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Ingredient In Diet Sodas, Aspartame, Causes Cancer
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Recently, many rumors have been going around that the ingredient aspartame in diet sodas, such as Diet Coke, causes cancer. I have googled it and see many websites that claim this.

I found this on the Coca Cola Company website:

"Regular Internet users are all too familiar with the various scams and rumors that spread across the World Wide Web. These messages sometimes pass along incorrect information of a serious nature and, unfortunately, recipients have no way of assessing the strength and reality of that information.

A current email being passed around the Web falsely associates a host of health risks with aspartame, the sweetener used in Diet Coke and many other products from other companies. This email claims that aspartame causes a number of diseases -- claims that are false. It is unfortunate that the Internet's remarkable capacity to transmit information is being so abused.

We want you to know that every reliable piece of scientific information we have identified shows that aspartame is a safe and suitable sweetener. Despite the irresponsible and unfounded rumors that are now appearing on the Internet, we want to assure you that there is no scientific information linking aspartame to any specific set of symptoms or diseases.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation on the Internet and in the media about the ingredients in foods and beverages we consume. You can be assured that aspartame is one of the most thoroughly tested substances in the food supply and has consistently been found to be safe by food safety experts and regulatory authorities. The Coca-Cola Company would not use aspartame as an ingredient in any of our products if this were not true."

I drink Diet Coke a lot. Who is telling the truth?

I know some people might say "they just say that because they're trying to make money," but why would such a massive company lie to billions of people?

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I'm not a scientist but I have read a lot on this and have found some plausible theories in aspartame being potentially harmful. I can say for myself I only got onboard with this when I started having a lot of fatigue, migraine, and of all things, a burning tongue. I was chewing sugar-free gum, more and more a day (a pack a day when the tongue symptom started) and I would actually feel a need to chew more gum. Like if I missed my gum after lunch or at 3pm or at 4:30pm, I'd get cranky.

Anyway, at the time of the tongue symtom, I google'd it, thinking it was because I was eating a lot of pecans and it was allergy season - maybe I was having a bad reaction to so many nuts/pollens. Well, nothing about nut allergy came up, only sites about aspertame and aspertame poisoning. I thought that was nuts because I no longer drank any diet sodas (I used to drink them all the time, crave them, even) and only had aspertame in my gum - how could that affect me negatively?

I stopped it for a few days and the tongue thing went away, I also slept better and didn't have any migraines for a few days. Then I went back to the gum... and it all started up again.

Was enough for me to avoid it. I moved on to Splenda but over time that also affected me poorly (but not as bad as aspertame which left me crippled at times with such severe migraines) so I don't use Splenda/sucralose either now.

It must affect many people differently. I know it is considered an "excitotoxin" like MSG and any correlation on that level is enough for me to want to avoid both. I don't think everyone reacts to excitotoxins though, for whatever reason. Or maybe it's a certain threshold. I do know that most people I know who drink diet drinks are totally addicted to them (I was). I work with this guy who does not have migraines or other problems but if you get in his way when it's time for his diet Pepsi, watch out!

Anyway, anecdotal evidence...

Stephanie

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I believe it could contribute to a # of diseases.

I have seen many things on artificial sweeteners being worse for you then sugar. There have been alot of side effects of these artificial sweeteners, I personally stay away from them.

The artificial sweeteners are sweeter then the actual sugar. I believe they said Splenda is 600 times sweetener, aspartame was not far behind that.

The sad thing is America is ranked 46th in the world for life expectancy...and the reason being is the diet. There are so many food additives, and artificial things that are just not good for us and cause problems.

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I was looking into this a long time ago and found a great site. Here is the link:

http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/

I still have things with aspartame in them - but I don't consume huge amounts of anything with artificial sweetners. I might share a diet drink every couple of days with my boyfriend, but that's about it.

My mom, on the other hand, scares me! She drinks about 8 diet cokes per day - mass nutrasweet!! Yikes. I've told her about the connections with alzheimers but she refuses to acknowledge them. One day she'll probably tell me that I never told her!

