June 18, 2024

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Aspartame in Cola will be listed as a carcinogen by the WHO ! ?

Aspartame in Cola will be listed as a carcinogen by the WHO ! ?


Aspartame in Cola will be listed as a carcinogen by the WHO ! ?

Aspartame, the most common artificial sweetener in cola, will be listed as a carcinogen by the WHO! ?



Recently many news talk about  “aspartame causes cancer”.

“One of the world’s most common artificial sweeteners will be declared a possible carcinogen next month by a leading global health agency, according to Reuters, pitting the agency against the food industry and regulators.


Aspartame will be listed for the first time as “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer research arm of the World Health Organization (WHO), in July, sources said.

Aspartame is used in products such as cola diet soda, chewing gum and some diet drinks. “



Aspartame in Cola will be listed as a carcinogen by the WHO ! ?
Aspartame in Cola will be listed as a carcinogen by the WHO ! ?

Figure 1. Zero and Diet Cola contain 



So, what exactly is aspartame in the hot search? Does this most common “artificial sweetener” really cause cancer?




Aspartame can be found everywhere in sugar-free or low-sugar drinks!


Aspartame is a non-carbohydrate artificial sweetener (also known as sweetener, protein sugar, aspartame, aspartame, aspartame, etc.), and is a natural functional oligomeric Sugar has the characteristics of high sweetness (180-200 times the sweetness of sucrose) and low calorie [2] .


Therefore, in daily life, it is often added to sugar-free or low-sugar beverages: such as some big brands of zero-degree cola, zero-sugar fruit juice, sugar-free tea, sugar-free drinks, sugar-free or low-sugar yogurt, coffee, etc.; , Aspartame is also added to some children’s medicines to improve the taste of the medicine. Due to its good taste and low-calorie properties, many diabetics and people who lose weight will use aspartame as a sugar substitute.


Figure 2. 



Aspartame, which has been in the storm of safety controversy…


In fact, for many years, the safety debate surrounding “aspartame” has always existed. Since the U.S. FDA approved aspartame as a sweetening additive for various foods and beverages in the 1970s (safe intake of 50 mg per kilogram of body weight), the theory of binding of various benefits and safety around it Legal proceedings have never stopped.


At present, it has been determined that some special groups such as patients with phenylketonuria are clearly prohibited from taking too much food or medicine containing aspartame.

Because aspartame can be decomposed into phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol under the action of gastrointestinal enzymes, patients with phenylketonuria will cause phenylalanine metabolism disorders due to congenital genetic defects, making phenylalanine Alanine cannot be converted into tyrosine.

If you take too much aspartame-containing substances, it will lead to the accumulation of phenylalanine, which will cause damage to the brain and other organs.

Therefore, food labels with aspartame added in the market must require the label “containing phenylalanine” to avoid certain safety risks.


In addition, in some studies and related reviews, there is also considerable controversy over the safety of aspartame. For example, an article published in the journal Nutrients in 2021 reviewed and summarized the possible safety issues of aspartame [3] .


Aspartame in Cola will be listed as a carcinogen by the WHO ! ?

Figure 3. Screenshot of research overview


For example, the article points out that according to previous studies, aspartame and its metabolites can increase the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and brain tumors.


Table 1: Effects of Aspartame on the Nervous System

Aspartame in Cola will be listed as a carcinogen by the WHO ! ?


Aspartame also stimulates the sympathetic nervous system by causing an increase in cortisol steroid levels in the adrenal glands via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.

Additionally, it may alter the composition of the gut microbiota. The article states that this will lead to long-term changes in behavior, as well as corticosterone release and increased levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH).

Cortisol affects mental state by suppressing activation of the hippocampus and enhancing activity in the amygdala and within the prefrontal cortex to activate various regions of the brain.

Therefore, related studies have pointed out that aspartame can also lead to mental stress [4,5] .


Table 2: Effects of Aspartame on the Endocrine System

Aspartame in Cola will be listed as a carcinogen by the WHO ! ?


In addition to neurologic and endocrine effects, the article noted that aspartame use was also associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and hormone-related cancers.

Even related studies have shown that girls aged 9-10 have an increased risk of early menarche [6] .



Of course, one of the most serious allegations against the consumption of aspartame is its carcinogenic effects in humans. Because studies have pointed out that it will decompose into harmful formaldehyde, which has carcinogenic potential [7] .

Notably, ingestion of 1 liter of diet soda resulted in the conversion of approximately 600 mg of aspartame to 60 mg of formaldehyde, well above the daily intake threshold (0.15 mg/kg formaldehyde).


The results of a mouse study did not show any clear dose-dependent pattern of association, only some results were observed between the experimental and control groups.

The expression of two oncogenes (c-myc, Ha-ras) and the p53 tumor suppressor gene increased in the kidney, bone marrow and lymphoid tissues of the aspartame experimental group.

However, only at a dose of 200 mg/kg bw, there was a considerable increase in the expression of the gene studied in the liver, spleen and lung [8] .

