Artificial Sweeteners May Increase the Risk of Cancer

Artificial Sweeteners May Increase the Risk of Cancer

Artificial sweeteners are widely used in the food industry as a substitute for added sugars, which have a harmful effect on some chronic diseases. More particularly, certain studies suggest the carcinogenicity of these food additives, but there is not enough robust epidemiological evidence. A new study examines the link between artificial sweetener intake and cancer risk. 

The researchers discovered an increased cancer risk of 13%, with the highest chances for breast cancer and cancers developed due to obesity for those who consume significant amounts of artificial sweeteners. Although more than 40% of adults and 25% of children in the US consume artificial sweeteners, they are considered safe by many medical authorities.

The main author of the study, Ph.D. candidate Charlotte Debras, believes the results from the study to be unique since the link between artificial sweetener consumption from all sources of food has never been directly examined. In addition, a difference, however, must be made between the types of sweeteners and the risk of cancer.

Earlier studies examined the link between artificially sweetened drinks intake and cancer risk. The findings showed an increased risk of cancer, implying that these food additives found in these types of drinks may impact the development of cancer. Moreover, the results also indicated their carcinogenicity. Finally, it was found that aspartame and acesulfame-K are the most used artificial sweeteners.

However, it is quite impossible to determine the causal link taking into account only the findings from one study. Also, it is impossible to decide on a particular dose that increases the risk of developing cancer. On the other hand, people who consume artificial sweeteners above the recommended daily dose have notably greater chances of developing cancer than people who do not consume these food additives.

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