You see.. I come from a family of denial ;) My little brother has classic symptoms of Celiac and wont be tested, my parents both consume mass amounts of artificial sweetners & anything else you can think of that is unhealthy! My older brother is also a massive nutrasweet consumer. I've kind of given up on all of them :(

But anyway - (back on topic - sorry!) - read some of the links from the link I just posted, pretty interesting stuff. Might help you decide what is right for you ;)

- Michelle :wub:

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You can be assured that aspartame is one of the most thoroughly tested substances in the food supply and has consistently been found to be safe by food safety experts and regulatory authorities. The Coca-Cola Company would not use aspartame as an ingredient in any of our products if this were not true."
hmmm, those are some pretty bold statements by coke! I would love to see those study results and how they were done. Sometimes companies want their food to be safe so bad that they will do anything. I know of a guy that got in a lot of trouble (I think he was banned from work and from speaking to anyone at his work for quite awhile) after he said that his companies genetically modified potatoes were probably not safe for human consumption. This is an extreme case but it does happen and we have to be careful.
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I believe the studies that found an association (and not exactly a strong one at that) were using very high dosages. That's usually what happens with these sorts of rumors. *Anything* can cause problems in the wrong dosage. Look at the sunlight issue - too little means not enough vit D with means a host of health problems, possibly including increases in cancer risks; too much is definitely a cancer risk, not to mention sun stroke and the like.

Anyone can react to pretty much anything, so if you think you specifically react to aspartame, avoid it. I think the stuff tastes AWFUL, and it tends to give me a headache (either from the chemical itself, or the excessively sweet taste) but plenty of other people have no problem with it.

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Do you think 1 20 oz. bottle of diet coke per day is considered high dosage?

(20 oz is the one that sells for a dollar in soda machines)

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To me, that would be too much, yes. I think regular soda is bad for you but the diet soda to me is way worse.

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To me, IF aspartame doesn't bother you, I probably wouldn't worry about it. I'm not a fan of artificial sweeteners, but for some people, it's a worthwhile tradeoff.

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Do you think  1 20 oz. bottle of diet coke per day is considered high dosage? 

(20 oz is the one that sells for a dollar in soda machines)

I don't know...probably not...but I'm not qualified to pass judgment on this--all the same, you'd probably be better off drinking regular--better to get some normal sugar and a hundred or so calories than a lot of artificial sweetner.

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I have type 1 diabetes, diagnosed in March 1986 (complication of undiagnosed celiac?), so for me, the risk associated with aspartame is trivial compared to the effect of taking in the highly concentrated sugar in regular soda. I remember studies years ago that showed that if a lab rat consumed the equivalent of 24 cans per day of diet soda it would get cancer. The artificial sweetener cyclamate was banned as a result. Later studies suggested that it was not the cyclamate after all, but the saccharin that was also in the soda. So the saccharin was banned as well (although it is still available in its pure form, it can not be added to prepared food or beverages). Cyclamate remains totally banned, although the scientific proof is lacking.

I am sure there are people out there who will have an adverse reaction to aspartame. As we all know, there are people who have an adverse reaction to wheat, soy, and dairy. Others have problems with shellfish, peanuts, or tree nuts. The list goes on. Should these be banned as well?

My take on all of this: Clearly label the product disclosing all the ingredients, and let me make my own decision. I don't want the government or anybody else deciding for me what I may or may not eat.

End of rant... Sorry, had to vent on this one.

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Don't be sorry ;) that was very informative--wow...the equivalent of 24 cans...!

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Hi,

I agree that all ingredients should be listed and individuals should be allowed to make their own choice about what they ingest.

Now for my little rant!

I've just got to point out that soda has no nutritional value, is often full of caffeine (this worries me far more than the artifical sweetener), and causes your calcium levels to be depleted leaving you with muscle cramps and spasms.

My husband once went to the hospital after drinking too much soda because he thought he was having a heart attack. Boy, was he embarrassed when they told him it was just muscle cramps around the heart. A few cacium/magnesium supplements, no more soda, and he was fine.

Personnally, I am so sensitive to caffeine that I would be up all night with creepy crawling sensations in my legs, agitation, and insomnia.

Soda is not a food! Why would anyone want to put something that isn't a food into their body? (Okay, yes I know ... because it tastes good.)

Anyway, just wanted to point out that Aspertame isn't the only reason not to drink soda.

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Hi,

I agree that all ingredients should be listed and individuals should be allowed to make their own choice about what they ingest.

Now for my little rant!

I've just got to point out that soda has no nutritional value, is often full of caffeine (this worries me far more than the artifical sweetener), and causes your calcium levels to be depleted leaving you with muscle cramps and spasms.

My husband once went to the hospital after drinking too much soda because he thought he was having a heart attack. Boy, was he embarrassed when they told him it was just muscle cramps around the heart. A few cacium/magnesium supplements, no more soda, and he was fine.

