What is saccharin?
Saccharin is a low-calorie sugar substitute that was first discovered in 1879. In fact, it was used to sweeten foods when sugar was rationed during World War I and World War II. It is 200 to 700 times sweeter than sugar, depending on how it is used. Saccharin leaves an aftertaste some people can detect when they consume it, but that is often eliminated in prepared foods by combining it with another sweetener. Saccharin is also known by brand names such as Sweet ‘N Low and Sweet Twin.
What is it used in?
Saccharin is found in many foods and drinks, including chewing gum, canned fruit, baked goods, and soft drinks, and as a tabletop sweetener. It is also used in some medicines and vitamins. Saccharin can also be used as a substitute for sugar when you are baking.
Benefits of saccharin
- Can be substituted for sugar when baking
- Does not contribute to tooth decay
- Does not affect glucose or triglyceride levels
Is saccharin safe?
You might remember that saccharin used to carry a warning label indicating that it was known to cause cancer in laboratory animals. However, after extensive research on the safety of saccharin, the United States government passed a bill in 2000 confirming its safety and removed the warning label from food and drinks made with saccharin.
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Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff