Artificial sweetener safe to consume says European Food Safety Authority

By Efrosini Costa

Artificial sweetener safe to consume says European Food Safety Authority
Artificial sweetener aspartame has been ruled safe to use by Europe's Food Safety Authority.

Aspartame is safe for people to consume at the current levels used in various foods and drinks the European Food Authority has ruled.

Many health groups have made claims that aspartame, which is made up of methanol, phenylalanine and aspartic acid, can cause a number of health ailments from cancer, to kidney failure, fibromygalia, brain damage, birth defects, problems with vision and diabetes.

Some research indicates that the sweetener can also hinder weight loss efforts as it increases hunger by inhibiting the production of serotonin, preventing your brain from telling your body that you are full.

The sweetener, also known as NutraSweet or Equal, is used in many  diet soft drinks  and has been the subject of numerous health controversies since its approval by the US Food and Drug Administration in the early 1970’s.

The approval was at the time highly contested by health groups who were worried that initial research into the substance’s safety was inadequate and that there was a conflict of interest in the approval of the sweetener that is popularly used by the Coca Cola company.

Believed to be 200 times sweeter than sugar, only a little is needed to obtain the same level of sweetness, the additive is also lower in calories.

The FDA’s acceptable daily intake for the sweetener, the maximum amount safe to consume each day, is set at 50 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. The European Union’s Food Safety Authority said it had ruled out any ” potential risk of aspartame in causing damage to genes and inducing cancer.Authority recommends a maximum daily amount of 40 milligrams per kilogram of weight.

The findings will be welcome news for the Coca Cola corporation which recently launched an advertising campaign to help dispel fears surrounding their diet drink.


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