WHO declares sweetener aspartame a possible cancer cause: Basics Explained

WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a semi-independent committee for the World Health Organization, said  that it’s determined that aspartame, a popular artificial sweetener found in thousands of products like diet sodas and sugar-free gum, should be categorized as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

The designation means that some of the research reviewed by IARC shows that there may be a possible link between aspartame and liver cancer, but that science is by no means conclusive, like it is for a substance like asbestos or tobacco.

WHO’s guidelines on consuming aspartame haven’t changed since 1981: a daily maximum of 40 milligrams of aspartame per kilogram of body weight.

IARC,  is WHO’s cancer research arm, In 2015, this panel put processed meat like sausage and hot dogs in the same cancer category as cigarettes.


Non-sugar sweeteners have been developed as an alternative to sugars
and are widely used both as an ingredient in pre-packaged foods and beverages and added to food and beverages directly by the consumer.

For the purpose of the WHO guidelines, the term “non-sugar sweetener” applies to all synthetic and naturally occurring or modified non-nutritive sweeteners that are not classified as sugars.
Sugar is the most popular natural sweetening flavour ingredient. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) honey, agave and maple syrup are among the popular natural substitutes of sugar.

Here’s a few of the more common examples: stevia; saccharin sucralose

Natural sugars are mainly extracted from animal or plant sources, and they are derived as a result of a natural process such as photosynthesis in a plant. These sugar substitutes are low in calories, low in fructose and taste very sweet.



Leave a Comment


Welcome! Login in to your account

Remember me Lost your password?

Lost Password