It has been assumed for many years that the artificial sweetener aspartame is reponsible for a whole host of health issues ranging from premature births to cancer.
However, a new report, commissioned by the Food Standards Agency and compiled by researchers at the Hull York Medical School, has concluded that aspartame likely has no ill-effects on the body, or on the behavior of the people who use it.
The health study was reportedly carried out on 48 people, who all complained of being sensitive to aspartame, while another group of 48 who had no previous issues were also tested.
The participants received two specially prepared cereal bars, one of which contained aspartame, on two separate sessions at least one week apart.
As a result of the findings of the study, the FSA released a statement today saying, 'The study concluded that the participants who were self-diagnosed as sensitive to aspartame showed no difference in their response after consuming a cereal bar, whether it contained aspartame or not."
As the research findings clearly state, the results were surprising.
"SRAS participants felt under more stress and had more difficulty thinking about and reporting their feelings, although these were not statistically significant. There was considerable variability in symptom rating but there were no systematic changes over time of the kind expected in the response to a psychoactive agent, and there was no tendency for the different bars to be rated differently. Sensitive participants tended to rate more symptoms after both aspartame and control bars. Additionally, sensitive participants tended to rate more symptoms during the first test session, whichever bar they had received. This applied to headache, nausea, dizziness, nasal congestion, tingling, thirst, and bloating. This suggests that given as a single dose, aspartame has no effect that can be measured."Aspartame is present in many dietetic and low-calorie foods as it offers a sugar-free alternative. A good 200 million people consume aspartame with over 6,000 products containing the now-considered safe sugar alternative.