Natural Sweeteners for Saccharin Background

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Nsgrace2 (Lorain, Ohio) on 11/26/2009:
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warning on saccharin - A few years ago I decided that I was going to lose weight. I began drinking a lot of coffee and was using saccharin to sweeten my coffee. Then my mom told me about an article she just read in a national tabloid about saccharin being bad for your kidneys. Within a week, I had to go to the doctor because I was so sick I lost 10 pounds in 3 days. Everything I ate tasted like it was spoiled so I did not want to eat. The doctor told me I had a kidney infection so bad that I would have to go the hospital if I had waited any longer to go see him. Since then, I have refrained from using saccharin.

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Pamela (Coloma, MI) on 05/24/2007:
5 out of 5 stars

This maybe of interest to everyone as Stevia is from a plant. So is Saccharin, or Tolu Balsam Tree.

Saccharin Discovery

sweetness was accidentally discovered by Ira Remsen, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, and Constantine Fahlberg, a research fellow working in Remsen's lab. In 1879, while working with coal tar derivatives (toluene), Remsen discovered saccharin's sweetness at dinner after not thoroughly washing his hands, as did Fahlberg during lunch. Remsen and Fahlberg jointly published their discovery in 1880.[2] However, in 1884, Fahlberg went on to patent and mass-produce saccharin without ever mentioning Remsen. Fahlberg grew wealthy, while Remsen merely grew irate.[3] On the matter, Remsen commented, "Fahlberg is a scoundrel. It nauseates me to hear my name mentioned in the same breath with him". Saccharin was an important discovery, especially for diabetics. Saccharin goes directly through the human digestive system without being digested. It does not affect blood insulin levels, and has effectively no food energy.

The name toluene was derived from the older name toluol that refers to tolu balsam, an aromatic extract from the tropical American tree Myroxylon balsamum, from which it was first isolated. It was originally named by Jöns Jakob Berzelius.

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