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Artificial sweeteners: all worked up over nothing? Part II


Last updated 6/21/2007 at Noon

Aspartame, which is sold commercially as Equal and NutraSweet, consists of three components: aspartic acid, methanol and phenylalanine. These components break down into formaldehyde, formic acid and diketopiperazine, a chemical that can cause brain tumors. All of these substances are known to be toxic to humans.

A seven-year study in which rats were given the equivalent of four to five bottles a day for a human indicated that aspartame consumption correlates with high rates of leukemia, lymphoma and other cancers in rats. However, the carcinogenic effect of aspartame was found at levels as...

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