KARACHI (PPI) - According to new research by Purdue Universitys Ingestive Behaviour Research Center, Indiana, USA, foods and beverages that contain no-calorie artificial sweeteners having ingredients such as Aspartame, Sucralose, acesulfame-K and Saccharin severely affects our ability to control our food intake and body weight and may lead to multiple diseases. Researchers carried out a study on rats that ate yogurt sweetened with glucose (a simple sugar) and compared them with rats that ate yogurt sweetened with the zero-calorie artificial sweeteners. Researchers found out that rats that ate yogurt sweetened with the zero-calorie artificial sweeteners, consumed more calories, gained more weight and put on more body fat. The researchers believe consuming foods sweetened with artificial sweeteners containing Aspartame, Sucralose, Acesulfame-K and Saccharin lead to greater weight gain and body fat than eating the same foods sweetened with natural sugar. Different studies have revealed that use of Aspartame, Sucralose, Acesulfame-K and Saccharin also lead to several health problems such as spasms, shooting pains, numbness in legs, cramps, vertigo, dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, joint pain, depression, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, blurred vision, memory loss, confusion, severe vision loss, skin irritations, wheezing, cough, chest pains and palpitations etc, and some of these may even cause cancer with long term use. There are 92 documented symptoms of Aspartame Poisoning leading to coma and death. The majority of these symptoms are neurological, because the Aspartame attacks and destroys the nervous system. Aspartame is also escalating Alzheimers disease in young people. Doctors say that consuming Aspartame during pregnancy can cause birth defects. When the Aspartame attacks the nervous system, it does not allow the unborn child to develop properly. Ralph G. Walton, MD, Chairman, The Center for Behavioral Medicine, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine analyzed 90 non-industry-sponsored studies out of which 83 (92%) identified one or more problems with aspartame. According to studies, once Sucralose gets to the gut, it goes largely unrecognised in the body as food thats why it has no calories. However, the irony is that the body tries to clear unrecognisable substances by digesting them, so its not unlikely that the healthier your gastrointestinal system is, the more you will absorb the chlorinated molecules present in Sucralose, which can prove to be carcinogenic. Artificial sweeteners confuse our brain. The enzymes in our mouth begin a cascade that primes our cell receptors for an insulin surge, and when it does not arrive, our brain feels cheated. But even if our brain is distracted momentarily, soon enough it wants the energy boost we promised it and we find yourself craving carbohydrates. Doctors say that belief that eating artificially sweetened foods and drinking artificially sweetened beverages will help you to lose weight is a misperception. Several researches say that diet sodas may double your risk of obesity and artificial sweeteners can stimulate your appetite, increase carbohydrate cravings, and stimulate fat storage and weight gain yet, gaining weight is only one of the side effects of consuming these artificial chemical sweeteners. In animals examined for the study, artificial sweeteners reduced the amount of good bacteria in the intestines by 50 percent, increased the pH level in the intestines, contributed to increases in body weight and affected P-glycoprotein (P-gp) levels in such a way that crucial health-related drugs could be rejected. The P-gp effect could result in medications used in chemotherapy, AIDS treatment and treatments for heart conditions being shunted back into the intestines, rather than being absorbed by the body. Artificial sweeteners can destroy up to 50 percent of our healthy intestinal bacteria, as these bacteria help maintain our bodys overall balance of friendly versus unfriendly micro-organisms, and support general health. Many people are already deficient in healthy bacteria due to choosing highly processed foods. Unfortunately, most public health agencies and nutritionists in the United States still recommend these toxic artificial sweeteners as an acceptable alternative to sugar. This can surely give us an idea of how worse the situation would be in countries where health consciousness and awareness is yet to become a part of common-mens lifestyle.