Because the additive seems so ubiquitous in pre-packaged and processed foods, consumers might be concerned whether any aspartame dangers exist. In this sweet, artificial substance’s history, there have been many serious inquiries about its safety for consumption. In accordance with this, a wealth of medical tests have been performed by many reputable medical organizations over the years. As it stands today, the following (almost universally accepted) facts are what you should know about potential aspartame dangers.
- When broken down by the body, aspartame turns into three different compounds. The first and second compounds are typical amino acids, which aren’t cause for concern. The third, called methanol, is what worries some. In excessive amounts, methanol is thought to be toxic to the human body. Some fear that aspartame might contribute to higher methanol levels in the blood and lead to effects including temporary cognitive disability or even nervous system damage. However, in a series of studies conducted by scientists from academic and medical institutions including the University of Kansas, the University of Wisconsin, and New York Medical College, the participating members found that methanol levels in the blood did not actually increase with consumption of aspartame. Apparently, the body is pretty effective at getting rid of the substance safely and efficiently.
- One of the most commonly alleged aspartame dangers is that it may cause cancer. Because this allegation is so common, many medical studies have been completed in search of an answer to this question. Thus far, all conclusions have been negative. According to the American Cancer society, none of these studies has demonstrated that aspartame dangers include having a carcinogenic effect. They do note, however, that testing continues today to further explore possible correlations between cancer and aspartame. In short, the ACS takes an “it’s o.k. – for now” approach towards the consumption of aspartame.
- The FDA, which regulates aspartame as a food additive, approves its consumption. Though questions about aspartame dangers remain, the FDA takes a similar regulatory approach to the American Cancer Society in terms of consumption. As of right now, an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence seems to confirm aspartame’s safety when consumed in moderation. That status, of course, is not permanent, and could change with revelatory testing. Regardless, the FDA does have a recommended limit on intake – which equates to about 97 packets of the sweetener per day for the average 150 lb adult.
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