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Thaumatin (E957): Side Effects

What are the side effects of thaumatin?

Short answer – 


Thaumatin is a flavor-modifying and sweet-tasting protein that consists of a single chain of 207 amino acid residues.

It is derived from the katemfe fruit found on a West African tropical plant called Thaumatococcus daniellii plant.

This protein is an astonishing 2,000 sweeter than table sugar, making it the most potent natural sweetener.

This natural sweetener was first noticed in 1840 by a British Surgeon in Africa who found the native people using katemfe fruit to sweeten sour wine and food.

In the present day, it is very popular throughout Europe and Japan in diet foods and drinks.

Commercially it is known under the trade names of San Sweet T-100 and Talin.

It is soluble in water and aqueous alcohol and is stable in freeze-dried form. Also, it is pH- and heat-stable and synergistic when mixed with other low-calorie sweeteners.

In addition, it masks bitterness and increases the efficiency of flavor enhancers, such as – monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Uses & Health Benefits

Good For Type 2 Diabetics

Diabetes mellitus is a disease that causes high blood glucose (sugar). An estimated 10 percent of the population in the United States have type 2 diabetes mellitus, including 33 million adults aged 18 years and over.

Every year, the direct medical cost for these sufferers passes $125 billion, and the indirect cost of work loss, disability, and premature mortality is around $75 billion.

Symptoms of diabetes mellitus include:

  • unexplained weight loss;
  • increased urination and thirst;
  • sores that do not heal;
  • increased hunger;
  • tingling or numbness in the hands or feet;
  • blurred vision;
  • fatigue.

Some possible complications of type 2 diabetes are:

  • skin problems;
  • heart and blood vessel diseases;
  • hearing problems;
  • high blood pressure;
  • kidney disease;
  • nerve damage (neuropathy);
  • eye damage and blindness;
  • foot damage.

Because this sweetener is actually a protein, not a carbohydrate, thaumatin is metabolized completely differently than the rest of the sweeteners.

In addition, it has a different impact on blood glucose (sugar) levels.

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Weight Loss

According to new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 40 percent of American adults have a body mass index (a measure of body fat based on weight and height), classifying them as obese.

Some of the health issues related to obesity and overweight include:

  • an increased risk of disability;
  • gallbladder disease;
  • pulmonary embolism;
  • osteoarthritis;
  • chronic back pain;
  • asthma;
  • congestive heart failure;
  • coronary artery disease;
  • stroke;
  • hypertension (high blood pressure);
  • type 2 diabetes mellitus;
  • endometrial, breast, colorectal, ovarian, esophageal, pancreatic, kidney, or prostate cancers.

When used judiciously, non-nutritive sweeteners (including artificial sweeteners, very low-calorie sweeteners, and non-caloric sweeteners) might help with weight control or loss, according to a 2011 statement from the American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Inflammation refers to the body’s process of fighting against things that harm it, like – injuries, infections, and toxins, in an attempt to heal itself. Over time, this can lead to chronic inflammation, which may have a negative impact on the organs and tissues.

According to some studies, chronic inflammation could play an important role in numerous conditions, from asthma to cancer.

This natural sweetener is known to possess antihypertensive as well as anti-inflammatory properties.

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Prevents Cavities

A cavity, also referred to as tooth decay, is a hole that forms in the tooth.

According to statistics, about 90% of people in the United States over 20 have had tooth decay at some point during their lives.

As the decay gets larger, it may cause the following symptoms:

  • pain when you bite down;
  • pain which occurs without any apparent cause;
  • spontaneous pain;
  • white or black staining on any surface of a tooth;
  • visible pits or holes in your teeth;
  • mild to sharp pain when drinking or eating something cold, hot, or sweet;
  • tooth sensitivity.

This sweetener is not a perfect food, however, thaumatin does not produce the same acid that table sugar does when it is combined with mouth bacteria. This actually means that this sweetener doesn’t leave behind the same enamel-destroying acid.

Prevents Cancer

The antioxidant compounds found in this sweetener make it a good dietary supplement for the prevention of numerous types of cancer, including pancreatic cancer.

 In addition, these antioxidants help to eliminate free radicals in the human body, hence, it prevents them from mutating healthy cells into cancer cells.

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Side Effects of Thaumatin

This sweetener is approved as GRAS in the US. Also, it is approved as E957 in the European Union.

It is usually safe, but some people may experience the following side effects (especially if used in high quantities):

  • nausea;
  • headache;
  • chest pain;
  • flushing;
  • rapid, fluttering heartbeats;
  • sweating;
  • tingling or burning in the face, neck, and other areas;
  • facial tightness or pressure.

In addition, because this sweetener is not really sugar, this can’t satisfy most of the cravings for sugar.

Therefore, this may lead to overeating in the event of satisfying sweet cravings.