As long as I have been alive there seems to have been a battle to replace sugar with alternative sweeteners in the human diet. Abusive use of sugar has been painted as the evil behind many of the problems such as obesity and diabetes that plague people’s health and lives. Artificial sweeteners such as Saccharin under many different names, Aspartame aka. Equal® and Sucralose aka. as Splenda® have all sought to replace sugar at our families table as the sweetener of choice. But the new and improved artificial sweeteners are becoming a damned if you do – damned if you don’t proposition. Saccharin products, which has been around a long time was giving the old heave ho by medical experts because it was shown to cause brain tumors in lab rats. Those tests are now in question as to if saccharin would affect humans in the same manner as it did the lab rats. There are still many forms of it around today under many names but when Aspartame made its debut as a better and safer product; the saccharin products saw a huge decline in popularity. But Equals reign, as the artificial sweetener of choice was short. Like saccharin Aspartame was deemed by many in the health industry to have dangerous side effects. Depending on who or what study you choose to believe there have been as high as a possible 92 different dangerous side effects associated with Aspartame. Some of those include psychological, physical and neurological disorders that include epileptic seizures, severe tremors, vision problems including blindness in one or both eyes, loss of control of diabetes, insomnia, phobias, irritability, brain lesions and brain tumors. It has since lost its popularity as the artificial sweetener king to Sucralose though; I believe that Equal/Aspartame still has most of the diet soft drink industry still under it main control. Still Sucralose/Splenda® has not had a lack of detractors in the health industry. It has been associated with claims of health problems including shrunken thymus glands and enlarged livers and kidneys. Now a new study by Duke University, already being questioned about its objectivity, claims the very popular sweetener Sucralose/Splenda® may actually increase obesity chances, destroy the good bacteria in the digestive system and prevent the absorption of your prescription drugs. Of course in all fairness I have read that artificial sweeteners in general may contribute to obesity and diabetes problems. What I have read is that the body expects a carb rush when eating sweetened items and when the body does not get that carb rush it creates a craving to overindulge in other items to get the carb rush. Purpose of not eating the sugar defeated. (Actually in some items I have found by substituting brown sugar in hot foods, like my morning bowl of Oats, for white sugar I do not want as much sugar in what I am eating.) It sounds like it is back to the old drawing board for the artificial sweeteners in their battle for the worlds sweet tooth market.