In a nutshell, aspartame can precipitate diabetes, aggravates and simulates diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy, etc.
Aspartame interacts with drugs and vaccines due to damage to the mitochondria.
As to Splenda:
The Lethal Science of Splenda: http://www.wnho.net/splenda_chlorocarbon.htm
Studies have shown that sucralose can:
A safe sweetener is Just Like Sugar, http://www.justlikesugarinc.com It is made from chicory which has been used for 70 years to improve the health of diabetics, and orange peel. It has also Vitamin C from organic oranges and Calcium. Usually can be found in places like Whole Foods. Neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock, M.D., wrote in the Blaylock Wellness Report: "Finally a safe sweetener", www.russellblaylockmd.com
Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum.
Founder, Mission Possible World Health International
9270 River Club Parkway
Duluth, Georgia 30097
Aspartame Toxicity Center: http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame
Aspartame Documentary: Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World, http://www.soundandfury.tv
DIET DRINKS FOR PREVENTING DIABETES?
Recent studies link the use of artificial sweeteners to a 2-fold increase in diabetes. Hard to believe that physicians often advise patients predisposed to diabetes to use artificial sweeteners as a means of prevention! Another example of how being misinformed, about the impact of food and nutrition on our health, does so much harm and is a major contributor to our healthcare crisis. June 15, 2009 (Washington, DC) -- People who use artificial sweeteners are heavier, more likely to have diabetes, and more likely to be insulin-resistant compared with nonusers, according to data presented at ENDO 2009, the 91st annual meeting of The Endocrine Society. Sugars and other nutrients within the digestive tract activate sweet taste receptors called enteroendocrine cells, leading to the release of hormones like incretin and insulin. These hormones result in increased absorption of glucose and other caloric sugars. Non caloric (artificial) sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose have many of the same effects on these "gut taste receptors" as do energy (calorie) containing sugars. One theory suggests that ingestion of non caloric (artificial) sweeteners may prepare the gut for the presence of nutrients in the same manner as the nutrients themselves, but in the absence of a source of calories, the balance between taste receptor activation, nutrient assimilation and appetite may be disturbed, leading to an increase in appetite and overeating of unnecessary calories when they are readily available. 
A study analyzed data, from participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA), to determine whether weight status and health risk measurements differed among artificial sweetener users and non-artificial sweetener users. The primary sweetener consumed was aspartame followed by saccharine and sucralose. Although the group who used sweeteners was younger and heavier, they did not consume any more calories than those who did not use sweeteners yet they were twice as likely to develop diabetes. 
Other reasons to avoid artificial sweeteners:
The bottom line here is, try to enjoy your food choices without refined or artificial sweeteners of any kind. Fresh fruit and occasionally dried fruits or ground dates is the safest way to go to satisfy a sweet tooth. I recommend dropping colas, sodas, sweetened teas, and juices - diet or not. If they don't contain artificial sweeteners, they are loaded with sugar. Eat unrefined food and drink water. Melons blended with ice cubes and dates for added sweetness make delicious, cooling summer drinks. Find out how this "big business" is maintained, avoids negative press, and contributes to keeping Americans in the dark about their health at http://www.DiseaseProof.com
Dear Dr. Mirkin: Are artificial sweeteners a good alternative for weight loss?
They may not be. At the Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society on June 11, 2009, researchers from the National Institute of Aging reported that those who use artificial sweeteners are twice as likely to develop metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
They are also more likely to be obese and take in more calories, carbohydrates and fats; have higher fasting blood sugar and fasting insulin levels;, and have more insulin resistance. This is supported by two other studies (Circulation, January 2008; and Obesity, June 2008). Artificial sweeteners affect sweet taste receptors in the brain and intestines in the same way that sugar does, causing release of incretin, which increases sugar absorption from the intestines.
Medscape Conference Coverage, based on selected sessions at:
http://www.medscape.com/viewcollection/30348 ENDO 2009: The Endocrine Society Annual Meeting. This coverage is not sanctioned by, nor a part of, the http://www.endo-society.org The Endocrine Society.
From: http://www.medscape.com/news Medscape Medical News
ENDO 2009: Use of Artificial Sweeteners Linked to 2-Fold Increase in Diabetes
Crina Frincu-Mallos, PhD
June 15, 2009 (Washington, DC) People who use artificial sweeteners are heavier, more likely to have diabetes, and more likely to be insulin-resistant compared with nonusers, according to data presented here during ENDO 2009, the 91st annual meeting of The Endocrine Society.
