Scientific Facts on the Aspertame artificial sweetener

Aspertame is a non-caloric artificial sweetener used in many diet drinks and foods. Although this artificial sweetener has been widely used for many years, some allegations still fuel a debate on possible side effects.

Does aspertame really pose health risks?

4.3 Can the aspertame sweetener produce nervous disorders?

Following the marketing of the aspertame sweetener, some consumers complained of neurological or behavioral effects. These complaints received special consideration because some experiments in rats had shown that very high doses of the aspertame sweetener (1000 mg/kg body weight per day) could alter the concentrations of some important substances (neurotransmitters) in the central nervous system. However, it appears that these effects on neurotransmitters are not consistent and could not be reproduced in later studies.

About 10% of the aspertame sweetener breaks down into methanol, which is known to be toxic. However, toxic effects on vision and the central nervous system only occur at doses of methanol 100 times higher than could be produced from the amount of the aspertame sweetener in one litre of "diet" soft drink. Read the EC-SCF report about aspartame and neurological effects...

Read the GreenFacts Digest on aspertame

Next question: Does aspertame provoque side effects on behavior, cognition or mood?

This study on the effects of the aspertame sweetener is a faithful summary of the leading scientific consensus report produced in 2002 by the EC-SCF (European Commission Scientific Committee on Food): "Update on the Safety of Aspartame". More...

Note that the proper spelling for Aspertame is Aspartame.