Aspartame, sold under the brand names of Equal® and NutraSweet®, has been in use in the United States since the early 1980s. It was known to be unsafe but was pushed through FDA with political payments. There is strong evidence that it also causes Gulf War Syndrome, and sudden deaths in athletes.
According to a recent study of aspartame as a carcinogenic in humans, consuming a single diet soda daily may increase the risk of non-Hodgkin and multiple myeloma in men, and leukemia in both men and women.
New Comprehensive Study
The present study is the most long-term and comprehensive review of aspartame conducted to date. Researchers analyzed data gathered over a 22-year period from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. More than 77,000 women and almost 48,000 men took part in the study. Their input amounted to well over 2.2 million person-years of data.
In addition to its size and duration, the study is notable for the thoroughness with which participants’ aspartame use was evaluated. Participants were asked to submit a detailed questionnaire on their diet every two years, and every four years their diets were reviewed.
Findings of the Study
The study found that consuming one 12-fl oz. can of diet soda daily resulted in:
- 42 percent higher leukemia risk in men and women (pooled analysis)
- 102 percent higher multiple myeloma risk (in men only)
- 31 percent higher non-Hodgkin lymphoma risk (in men only)
In the United States, diet soda is by far the largest source of aspartame. It accounts for 4,500 tons of the 5,250 tons of aspartame that Americans consume every year.
One surprising finding of the study was that men who consumed one or more sugared sodas showed a 66 percent increase in non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which was an even higher increase than men who consumed diet soda.
Many of the past studies that showed no link between aspartame and cancer had been criticized for being of too short duration and too inaccurate in gauging aspartame intake. Researchers designed this latest study to resolve both of these issues.
A 2006 study involving laboratory rats showed that aspartame increased the risk of leukemia and lymphomas in both sexes. In that study, researchers concluded that “The results of this mega-experiment indicate that [aspartame] is a multipotential carcinogenic agent, even at a daily dose of 20 mg/kg body weight, much less than the current acceptable daily intake.”
A follow-up study confirmed increased leukemia and lymphoma risk, and found that exposure at the fetal stage increased breast cancer rates in female rats. Researchers noted that “…when life-span exposure to [aspartame] begins during fetal life, its carcinogenic effects are increased.”