Is Aspartame Safe? Analyzing Its Use in Popular Foods and Drinks

Is Aspartame Safe

Pointers at Glance

  • The World Health Organization’s cancer research division labeled aspartame as “potentially carcinogenic,” sparking safety concerns despite FDA approval.
  • Studies highlight aspartame’s safety in moderation and its potential links to cancer, while authorities like the FDA deem it safe for consumption.

As more Americans look for alternatives to sugar, artificial sweeteners have become popular replacements in people’s favorite recipes, and over 6,000 products now include aspartame.

However, a report from the cancer research division of the World Health Organization has labeled the artificial sweetener as “potentially carcinogenic to humans.”

According to The International Agency for Research on Cancer, it is deemed safe for humans to consume up to 40 milligrams of aspartame per kilogram of body weight daily.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the utilization of aspartame in food items, affirming that the additive is “considered safe for the general public.” Nonetheless, concerns have persisted regarding the safety of aspartame, highlighted by a 2021 research study featured in the peer-reviewed journal Nutrients. This paper acknowledged that “forecasting the outcomes of its extended consumption remains challenging.”

Aspartame-Containing Foods

Common foods and drinks with aspartame include:

  1. Zero-sugar sodas like Diet Coke, sugar-free gums like Trident
  2. Diet drink mixes like Crystal Light
  3. Reduced-sugar condiments like Log Cabin, sugar-free syrup, sugar-free gelatin, sugar-free Jell-O
  4. Tabletop sweeteners like Equal and Nutrasweet contain aspartame.

Remember, the specific sweeteners in low-sugar products can differ, and ingredients may change. For accurate information, check product ingredient lists to confirm if they contain aspartame.

Is Aspartame Safe?

While many studies have established that aspartame is safe when consumed in moderation, some research has associated it with cancer.

  • An observational study in France found a slightly increased cancer risk among those who consumed higher amounts of artificial sweeteners, particularly aspartame, among over 100,000 adults.
  • Certain studies have also suggested that aspartame might lead to headaches, seizures, and depression.
  • Despite these concerns, the FDA and the American Cancer Society maintain that aspartame is safe for human consumption.

According to the FDA’s guidelines, adults weighing 150 pounds must drink more than 18 cans of zero-sugar soda daily to surpass the acceptable limit of artificial sweeteners and potentially face health risks.


1. Is aspartame safe for consumption?

Aspartame is considered safe by the U.S. FDA and other health authorities when consumed within acceptable limits.

2. How many products contain aspartame?

Over 6,000 products contain aspartame, including zero-sugar sodas, gums, and tabletop sweeteners.

3. Does aspartame pose cancer risks?

Some research suggests a potential link between high aspartame consumption and cancer, but many studies affirm its safety.

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