FDA Approves New Sweetener Advantame—Should You Eat It?

SELF
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FDA Approves New Sweetener Advantame—Should You Eat It?

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Splenda and Stevia step aside, there’s a new sweetener in town. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just announced Monday that they approved advantame (which doesn’t yet have a brand-name such as Splenda or Equal), as a safe-to-use general purpose sweetener and flavor enhancer for foods.

According to the FDA’s website, “advantame is a free-flowing, water soluble, white crystalline powder that is stable even at higher temperatures, and can be used as a tabletop sweetener as well as in cooking applications. Advantame has been approved for use as a general-purpose sweetener and flavor enhancer and can be used in baked goods, non-alcoholic beverages (including soft drinks), chewing gum, confections and frostings, frozen desserts, gelatins and puddings, jams and jellies, processed fruits and fruit juices, toppings, and syrups.”

Advantame is a chemical derivative of the artificial sweetener, aspartame, which certain individuals should avoid or limit. For example, those of you with phenylketonuria (PKU), a rare genetic disorder, have a difficult time metabolizing phenylalanine, a component of both aspartame and advantame. However, according to the FDA, since advantame is many times sweeter than aspartame, a much smaller amount has to be used in order to achieve the same level of sweetness, so products containing advantame won’t be required to carry the same info statement alerting people with PKU about the presence of phenylalanine.

The advantage of using advantame, like other high-intensity sweeteners (which are thousands of times sweeter than sugar, gram for gram) is that it contributes very few if any calories to foods and does not have an effect on blood sugar levels like sugar does.

The concern, of course, with these sweeteners is their safety. That’s why they have to be approved by the FDA before they can be marketed in the United States. To approve advantame’s safety, the FDA reviewed 37 scientific animal and human studies looking at possible toxic effects and deemed the product safe for the public.

If we start seeing advantame on store shelves or in products, personally I will hold off on it until more research is done and more information is available. Studies are limited, and remember that research has shown artificial sweeteners to be associated with weight gain since psychologically we may use them as a free pass to indulge more elsewhere. As with any sweeteners you choose to use, including sugar, moderation is always key.

—Sarah-Jane Bedwell, R.D., contributing SELF blogger

 What do you think? Will this new sweetener find its way into your diet? Share your thoughts in the comments!

 

SELF is the magazine that makes living healthy easy and fun. SELF’s motto: Being fit, strong and active means feeling great, being happy and looking your most beautiful. With trademark authority, SELF speaks to women about three key areas of her being: her body, her looks and her life. SELF makes it fun and fulfilling to be your happiest, healthiest, best self. Reaching a total audience of 12 million each month, SELF is the founder of the Pink Ribbon for breast cancer awareness and an ASME National Magazine Award winner for excellence in journalistic achievement in print and digital. SELF is published by Condé Nast, publisher of Vogue, Vanity Fair, Bon Appétit, GQ, Glamour, The New Yorker, Wired and other celebrated media brands. Visit Self.com and follow @SELFmagazine on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Foodily and Google+.

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81 responses to “FDA Approves New Sweetener Advantame—Should You Eat It?”

  1. Frances Ann Ware-Mag says:

    nope not putting any chemicals other then raw sugar in my body. years later kids will be born with cancer due to weird science side effects.. NO NO NO I got cancer from a synthetic estrogen DES in 50s it gave both Mom and Me cancer..stop saying something is safe when you know damn well it is NOT..

    • Dave Gee says:

      Yes, you DO put LOADS of other ‘chemica’s in your your body. A diet of purely raw sugar is very bad for you.

  2. Ally says:

    This is ridiculous!! I can’t believe they’d approve something like this yet Stevia, a natural alternative has yet to be approved! Advantame is a derivative of aspartame which is known to have serious side effect and actually increase hunger. FDA approves things that hurt consumers, I don’t even regard anything they say/approve. They cannot be trusted.

