Is aspartame proven to be bad for you?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved aspartame for use in food and drink in 1981. According to the FDA, over 100 studies have shown aspartame to be safe for most people. Agencies in Europe, Canada, and many other countries also approve its use, including: European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
Dozens of studies have linked aspartame — the world's most widely used artificial sweetener — to serious health problems, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease, seizures, stroke and dementia, as well as negative effects such as intestinal dysbiosis, mood disorders, headaches and migraines.
|Sweetener||Regulatory Status||Examples of Brand Names Containing Sweetener|
|Aspartame||Approved as a sweetener and flavor enhancer in foods generally 21 CFR 172.804||Nutrasweet® Equal® Sugar Twin®|
|Neotame||Approved as a sweetener and flavor enhancer in foods generally (except in meat and poultry) 21 CFR 172.829||Newtame®,|
The absolute worst sweeteners are artificial sweeteners, such as sucralose, saccharin, and aspartame. These are the worst sugar substitutes because these sweeteners are manufactured in a lab, meaning they're not found in nature.
In the European Union, because they are a source of phenylalanine, all products containing aspartame must be labelled “Contains a source of phenylalanine”.
Artificially sweetened diet soda is widely used as a low or zero-calorie alternative to regular sugar-sweetened beverages. While it may seem like a healthier choice, a growing body of evidence shows that artificially sweetened diet sodas aren't any better than their regular sugar alternatives.
The acceptable daily intake of aspartame is 50 mg/kg of body weight per day; this new study suggests that this number may be too high and should be more in the area of 20 mg/kg of body weight. Acceptable Daily Intake: 50 milligrams for each kilogram of body weight.
Unfortunately, in 1970, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned its use in the USA due to suspicions of causing cancer. Interestingly, it has not been banned in other countries . Following this, the invention of aspartame proved to be a breakthrough.
Taking pain relievers, getting good rest, and staying hydrated with water can help to take the edge off while you rid your body of aspartame.
FDA officials describe aspartame as "one of the most thoroughly tested and studied food additives the agency has ever approved" and its safety as "clear cut." The weight of existing scientific evidence indicates that aspartame is safe as a non-nutritive sweetener.
Why do companies still use aspartame?
Aspartame is a sugar alternative, used in place of sugar in many foods and drinks to provide people with a reduced, low or no sugar and calorie option. We use aspartame in some of our products because we know that many people want the choice of great tasting beverages with less sugar and fewer calories.
They are both considered generally safe for use within their stated safe limits. Sucralose is a better choice if you have phenylketonuria (PKU), a rare genetic condition, as aspartame contains the amino acid phenylalanine.
“Stevia leaf extract is safer than many other sugar substitutes, especially aspartame and sucralose,” Lefferts says. Research has linked sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin with cancers. That said, there is still a need for more research around stevia.
- Stevia. Stevia is a very popular low calorie sweetener. ...
- Erythritol. Erythritol is another low calorie sweetener. ...
- Xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol with a sweetness similar to that of sugar. ...
- Yacon syrup. Yacon syrup is another unique sweetener. ...
- Monk fruit sweetener.
Though widely available throughout the world, in 1991 stevia was banned in the U.S. due to early studies that suggested the sweetener may cause cancer.
While both Coca-Cola Zero and Diet Coke contain the same sweeteners (a blend of aspartame and acesulfame-potassium or Ace-K) and contain zero calories, Coca-Cola Zero uses a different flavour base and delivers the great taste of Coca-Cola with zero sugar.
Aspartame, a low-calorie artificial sweetener, has been permitted for use as a food additive in Canada since 1981. It is used in a number of foods including soft drinks, desserts, breakfast cereals and chewing gum.
Artificially sweetened beverages like Coke Zero have been linked to other health issues, including: Increased risk of heart disease. An observational study found a link between artificially sweetened beverages and an increased risk of heart disease among women with no prior history of heart disease ( 19 ).
There are very few differences between Diet Coke and Coke Zero. As such, there is no concrete, measurable reason to suggest that one is superior to the other. Nutritionally, there are no significant differences. Their ingredient and caffeine contents are similar as well, so neither is healthier than the other.
