Aspartame, Why are you still in my Food?

If you are interesting in finding out how Aspartame came to be approved and used in the U.S.A. this is an eye-opening video.

So back in 2013 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) finalised a review of the safety of Aspartame. To carry out this full risk assessment, EFSA undertook an in-depth review of peer-reviewed scientific and other literature on aspartame and its breakdown products, including new human studies.

The assessment looked at the toxicity of aspartame on developing foetuses, the safety of the by-product of Aspartame methanol on the gastro-intential tract, and the carcinogenicity of Aspartame.

Some of the studies looked at were said to be “inadequate for the assessment of the carcinogenic potential”, “not suitable for the cancer risk assessment” and “considered to have methodological flaws” and “many of the studies were old and were not performed according to current standards”.

The outcome of the assessment was that there were no safety concerns at the current ADI  (acceptable daily intake) of 40 mg/kg bw/day. Therefore, there was no reason to revise the ADI for aspartame. Therefore Aspartame is still allowed in food products as an approved additive.

Whether I agree with the findings of this assessment, or not, it is interesting to note that new studies have since been done on Aspartame.

Aspartame is harmful, or is it?

In September 2014, a study showed that instead of preventing diabetes as previously thought, artificial sweeteners can actually CAUSE glucose intolerance in a substantial proportion of people by altering beneficial bacteria in the gut. Our wonderful friend Sue Dengate wrote a post about this study.

And if Aspartame is ok (no safety concerns) then why is research like the above being undertaken, as well as this – Potential protective effects of rosemary extract, against aspartame induced hepatotoxicity in male rats (chemical-driven liver damage).

If you want an easy way to know what foods are free from aspartame, you might consider Membership. No food products containing aspartame 951 are listed on our website.

Keep your eye out next week for some of the new soft drinks with natural sweeteners available in Australia.

Do you try and avoid Aspartame, or do you think it’s better than sugar for sweetening? Love to hear your thoughts.


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