Aberrations in gene expression were most pronounced in tissues with high proliferative frequencies. Researchers believe that consumption of aspartame may have carcinogenic effects [9] .

Therefore, further research is urgently needed to determine the effects of aspartame and related metabolites in humans.


In conclusion, many studies and retrospective studies have concluded that – due to consideration of the effects of aspartame on obesity, diabetes, children and fetuses, autism, neurodegenerative diseases, phenylketonuria, allergies and skin problems , its carcinogenic properties and genotoxicity research controversies.

In-depth research and analysis should be required in the future to ensure clear results and information on the effects of aspartame on human health.





The World Health Organization’s Committee on Additives (JECFA) is reviewing the use of aspartame this year and is expected to publish its findings in July, according to news reports.

Since 1981, JECFA has considered aspartame safe within accepted daily limits.

For example, a 60-kilogram (132-pound) adult would need to drink between 12 and 36 cans of diet soda per day (depending on the aspartame content of the drink) to pose some risk. Looking back over the past few decades, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also issued a statement stating that “there is no epidemiological evidence to verify that aspartame can cause major harm or serious risk.”


But it is worth affirming that the purpose of listing aspartame as a “possible carcinogen” is to encourage more targeted research and trials, and help agencies, consumers and manufacturers draw clearer conclusions in the future. Settle the controversy.



It is not difficult to see that the controversy surrounding “aspartame” has never ceased, and in-depth research and exploration will always be the final answer to the dispute!

Let’s pay attention to the results of the WHO meeting in July, and look forward to giving us a clear conclusion…





Why will Aspartame cause cancers?

Aspartame is a low-calorie artificial sweetener that has been the subject of numerous studies and debates regarding its safety.

However, as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the scientific consensus is that aspartame is considered safe for consumption by the general population.


While there have been claims suggesting a link between aspartame and cancer, extensive scientific research conducted by regulatory agencies and independent organizations has not found convincing evidence to support the idea that aspartame is a carcinogen.



Regulatory Agencies:

Organizations such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and other regulatory bodies around the world have extensively reviewed the safety of aspartame.

These agencies have concluded that aspartame is safe for consumption within the recommended daily intake limits.


Scientific Studies:

Numerous studies have been conducted to investigate the potential carcinogenic effects of aspartame.

The majority of these studies, including both animal and human studies, have not found any consistent evidence linking aspartame consumption to an increased risk of cancer.


Expert Reviews:

Various expert committees and scientific organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Cancer Society, have evaluated the available evidence on aspartame and cancer. These reviews have consistently concluded that there is no convincing evidence to support the claim that aspartame is a carcinogen.



It’s important to note that individuals who have a rare genetic disorder called phenylketonuria (PKU) need to avoid aspartame because their bodies cannot metabolize the amino acid phenylalanine found in aspartame.

For them, aspartame can be harmful if consumed in significant quantities.


However, scientific knowledge and research evolve over time, so it’s always a good idea to stay updated on the latest studies and recommendations from reliable sources, such as regulatory agencies and reputable scientific organizations.







[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspartame_controversy

[2] Tan Jingfan, Tan, Jingfan, et al. Diabetics can eat foods containing aspartame [J]. Modern Food, 2017.DOI:CNKI:SUN:SPXD.0.2017-16-028.

[3] Kamila Czarnecka, et al. Aspartame—True or False? Narrative Review of Safety Analysis of General Use in Products. Nutrients . 2021 Jun 7;13(6):1957. doi: 10.3390/nu13061957.

[4] Ashok, I.; Wankhar, D.; Wankhar, W.; Sheeladevi, R. Neurobehavioral changes and activation of neurodegenerative apoptosis on long-term consumption of aspartame in the rat brain. J. Nutr. Intermed. Metab. 2015 , 2.

[5] Abhilash, M.; Sauganth Paul, MV; Varghese, MV; Nair, RH Long-term consumption of aspartame and brain antioxidant defense status. Drug Chem. Toxicol. 2013, 36.

[6] Mueller, NT; Jacobs, DR; MacLehose, RF; Demerath, EW; Kelly, SP; Dreyfus, JG; Pereira, MA Consumption of caffeinated and artificially sweetened soft drinks is associated with risk of early menarche1,2. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2015, 102, 648–654.

[7] Formaldehyde, 2-butoxyethanol and 1-tert-butoxypropan-2-ol. IARC Monogr. Eval. Carcinog. Risks Hum. 2006, 88, 1–478.

[8] Gombos, K, et al. Nowrasteh, G.; Tettinger, A.; Mucsi, G.; Ember, I. The effect of aspartame administration on oncogene and suppressor gene expressions. In Vivo 2007, 21, 21.

[9]. Soffritti, M.et al. First experimental demonstration of the multipotential carcinogenic effects of aspartame administered in the feed to Sprague-Dawley rats. Environ. Health Perspect. 2006,114, 379–385.

Aspartame in Cola will be listed as a carcinogen by the WHO ! ?

(source:internet, reference only)

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