Artificial Sweeteners and Bladder Cancer: A Link?

For years now, many dieters and health-concise people have consumed beverages that contained artificial sweeteners. Rather found in tea or diet soda, the product has been popular among the masses. There is now scientific information regarding a potential link between the artificial sweeteners and bladder cancer.

The Definition of Artificial Sweeteners

This product can also be refered to as sugar substitutes. They are substances used in place of sucrose, commonly known as table sugar, to sweeten foods and beverages. There are six main kinds of sweetener in America. They are saccharin, aspartame, sucralose, neotame, acesulfame potassium and stevia.

Artificial sweeteners require smaller amounts to sweeten to the small level as sucrose. Artificial sweeteners are regulated by the FDA. However, since the Artificial Sweeteners are considered generally recognized as a safe product, it can be marketed before approval by the FDA. Popular brands sold are Equal and NutraSweet.

What Started the Frenzy

Back in the 1970s, a different sweetener, saccharin, linked bladder cancer to lab rats. This discovery started the worries about sugar substitutes. This discovery linked the cancer to rats only, the sweetener did not have the same affect on people. But, the concern had already been set in many American’s minds.

Studies Pertaining to the Link

During 1995 and 1996, a new study consisted of more than half a million Americans. 340,045 Men and 226,945 women were participants in a research project regarding artificial sweeteners. The study was done by reputable, independent researchers. The participants were between the ages of 50 to 69. Participants filled out surveys with specific food and drink intake. From there, researches would figure out the amount of aspartame each participant consumed. Soda and sweetener added to coffee and tea were given high preference.

The results showed no increased risks among the participants who drank large quantities of sweetened drinks daily. This study was run by scientists at the National Cancer Institute.

What It Means to the Diet Soda Drinker

While the rumor of cancer from sweeteners has been cleared based on this study, there will always be skeptics. People may base their opinions on previous generation family members rather than scientific fact. While significant artificial sweeteners can cause weight gain, there is no proof that it can cause cancer.

The Future of the Artificial Sweetener

While sales of the Artificial Sweetener may decrease from time to time, the product is not going anywhere. Products that contain these sweeteners are such items as bubble gum, diet sodas, creams for coffee, sweeteners for tea and coffee. These products will continue to be available, as they have been found safe for consumption.


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