Aspartame is approximately 200 times sweeter than sucrose. Sucrose is the form of sugar known as table sugar.
It is used as an artificial sweetener in drinks and some foods.
Foods That Contain Aspartame
Currently, it is consumed by over 200 million people around the world and is found in more than 6,000 products including carbonated soft drinks, powdered soft drinks, chewing gum, confections, gelatine, dessert mixes, puddings and fillings, frozen desserts, yogurt, table top sweeteners.
Medically, some not-so-obvious foods and products contain aspartame. For example, condiments that typically contain sugar, such as ketchup, dressings, sauces and marinades, may use aspartame in their light or reduced-calorie versions. Aspartame can also be in some prescription and over-the-counter medications. The FDA requires that these medications include a statement that they contain phenylalanine.
Does it cause any other health problems?
Complaints of various health issues have circulated since aspartame first appeared on the market in the 1980s. But for most people, no health problems have clearly been linked to aspartame use.
Phenylketonuria is a rare genetic disorder (present at birth) in which the body can’t break down phenylalanine, an amino acid found in many foods.
Levels of phenylalanine can build up in the blood, which prevents other important chemicals (like amino acids) from getting to the brain. Unless phenylalanine intake is severely limited, children with PKU suffer from abnormal brain development.
PKU is usually detected in babies by a routine blood test shortly after birth. People with PKU need to follow a phenylalanine-restricted diet.
This is especially important in children, whose brains are still developing. It is also important in pregnant women, because it can affect the development of the fetus.
Because phenylalanine is a component of aspartame, it’s important that people with PKU limit their intake of aspartame.
That is why any product (including medicines) containing aspartame has the warning “Phenylketonurics: contains phenylalanine.”
Research Is Limitless
Asides the case of Phenylketunoria (PKU), there are no other cases of associated with it.
Researchers are working each day to see the effect of artificial sweeteners on the health of man.
Food products are constantly changing, and new products are on the grocery shelves every day. The surest way to assess any food or medication is to check the ingredients listing.
The safest way is to check the ingredient listing of whatever beverage or condiment you want to use.
Importantly, regulation is key Watch It