Aspartame and Cancer: Fact vs. Hype

No relationship between the consumption of aspartame and any type of cancer exist. These facts come from multiple studies performed over past years, along with sources like the National Cancer Institute, providing you with correct and up to date information.

Background Information

Aspartame received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in 1981 as an artificial sweetener alternative. During the end of the 1990’s, the artificial sweetener known as aspartame started becoming more widely used as sugar substitute in soft drinks and foods, especially in America. Also during that decade, a large increase of brain tumors from the mid 1970’s to the mid 1990’s began to cause interest in the field of scientific study. Unfortunately, some scientists falsely tied the two occurrences together, claiming that the increased use of aspartame led to the jump in brain cancer in Americans.

This claim received the label of an ecological fallacy, which simply means linking two things together that remain separate, unlinked or totally inconsequential to one another.

During the same time period, a study performed on female rats did show positive results that consuming large amounts of aspartame leads to cancer. However, while this test did ignite the entire false claim, the test itself remained under question because not enough conclusive evidence remained. The female rats only showed positive results after consuming at least 20mg of the sweetener per each kilogram of total bodyweight.

Updated Information

Through tests in both human patients and animal samples, scientists have concluded that aspartame does not cause any sort of cancer or risk from lymphomas and leukemia varieties.

The FDA has even set limits, allowing you to know the proper amounts to consume daily. The Food and Drug Administration suggests that you should not consumer more than 50mg of aspartame for each kilogram of your total body weight.

Other tests have proven to show no increased risk of cancer, leukemia or lymphomas in people who consume nearly 2000mg of aspartame in one day, which equates to a near 12 cans of soft drinks; these include pops, sodas, fruit juices and the like.

The Verdict

Just like everything else in life, you should consume aspartame in moderation. While the sweetener alternative itself possibly poses no threat to your health, the food items aspartame often gets added to do in fact cause illness and disease.

The detailed studies performed by the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S Institutes of Health cancer branch proved that no increased factors remain between rates of cancer and aspartame consumption. The age and gender of patients also played no role in varying results, as no links between cancerous diseases and aspartame were found.


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  • Phil

    This is untrue. There are numerous studies concluding that Aspartame causes cancer. To say “scientists have concluded that aspartame does not cause any sort of cancer ” is true only if you mean “/some/ scientists have concluded that aspartame does not cause any sort of cancer.” To state that it is a “fact” that aspartame does not cause cancer, when this debate has been going on since the 1970s, is ridiculous. To tout the FDA’s approval as proof is also silly; the FDA approved aspartame 1981, at the direction of Ronald Reagan, as a favor to Don Rumsfeld; and this was before almost any of the existing aspartame studies were done. is ridiculous. To refer to “the detailed studies performed by the FDA” is absurd, since the FDA does not conduct studies. To ignore the fact that no one questions a study indicating safety, yet every study showing a relationship between aspartame and cancer is immediately jumped on by dozens of industry-funded scientists, is journalistic irresponsibility.

  • amy

    i agree with the person above – i have leukemia and i was a huge diet coke drinker all through out the 90’s. it played a huge roll in my illness. add on bad nutrition and auto immune disease in my family history – i fell victim to cancer.
    the FDA is about money, they dont care what happens to us regular folks, as long as the government, doctors and pharmaceutical companys keep lining their pockets….. stay away from man made processed foods ! eat clean and stay healthy ! read ‘cancer battle plan’ for starters !
    every body is different, yours might not handle diet coke aspartame , took 10 yrs but mine couldnt handle it either. i am well today due to the Good Lord and eating healthy …

  • Tianna

    I disagree with your claim and there is a multitude of research that suggests otherwise, as well. When was the last test by the FDA conducted that you based your writing upon?
    The FDA had to test aspartame because it was shown to cause cancer in rats and other animals. The most recent test I found concluded in 2006 and used primarily Caucasian adults f aged 50-69. The problem with some of the studies conducted by the FDA was they involved questionnaires and they did not look at a lifetime of use in the subjects. Perhaps those tested had only been using the artificial sweetener for a short period of time. It’s odd that we are so adamant about using animals to test responses to products and then don’t believe the outcome.
    Children nowadys have been ingesting aspartame – and other chemicals – since toddler age in snacks, cereals, yogurt, soft drinks, etc. They should be the focus group! We’ve seen an increase in allergies, obesity ( aspartame causes obesity!), and the like and need to determine if chemicals, including those that make up aspartame are to blame.
    The FDA has been incorrect on more than one occasion. And can you image the repercussions the powerful industries (lobbies) like Coke, Nabisco, Nestle…would have to face if their products were cancer causing?!

  • Matt

    Ok first off the guy blaming Diet Coke for his problems. Have you listed to yourself? Your pretty much saying drinking Diet Coke caused your problems, like you couldn’t of gotten these problems naturally. Were you ever tested and it be proven it was Aspartame that caused it? I can pretty much bet money the answer was no.

    It’s like these people claiming Aspartame caused them to get fat. Well let’s see why they got fat. “I’ll have a Big Mac extra value meal super size and a Diet Coke”. It couldn’t possibly be the fast food they were eating. Or which I’ve seen when I worked in a mall. “Yes I will have 2 Cinnabons with extra icing and a Diet Coke”. Again it must be the Diet Coke it couldn’t be the junk food that caused the weight gain.

    I can tell you from personal experience that Aspartame does not cause you to gain weight. I actually have lost 38 pounds since September and I have drank a 2 liter pitcher of Crystal Light a day. Also it doesn’t cause seizures as I already had seizures before ever consuming Aspartame and if Aspartame caused seizures it would counteract my meds and cause me seizures.

    Take the test for what they are. They are tests involving lab animals, same as Saccharine. Pretty much the same original conclusion as well and the same people blaming the product for the bad things they got. Funny is Saccharine was found to be find for human consumption just not for animals so those blaming Saccharine for causing cancer look pretty stupid now.