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Dr. Oz: Addictive food additive and sweetener Sweetmyx and beautiful hair tips

Dr. Oz spotlights the sweetener Sweetmyx and reveals haircare tips
Fox screengrab

Dr. Mehmet Oz examined the safety of a controversial new food additive called Sweetmyx and revealed anti-aging hair care tips on the April 23 episode of the Dr. Oz Show.

Sweetmyx is a new sweetener that's not artificial, but isn't natural, either. And it could soon be used in a wide variety of food products, including sodas, energy drinks, candy, cakes, cookies and doughnuts.

Sweetmyx is a "sweet taste enhancer" that's supposed to boost the sweet flavor of food and drinks without the extra calories of sugar, but there are lingering questions about its safety. "You'll be hooked on their products and will never suspect a thing," said Dr. Oz.

PepsiCo and Senomyx, the makers of Sweetmyx, are banking on the product as sales of diet sodas have plummeted for the ninth straight year due to concerns over the safety of artificial sweeteners.

Not Approved By FDA But Will Hit Stores Soon

Sweetmyx has not yet received approval from the Food and Drug Administration, but has been labeled "safe" due to a technical loophole.

“Under current law, a company can, and in this instance did, independently determine that an ingredient is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) for particular use without notifying the FDA," the FDA said in a statement to the Dr. Oz Show.

Bruce Bradley, a former Big Food marketer turned food advocate, is concerned because there has been little information shared with the public about Sweetmyx. Bradley, author of Fat Profits, said S617 is the main ingredient in Sweetmyx, and so far, it appears to be artificial.

S617 works by binding to your taste buds and triggering a sweet taste. Dr. Oz is concerned that the S617 in Sweetmyx could enhance your taste buds so much that you become addicted to foods containing it.

Critics say it's alarming that Sweetmyx will soon be available to the public with very little involvement from the FDA. "Sweetmyx is yet another troubling example of how big food and beverage companies approach the issue of food and health," said Bradley.

"Excessive consumption, which drives higher corporate profits, is the heart of Big Food’s business model. To achieve this goal, more and more minimally tested additives are being introduced into our food supply with questionable concern for the long-term health consequences for consumers."

Dr. Oz Reveals Anti-Aging Hair Care Tips

On a separate segment, Dr. Oz's guest was hairstylist Rodney Cutler. Rodney said hair loses luster and volume as we age, but we can take steps to minimize hair loss and damage:

  • Use a boar brush. The boar brush is a smoothing brush that gently detangles hair without damaging it.
  • Moisturize hair with argan oil. Chronic hair coloring leads to dry, damaged hair, but applying argan oil to wet hair after showering can restore moisture and shine.