Is Artificial Sweetness Worth Cancer?

Health Alert 298

When you see the words "sugar free," you may think you’re doing the right thing by sidestepping those extra calories. It has become very popular. Food processors add the sugar substitute NutraSweet (aspartame) to more than six thousand food and drink products worldwide.

In today’s Health Alert, you’ll find a new study suggesting that this artificial sweetener may put you on the fast track to cancer. I’ll also offer a few alternatives to a can of soda.

The Diet Variety Problem

You probably already know about aspartame. It’s an artificial molecule designed by scientists to sweeten things like your diet soda or sugar-free ice cream. After almost twenty-five years on the market, the FDA continues to tell you that it’s safe amidst a growing list of problems.

Here’s a new one … and it’s serious… A new study just released by the Cancer Research Center in Italy found that, once inside your body, aspartame breaks down into very dangerous components. These by-products cause seizures, cancer and even sudden death.(1)

Doctors fed NutraSweet to rats for almost three years. By the end of the experiment, a surprising number of rats died from various cancers including leukemia. The increase in cancer rates was 62%.

How does this experiment relate to the amount of aspartame you consume?

The FDA set the Acceptable Daily Intake, (ADI) for aspartame at 50mg per kilogram of bodyweight (mg/kg). Lawyers for the FDA said in court that the average American averages 30mg/kg a day but often goes over the limit.

What’s disturbing is that the Italian scientists noticed markedly increased cancer rates in rats that consumed only 40% of this ADI. Rats eating only 8% of the ADI also had increased cancer rates. This means that many American are consuming more than this dose comparatively.

Russell Blaylock, MD is a well-known neurosurgeon and one of the leading authorities on the dangers of aspartame. He had this to say about the Italian study: "This study strongly indicates that drinking a single diet cola sweetened with aspartame every day could significantly increase one’s risk of developing a lymphoma or leukemia.”(2)

Find Your Way Back to Natural Alternatives

Add to this chilling assessment that 75% of all food additive complaints received by the FDA are about aspartame. Common symptoms include confusion, dizziness, depression, joint pain, memory loss, weight gain and vision problems.

Children may be the most vulnerable. They weigh less yet consume just as much – or more – of the foods and drinks that contain aspartame.

Instead of relying on sodas, drink liquids that occur naturally:

  • Water – Filter purified or spring water.
  • Milk – If you can find a good local source, raw is your best choice.
  • Tea – Real tea, green or black, with no artificial additives.

If you drink coffee or tea, don’t sweeten it. If you must, use real sugar.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

(1) Soffritti M. Aspartame induces lymphomas and leukemias in rats. Eur. J. Oncol., vol. 10, n. 2, 2005

(2) Martini B. Aspartame proven to cause cancer. Mission Possible, Jul 21, 2005.