So, for most people, natural sugars are a far better alternative to either artificial sweeteners or regular table sugar. For people living with diabetes or prediabetes, though, you still need to go easy on some natural sugars.
Which is healthier Coke Zero or Diet Coke?
As previously stated, Coke Zero is lower in caffeine than Diet Coke. Despite this difference, all three dietitians say that, once again, it does not make one healthier than the other.
More bad news for diet soda lovers: Drinking two or more of any kind of artificially sweetened drinks a day is linked to an increased risk of clot-based strokes, heart attacks and early death in women over 50, according to a new study by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.
Aspartame (α-aspartyl-l-phenylalanine-o-methyl ester), an artificial sweetener, has been linked to behavioral and cognitive problems. Possible neurophysiological symptoms include learning problems, headache, seizure, migraines, irritable moods, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
Safe Consumption: Always in Moderation
Despite its approval as a safe food additive, aspartame should be consumed in moderation. The FDA released a statement on the acceptable daily intake of aspartame: 50 milligrams for every kilogram of body weight.
Pepsi ditched the controversial sweetener last August in a move to placate health-conscious consumers looking to cut unnatural chemicals from their diets. Aspartame had been linked to cancer in lab mice, and industry executives blamed the decline in sales on unfounded concerns people had about the artificial sweetener.
Aspartame is being replaced with a blend of artificial sweeteners sucralose and acesulfame potassium, according to CNBC. And while there's nothing natural about those ingredients either, they don't carry the same health controversies and unknowns that've dogged aspartame (also known as NutraSweet) for years.
However, certain people with the genetic disease phenylketonuria (PKU), those with advanced liver disease, and pregnant women with hyperphenylalanine (high levels of phenylalanine in blood) have a problem with aspartame because they do not effectively metabolize the amino acid phenylalanine, one of aspartame's ...
“So, if someone who normally consumes an excessive amount of soda/energy drinks quits cold turkey, they can feel lethargic and have food cravings, headaches and depression.” Give your body time to adjust, especially if you were hitting those sodas hard.
In general, artificial sweeteners are safe in limited amounts for healthy people, including pregnant people. But limit or cut out sugar substitutes: If you're living with a rare genetic disease called phenylketonuria. Foods and drinks with aspartame can lead to serious health problems.
Diet Coke was sweetened with saccharin for its 1982 debut and later reformulated with aspartame after the FDA approval.
Do all diet sodas have aspartame?
Some popular diet soda brands that do not use aspartame include: Diet Coke with Splenda - uses sucralose as a sweetener. Pepsi One - uses acesulfame potassium and sucralose. Diet Rite - uses a combination of sucralose and acesulfame potassium.
|Beverage||Aspartame (mg)||Sucralose (mg)|
|Diet Dr. Pepper||185||0|
|Diet Mountain Dew||86||27|
Stevia is also widely sold in other East Asian countries and India. Stevia is approved for sale in the United States and Canada despite some resistance among nutritionists and medical researchers, but the European Union has for decades banned it owing to health concerns.
But, sweeteners offered as a sugar replacement are often just as bad—or worse—for your health. Artificial sweeteners such as sucralose (Splenda), saccharin (Sweet 'N Low), and aspartame (Equal) top the list of replacements to avoid.
In addition, FDA considers three plant- or fruit-based high-intensity sweeteners to be generally recognized as safe for use as sweeteners in the United States: stevia, luo han guo (also known as Swingle fruit or monk fruit extract), and thaumatin.
After conducting several experiments at Arizona State University, Monte found that aspartame, specifically in unstable, liquid forms, caused health dangers far beyond what was documented. He filed an objection against aspartame's approval in soft drinks due to links with methanol poisoning.
Stevia — in packet, drops or plant form — is a dietitian favorite. Not only does it contain zero calories, but stevia-based sweeteners are herbal as opposed to artificial. Stevia blended with a sugar alcohol called erythritol (Truvia®) works well in low-carb baked desserts, too.
It can cause heart problems
There have been countless studies performed that all link diet soda to an increased risk of heart problems including congestive heart failure, heart disease, and/or heart attacks. The main culprit? Once again, it's artificial sweeteners including aspartame.