The other day my roommate, a third year nursing student, asked me "Do you know anything about diet pop?". I responded that I liked it and she continued to ask if I had done any research, because all of her nurse friends kept telling her that it was horrible for her to drink it. So here I am thinking of what to blog about and well, let's begin.
I think it goes without saying just what the rumor says, "Artificial sweeteners are just as bad as sugar", "Aspartame is poison!", "Fake sugar causes cancer". These misspoken mimes, not only violating our principles of scientific thinking, are far from the truth of what effect Aspartame really has on our bodies. Delving into the endless internet encyclopedias, I first found an article that explained some of the highly confrontational articles, one in particle, "Aspartame is, by far, the most dangerous substance on the market that is added to foods".
Woo there, that's a great claim requiring some great evidence. And honestly, there's tons of evidence that says aspartame will indeed cause cancer, weight gain and multiple sclerosis, but I think many of these cases have been skewed and tested in unnatural conditions (like giving a mouse 50x the aspartame that is in one diet soda within a short period of time and seeing a disease develop).
On further research, I didn't know what would give me honest answers so in my opinion, the FDA is a well trusted organization that most Americans assume has the facts. FDA online it is. "FDA finds no reason to alter its previous conclusion that aspartame is safe as a general purpose sweetener in food". Personally, I hope that the FDA is safe and trustworthy but there are always people to challenge and oppose.
After review of these and many other sites one thing is clear to me: Aspartame causes serious controversy among nutritionists, scientists and doctors as to what health risks it really imposes. We know its sweet, we know it's free of calories, we know its associated with other artificial foods and flavors. What I have learned is that even in science, there is not always one clear answer, especially when a topic becomes heated and controversial the truth becomes more difficult to uncover. I would like to end this with an answer to what I proposed, but sadly all I can leave you with is an informative and lighthearted interview between my favorites: Oprah and Dr. Oz (he's real).
If you read this post:
I would be interested to hear what you know about Aspartame, what your opinion on diet pop is and if you know anyone suffering from an addiction or side effects from overuse?