Our expert says:
Most recent, reliable research concludes that aspartame is not dangerous for the general population*. That said, consumers are quite justified to be concerned about any food additive – especially one that’s making its manufacturers stupendously wealthy. Some studies on aspartame have turned up disturbing evidence, and several medical experts are vociferously against the sweetener. Also, there is a fair amount of anecdotal evidence (e.g. from migraine sufferers) that aspartame worsens symptoms in susceptible individuals. And, scientists remain uncertain about its long-term effects.
The constituents of aspartame you mention also occur naturally in several foods, although there is always the concern that isolating constituents and ingesting them in large amounts could have a negative impact. Still, most research indicates that you’d need to ingest huge amounts (e.g. gallons and gallons of soft drinks) to suffer ill effects.
So my take on it is as follows: if you need to cut down on your sugar intake, but are longing for that sweet taste, occasional aspartame use is fine. But as a general rule, rather avoid artificial food additives, eat more unprocessed foods, and rediscover the taste of food that isn’t loaded with salt and sugar.
You might want to also get Health24's Diet and Natural experts' views on this.
*Note: Individuals with the genetic condition phenylketonuria should avoid aspartame, as well as foods that contain phenylalanine.
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