Suspicions of a link between Aspartame (the commonly used artificial sweetener) and various forms of cancer have received another boost from a new Italian study. The study found that even at relatively low levels of consumption, rats exposed to Aspartame had a significantly increased risk of several types of cancer. The implications of this are important for everyone, but especially children, because their lifetime consumption of Aspartame is expected to be much higher than those who started consuming it as adults. More details here.Social tagging: Alternative Medicine > Biology > Food and Drink > Medicine
I wrote a paper on Aspartame at UMass in 1979 (Environmental Journalism) that looked at the reliability of the testing done by Searle at that time (bad….)
Interestingly enough, the person in charge of that testing, Bob Shapiro, eventually became the head of Monsanto, after Monsanto bought Searle (by then, Nutrasweet corp) and then he oversaw Monsantos introduction and “testing” of GMO field crops.
I’d be happy to send a long a copy of the paper if you were interested. (And I’d point out that this is now almost 30 years that they have gotten away with this…un-noticed for the most part….though All Things Considered did take an interest in the mid 80’s and I got a call from Steve Curwood about it.)
While I dont diminish the importance of any potential health risk posed by aspartame, and support further studies in all human populations, you may wish to examine why there is a paucity of clinical evidence supporting carcinogenic risk in humans. Recently, a case control study published in the Annals of Oncology 2007;18:40-44, also from Italy, demonstrated an inverse risk association with the consumption of artificial sweeteners including aspartame, and the majority of solid tumors. As with all clinical evidence, this study has its limitations, eg incident observational cohort, limited numbers in the sub groups, statistical methods employed for regression, did not look at other malignancies such as hematologic malignancies. It does however, add useful insight into our body of knowledge concerning what we know about the effects of aspartame in humans.