Does Aspartame Really Cause Cancer?

According to the research, yes, aspartame really does cause cancer!

I am frequently asked this question, and this is an excellent question for anyone to ask. If aspartame, indeed, has been proven to cause cancer, then why isn't this information splashed all over the front pages of every newspaper and magazine worldwide? That's MY question. Most people assume the answer is because aspartame has NOT been proven to cause cancer and other serious health issues. But contraire - the research shows otherwise.

In my February 2006 Healthy Newsletter, I posted the links to three of the most recent aspartame studies, including the Italian Ramazinni research study proving aspartame results of leukemia and lymphoma in laboratory rats. The Ramazinni aspartame study was so damning in its proof of aspartame dangers, it was debunked (or attempted debunking, shall I say) by the organizations profiting the most from aspartame. So a second cancer study was repeated by the Ramazzini Cancer Institute to prove beyond any further doubt that aspartame, indeed, causes leukemia and lymphoma. The results of the second study were the same as the first study - well, actually, they showed more damaging results. Aspartame proved to be more harmful than the in the first study. Read for yourself.

The bioassay on aspartame "Lifespan Exposure to Low Doses of Aspartame Beginning During Prenatal Life Increases Cancer Effects in Rats" was published in the September 2007 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives [EHP 115:1293-1297; Soffritti et al]. The issue also includes a Science Selections feature story on the Ramazzini project [EHP 115:A460]

The full text of the article is available online at:

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization, results of long-term bioassays conducted on rodents (rats and mice) are highly predictive of carcinogenic risk for humans. In fact, one third of the chemicals considered by IARC to be carcinogenic in humans were previously anticipated as carcinogens in rodent studies. On the other hand, agents first demonstrated to be carcinogenic in humans, have later been confirmed to be carcinogenic in rodents.

In the second aspartame study, Dr. Morando Soffritti and his research team tested two dose levels of aspartame on a control group. The highest dose level, 2000 ppm (parts per million), is equivalent to 100mg/kg of body weight. The lower dose level, 400 ppm, is equivalent to 20 mg/kg of body weight. FYI, for a woman weighing 50 kg (110 pounds), aspartame consumption totals 18.2 mg/kg body weight. For a child weighing 20 kg (44 pounds), the aspartame consumption is 45.5 mg/kg body weight, already exceeding the ADI in Europe.

In the USA, the acceptable daily intake for aspartame is 50 mg/kg of body weight. In the EU, it is 40 mg/kg of body weight. What does all this ppm and mg/kg really mean for humans? Well, typically people try to estimate aspartame consumption in terms of cans of diet soda, but aspartame is found in over 6,000 other products, including 500 pharmaceuticals. Following the average modern diet, it is easy for a person to exceed the ADI, especially children who have a lower body weight. Consider the following average daily consumption of diet products with aspartame: 2 cans of diet soda (and that's a very low estimate), 1 light yogurt, 1 diet dessert, 4 packets of Equal® in coffee or tea throughout the day, 10 candies or pieces of chewing gum. The aspartame content in the above totals 910 mg, exceeding the ADI.

According to Dr. Soffritti, in both aspartame studies conducted by the European Ramazzini Foundation, carcinogenic effects were observed very close to the ADI for humans.

Recognizing that the public may have difficulty interpreting the scientific literature, the authors of the study invite the public to ask questions about the study via blog at They do their best to respond to all inquiries.

Posted November 2007 | Permanent Link

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