Be careful about diet soda

I was about to grab a diet pepsi when I read this...

http://consumerist.com/consumer/your-health/new-cancer-worries-for-diet-soda-drinkers-272491.php

New Cancer Worries For Diet Soda Drinkers

equal.jpgA new study on the effects of low daily doses of the artificial sweetener aspartame shows a statistically significant increase in leukemia, lymphoma and breast cancer in rats. Consumer advocates are calling for the FDA to take another look at the safety of aspartame in light of the study, but the FDA seems uninterested.

"Because aspartame is so widely consumed, it is urgent that the FDA evaluate whether aspartame still poses a 'reasonable certainty of no harm,' the standard used for gauging the safety of food additives," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. "But consumers, particularly parents, shouldn't wait for the FDA to act. People shouldn't panic, but they should stop buying beverages and foods containing aspartame."

The study, which can be read here, followed a group of 4,000 rats who were given low daily doses of aspartame (comparable to what a dedicated human diet soda drinker might consume, were he/she a rat) beginning during "prenatal" life. The rats were dissected after natural death and the effects of the aspartame calculated. From the study:

The results of this carcinogenicity bioassay not only confirm, but also reinforce the first experimental demonstration of APM's multipotential carcinogenicity at a dose level close to the acceptable daily intake (ADI) for humans. Furthermore, the study demonstrates that when lifespan exposure to [aspartame] begins during fetal life, its carcinogenic effects are increased

The authors of the study claim that current research on the effects of aspartame are based on studies that did not use a large enough sample of animals and did not allow the animals to live out their natural lifespan.The authors also took issue with a study conducted by the US National Institutes of Health and the American Association of Retired Persons, in which a number of Americans responded to self-administered questionnaires about what they ate and the results compared to their rate of brain cancer.

The FDA responded to the CSPI in an email to Reuters, claiming not to have reviewed the study:

"However, the conclusions from this second European Ramazzini Foundation are not consistent with those from the large number of studies on aspartame that have been evaluated by FDA, including five previously conducted negative chronic carcinogenicity studies," Herndon said in an e-mail.

"Therefore, at this time, FDA finds no reason to alter its previous conclusion that aspartame is safe as a general purpose sweetener in food."

The CSPI has downgraded aspartame to "everyone should avoid," and recommends choosing drinks that contain Splenda instead. CSPI regards Splenda as safe. If you drink a lot of aspartame, or you have kids who do, you might want to read the study and decide for yourself.
Posted on June 27, 2007 at 9:49 am
margaret
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09/22/2007
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(6) Comments

MrsBabySalute
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06/02/2005
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I am not a soda drinker, but oh great... so does that mean I should not put Equal in my iced tea anymore? I can't use Sweet N Low either 'cuz it has saccharin which is known to cause cancer in laboratory animals as well. I guess I should bring my own Splenda from now on! =p
Posted on June 27, 2007 at 3:58 pm
groom06
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03/07/2007
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Oh great. I wish I had known this earlier.
Posted on June 27, 2007 at 8:21 pm
kareniscreepy
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03/11/2007
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oh yeah my sister showed that to me before.
Posted on June 29, 2007 at 9:36 am
Erin
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When I was a kid, my mom wouldn't let me drink diet soda with aspartame in it. Her reasoning was that it hadn't been around long enough -- that when she was a kid, saccharin was considered safe, and it was only when she was an adult (after twenty years of consumption) that they decided it was a carcinogen -- and she was concerned that aspartame would go the same way.

I thought she was really weird and paranoid. :-D I guess I should apologize to her.
Posted on June 29, 2007 at 1:23 pm
srini
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Diet soda doesn't taste very good either. Then again, regular soda is chock-full of high fructose corn syrup.

One of my favorite indulgences is imported glass bottle coke from Mexico. It's made with real sugar instead of corn syrup and it tastes so much better. I figure if you're going to drink junk, might as well be the best junk!
Posted on June 29, 2007 at 1:37 pm
starla487
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10/20/2007
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I've lived off of diet everything since I was young. But I think the type 1 diabetes will kill me before cancer will.

Bottom line... drink more WINE! ;)
Posted on June 30, 2007 at 6:31 pm

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