Aspartame is a sweetener often found in sugar-free drinks
Aspartame is used as a substitute to white sugar in sugar free drinks or prepared meals. According to the EFSA’s study in 2013, people should not consume more than 40 mg of aspartame per kilo of their body weight per day. This is the equivalent to about 10 cans per day of sugar free fizzy drinks for an adult with an average weight.
The Canadian Health Institution, who regularly analyse the potential risks of consuming aspartame for our health, have also set the same recommendation as the EFSA.
Aspartame not advised for some people
Consuming aspartame can have dangerous consequences on the health of people with phenylketonuria, a hereditary metabolic disorder that prevents the elimination of phenylalanine from the body, which instead accumulates in the blood. The amino acid, phenylalanine, is the main component of aspartame (approximately 50%). After consuming a beverage or an aspartame-sweetened product, phenylalanine is converted to methanol, which can be toxic to the body.
Although aspartame is often associated with a cancer risk, it would have to be absorbed at a high concentration regularly for several years for the methanol to represent a real risk for our health.