Sweeteners May Increase Cancer Risk?

While millions of people consume many foods and drinks that contain sweeteners daily, French researchers have linked these sugar substitutes to an increased risk of cancer.

An increased risk of cancer

Used to replace sugar, sweeteners are supposed to be healthier. However, several studies have already raised the dangers of these substitutes on health. 

Thus, aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, neotame, advantage, and acesulfame potassium would be toxic for the intestine, even in small doses. Aspartame and sucralose are also suspected of promoting weight gain and type 2 diabetes. And that’s not all!

According to a new study published on March 24, 2022, in the journal PLOS Medicine, the consumption of sweeteners is associated with an increased risk of cancer. 

To reach this conclusion, researchers from INSERM, INRAE, Sorbonne Paris Nord University, and Cnam relied on data provided by 102,865 adult participants in the NutriNet-Santé cohort study. 

As a result, people who consume the most sweeteners, particularly aspartame and acesulfame-K, have a higher risk of developing all types of cancer combined.

An alternative to sugar that is not safe

Among the biggest sweetener consumers, the excess risk of cancer is 13% for obesity-related cancers. This excess risk reaches +22% for breast cancer. According to Charlotte Debris, lead author of the study, ” This large-scale prospective study suggests, in agreement with several experimental in vivo and in vitro studies, that artificial sweeteners, used in many foods and beverages in France and around the world, may represent an increased risk factor for cancer .

This study proves that using sweeteners to replace sugar is not a safe alternative. The results obtained “  provide new information to respond to controversies about their potential adverse health effects. 

They also provide important data for their ongoing reassessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and other public health agencies around the world,” concludes Dr. Mathilde Touvier, Research Director at INSERM. and study coordinator.

Image Credit: Image by Bella H. from Pixabay

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