Calls for the examination of sugar substitutes have long been ignored by the scientific community, although there is evidence that some, if not all of them, have negative effects on the human body, and some researchers have gone so far as to say they are teratogenic.
The new study on aspartame tries to quell some of those doubts. It was done by the European Food Safety Authority.
The results are a bit unsettling. The Authority has found that aspartame is safe at current acceptable daily intake levels.
Although the study is meant to reassure, it does not allay fears that the chemical compound is safe, since most people either don't know what the safe levels is, and more pointedly, if there is an unsafe level, what are the consequences?
A long, scathing article years ago, pointed to the fact that the FDA, the US controlling agency on the matter, twice blocked aspartame from being distributed in the food chain, citing concerns about its safety. A long term lobbying effort finally enabled the company to market the chemical for mass consumption.
Because aspartame is ubiquitous, and often in products whose labels are not checked, the so called 'safe level' could be easily passed. What then? Does the research publish the result of such excess? What happens to people when the limit is passed and how little does it take after that threshold to cause harm to the consumer? Unfortunately there seems to be no data as to what are the consequences or consumption over the 'safe' limit.
Although the European Authority has placed the limit at 40 mg/kg of body weight, which is about 2,800 milligrams for an adult, in the US that amount is actually 50mg/kg.
However, it is a known fact that people with kidney disease and phenylketuronia are not supposed to make use of Aspartame, due to its properties. Phenylketuronia is a disease that does not allow the breakdown product of aspartame, phenylalanine, to be metabolized, leading to toxicity, especially for a foetus.
A study published in 2005 showed that levels of aspartame deemed safe for humans caused cancer in lab rats. However, this later study asserts that such risk is non existant in humans.
Partial Source : MNT/ 12.11.13