Should you be worried about aspartame and cancer risk? Elizabeth Tracey reports


The artificial sweetener aspartame has been added to the World Health Organization’s list of possible cancer causing agents, sparking concern among those who consume it. Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer director William Nelson says he’s not convinced by the data.

Nelson: Aspartame here tends to appear in diet sodas, sugar free chewing gums. Saccharine of course is in that possibly carcinogenic category still like coffee. It’s complicated when you look at the evidence that they've reviewed, when you eat it, it is actually two amino acids together and the amino acids they're cleaved so these are things that are essential for life. In the classification scheme they used they did not of course define a level of exposure that's safe versus non safe.  :32

Nelson says like so many dietary components, consumption of very large amounts of almost anything is likely to be harmful, but moderation is likely okay and won’t tip the scales in terms of cancer risk. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.