Q:

Are there any harmful effects of aspartame?

A:

Quick Answer

No health problems have been clearly and directly linked to aspartame, according to the American Cancer Society. Since the appearance of aspartame on the market in 1980, various health complaints have circulated but, as of 2015, there is no clear evidence that aspartame has any harmful effects.

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Full Answer

Aspartame, sold as Equal or NutraSweet, is one of the most popular artificial sweeteners on the market. Because it is roughly 200 times sweeter than sugar, much less is needed to achieve the same level of sweetness, which means far fewer calories, the American Cancer Society explains. Rumors that aspartame causes various health problems, including cancer, have been common for years.

Negative health effects which aspartame is often said to be responsible for include mild problems, such as headache, mood changes and digestive problems, as well as serious health issues, such as birth defects, diabetes and multiple sclerosis. However, as of 2015, no studies have revealed any consistent evidence that aspartame is a health risk, according to the American Cancer Society. There are also no studies that consistently link aspartame to cancer. Those who want to avoid aspartame can do so easily by checking food nutrition labels. All foods containing aspartame must list it as an ingredient.

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