    • ergo says:

      Purified Stevia is approved. However, just because it is natural doesn’t make it safe. Belladonna is natural, not putting that in my coffee

      • Sarah says:

        What’s your point? No one said to use belladonna as a sweetener. Stevia is a safe product and has been used for probably thousands of years. Other countries use it and have studied it. Just because the FDA is a corrupt drug company run agency doesn’t mean stevia isn’t safe.

        • Clayton says:

          The assertion was that natural = safe! It could not be further from the truth. Table sugar is far more dangerous than aspartame. Fructose will be proved to be the single largest cause of obesity worldwide and its natural!

          • Fatimah Maksud Burke-Mughal says:

            my husband has a Fructose Malabsorption problem…gets quite sick..so between us it is quite difficult to use any sweetener..as Stevia makes my liver sick.

      • red says:

        Yet belladonna is used in baby teething tablets and safe for use. Stop watching House.

      • red says:

        Yet belladonna is used in baby teething tablets and safe for use. Stop watching House.

      • primitive says:

        Rattlesnake venom is natural and naturally delivered. Want some?

    • Fatimah Maksud Burke-Mughal says:

      Stevia is not good for all people. I can not take it as it can damage the liver..and I already have liver issues…

      • fanciladi says:

        I’ve heard of others who have problems with Stevia, too! I have used it and it hasn’t bothered me that I’m aware of. I haven’t used it in a while…drink my tea straight as it comes now.

      • MorticiaBrowFace says:

        I have problems with Stevia as well… Horrible stomach pains. My one “vice” in live is Splenda, used moderately. I have no issues with it.

    • Gabrielle says:

      This is because the companies the produce Stevia have not requested FDA approval and don’t require it. Oatmeal isn’t FDA-approved either.

    • Gabrielle says:

      This is because the companies the produce Stevia have not requested FDA approval and don’t require it. Oatmeal isn’t FDA-approved either.

  3. Ktanaqui says:

    And yet another chemical that I will have to look for on all my food labels to avoid… aspartame makes me sick as a dog, and I’m not even diagnosed PKU (I exhibit many, many of the same symptoms, however, and it’s something in consideration). The fact that, now, they’re not even going to add the PKU warning is extremely worrisome. :/

  4. Hordge Knudsen says:

    I don’t like….I love it!

  5. ergo says:

    I’m hoping it has a better taste factor when compared to other sweetners

  6. Hordge Knudsen says:

    Sucralose is the best. No aftertaste for me.

  7. Trae Palmer says:

    I’ll probably give advantame a try out of curiosity. Typically, though, I’m more of a xylitol person, since it’s one of the better sweeteners for dental health.

    • Summer O'Brien says:

      Do not eat xylitol I just read an artical on how bad it is! do some research

      • Trae Palmer says:

        Just because someone comes to a different conclusion than you doesn’t mean he/she hasn’t done their research. Xylitol has been around since the late 1800s and doesn’t have any known toxicity at dietetically relevant levels of consumption. Would you care to provide me with a credible source — or, better yet, an expert consensus — showing that xylitol poses any significant threat to health at recommended levels of consumption to healthy individuals (i e, those without any GI issues).

  8. Ruth says:

    Sounds like a new chemical cesspool. I trust the FDA like I trust that a dog won’t bark.

  9. Dave Gee says:

    For once the article actually seems to be more founded in reality than the comments! 🙂

  10. Michelle Burnett says:

    Aspartame is a major migraine trigger for me…since this is a derivative, I’m guessing it will probably have a similar effect.

  11. Michelle Burnett says:

    Aspartame is a major migraine trigger for me…since this is a derivative, I’m guessing it will probably have a similar effect.

    • Kyle Ness says:

      I also get severe headaches from any trace amount of Aspertame, it is a neurological disruptor and probable cause of increased amounts of alzheimers, Autism, parkinsons. I can’t tolerate any trace of Splenda either, it causes chlorine levels to spike beyond safe levels and basically works better than any enema out there. found to be related to DDT. (sucralose contains trace of sugar encapsulated with acetone and phosphoricchloride… a cleaning agent) Basically a poison.

