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Definition of Saccharin

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Saccharin: An artificial sweetener which diluted in water is 200-700 times sweeter than the sugar sucrose. (The chemical name for saccharin is o-sulfabenzamide; 2,3-dihydro-3-oxobenzisosulfonazole).

The US government removed saccharin from its list of potential cancer-causing agents in 2000 because tests show that it causes bladder cancers in rats through a mechanism unrelated to human physiology. There is no evidence that it causes tumors in humans.

Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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