Aspartame has long been associated with potential health risks such as obesity, neurological disorders and even cancer. However, is aspartame truly as hazardous to your health as some people think? Here’s what we know.
Metabolism- sweeteners like aspartame may increase appetite by disrupting the signaling process that usually occurs when a person eats foods with more calories. * If the body receives fewer calories when consuming aspartame on a regular basis, the body’s orientation between sweet tastes and calories is distorted, causing potential overeating caused by a loss of a feeling of fullness. *
Body Weight-Although aspartame contains 4 calories per gram like sugar, its 200 times sweeter than sugar. * People often try consuming foods and beverages containing aspartame, believing it will help them with their weight loss goals but a recent study has seen the opposite. Research conducted in 2017 concluded that there was no evidence that sweeteners like aspartame made any significant impact on weight loss. *
Who Should Avoid Aspartame?- One of the three main compounds that make up aspartame is phenylalaline, an essential amino acid. People who have the disorder that increases phenylalaline in the blood, known as phenylketonuria (PKU), should avoid all foods and drinks that contain phenylalaline. *
In short, there are several respectable sources around the globe (WHO, American Heart Association, FDA) have conducted numerous studies and found that aspartame was safe for human consumption and set a daily intake of 40 milligrams of aspartame, a huge amount for any one person to consume in a day. However, if aspartame is consumed on a regular basis, certain negative effects such as increased difficulty in weight management but more research needs to be conducted to further substantiate claims such as these. * As always, please consult your health care provider before making any changes to your dietary, exercise, and/or medical regimen.
*Sources https://www.cmaj.ca/content/189/28/E929, https://www.cell.com/trends/endocrinology-metabolism/fulltext/S1043-2760(13)00087-8, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322266#takeaway