Let’s have a discussion on Aspartame- it’s a hugely discussed topic in the world of nutrition and health- particularly since the recent introduction of the “Sugar Tax” in the United Kingdom. Drinks manufacturers have ditched sugar in favour of sweeteners like Aspartame and Acesulfame K to comply with the Governments policy. Both substances are 200 times sweeter than sugar, meaning that small amounts of the substances are needed in drinks- also saving on revenue for companies.
EFSA completes full risk assessment on aspartame and concludes it is safe at current levels of exposure
These two substances are usually touted to possess carcinogenic factors, as well as giving people headaches, dizziness, tiredness and bowel problems. But what are the inherent risks of these substances, if they exist at all? Should we happy that companies are taking the iniative to remove sugar from our diets, even if it’s financially motivated?
In regards to these chemicals giving people issues like the ones mentioned above- it is hard to relate these specifically to Aspartame and Acesulfame, if you consume too much sugar then you will likely suffer from the same ailments- rendering this argument unlikely. They will, however, produce the same “Excito-toxins” from the brain which normally produce a ‘craving’ for more- hence why you could, if you really wanted to, drink a whole bottle of coke by yourself.
I think that these substances are less dangerous than pure sugar, there is not much to suggest that they will contribute towards the same inflammatory things that sugar does- I do not possess any comparable research so take that as my two cents.
I was told the same rhetoric about these substances being bad for your health during my Personal Training course- which I obviously believed without much further thought, until a good friend of mine studying Chemistry, and very astute with his knowledge, sent me studies which challenged my thought.
You can make your own mind up about these studies but they both conclude that Aspartame offers no real health problems to humans in the amounts that we would encounter them. In any case, you would be hard pressed to avoid eating these substances at some point- unless you live off Salad and Water.