As more Americans shy away from sugar, artificial sweeteners have stepped in to make up for the crunch in people’s favorite treats. 6,000 products Made from Aspartame.
But questions are being raised about the safety of aspartame after Reuters informed of The cancer research branch of the World Health Organization is set to declare that the artificial sweetener is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
A representative for the organization told CBS MoneyWatch that the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has “assessed the potential carcinogenic effects of aspartame” and will release its findings on July 14. He did not confirm the Reuters report about the IARC’s conclusion on the safety of aspartame.
The IARC examines the carcinogenic potential of substances, while another WHO group oversees recommendations about how much of a product is safe for humans to consume.
aspartame has been allowed By the US Food and Drug Administration for use in food products, the agency concluded that the additive is “safe for the general population.” But a 2021 study raises questions about the safety of aspartame. paperPublished in the peer-reviewed journal Nutrients, which states that “the consequences of its long-term use are difficult to predict.”
What is aspartame?
aspartame is a dipeptide Artificial sweetener, meaning it is made from two amino acids (aspartic acid and phenylalanine) that are linked together by a peptide bond. The artificial sweetener, which is 200 times more potent than regular granulated sugar, hit the market in 1981 as a low-calorie sweetener. Brand names include NutraSweet, Equal and Sugar Twin. Since then, it has become a major ingredient in foods and beverages in North America, Asia and Europe, according to data from the scientific journal Nutrients. shows,
According to several studies, aspartame does not affect blood sugar or insulin levels, making it a popular sugar substitute in foods for diabetics. According to research, manufacturers also use aspartame in low-sugar and sugar-free snacks, condiments and beverages. are linked Excess sugar intake linked to various types of cancer.
foods that contain aspartame
Here are some common foods and beverages that contain aspartame:
- Zero-sugar or diet soda, including Diet Coke
- sugar-free gums, such as Trident gum
- Diet drink mixes including Crystal Light
- low-sugar condiments, such as Log Cabin Sugar Free Syrup
- sugar-free gelatin such as Sugar-Free Jell-O
- Tabletop sweeteners are sold under brand names including Equal and NutraSweet.
Neither Coca-Cola, the maker of Diet Coke, nor other makers of foods containing aspartame immediately returned requests for comment.
Of course, the specific sweeteners used in low-sugar products vary, and companies sometimes change ingredients. To get the most accurate information, consumers should check the ingredient lists on individual products to confirm whether they contain aspartame.
Is aspartame dangerous?
While many studies have found aspartame to be safe in limited amounts, some research has linked aspartame consumption to cancer. an observational Study A study of more than 100,000 adults in France concluded that individuals who consumed large amounts of artificial sweeteners, particularly aspartame, had a slightly increased risk of cancer.
Aspartame can also cause some headaches, seizures, and depression. studies have shown.
However, both the FDA and the American Cancer Society still consider aspartame to be safe for human consumption.
Robert Rankin, president of the Calorie Control Council, an international association representing low- and low-calorie food and beverages, said IARC’s “misleading claims” were missing context.
“Consumers deserve the facts, and the fact that aspartame is safe and one of the most widely studied food ingredients is why the Calorie Control Council is seriously concerned about any unproven and misleading claims.” That’s contrary to decades of science and global regulatory approval,” he said. said in a statement to CBS News.
Per FDA Acceptable Daily you LIMIT As for artificial sweeteners, an adult weighing 150 pounds would need to consume more than 18 cans of zero-sugar soda a day to experience serious negative health consequences from aspartame.
This story has been updated to correct Smucker’s previous inclusion on the list. Smucker’s said it doesn’t use aspartame in its low-sugar jams.