General Practice 2022

Aspartame: what é and possible risks to he althíde

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Aspartame: what é and possible risks to he althíde
Aspartame: what é and possible risks to he althíde

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener or sweetener that has the power to sweeten food up to 200 times more than regular sugar and has only 4 calories in 1 gram. This sweetener has been used by the industry to sweeten foods such as chewing gum, diet sodas and cakes, for example.

In addition, aspartame is sold in drugstores, supermarkets and he alth food stores, being used by diabetics to sweeten foods such as teas, juices and coffees, replacing sugar. This sweetener is also consumed by those who want to lose weight, as it gives a sweet taste to food without adding too many calories to the diet.

However, consumption of aspartame can cause some problems, such as headache, vomiting, dizziness, and even increase the risk of some types of cancer, such as lymphoma, bladder cancer and leukemia.

Recommended amount

The maximum amount of aspartame that can be ingested by an adult is 40 mg/kg of body weight per day. For a person weighing 50 kg, this amount is equivalent to 2 grams, that is, 2 sachets and a half of the sweetener per day.

In children and pregnant women, aspartame consumption should be a maximum of 5 mg / kg of body weight per day.

Possible he alth risks

Although it is considered safe when consumed within recommended levels, some studies show that aspartame can bring some he alth risks, such as:

  • Increased risk of Alzheimer's or dementia: When subjected to temperatures above 80ÂșC, aspartame releases methanol in the body, a compound that, in excess, increases the risk of diseases in the nervous system, such as Alzheimer's or dementia. Therefore, aspartame should not be used during cooking, in very hot coffees and teas or in preparations that go in the oven;
  • May cause some types of cancer: Some studies have shown that regular consumption of aspartame may increase the risk of developing some types of cancer, such as bladder, urethra, leukemia and lymphoma;
  • May facilitate dysbiosis: Aspartame prevents the growth of bacteria. Therefore, the sweetener causes dysbiosis, which is the alteration of the intestinal microbiota generated by the increase of bad bacteria and reduction of good bacteria in the intestine. Understand better what it is, how to avoid and how to treat dysbiosis;
  • May increase free radicals in the body: Consumption of aspartame, even within the recommended dosage, can increase the production of free radicals in the body, unbalancing the immune system and facilitating the emergence of problems such as flu, premature aging or cardiovascular diseases;
  • May cause diabetes or overweight: More recent studies have shown that the sweet taste of aspartame on the tongue sends information to the brain, which stimulates the release of insulin.As a result, the body's excessive production of insulin can cause diabetes or overweight.

Aspartame contains the chemical compound phenylalanine and, therefore, is contraindicated for those who have phenylketonuria, which is a genetic disease where the ingestion of foods with phenylalanine is toxic and can cause symptoms such as convulsions, agitation, nausea, vomiting. or skin wounds. Understand better what it is and how to treat phenylketonuria.

See in the following video how aspartame can cause overweight:

Where to find aspartame and how to avoid it

Aspartame is present in liquid and powdered sweeteners to be added to beverages such as teas, coffees or juices, in addition to being used in the industry to sweeten products such as chewing gum, diet and light soft drinks, boxed juices and powder, yogurts, diet and light biscuits, diet jellies, ready-made teas and some types of powdered coffee.

Many diet and light products use some type of sweetener to replace sugar and improve the taste of the product, favoring the consumption of large amounts of sweeteners without realizing it.

To avoid excessive consumption of aspartame, the safest option is to avoid buying foods that contain sweeteners and avoid using them to sweeten preparations. Another safe option is to use natural sweeteners such as stevia, which has a sweetening power of 200 to 300 times greater than regular sugar and is also low in calories. Learn more about what stevia is and how to use it.

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