The Truth About Aspartame Side Effects
Aspartame is a popular non-nutritive sweeteners. Chances are good that you or someone you know has had a drink containing an aspartame-based substance within the past 24 hours.
A 2017 study found that in a sample of nearly 17,000 Americans, about 25 percent of children and roughly 41 percent of adults self-reported eating or drinking a food or beverage containing NNS, including but not limited to aspartame.
While aspartame remains popular, it’s also faced controversy in recent years. Many opponents have claimed that consuming aspartame has negative side effects. There are also negative claims about long-term side effects of ingesting aspartame.
The brand names Equal and NutraSweet are used for Aspartame. It is also used in many packaged products, including those labeled as ” diet,” “sugar-free,” or “low- or zero-sugar.”
Aspartame is an odorless powder that is white and is approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar. This means that a very small amount is needed to give foods and beverages a sweet flavor.
The ingredients of aspartame are
How is aspartame broken down in the body?
When your body processes aspartame, part of it is broken down into methanol. Consumption of fruit, fruit juice, fermented beverages, and some vegetables also contain or result in methanol production.
A 2015 study suggests that aspartame was the largest source of methanol in the American diet. Methanol is toxic in large quantities, yet smaller amounts may also be concerning when combined with free methanol because of enhanced absorption.
Free methanol is present in some foods and is also created when aspartame is heated. Free methanol consumed regularly may be a problem because it
Scientists and regulatory groups caution against making generalizations about the relationship between intake of aspartame, methanol and formaldehyde and health consequences.
For example, the European Food Safety Authority (The European Financial Stability Facility, known as the EFSA.) and
Other researchers note that consuming tomato juice could result in a 6 times greater methanol production than the aspartame used in zero sugar drink.s.
One of the most thorough studies of NNS is Aspartame. A number of regulatory agencies have confirmed that the products are safe for use in the general population, including infants, children and people who are pregnant or lactating.
- The European Financial Stability Facility, known as the EFSA.
- Health Canada.
- Food standards in Australia and New Zealand.
- The agency that regulates food standards in the United Kingdom.
- The World Health Organization and the Joint FAO/ WHO expert committee on food Additives are part of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
Many health-related organizations say that there is no evidence that aspartame has any adverse effects.
- The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is a professional organization.
The National Cancer Institute is part of the National Institutes of Health.
- The American Diabetes Association.
The American Heart Association is a group for people with cardiovascular disease is a disease.. The American Cancer Society.
In 2013, The European Financial Stability Facility, known as the EFSA. was asked to re-evaluate the safety of aspartame, conducting a review of more than 600 datasets from aspartame studies. It found no reason to remove aspartame from the market.
The review reported no safety concerns associated with normal or increased intake. However, a
The committee agreed with The European Financial Stability Facility, known as the EFSA.’s conclusions on aspartame safety for the general population.
Acceptable daily intake levels of aspartame
The ADI recommendations from the
- The FDA.: 50 milligrams per kilogram of body weight
- The European Financial Stability Facility, known as the EFSA.: 40 milligrams per kilogram of body weight
To put this into perspective for a person weighing 150 pounds (or 68 kilograms), the below is what would have to be ingested to meet the The FDA. ADI:
- There are more than 18 cans of zero sugar drink..
- 3,409 milligrams of aspartame – or roughly 92 packets of Equal – per day
When a product is labeled sugar-free, it usually means it has a NNS in place of sugar. One of the most popular sweeteners is aspartame, which is not found in all sugar-free products. It is available in a number of packaged foods.
Some products contain aspartame.
- zero sugar drink.
- There is no sugar in ice cream.
- fruit juice has fewer calories.
- There is no sugar-free gum.
- The sugar in the sauce is reduced.
- Light yogurt.
- No sugar energy bars.
- The salad dressing is free of sugar.
- There is no sugarless candy.
The ingredients panel on the back of the package must be labeled with the name of the product. Some food and beverage manufacturers are removing aspartame from their products.
There have been no conclusive links between Aspartame and health problems in the general population. Products containing aspartame should be avoided for certain people.
People who have a condition called phenylketonuria (PKU) shouldn’t ingest products containing aspartame. PKU is a rare genetic disease diagnosed at birth. People with PKU aren’t able to properly process phenylalanine, so it can accumulate to dangerous levels in the body.
A build-up of phenylalanine in the body can lead to a range of negative side effects, including brain damage.
Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid found in protein sources such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products. It’s also one of the two ingredients of aspartame.
People with PKU do not have the ADI and safety approvals for aspartame. Federal labeling regulations require that foods, drinks, and medications containing aspartame have a warning on the ingredients panel to help people with PKU avoid eating it.
People who are taking medications for schizophrenia should also avoid aspartame. Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is thought to be a side effect of some schizophrenia medications. The phenylalanine in aspartame may precipitate the uncontrolled muscle movements of TD.
The HHS has noted that some additional populations may have problems with aspartame because their body cannot properly break down phenylalanine, including:
- People with advanced liver disease.
- Women with high levels of phenylalanine in their blood are pregnant.
There have been a multitude of claims with
- There are headaches.
- There are allergies.
- Skin problems.
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- weight gain
- Sweet cravings.
- Increased appetite and food intake.
- Gutbacteria have been altered.
- type 2 diabetes
- The heart disease is very serious.
- high blood pressure.
- Chronic kidneys disease.
- The effects of behavioral and cognitive changes.
- Poor Control of blood sugar..
- There are birth defects.
- preterm delivery
- It is a disease called lupus.
- “Alzheimer’s disease is a disease.”
- multiple sclerosis (MS)
Some research reports an increased risk of disease or acceleration of side effects, while others report
In fact, a
- The body weight is what it is.
- Control of blood sugar.
- “It’s oral health.”
- Eating behavior
- preference for sweet taste
- cardiovascular disease is a disease.
- The disease of the kidneys.
- Mood, behavior, and cognitive function.
- Other adverse effects.
The researchers did not find significant differences between the groups who took NNS and those who did not, but they did not have confidence in the results.
- There are too few studies for each health outcome.
- There are too few research participants.
- Studies were identified too late.
- The methodology and reporting was not good.
- Potential harms could not be excluded.
Given such inconsistency in the scientific literature, and the limited amount of high-quality studies done to-date on any of these health conditions or side effects, research is ongoing to explore if aspartame is linked conclusively and with a
Despite aspartame’s widely accepted safety record, many scientists are calling for
Natural NNS alternatives exist if you want to avoid products containing aspartame. You may want to look for products that are sweetened.
These alternatives are still natural and should be consumed in moderation.
Aspartame is one of the most researched substances in the food supply with hundreds of studies completed to date.
Despite the unanimous approval of global regulatory agencies and health organizations that the use of aspartame is safe and has minimal health risks for the general population, there is still concern about the effects on the body.
Some people and population groups may benefit from using aspartame to control calories and sugar intake in moderation. There is more research needed to explore the effects of long-term exposure to aspartame.
If you are instructed by a doctor to manage your phenylalanine intake, you should avoid all products containing aspartame. There are many alternatives to NNS.
If you want to avoid products with aspartame for personal preference, you should thoroughly review the ingredients panel and choose foods or drinks that are free of the substance.