I have read your numerous posts on how aspartame is “safe”. But why all this controversy? I can’t understand who to trust. It seems every and any authority is saying it is either safe or extremely harmful. Dr. Mercola (mercola.com) says it is dangerous along with all these other “Dr.’s” on 60 minutes but the FDA says it’s all good and the cosmetic database says there is no harm in it despite some studies saying it causes some mutations in lab rats. I drink almost 1-2 gallons a week according to my calculations and this was one of the thresholds for interrupting homeostasis in the body.Thursday, March 24th, 2011
Thank you for reading The Dish. I use Health Canada and Dietitians of Canada as a reference for many of my posts. Although aspartame is permitted for use as a food additive in Canada, I don’t usually recommend it. It is “artificial”, made from a chemical process and many experts and consumers alike are trying to minimize our exposure to chemicals in all regards. Concerns arise with increased intake. Having 1-2 gallons per week of an aspartame containing beverage is of increased concern compared to someone who drinks a couple of cans of diet pop in a week. Even if we set aside the chemical issue, this amount of a beverage containing aspartame is likely displacing more nutritious beverages from your diet. Also, if the beverage is diet pop the acidity can damage tooth enamel.
Although aspartame is considered “safe”, the ADI (or Acceptable Daily Intake) for aspartame is 40 mg/kg body weight per day. For example, a 50 kg (110 lb) person could safely have 2000 mg of aspartame per day. One can of diet pop contains up to 200 mg of aspartame BUT that doesn’t mean it is recommended to drink 10 cans of pop in a day or even in a week.
There is a breadth of health information online and it is important to critically evaluate everything we read and look for scientific references. It is also important to make food and beverage choices you believe in. For example, some people prefer only organic foods while others choose items with the best value. So I really leave it up to the individual.
Nutritional science is also an evolving field, who knows what new information or products will be available in 10 years time. Have you heard of Stevia? There may be more beverages available soon with this plant based sweetener which is also much sweeter than regular sugar but without the calories.