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Is aspartame safe? Sugar vs. sugar substitutes!


15 December 2005

Is aspartame safe? Sugar vs. sugar substitutes!

Is aspartame safe? For British Liberal Democrat MP Roger Williams the answer is NO, as he has called for a ban on the artificial sweetener aspartame which is used in over 6000 food, drink and other medicinal products. Aspartame makes these products taste better without the added calories from sugar! This includes diet sodas, low sugar fruit drinks, sugar-free gums, reduced fat foods, children’s cough syrups, vitamins and other off-the-shelf medications. Just take a look in your kitchen cabinets, and fridge and then check out your medicine cabinet to see how many products you may have in your household with Aspartame. I counted about 25 in my household.

MP (that’s Member of Parliament for all you non-British citizens out there) Roger Williams called for the ban as a result of new concerns raised by a study conducted in Italy this year. The study, conducted by the European Ramazzini Foundation, showed that aspartame:

"administered at varying levels in feed causes a statistically significant increase of lymphomas-leukemias and malignant tumors of the kidneys in female rats and malignant tumors of peripheral nerves in male rats"

According to MP Williams, aspartame is consumed by every 1 in 15 people worldwide, most of whom are children. I am under the impression that this is the most valuable piece of information that led the MP to his emergency action, and for us too. If there is a question about its safety, and children are the largest group of consumers -- then what are we doing?
I love Aspartame, it allows me to sweeten my coffee, and enjoy some foods that I would normally don’t eat without increasing my bolus insulin. But now, there is a new dilemma – what is worse, sugar substitutes or sugar!

The public health minister, Caroline Flint, responded that it was indeed a serious issue, but added that evidence for its safety had been reviewed many times by regulators around the world including the FDA, WHO and the UN. She also added that artificial sweeteners were useful in their help to control obesity. MP Williams maintains that regulators around the world had failed in protecting the public and that it should never have gotten a license. He blames President Reagan and Donald Rumsfeld (then on Reagan's transition team)who began the approval process for aspartame on President Reagan's Inauguration Day in 1981.

Question: How would your diabetes diet be affected by it being pulled off the market? What do you think? Are you feeling cautious or do you feel confident in the European Food Safety Authority or the FDA


Blogger Megan said...

I realize aspratame has health risks. That's why I drink mostly water. But I am NOT going to drink regular soda. Nothing irks me more than someone seeing me drinking a diet pop,"That stuff is worse for you than sugar." Yeah, not if sugar puts my bs at a hefty 400. Granted, these people don't know I have diabetes (or refuse to remember, whichever is the case). Personally, I feel the safety of asperatame has been proven for adults, but I would still like to see if researched more.

4:38 AM  
Anonymous wilson said...

The fact aspartame causes cancer in rats has been known for ages. However the "varying doses" administered to rats equate to (approximately) lorry loads (or shed loads, whichever you prefer)! Mega doses are indeed unsafe apparently, but it's not going to stop me dropping approx 3 or 4 a day with my coffee. I am sick and tired of panicky health scares blown up by the media.
What next? Aspartame causes bird flu? lol!

3:38 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth Snouffer said...

The study revealed that people who drink 3 diet sodas a day with aspartame is equivalent to 58 gms of aspartame. The recommended allowance is just over 2 gms.

The mice were not given shed loads in the study, but I do believe people are consuming lorry loads of aspartame in an effort to avoid sugar, and I don't know if the benefits outweigh the risks.

Thanks for posting your comment.

10:51 AM  
Anonymous wilson said...

I am surprised to learn that there is 58g of aspartame in 3 x diet drinks. Only after posting did I realise that I don't actually use aspartame (except if taken unknowingly or unavoidably) I use Splenda, which does not contain aspartame ( but probably something equally deadly no doubt!).
The only time I ever drank 3 x sodas a day (non diet as well!) was before I was diagnosed.
BTW. Love your blog. It's really good to see a UK prespective.

11:19 AM  

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