The Truth About Natural Sweeteners & Artificial Sweeteners

by Dr David Minkoff May 26, 2024 5 min read

The Truth About Natural Sweeteners & Artificial Sweeteners

We recently upgraded the sweetener in our PerfectAmino Powder and PerfectAmino Electrolytes, switching out a natural form of Stevia known as Stevia Reb A for a combination of Natural Stevia Reb M, Monk Fruit, and Katemfe Fruit (Thaumatococcus Daniellii) Extract.

And in doing so we found out something quite disturbing.

We originally made this change because natural Stevia Reb A, which is what we used and what 99% of others use or think they use, has a somewhat bitter aftertaste.

While natural Stevia Reb M, Monk Fruit, and Katemfe Fruit Extract are much more expensive in their completely natural state, they have a much pleasanter taste, which we want when sweetening pure amino acids which are naturally very bitter.

Now, we already knew some sweeteners labeled “Pure” or “All Natural” were often cut with artificial sweeteners to a degree, and we have always had to watch this.

This is actually legal for producers to do as long as the other ingredients are disclosed.

But what we found out when researching natural sweeteners for our new formulation, and the amount of them that actually aren’t what they say they are, was surprising and somewhat scary.

It turns out, about 99% of so-called natural sweeteners actually contain artificial sweeteners in amounts as much as 60%, 80%… or even 100%.

So we want to make sure you know about this, why it matters, and what to look out for.

Let’s dive in.


ABOUT 99% OF NATURAL SWEETENERS CONTAIN ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS


If you look at the front of a bottle labeled “natural” or “pure” stevia or monk fruit you’ll probably assume it’s, well, natural or pure stevia or monk fruit.

And that there’s nothing else in it.

But look at the back ingredients panel of the bottle and you’ll most likely see erythritol or some other artificial sweetener listed, and often listed above stevia or monk fruit.

We knew this and likely so did you, and we’ve always had to look closely at every ingredient document and question anything we see to ensure we were getting what we were being told we were getting.

But what we didn’t know when we dove into this new formulation was just how much less natural stevia or monk fruit were in the formulas being presented.

In fact, many of those presented as 100% pure not only contained other artificial sweeteners, but some didn’t even contain the main listed ingredient… at all.

Instead they were anywhere from 60% to 100% some other combination of erythritol, sucralose, maltodextrin, neotame, aspartame, filler, or something other ingredient.

Yes, in some stevia and monk fruits where other artificial sweeteners were listed, or even where no artificial sweeteners were listed, there was in fact no actual stevia or monk fruit present. It was only artificial sweeteners.

And we only found this out after extensive research and third party chemical analytical testing of the sweeteners themselves.

But before we go into how we did this, let’s cover why this matters. Because many people don’t know just how bad some of these artificial sweeteners are for us.


HOW BAD ARE ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS REALLY


If you google “how bad are artificial sweeteners?” You’ll find many links. Some say very bad, some say not bad, some say it’s disputed.

And if you look for official answers you’ll most likely see a very helpful statement something the lines of: “Research is ongoing.”

That’s quite a powerful statement because it does not admit that they are bad, but at the same time doesn’t put them in the position of making a false statement as to their safety.

But let’s look at what research has been done by those not working directly for the manufacturers themselves.

Currently the most commonly used artificial sweetener is Erythritol. It’s used on its own or in combination with other sweeteners.

And when we look at “natural” or “pure” stevia and monk fruit, we see that erythritol is the most used additive in these, often taking up 60% or up to 100% of “pure” stevia or monk fruit.

This is because natural stevia Reb A, which is what is normally considered as Stevia and what is purported to be in about 99% of products claiming stevia as an ingredient, has a bitter after taste.

Natural Monk fruit has similar problems.

So, to make these sweeter and less bitter, erythritol is added in varying amounts.

So let’s take a look at erythritol and what it actually does.

According to Dr Steven Hazen, MD, a specialist in preventive cardiovascular medicine, when speaking about this study, when the researchers gave erythritol to animal models, they saw enhanced clot formation in models of arterial disease.

And when they added erythritol to blood outside of the body they found that adding erythritol to blood made it “clump up,” or form a blood clot by activating platelets.

Platelets are the tiny components in our blood that go to the site of an injury to stop us from bleeding. They’re what scabs are made out of.

But when they’re activated within our bodies they can cause blood clots, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

According to Dr. Hazen, “A serving of erythritol in common ‘keto-friendly’ processed food products made blood levels of erythritol go up 1,000-fold, well above the levels linked to enhanced clotting risks.”

“We found that the risk for clotting can be increased for several days after consumption of just one serving of artificially sweetened food containing erythritol.”

Just one serving. But now erythritol, and other artificial sweeteners with the same or similar results are being knowingly or unknowingly added to our foods, drinks and even our supplements.

Often times the supplement or food makers don’t even know they’re being added.

While we can’t go into the information on every artificial sweetener, we think the above on erythritol gives a good example.

And, unfortunately, it holds true to varying degrees amongst the other artificial sweeteners which you can look up if you wish.

The top ones are: erythritol, neotame, maltodextrin, aspartame, xylitol, sorbitol, acesulfame potassium, advantame, Saccharin, and Sucralose. But there are others, and they sometimes go by different names.

You can research more on this topic, as well as other artificial sweeteners, but I don’t think you’ll like what you find.

We’ll go into more in the next article, but be assured, we’ve used only the highest quality, cleanest, natural sweeteners we could find. And tested them to be sure they were what they say they are.

Yes, this increases costs for us. Significantly, actually. But our products are used in doctor’s offices and by individuals in some of the worst conditions.

We can’t have any amount of toxic artificial sweeteners in these.

We hope you agree the work done here was worth it.

We did it for you.


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.