Personnally, I am so sensitive to caffeine that I would be up all night with creepy crawling sensations in my legs, agitation, and insomnia.

Soda is not a food! Why would anyone want to put something that isn't a food into their body? (Okay, yes I know ... because it tastes good.)

Anyway, just wanted to point out that Aspertame isn't the only reason not to drink soda.

I agree.There are other drinks that taste good that have nutritional value and will not hurt your body in the process.

I used to drink soda frequently but now I very rarely ever have it. When I do it is the stuff with the real sugar though.It's an individual decision though

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I like the rant about soda not being a food. It's not. I know it's tasty and I used to drink a lot of diet Cokes back in the day but I can't stomach it now. I can barely stomach plain soda water - the carbonation screws up my digestion.

Just wanted to point out that maybe it took 24 cans of soda a day to give the mouse or rat cancer but cancer isn't the only concern. Feeling bad is enough of a concern for me. At any rate, bringing awareness about adverse effects does not equate government banning. Obviously, if it did, then something would have to be considered regarding gluten, and all the other foods that cause negative reactions in people.

I, myself, am feeling miserable today because I consumed some produce last night washed in citric acid and am really frustrated about it. Of course it was not listed on the label of the produce/salad mix I got. Awareness would go a long way in this case. Additionally, if a product makes you feel bad, it's validating to be able to look on the web, on a support group, wherever and find out you are not the only one who has a problem with it.

I'm no fan of aspertame but if it doesn't cause you problems, then you are probably ok with it. Everyone is different. I watch in amazement as my husband can eat anything he wants and have not adverse reactions (at least that I notice) and yet I'm walking on eggshells constantly when it comes to food.

OK, end of my rant. :)

Stephanie

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PS saccharine is not banned at this point in time. I can still buy (or did last year) diet tonic water using saccharine. It is less harmful to me than aspartame or splenda.

Stephanie

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Yeah...it's true that there's no nutritional value or any health value to drinking soda...but it's just one of those things that the current world has embraced. There's a minimal value to eating cookies (gluten-free or not), cakes, etc., but we eat them just because they're...well, typical of our society and because we have come to like the taste.

If you eliminate soda, that's all the better--but remember that there are plenty of things that aren't good for us...and artificial sweeteners may cause cancer, but excessive fat may cause high blood pressure and heart attack and stuff, and excessive cholesterol is dangerous, as well... everything in moderation. I don't think an OCCASIONAL soda is going to be terribly detrimental to your health, but it's all about moderation.

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it's all about moderation.

EXACTLY!! Too much of anything will be detrimental. As my biology teacher used to say, " Everything in moderation, NOTHING in excess"

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i hated biology, but at least i barely pulled off an A..

i really should lay off the soda :o drink it a lot

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If you eliminate soda, that's all the better--but remember that there are plenty of things that aren't good for us...and artificial sweeteners may cause cancer, but excessive fat may cause high blood pressure and heart attack and stuff, and excessive cholesterol is dangerous, as well... everything in moderation. I don't think an OCCASIONAL soda is going to be terribly detrimental to your health, but it's all about moderation.
I agree

Personally, I think that the typical north american diet is causing a lot of the devastating diseases that we see today like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, ect. People don't eat things in moderation and don't eat right, which results in health problems. I mean humans aren't suppossed to live on hamburgers, pizza, and battered food covered in grease... and that's what a lot of people do, I know a few ;) One or two of these foods a week would probably be ok, but not every day!

i hated biology
:o I'm the complete opposite! I loved it so much I majored in it :lol:
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Well it wasn't the class, it was the teacher. I had him during the period that was extra long (two hours). He gave us lectures the entire class. But biology is an interesting subject.

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:o I'm the complete opposite! I loved it so much I majored in it :lol:

I loved biology too. I had the best teacher in high school. Since I am majoring in dietetics I have alot of that to study too.

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Well it wasn't the class, it was the teacher. I had him during the period that was extra long (two hours). He gave us lectures the entire class. But biology is an interesting subject.
Oh that is quite understandable, I dislike it when teachers make classes boring.

Since I am majoring in dietetics I have alot of that to study too.
Lucky you! I think you are going to love that job! After being diagnosed, I sometimes wish that I had of went that route in my undergrad. Nutrition and diet are just so interesting! I'm actually considering applying to do a PhD in a nutrition related field after I finish my masters. I'm just not sure if I can handle another 3 years of school!
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