Possible health risks due to the consumption of aspartame
(Received: 2014/03/09 - Accepted: 2014/06/27)
Sweeteners are compounds that give the sweet taste to foods, drinks and drugs. Aspartame is one of the most used today; its metabolism produces phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol. The purpose of this research was to review the scientific literature about the levels of consumption considered safe, toxicology and epidemiological data of aspartame. The European Parliament approved it as a food additive in 1994 and the FDA did it in 1996. Joint FAO / WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives and FDA set the Acceptable Daily Intake at 40 and 50 mg / kg bw / day, respectively. The sweetener and its degradation products have been evaluated for over 30 years with the involvement of numerous international organizations. However, there is still controversy over its use because there are researches whose results attribute to it neuropsychiatric side effects, brain tumors, carcinogenic properties for different organs, damage to the fetus during pregnancy, development of lymphomas and leukemia, while other researchers say their use is harmless to humans if consumption is less than the Acceptable Daily Intake. It is not recommended for people with phenylketonuria and pregnant women.
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