The truth behind aspartame: an examination of the adverse health effects associated with its consumption
Aspartame (APM) is one of the most widely used artificial sweeteners in the world today. It is present in over 6,000 different products and is consumed by millions of people on a daily basis. Since its approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1981, APM has made its way into the normal diets of many people. The negligible caloric content of APM has led to increases in its use by not only diabetics but also a large number of health conscious people. Since the introduction of APM into the food industry, there has been great debate and controversy over the safety of its use. Numerous animal and human studies have shown that APM use is fully harmless and not linked to any negative health effects in humans. On the other hand, other studies have found APM consumption to be associated with a variety of alarming health consequences. These include various types of cancers, genotoxicity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, oxidative stress, neurochemical imbalances, and shifts in gut microbial balance. Many APM users believe that through consuming products that contain APM, they are reducing their risk of some of these conditions while in reality it is possible that quite the opposite is happening. APM use may not be as safe as the public generally assumes. The circumstances that surrounded the FDA's approval of APM and the body of evidence that exists pertaining to APM toxicity raise many questions. An extensive look into the literature has revealed that there are enough reasons to doubt the complete safety of APM. It is important for the public to be made aware of these findings in order to make well-informed decisions and more importantly, to best protect their health.