WHO Releases New Statement on Aspartame Concerns

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On July 14, 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) released an important statement that aspartame is “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that is frequently used as a sugar substitute. You can find aspartame in over 6,000 foods and beverages that are sold across the world.

Some of these favorites are Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Fanta Zero, Sprite Zero, Crystal Light, and many more “diet friendly” drinks. It is also commonly found in tabletop sweeteners like NutraSweet.

World Health Organization Aspartame

The WHO’s new report reviewed the results of studies that assessed how aspartame could be linked to cancer.

A Closer Look at the World Health Organization (WHO) Statement

Luckily, the report stated that there is little evidence to suggest that the current guidelines are within safe limits.

The Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives stated that the acceptable daily intake of aspartame is less than 40mg/kg of body weight. This recommendation was in place before this report.

Let’s illustrate how this recommendation plays out in the real world.

If you weigh 70kg (154lbs), you will have to drink 9-14 cans of artificially sweetened soda each day to exceed the recommendation.

Although this report makes it sound like aspartame is safe, experts are not yet convinced.

What do the experts say about Aspartame?

Moez Sanaa, PhD, is the head of the WHO’s Standards and Scientific Advice on Food and Nutrition Unit. He stated, “We need better studies with longer follow-up and repeated dietary questionnaires in existing cohorts. We need randomized controlled trials, including studies of mechanistic pathways relevant to insulin regulation, metabolic syndrome and diabetes, particularly as related to carcinogenicity.”

What this means is that there is not enough research to know exactly how aspartame, in small doses, could affect our lives.

It looks unlikely that aspartame could cause cancer in low levels of consumption. However, there may be other negative effects that artificial sweeteners may have on your body.

In an interview Robert H. Lustig, MD, MSL, stated, “Sweeteners alter the microbiome in different ways that ultimately lead to increased systemic inflammation and glucose intolerance.”

Conclusion

Overall, there are many different effects that aspartame and other artificial sweeteners can have on your body.

More research is needed to understand:

1) Exactly how aspartame could cause cancer
2) What amounts of aspartame cause negative effects on the body
3) If there are other sweeteners that are safe to use

In conclusion, the WHO’s new report labeled aspartame as a possible carcinogen. Less than 40mg/kg of body weight are known to be safe levels, as far as current research can show. However, there may be other health effects that you should consider if you eat or drink a lot of aspartame.

About the Author – Daniel Chantigian

Dive into the world of chronic diseases and other health conditions with writings by Daniel Chantigian, MS. Discover groundbreaking research and enlightening disease summaries through his works on our blog: https://drtalks.com/blog/.

Study Reference

World Health Organization. July 2023. “Aspartame Hazard and Risk Assessment Results Released.” Read it here.

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Estefania Bartolomeo
Estefania Bartolomeo
8 months ago

Very interesting!

Daniel Chantigian
Daniel Chantigian, MS
Learn more

When it comes to complex scientific or medical topics, Daniel can successfully communicate with any audience via writing, social media, lecturing, and one-on-one discussions. Over the past decade, he developed these skills as a researcher at the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic, as a lecturer at the University...

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1 Comment
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Estefania Bartolomeo
Estefania Bartolomeo
8 months ago

Very interesting!

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