Warning: Common Ingredient Used by Food Companies Linked to Heart Attack, Stroke – Study

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A widely used artificial sweetener is linked to an increased risk of stroke and heart attacks, according to a new study.

Erythritol is a sweetener used in stevia, monkfruit and keto reduced-sugar products, according to CNN. It also is a risk for many populations, according to  Dr. Stanley Hazen, director of the Center for Cardiovascular Diagnostics and Prevention at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute and the lead author of the study, CNN reported.

“The degree of risk was not modest,” Hazen said, according to CNN.

He said those with heart-disease risk factors, such as diabetes, are in the most danger if they had high levels of erythritol in their blood.

“If your blood level of erythritol was in the top 25 percent compared to the bottom 25 percent, there was about a two-fold higher risk for heart attack and stroke. It’s on par with the strongest of cardiac risk factors, like diabetes,” Hazen said.

The substance is widely used by food companies as a sugar substitute, Hazen said, according to CNN.

“It’s become the sweetheart of the food industry, an extremely popular additive to keto and other low-carb products and foods marketed to people with diabetes,” he said. “Some of the diabetes-labeled foods we looked at had more erythritol than any other item by weight.”

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