  12. MaidenMN says:

    When it comes to food, drugs, surgical procedures, etc., the FDA is NOT your friend. They will fast-track most anything to market if the company that manufactures said product has deep enough pockets.

    If everything the FDA said is safe actually was safe, we wouldn’t have things like 1-800-BAD-DRUG.

    I’ll stick with my Stevia, thanks.

  13. MaidenMN says:

    When it comes to food, drugs, surgical procedures, etc., the FDA is NOT your friend. They will fast-track most anything to market if the company that manufactures said product has deep enough pockets.

    If everything the FDA said is safe actually was safe, we wouldn’t have things like 1-800-BAD-DRUG.

    I’ll stick with my Stevia, thanks.

  14. MaidenMN says:

    When it comes to food, drugs, surgical procedures, etc., the FDA is NOT your friend. They will fast-track most anything to market if the company that manufactures said product has deep enough pockets.

    If everything the FDA said is safe actually was safe, we wouldn’t have things like 1-800-BAD-DRUG.

    I’ll stick with my Stevia, thanks.

  15. MaidenMN says:

    When it comes to food, drugs, surgical procedures, etc., the FDA is NOT your friend. They will fast-track most anything to market if the company that manufactures said product has deep enough pockets.

    If everything the FDA said is safe actually was safe, we wouldn’t have things like 1-800-BAD-DRUG.

    I’ll stick with my Stevia, thanks.

  16. Michelle says:

    Hell no! Just what we need, more artifical crap in our bodies!

  17. Michelle says:

    Hell no! Just what we need, more artifical crap in our bodies!

  18. Michelle says:

    Hell no! Just what we need, more artifical crap in our bodies!

  19. Michelle says:

    Hell no! Just what we need, more artifical crap in our bodies!

  20. kdarty says:

    There has been a push to have Aspartame renamed and re-branded to break free from its unhealthy stigma for a long time. At one point it was even suggested that it should simply be called “sugar” as to not alert proponents to its presence. This effort was met with huge outrage as expected. This new “advantame” is nothing more than another effort to re-brand the same chemical that the health conscious and nutritionists around the world do not trust. I for one will shy away from it just as I do aspartame and any other man made sugar substitutes.

  21. kdarty says:

    There has been a push to have Aspartame renamed and re-branded to break free from its unhealthy stigma for a long time. At one point it was even suggested that it should simply be called “sugar” as to not alert proponents to its presence. This effort was met with huge outrage as expected. This new “advantame” is nothing more than another effort to re-brand the same chemical that the health conscious and nutritionists around the world do not trust. I for one will shy away from it just as I do aspartame and any other man made sugar substitutes.

  22. kdarty says:

    There has been a push to have Aspartame renamed and re-branded to break free from its unhealthy stigma for a long time. At one point it was even suggested that it should simply be called “sugar” as to not alert proponents to its presence. This effort was met with huge outrage as expected. This new “advantame” is nothing more than another effort to re-brand the same chemical that the health conscious and nutritionists around the world do not trust. I for one will shy away from it just as I do aspartame and any other man made sugar substitutes.

  23. JoJo says:

    Eat an apple!

  24. Catherine says:

    Just another toxic substance to sweeten the pockets of the already wealthy at our health expense… the game never ends… trick the public into harming their health so the rich can make more money… after all the people keep making more people so why should the wealthy tricksters care if anyone dies,,, they have a never ending supply of guinea pigs …

  25. Techno Spice says:

    I am not fond of the flavor of aspartame. I doubt I’ll be partaking in this. Stevia suits my needs until something better comes along.

  26. Amykinscatfood says:

    I just came here for the cupcake food porn.

  27. Amykinscatfood says:

    I just came here for the cupcake food porn.

  28. amuseliese says:

    As a person who actually has PKU I am going to have to sit this one out for a while. I know they claim it’s not going to be enough to have an effect, but where is the line? How much do you have to use to tip the scale? Can we trust food companies to use this responsibly? I think I’ll stick with real sugar, in moderation, for now.

