|Aspartame Information Service|
Aspartame and side-effects
From time to time, over the years since its approval, reports have been made linking aspartame to a variety of health problems and side effects. In fact, no link has been found to aspartame for any of the many effects suggested. This is not surprising if you understand that aspartame is a very simple molecule made from two amino acids - and it is digested just like other food to components which occur widely in our normal diet like seafood, meat, dairy products and even fruit and vegetables.
Both before it was approved for use in food and beverages and since, aspartame has been the subject of a very wide range of scientific studies undertaken by independent scientists at world-leading institutions. Today more than 200 well-designed scientific studies support our understanding of aspartame and its safety.
Over the years, all of this research has been reviewed regularly by leading scientific experts at regulatory authorities around the world. One of these reviews, undertaken by the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF), the predecessor of the European Food Safety Authority, in Europe, scrutinised all of the science published on aspartame. The review included the research on the complaints and effects which had been claimed to be linked to aspartame for example effects on mood and behaviour, and on epilepsy as well as any role in migraine or allergic-type reactions. These experts found not only that aspartame is safe but also that there is no connection with brain tumors, epilepsy, changes in neurological function, or allergic-type reactions. In the Opinion published following the review the SCF concludes
"Aspartame is unique among the intense sweeteners in that the intake of its component parts can be compared with intakes of the same substances from natural foods." SCF Opinion 2002