Aspartame acceptable daily intake: The acceptable daily intake of aspartame, an artificial sweetener, has been reaffirmed as 40 milligrams per kilogram of a person’s body weight, according to assessments of the health impacts of aspartame released on July 14, 2023, by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). In late June, the IARC classified aspartame as possibly carcinogenic to humans.
Aspartame is a non-sugar sweetener that has been widely used in food and beverage products such as chewing gum, ice cream, diet drinks, dairy products such as breakfast cereal and yogurt, medications such as chewable vitamins and cough drops, and toothpaste, since the 1980s.
In a WHO statement, Dr Francesco Branca, Director of the Department of Nutrition and Food Safety, WHO, said cancer is one of the leading causes of death globally, and every year, one in six people die from cancer. He explained that the assessments of aspartame have indicated that, while safety is not a major concern at the doses which are commonly used, potential effects have been described that need to be investigated by more and better studies.
The JECFA and the IARC assessed the potential carcinogenic hazards and other health risks associated with aspartame consumption through independent but complementary reviews.
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Since there is limited evidence of the occurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma in humans as a result of aspartame consumption, the IACR classified aspartame as possibly carcinogenic to humans.
Since the data evaluated indicated no sufficient reason to change the previously established acceptable daily intake of aspartame was zero to 40 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, the JECFA reaffirmed this value.
For instance, a can of diet soft drink contains 200 or 300 milligrams of aspartame. Since an adult weighing 70 kilograms could consume up to 2,800 milligrams of aspartame daily, the number of cans of diet soft drink they could consume on a daily basis range from nine to 14, considering that they do not obtain aspartame from any other food sources.
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