Aspartame and Brain Cancer

Aspartame structure

An unlikely source of news on the health effects of the artificial sweetener, aspartame, was sighted on TorrentSpy – the item records that aspartame is linked to brain tumours in rats. This is unproven.

I quote from “Med Pregl. 2003;56 Suppl 1:27-9”, Jankovic SM: “Artificial sweeteners are nowadays inevitable food additives, since they provide necessary food diversity to people suffering from diabetes. It received marketing approval in 1973, but only 3 months later aspartame was withdrawn because of allegations based on improperly designed experimental studies dealing with its carcinogen effects on rodent brain.”

This was where the controversy begins.

I quote from Jankovic again: “extensive studies using the same model did not confirm such suspicions, and aspartame received a second marketing approval…Almost two decades later an epidemiological study found a relationship between aspartame and an increased frequency of brain tumors in humans. However, this study included a short time span of observation, and it did not estimate actual intake of aspartame, which led to loss of validity. Later on, no epidemiological studies found any correlation between aspartame use and the incidence of brain tumours in humans.”

He concludes that: “Based on detailed analysis of published studies on safety of aspartame, it should not be restricted, but used in recommended amounts.” The only concern one should have is excessive intake can lead to seizures, but that would mean eating a mound of the stuff neat, not imbibing non-sugar fizzy drinks and eating low-calorie foods. Another scare story bites the dust.

Author: David Bradley

Freelance science journalist, author of Deceived Wisdom. Sharp-shooting photographer and wannabe rock god.