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New Study Reconfirms Safety of Aspartame

A new study, published in the Annals of Oncology, has provided further confirmation that aspartame consumption is not linked to cancers. The study, which evaluated case-control studies of more than 7,000 men and women of all ages, concluded that the findings provided "no evidence that saccharin or other sweeteners (mainly aspartame) increase the risk of cancer at several common sites in humans."

The Italian researchers, led by Dr Silvano Gallus, collected data from northern, central and southern Italy over a 13 year period, comparing the level of sweetener consumption by cancer patients with that of a control group of non-cancer patients. The statistical analysis found no correlation between sweetener consumption and cancer rates at nine common cancer sites in the human body.

This latest confirmation of aspartame's safety comes in addition to an epidemiological study by the United States National Cancer Institute, which found no link between aspartame and brain tumours, and the unequivocal findings of the European Food Safety Authority's review, published in May 2006.

Researchers have estimated that, across Europe, excess weight is responsible for 70,000 new cancer cases every year. By providing an excellent sweet taste without the calories of sugar, aspartame can help people to avoid overweight and obesity and its associated diseases. A recent meta-analysis of studies examining aspartame and weight control found that an annual weight loss of 11 pounds could be achieved by replacing one can of sugar-sweetened soft drink with its aspartame-sweetened equivalent each day.

March 2007