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Author Topic: Sweetness kills (but why?)  (Read 6208 times)

Offline qpan

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Sweetness kills (but why?)
« on: 26/06/2004 10:25:44 »
Why is it that the only sweet compounds on this planet which are not incredibly harmful/lethal are a small group of carbohydrates called sugars?

I can think of many harmful sweet compounds such as artificial sweetners for example aspartame and acesulfame k. These are both very harmful (at least to lab animals, so i'd imagine to humans too).

Also, the Romans used to sweeten their wine with a lead based compound which was reputed to be many times sweeter (and better tasting) than sugar, but being lead based it slowly turned all that comsumed it mad.

It just seems strange that our bodies like the taste of so many harmful chemicals...

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Offline neilep

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Re: Sweetness kills (but why?)
« Reply #1 on: 26/06/2004 12:34:04 »
Nice one Qi.....it's that old problem again that everything that we love to eat (not necessarily sweet) is bad for you..............I would hazard an amateurish guess that sweetness is there for fuel and energy and an attractant in the animal kingdom,.......and in moderation are fine but because us humans have more advanced wants and needs we have the ability to refine and produce foods that have too much sugar and artificial sweetners and where lesser animals seem to eat 'mainly' for need we tend to also eat for pleasure additionally.......... (err...I know I do)...I mean...apart froma domesticated pet have you ever seen an obese animal in the wild ?.........as to why only carbohydrates are called sugars.......I ain't got a clue , but I bet someone here does.

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Offline roberth

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Re: Sweetness kills (but why?)
« Reply #2 on: 26/06/2004 12:59:18 »
I don't Neil. What I do know is that England can't play football or rugby. Well, not this year anyway !
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Sweetness kills (but why?)
« Reply #3 on: 26/06/2004 13:59:31 »
Thanks Rob......I'm touched by your concern and admiration *sticks tongue out*

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Offline qazibasit

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Re: Sweetness kills (but why?)
« Reply #4 on: 26/06/2004 23:05:47 »
Maybe God wants us to be away, from those things which seems and feels good and wants to test us whether we obey his commands or not and for that he made it harmful that in case we dont obey HIM that will be harmful for us.
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Sweetness kills (but why?)
« Reply #5 on: 27/06/2004 16:04:06 »
...assuming you believe in God that is .......what about those of us that don't believe in God ?

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Offline qpan

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Re: Sweetness kills (but why?)
« Reply #6 on: 27/06/2004 21:43:13 »
Aspartame must have been invented by god just so that i can't enjoy my prawn cocktail walker's (crisps) as much. God damn him.

And i really can't believe England lost. Damn referee. Damn stupid referee.

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Offline neilep

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Re: Sweetness kills (but why?)
« Reply #7 on: 27/06/2004 22:06:10 »
quote:
Originally posted by qpan

Aspartame must have been invented by god just so that i can't enjoy my prawn cocktail walker's (crisps) as much. God damn him.

And i really can't believe England lost. Damn referee. Damn stupid referee.

"I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."
-Edgar Allan Poe




Can't you just run your crisps through an Aspartame filter ?...and I know...I know....what a load of crud about the English football team. A disallowed goal and a heavily biased referee !!..(not that i'm biased of course)....

....oh yes...the link to your haomepage don't work...*sulk*

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Offline chris

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Re: Sweetness kills (but why?)
« Reply #8 on: 28/06/2004 02:02:15 »
Carbohydrate is the term used to describe a broad class of molecules including simple sugars, like glucose, starches (a globular polymer of glucose containing alpha 1-4 bonds), cellulose (a linear polymer of glucose using beta 1-4 linkages) and gums. They contain only carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, and have the general chemical formula Cx(H2O)y - in other words the hydrogen and oxygen are in the ratio 2:1 e.g Glucose C6H12O6 Sucrose C12H22O11 etc.

Simple sugars like monosaccharides (glucose), or disaccharides (sucrose), taste sweet because they are the right shape to fit into a 'sweet' taste receptor on the front of the tongue. When these molecules lock into the receptor they open activating 'pores' on the surface of the accompanying nerve fibre which then sends messages to the brain to say that you are tasting something sweet.

The more electrical impulses the nerve fibre transmits, the sweeter the taste sensation. So a sugar that binds more tightly to the receptor tastes sweeter than a sugar that binds less well. Hence fructose (the sugar in honey) tastes sweeter than table sugar (sucrose) which is slightly sweeter than glucose. Lactose, the sugar in (breast) milk is only half as sweet as glucose, as is maltose, the sugar produced by 'malting' barley.

Starch (e.g. a potato) does not taste sweet at all because the molecule is too big to fit into the receptor, so it does not activate it, despite starch being made up of many molecules of glucose.

Therefore, any substance that can bind to these receptors will taste sweet - it need not be a sugar. Artificial sweetners consist of molecules which have been chemically tweaked so that they bind these sweetness receptors very strongly (so they taste sweet), but they contain only a fraction of the amount of energy that would be locked up in the equivalent-tasting amount of sugar. Also, they are sometimes not totally selective for the sweetness receptors, they can also bind other receptors too (although less well) which accounts for the bitter after-taste produced by some artificial sweetning agents.

Chris



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Offline DrN

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Re: Sweetness kills (but why?)
« Reply #9 on: 28/06/2004 23:14:28 »
blimey. so if artificial sweeteners basically bind the receptors to make them taste sweet then why are they harmful? and why can't sweeteners be made that arn't harmful?
 

Offline chris

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Re: Sweetness kills (but why?)
« Reply #10 on: 29/06/2004 03:31:42 »
The way something tastes or smells has nothing to do with how safe it is - cyanide smells like marzipan, but I wouldn't recommend that you eat it !

Chris

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Offline qazibasit

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Re: Sweetness kills (but why?)
« Reply #11 on: 01/07/2004 00:16:12 »
well ppls now i know that most of the observers are not pious/
 

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Re: Sweetness kills (but why?)
« Reply #11 on: 01/07/2004 00:16:12 »

 

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