So, About Those Blue Artifical Sweetener Packets…

Sugar packets on a tableIs aspartame, a popular artificial sweetener commonly found in many different types of beverages and foods, and sold as Equal and NutraSweet, safe?

READ: Artificial Sweeteners: Good Or Bad For Your Weight?

 

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The European Food Safety Authority says the artificial sweetener aspartame is safe at the levels currently used in food and drinks. Aspartame has been used in soft drinks and other low-calorie or sugar-free foods for more than 25 years.

READ: The Healthiest Ways To Sweeten Up

Alicja Mortensen, PhD, of the authority says in a news release that the study is “one of the most comprehensive risk assessments of aspartame ever undertaken.”

The authority says it reviewed all available scientific research on aspartame. It included both animal and human studies and published and unpublished research.

The study ruled out a potential risk of aspartame causing damage to genes and causing cancer. It says there is no evidence that the sweetener harms the brain, the nervous system, or affects behavior or mental skills in children or adults.

READ: Is Sugar The Cause Of Your High Blood Pressure?

The study makes clear that the breakdown products of aspartame (phenylalanine, methanol, and aspartic acid) are also naturally present in some foods. Aspartame’s contribution toward the overall dietary exposure to these substances is low, the study found.

The authority also says the sweetener poses no risk to a developing baby.
In the U.S., the National Cancer Institute has said there is no evidence linking aspartame and cancer.

READ: Sweeteners You WANT In Your Kitchen

 

There is one group of people who cannot safely eat or drink aspartame products. Patients with the inherited medical condition phenylketonuria (PKU) must follow a diet low in phenylalanine because they are unable to metabolize it. All food products containing aspartame are clearly labeled.

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