West News Wire: Although aspartame is listed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” it has been shown that tiny amounts are safe to eat. Aspartame, a chemical sweetener most frequently found in diet drinks, has been connected to a long list of health issues.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) found “limited evidence” in research released on Friday tying aspartame to hepatocellular carcinoma, a kind of liver cancer. After reviewing three significant human studies conducted on a broad scale in the US and Europe, the IARC, a WHO committee, reached its decision.
In light of these discoveries, the WHO classified aspartame as a chemical belonging to Group 2B, the third-highest of its four classifications for possibly carcinogenic substances.
However, the organization stopped short of changing its existing guidelines for daily intake, recommending that people consume less than 40mg of aspartame per kilogram of body weight per day. With a can of diet soda typically containing 200mg to 300mg of aspartame, an adult weighing 70kg would need to drink between nine and 14 cans per day to exceed this limit.
Dr. Francesco Branca, director of the WHO’s Department of Nutrition and Food Safety, stated in a statement that while safety is not a major concern at the doses that are frequently used, potential effects have been described and need to be further explored by more comprehensive studies.
A wide variety of goods, including low-calorie yoghurt, chewing gum, confectionery, diet beverages, and morning cereal, contain aspartame. Additionally, it is offered as a sweetener under the trade names Equal, Candarel, and NutraSweet.
Aspartame was approved for use as a sweetener in the US in 1974, and Coca-Cola began adding it to Diet Coke in the 1980s. EU approval followed in 1994, but multiple studies have since linked the substance with a host of health problems, including liver and lung cancer, brain damage, dementia, and seizures. However, regulators on both sides of the Atlantic have consistently failed to find enough evidence to adjust their consumption guidelines.
The WHO and IARC will “continue to monitor new evidence and encourage independent research groups to develop further studies on the potential association between aspartame exposure and consumer health effects,” the WHO’s report concluded.