Results show an inverse association between obesity and diabetes, on one side, and daily total caloric, carbohydrate, and fat intake, on the other side, when comparing artificial sweetener users and control subjects.
First author Kristofer S. Gravenstein, a postbaccalaureate researcher with the Clinical Research Branch at the National Institute of Aging (NIA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), said the association may reflect the increased use of artificial sweeteners by obese and/or diabetic study participants. "This is a cross-section study," Mr. Gravenstein told Medscape Diabetes & Endocrinology, "so there are limitations we cannot say that artificial sweetener use causes obesity, we can say it is associated with it."
Increased Use vs Increased Glucose Absorption
Artificial sweeteners activate sweet taste receptors in enteroendocrine cells, leading to the release of incretin, which is known to contribute to glucose absorption. Recent epidemiologic studies in Circulation (2008;117:754-761) and Obesity (2008;16:1894-1900) showed an association between diet soda consumption and the development of obesity and metabolic syndrome.
This report tested whether participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA), which began in 1958, differ in anthropometric measures, daily caloric intake, and glucose status, separating them into 3 different groups: artificial sweetener users, artificial sweetener nonusers, or controls.
A total of 1257 participants, with a mean age of 64.8 years (range, 21 - 96 years), had data on self-reported 7-day dietary intake, 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), and anthropometric measures. The major artificial sweetener consumed was aspartame, preferred by 66% of BLSA participants, followed by saccharin (13%), sucralose (1.0%), and combinations of the three (21%).
"In our study, we were actually able to isolate what type of sweetener was used at a certain point in time, as we used food diaries, and not food questionnaires," Mr. Gravenstein pointed out.
"When we first did this analysis, we found that people ate more fat before 1983, which is the year [of] a big increase in artificial sweetener consumption in the American population it was actually when aspartame was approved and diet Coke was introduced," he explained.
As a result, the study further analyzed data from a subset of participants, starting in 1983. Compared with 550 people who did not use artificial sweeteners, the 443 people who did were younger, heavier, and had a higher body mass index (BMI), yet they did not consume more calories from people who did not use artificial sweeteners. Fat, carbohydrate, protein, and total caloric intake were not different between the 2 groups (users vs nonusers).
Furthermore, Mr. Gravenstein noted that people who used artificial sweeteners "were less likely to have a normal OGTT, or they were less likely to be diagnosed as having a normal glucose homeostasis."
In terms of glucose status, the impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), and/or impaired fasting glucose (IFG), the data show that artificial sweetener users "were not different than the prediabetics, ie, they had the same prevalence of prediabetes," he said, adding that "in our population, people who used artificial sweeteners were twice as likely to have diabetes, 8.8% compared to 4.4% for controls."
Analyzing the data further, the investigators focused on a subpopulation, in which fasting insulin values were available from 374 nonusers and 311 artificial sweetener users. The users had a higher fasting glucose levels, higher fasting insulin levels, and a higher measure of insulin resistance, as measured by the homeostasis model assessment, but glycosylated hemoglobin A1C levels were similar between the 2 groups.
Alternative Hypothesis and Clinicians' Role
The researchers suggest an alternative hypothesis, that artificial sweeteners modulate the metabolic rate through enteroendocrine cells, therefore contributing to the development of diabetes and/or obesity. However, this hypothesis needs further testing in longitudinal analysis and intervention studies, said the investigators.
"Also, it could be that artificial sweeteners are causing diabetes, or it could be that there is a higher use of them because a lot of physicians actually recommend people to use artificial sweeteners to prevent diabetes...." Mr. Gravenstein said. The researchers are planning to address this question with a prospective analysis.
"This is a very interesting study," Rachel C. Edelen, MD, a pediatric endocrinology practitioner at the Aspen Centre in Rapid City, South Dakota, told Medscape Diabetes & Endocrinology in an interview. "I diet screen all my patients, and they are not drinking enough milk. Usually, they replace the milk with something else, sweetened tea, Gatorade, etc, not just water. With my type 1 diabetics, the information they were getting from the hospital was to drink diet pop. But who even goes into the hospital and drinks pop?" she wondered.
Support for this study was provided by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Edelen and Mr. Gravenstein have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
ENDO 2009: The Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society: Abstract P2-478. Presented June 11, 2009.
Crina Frincu-Mallos, PhD
Crina Frincu-Mallos is a freelance writer for Medscape Medical News.Medscape Medical News 2009 Medscape, LLC