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Drinking Diet Soda Tied to Risk of Premature Birth
New research suggests that drinking artificially sweetened beverages may be linked with an increased risk of premature births.
To investigate whether there might be a direct link, the researchers looked at nearly 60,000 Danish women who reported on their diet, including how many soft drinks they had each day.
Women who had at least one serving of artificially sweetened soda a day while they were pregnant were 38 percent more likely to deliver preterm than women who drank no diet soda at all, the researchers report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Women who had at least four diet sodas a day were nearly 80 percent more likely to deliver preterm. The association was the same for normal-weight and overweight women.
"This study may unduly alarm pregnant women. While this study is counter to the weight of the scientific evidence demonstrating that low-calorie sweeteners are safe for use in pregnancy, research has shown that overweight and obesity can negatively affect pregnancy outcomes," Beth Hubrich, a dietitian with the council, said in the statement. "Further, low-calorie sweeteners can help pregnant women enjoy the taste of sweets without excess calories, leaving room for nutritious foods and beverages without excess weight gain - something that has been shown to be harmful to both the mother and developing baby."
The artificial sweetener aspartame breaks down into methanol and other substances in the body, which can in turn be converted to toxic substances such as formaldehyde and formic acid. Studies have linked even very low exposure to methanol to shortened pregnancy and labor complications.
While pregnant women who consume soft drinks shouldn't be alarmed by the findings, Halldorsson said, "what we are seeing warrants further attention."
Women who normally use the artificial sweeteners saccharin (Sweet n' Low), aspartame (NutraSweet), sucralose (Splenda) or acesulfame K (Sunett, Sweet One) can safely continue to do so "in moderation" during pregnancy.
Dr. Iverson's Comment
It is really good to see studies of such magnitude open our eyes to the dangers of chemical pollutants in our food. Sixty-thousand participants is nothing to shake a stick at! That is a very good sample size and the proof is in the numbers; 38-80% more likely to deliver preterm babies. What should we expect when we are dumping methanol and formaldehyde in our body?  Methanol is also known as wood alcohol and can cause blindness with as little as 10 mL! Formaldehyde is used in embalming the body—I certainly hope you don’t have a need for that in your body yet!
I feel the biggest laugh in this article is the quote from the dietician that supports the use of artificial substances during pregnancy saying that these foods “leave room for nutritious food without weight gain.” It is fair to say that what we are educating our dieticians in this country is just plain not good education if they are telling their clients to consume artificial chemicals. 
I discuss natural sweeteners versus artificial sweeteners in my book Nature’s Diet. I also discuss dozens of other chemicals found in foods and in your environment that you may not have even considered to be dangerous.
Be well~

Andrew Iverson

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