Back in August last year, Pepsi introduced Diet Pepsi with sucralose. Now, they’re back to using aspartame, the main chemical used in many sodas. But the studies surrounding this artificial sweetener did not help the beverage brand in keeping their customers.
Pepsi, on the other hand, stood behind aspartame as a safe sweetener for humans. Aside from Diet Pepsi Classic Sweetener Blend, Pepsi MAX, which will be known as Pepsi Zero Sugar, will also contain the sweetener.
What’s Wrong with Aspartame?
Pepsi uses aspartame in about 13 products, including Diet Pepsi. Other brands use this chemical as well, even though several concerns about it has been growing over the past few years. In 2014, a research from Weizmann Institute in Israel suggested that aspartame and other artificial sweeteners can be the cause of obesity even though they are labeled as “non-caloric.”
There are also studies that link aspartame to cancer, but the American Cancer Society says this is not accepted as true yet. Additionally, many food regulators approve the use of the artificial sweetener. These include:
- Food and Drug Administration or FDA
- American Dietetic Association
- World Health Organization
- United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
- American Heart Association
But there are still several health experts are against aspartame. Aside from cancer and weight gain, it could also lead to the following problems:
According to a scientific review, aspartame can affect behavior, mood, and how the brain functions, especially children. Another study claimed that patients with depression worsened after they were given medicines that contain the sweetener.
Some small studies claim that aspartame can increase activities in the brain that are related to seizures, particularly in children.
There is one study that discovered how aspartame can increase the frequency of headaches in people.
Aside from the ones mentioned above, some activists claim that aspartame can also cause attention deficit disorder, birth defects, multiple sclerosis, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Diet soda is not the only one with aspartame. Other products with this artificial sweetener include gum, yogurt, low calorie fruit juices, sugarless baked goods, and candies that don’t use sugar as well. While there is no solid proof that aspartame is really bad for our health, you should stay away from anything that has the chemical particularly if you notice that you experience adverse effects when you consume products with it. Instead, look for alternatives to soft drinks and this sweetener, which include honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, and molasses.