Millions of people all over the world opt for replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners as a way to reduce their calorie intake as well as to avoid other issues such as tooth decay while still having that pleasant sugary taste so many crave.
As a result, there’s many brands out there that use them in their drinks and desserts as a way to satisfy the masses and sell their products to as many people as possible.
It sounds like a win-win situation, right?
Well, according to a new study, artificial sweeteners are actually associated with a high risk of developing cancer!
The research involved over 100,000 French adults and the findings were published in PLOS Medicine.
Of course, this is not entirely new information as there has been a long debate on the safety of using artificial sweeteners for a long time.
Recent studies have brought this debate to the forefront once again, health agencies such as the European Food Safety Authority, now reassessing quite a few sweeteners that had been approved previously.
The senior author of the study and the research director at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, Dr. Mathilde Touvier, explains that “Some observational studies have previously investigated the associations between cancer risk and the consumption of artificially sweetened beverages (used as a proxy) and found increased risk of cancer, suggesting that artificial sweeteners present in these types of beverages might play a significant role in the development of cancer.”
“In addition, previous findings in animal models and in vitro / in vivo studies also suggested their carcinogenicity. Results from these studies remain constrated and there is a lack of human data. There is no epidemiological study so far (to our knowledge) that has quantified the total exposure to artificial sweeteners (from all dietary sources) and its association with cancer risk,” Touvier goes on to say.
The team of researchers learned that the participants who consumed larger amounts of sweeteners, especially aspartame and acesulfame-K, which are the most common, had an increased risk of cancer when compared to the control group that avoided them completely.
Furthermore, aspartame was linked to a higher risk of obesity-related and breast cancers.
Next, the team is planning on also investigating the link between sweeteners and other health problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.