Aspartame, one of the most used artificial sweeteners, is drawing controversies over its safety. Aspartame is a solid sweetener used in many commonly consumed, sugar free, food and drinks. There have been consumer complaints over health issues consumers blame on aspartame usage. However, consuming an over-abundance of aspartame can put the human body at health risk.
Aspartame, in normal amounts is not proven to cause any health issues. The pros of aspartame usage are many. For example, “Aspartame is a dipeptide (L-aspartyl- phenylalanyl-methyl ester) which has a sweetening power 180 to 200 times that of sucrose” (Stegink, 1837). This is useful for the purpose of sugar free foods to help diet. Help dieting may not be helpful if aspartame is causing illness.
In a study researchers analyzed reports of symptoms claimed to be caused by aspartame. Concluded, “Despite the great variety overall, most of the frequently reported symptoms were mild and are common in the general population” (Bradstock, 468). With the general public experiencing these symptoms with or without the consumption of aspartame creates doubt these symptoms are from aspartame. The symptoms could be caused by aspartame sensitivity, and not harmful to the general public, but further studies would be required. The risks of normal consumption seem low.
Aspartame can cause harmful side effects in large doses. In 2006 a study was conducted to detect if aspartame consumption was related to brain cancers. Although main types of brain cancer had no correlation to aspartame certain subtypes did. “Because of its large size, we could examine relatively rare subtypes of hematopoietic and brain cancers and we had sufficient power (80%) to detect a moderate association...
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Soffritti, M., Belpoggi, F, et al. (September, 2007) Life span exposure to low doses of aspartame beginning during prenatal life increases cancer effects in rats. Environ Health Perspect, 115(9). 1293-1297. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1964906/
Bradstock, K. M., Serdula, M. K, et al. (1986). Evaluation of reactions to food additives: the aspartame experience. The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, 43(3), 464-469. Retrieved from http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/43/3/464.full.pdf+html
Walton, Ralph G., Hudak, R., J., Green-Waite, Ruth J. (1993) Adverse reactions to aspartame: double-blind challenge in patients from a vulnerable population. Biol Psychiatry, 34,13- 17. http://thetruthaboutstuff.com/pdf/(54)%20Walton%20-%20Double- Blind%20Adverse%20Reactions%20to%20Aspartame.pdf
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