Coke and sodas also cause diabetes. One of the reasons I’m cutting back.


    8:20 pm

  • Stefan Pinto

    1:06 pm

  • I always find it quite funny when I see heavily overweight people eating massive burgers and chips (fries to you Americans) and then drink Diet Soda. It’s like they think the diet soda will cancel out all of the crap they’re eating, but, instead, it’s aiding in their adding more weight.


    10:35 am

  • Here’s an article, published in The Huffington Post, (June 30, 2011) “Diet Soda Linked to Weight Gain

    Stefan Pinto

    1:51 am

  • WTF, was that you in that pic?!

    Adam Kastoria

    1:57 pm

  • Hmm…I don’t see Xylitol here. I can only find it at health stores-go figure!


    2:17 am

  • Coke addict here. Never liked any of the diet or light varieties. Just stuck to plain old Coke. Never liked the taste of the diet ones and, very scared of artificial sweeteners. Was aware of the dangers of sugar, but, never really worried about it.
    Recently decided to go a bit more healthy, and started cutting back on my Coke consumption. Went from average 2l per day to 1l per day and 1l water.
    This has opened my eyes a bit more, and I’m planning on cutting down a bit more.


    1:38 pm

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