  29. amuseliese says:

    As a person who actually has PKU I am going to have to sit this one out for a while. I know they claim it’s not going to be enough to have an effect, but where is the line? How much do you have to use to tip the scale? Can we trust food companies to use this responsibly? I think I’ll stick with real sugar, in moderation, for now.

    • Justine says:

      I also have CPKU and wont be going near anything artificial such as the new advantame..its unethical and absolutely negligent for FDA to approve such a change just to line their sweet little pockets..and confuse consumers in such choices…I use real low GI raw sugar and stevia and wont be using any others

  30. amuseliese says:

    As a person who actually has PKU I am going to have to sit this one out for a while. I know they claim it’s not going to be enough to have an effect, but where is the line? How much do you have to use to tip the scale? Can we trust food companies to use this responsibly? I think I’ll stick with real sugar, in moderation, for now.

  31. Mel says:

    It is so disappointing and disheartening to know that the FDA has so much control and the power to approve things that are not safe or healthy for us to consume. Aspartame is awful for our health and because is has come out as a commonly known fact they are simple re-branding the product. Disgusting.

  32. Mel says:

    It is so disappointing and disheartening to know that the FDA has so much control and the power to approve things that are not safe or healthy for us to consume. Aspartame is awful for our health and because is has come out as a commonly known fact they are simple re-branding the product. Disgusting.

  33. Mel says:

    It is so disappointing and disheartening to know that the FDA has so much control and the power to approve things that are not safe or healthy for us to consume. Aspartame is awful for our health and because is has come out as a commonly known fact they are simple re-branding the product. Disgusting.

  34. Mel says:

    It is so disappointing and disheartening to know that the FDA has so much control and the power to approve things that are not safe or healthy for us to consume. Aspartame is awful for our health and because is has come out as a commonly known fact they are simple re-branding the product. Disgusting.

  35. nikki says:

    If I’m having a cupcake, I’m having a real one. No artificial sweeteners for me!. Besides, I can always cut the sweetness with fruit.

  36. nikki says:

    If I’m having a cupcake, I’m having a real one. No artificial sweeteners for me!. Besides, I can always cut the sweetness with fruit.

  37. Steampunk Sweetheart says:

    ….If you want sugar, eat sugar (sucrose.) It’s like a tablespoon of butter is going to be a lot better for you than a tablespoon of chemically-dyed, chemically-flavored artificially-hydrogenated fat masquerading as butter.

  38. Summer O'Brien says:

    Do not eat any of these chemical sweetners all which cause cancer and are very very bad for you! Advantame is a derivative of aspartame which is known to have serious side effects, actually increasing hunger! The FDA are a bunch of liars and have done horrible things to our food! Nothing is safe any more unless we go back to eating things that are natural and from the earth. Grass fed beef and poultry not shot up with hormones and fruit and vegitables that are organic. Process foods and white startches are killing us! And Iodine is the number one deficiency in most people and interesting that Iodized salt doesnt even have iodine it has something else and it does not allow the body to absorb iodine. Lack of iodine causes the body to be a risk for cancer. Shame on the FDA and the people responsible for our horrible food.

  39. MDDapp says:

    How can we question it? The FDA approved it, so it must be fine.

  40. SugarPlumbFairy says:

    With more studies showing that “zero calories” is not “zero weight and fat generation”, why is there still the constant reference guilt-free eating?

  41. dizzheart says:

    I want to know if it will upset my stomach (to phrase it delicately) as maltilol, Splenda and some others do. If it doesn’t, I’d try it.

  42. TiredOfThePoliticalBullDookie says:

    The FDA, I read, is in the process of allowing aspartame to be added to milk, WITHOUT identifying it on ingredient labels.
    Why doesn’t the FDA allow arsenic be renamed, called ‘safe for consumption’ and added to the food supply – ESPECIALLY without having to be identified as an ingredient on food labels ? ? ?
    They’re poisoning the food supply – America needs to pitch a fit about all of this!

