Thursday, April 15, 2010

Got Evidence- Part 2- FDA's Role

So now what is the FDA's (Food Drug and Alcohol) role in deciding if and how much is safe?
Their role is to make sure there are enough rigorous testing on the product. Then they will list the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI). This number is derived from the testing, if it's animal testing the number is set at 100 times lower than found safe for the animal.
Now I bet you what to know what the ADI for Diet Drinks are.

For a 12 oz drink of Diet soda ;
  • containing Aspartame=18-19 cans
  • containing Acesulfame K=30-32 can
  • containing Sucralose= 6 cans
  • for Saccharin it is 9-12 packets
  • Stevia has not be determined yet, they have not set a ADI for it.
Even though these Number have been set, the manufacturers vary on the amounts used. therefore it is hard to determine the safe amount to consume in a day. Take for example the amounts in a 8 oz serving size of the following canned sodas;

Just containing Aspartame
  • Diet coke has 125 milligrams of Aspartame,
  • Diet Pepsi has 118 mg
  • Diet Dr Pepper numbers are 123 mg.
If we look at the brands that mix the sweeteners,the Numbers are closer;
  • Coke Zero has 58 mg Aspartame, and 31 mg of AcesulfameK
  • Sprite Zero and Fresca has 50 mg Aspartame and 34 mg of AcesulfameK
  • Barq's Diet Root Beer has 66mg of Aspartame and 41 mg of AcesulfameK
Diet Mountain Dew has 57mg Aspartame and 18 mg AcesulfameK as well as 18 mg Sucralose .
Tab is one with Saccharin and Aspartame, it contain 64mg of saccharin and 19mg aspartame.

Fountain drinks can have different amounts, for lables are not shown and they work on a more concentrated syrup, using a soda water to mix with the drink. That makes it hard to know due to the difference in restaurants equipment.

However you look at it the FDA's role is only to apply the facts for our safety of consumption. Some times the research is limited and the fact are not truly revealed until years later. Case in Point, Saccharine. A known carcinogenic today but in its' earlier time considered a healthy choice.
Today the consumer will have a hard time determining the amounts they consume. Making it difficult to stay within the ADI recommendation of the FDA. With all the sweeteners found in Baked goods, Snack, cereals and other Low calorie food we consume... one will not be able to discern the amounts. Our packaging does not (to date) have all the Milligrams used in the product. The Names are only listed in the ingredients.

So the question remains, do we drink the diet drink ? Or are we risking our health if we do? Research has shown that the consumption of these diet drink can actually contribute to Diabetes Type 2. One will have a 67% greater chance of developing it.
Monday we will look at some of the other studies and how they can effect our health. We all need to stay informed to live healthier lives.

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