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Aspartame is safe, study says
Date:9/11/2007

Looking at more than 500 reports, including toxicological, clinical and epidemiological studies dating from 1970s preclinical work to the latest studies on the high-intensity sweetener, along with use levels and regulations data, an international expert panel from 10 universities and medical schools evaluated the safety of aspartame for people of all ages and with a variety of health conditions. Their study is published in the September issue of Critical Reviews in Toxicology.

There have been continued questions in the media and on the internet about the safety of aspartame, said panel member and University of Maryland food and nutrition professor Bernadene Magnuson. Our study is a very comprehensive review of all of the research thats been done on aspartame. Never before has a group with the breadth of experience of this panel looked at this question.

Aspartame

A non-nutritive sweetener, aspartame is approximately 200 times sweeter than sucrose, the accepted standard for sweetness. Though aspartame has the same number of calories as sugar on a weight-to-weight basis, it can be added to food or pharmaceuticals at a fraction of what would be needed with sucrose to achieve the same sweetness, with far fewer calories.

Aspartame was discovered by accident in 1965, and since then has become a popular sweetener in more than 6000 food and pharmaceutical products that range from soft drinks to ketchup.

Aspartame Consumption

The panel used the latest data 2001-02 -- from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) to determine the most current levels of aspartame consumption.

Even the very highest consumers of aspartame are well below the acceptable daily intake (ADI) and well below the amounts used in animal testing, said Magnuson.

Evaluation Findings

The team reviewed studies that tested a number of health effects of varying levels of aspartame, including amounts that f
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Contact: Ellen Ternes
eternes@umd.edu
301-405-4627
Kellen Communications
Source:Eurekalert

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