  43. marg says:

    It gives my daughter headaches. No thank you. (and I mean major ones, not just minor ones…..)

  44. contentedhomemaker says:

    The FDA is pretty quick to fast-track these artificial sweeteners/fats/etc., but not so fast to admit there are definite problems with ALL of them. Stevia is the safest and has been used for hundreds of years. This is just another ploy by the FDA to promote their favorite. To answer the question… NO! You shouldn’t eat it.

  45. kalistara says:

    Avoid it like the plague! It is not going to be any healthier for you than Aspartame which is horrible in the extreme. A friend of mine used to drink soft drinks with it and developed multiple sclerosis when she removed all products with aspertame from her diet her symptoms began to disappear!

  46. Lor 4224 says:

    THIS IS ASPARTAME WITH A NEW NAME DO NOT EAT IT!!!!!!

  47. Guest says:

    What happened to sugar, the thing people ate for years SAFELY until they started making it out of anything but cane. These sweeteners are the cause of many cancers! Idiots.

  48. Melissa Woods says:

    Aspartame is linked to cases of multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, etc. If Advantame is a derivative, guess what? Don’t put it inside your body under any circumstances.

  49. Bon says:

    no chemicals for me – only natural plant derivatives

  50. optimist in the south says:

    this is crazy! the FDA bans wood curing trays for cheese but APPROVES another poison to add to our foods!! Pretty clear that big business is running the FDA not the best interests of the people!

  51. Kyle Ness says:

    They should BAN both Aspertame and Splenda (Sucralose)!! Both are Hazardous to your Health!!

    • MorticiaBrowFace says:

      i don’t need the government banning sweeteners….I have yet to read real studies with evidence of Splenda being so bad. It’s called moderation. Don’t like it? Don’t use it.

  52. max says:

    For those of you who feel that we consume too much aspartame, you should be cheering this development. Advantame is a derivative of aspartame that is 20,000 times sweeter than sugar. That’s about 100 times sweeter than aspartame. A 2 liter Coke (a lot for one person to drink in a day) contains 216g of sugar. That’s 1600 empty calories. A 2 liter Diet Coke has a little bit more than a gram of aspartame in it. The FDA acceptable daily intake for aspartame for an average size person is about 3.5g per day. Most people easily stay under that, but I have to admit that if I thoughtlessly drank Diet Coke all day and ate lots of other diet foods that were all sweetened with aspartame, I might get closer to that level than I’d like. But if Advantame is 100 times sweeter than that, and otherwise similar to aspartame, that means a 2 liter Diet Coke could be made with just 10mg of Advantame. There’s no possible way to accidentally consume anywhere close to 3.5g of Advantame.

    Or, to put it another way, I drink diet soda, like millions of other people. Some of you may think this is harmful to me, even though I don’t. Assuming that I and the millions of others won’t change our soda-drinking habits, but that we won’t mind if our aspartame-sweetened Diet Coke is replaced with Advantame-sweetened Diet Coke. You should be applauding the fact that Advantame could cut my artificial sweetener consumption by 99%.

  53. Oreoboots says:

    In other words folks being related to aspartame , you’ll still get the shitz

  54. Joe Edwards says:

    I don’t trust the government the EPA he FDA or any of their anagram titled regulatory administration, they all lie to put money in the pockets of corporations and politicians. Stevia is safe for most people on the planet, the FDA will not approve it because it is a natural product, and it has incredible sweetening abilities. White sugar is refined, and is not good for you as pure cane raw sugar can be. advantame sounds like an Obama ebonics name, sure to let you down. And stevia, being natural, the FDA has a hard time approving what they can make a dime off when it is readily available

  55. fanciladi says:

    No, not trying this!!!! They are SO sneaky…it’s all about the $$$!!!

  56. 12co9neo says:

    This isn’t something dangerous you need to avoid. If you guys don’t trust the FDA, the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) also approves of advantame. It is not a carcinogen or a toxin. If you look up advantame on google, the EFSA website is the third result and it talks about the studies in detail.

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