Myth vs. Reality: Aspartame is bad


aspartameThe controversy surrounding aspartame toxicity is devastating and wide spread by the media. Aspartame, consumed in recommended amounts, has been deemed safe since decades. It is currently approved in US, Canada and Europe as an artificial sweetener (and many other countries). The only population in which aspartame is very toxic is in phenylketonurics because one of the breakdown products of aspartame is phenylalanine, and phenylketonurics cannot metabolize it, thus resulting in  damage to the body, especially the nervous system.

Aspartame is 200x sweeter than regular sugar, and is therefore a potent artificial sweetener. The FDA describes aspartame as “one of the most thoroughly tested and studied food additives the agency has ever approved” and its safety as “clear cut”. The maximum safe amount of aspartame that a person should ingest daily is set by the FDA at 50mg/kg/day, which means that a 75kg person would need to drink 21 cans of soft drink per day to surpass this recommendation! Still, at those high doses, clinical studies have shown no neurotoxicity (brain damage), no effect in lactating women or their babies, very minimal levels of methanol byproduct with no effect on the metabolism, no relationships to cancer, no side-effects in children especially regarding concerns about seizures, headaches and mood changes, as well as no effects on appetite or weight changes.

So don’t be afraid of aspartame, it’s healthier than eating tons of sugar!


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