Questions on the side effects of artificial sweeteners

What are artificial sweeteners?

Artificial sweeteners are low calorie substances used as sweeteners to replace sugar and other caloric sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are helpful in controlling weight and insulin levels.

Natural sweeteners come mainly from table sugar (sucrose), fruit (fructose) and milk (lactose). They must be used with caution by diabetics and excessive consumption can contribute to obesity.

Many kinds of artificial sweeteners are available, notably saccharin (the oldest), cyclamate, aspartame, alitame, neotame and, more recently, acesulfame-K, sucralose and Stevia (which is not yet approved by the US FDA).

Aspartame is today one of the most used artificial sweeteners because it does not leave a bitter aftertaste as saccharin does. It is marketed under several band names (including Canderel® and NutraSweet®) and is used in diet soft drinks, food preparations and as table sweeteners.


artificial sweeteners consumption Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame are also used as low calorie substitutes in hot drinks. More on the uses of aspartame sweeteners.

Questions about artificial sweeteners and cancer arose when early studies indicated that saccharin and cyclamate caused bladder cancer in test animals. However, subsequent studies failed to provide clear evidence that these artificial sweeteners can cause human cancers.

Many scientists have verified the safety of the artificial sweeteners available on the market; when high doses consumption of an artificial sweetener can cause concerns, they establish an Acceptable Daily Intake. More...

However, there are still allegations regarding the safety of artificial sweeteners. Notably, some claims of aspartame side effects have fueled debates on some sweeteners. More...

Read the GreenFacts summary on Aspartame artificial sweeteners
  1. What are aspartame artificial sweeteners?
  2. How much aspartame do people consume?
  3. What happens to aspartame once it is ingested?
  4. Can aspartame have side effects on human health?
  5. Conclusion on aspartame artificial sweeteners
  6. Other views on aspartame side effects

Aspartame is sometimes misspelled aspertame.