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Popular “Diet” Ingredient Now Linked to Leukemia and Lymphoma in New Landmark Study on Humans

As few as one soda daily diet it can increase the risk of leukemia in men and women, and in multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma in men, according to new results from the largest study of history runs on the aspartame as a carcinogen in humans. Importantly, this is the most comprehensive study, long-term increasingly concluded on this subject, so it has more weight than previous studies that seemed to show no risk. And worryingly, you can also open the door to new similar findings in other cancers in future studies.


For this study, researchers prospectively analyzed data from the Health Study and the Nurses’ Health Professionals Follow-up Study for a period of 22 years. A total of 77.218 women and 47.810 men were included in the analysis, for a total of 2,278,396 person-years of data. Besides large, making this more than previous studies study is the thoroughness with which aspartame intake was evaluated. Every two years, participants received a detailed dietary questionnaire, and their diets were re-evaluated every four years. Previous studies found no link to cancer only aspartame intake participants assessed the time at a given point in time, which could be an important weakness affecting its accuracy.

The combined results of this new study showed that only 12-oz. Can (355 ml) of diet soda daily leads to:

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– 42 percent increased risk of leukemia in men and women (pooled analysis)
– 102 percent greater risk of multiple myeloma (men only)
lymphoma risk 31 percent higher non-Hodgkin (males only)

These results were based on models relative risk of multiple variables, all compared with participants who did not drink diet soda. It is unknown why only men who drink large amounts of soda diet showed an increased risk for multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Note that diet soda is the major dietary source of aspartame (for now) in the US every year, Americans consume about 5,250 tons of aspartame in total, of which about 86 percent (4,500 tons) is found in diet sodas.

Confirmation of previous high quality research in animals

This new study shows the importance of the quality of research. Most recent studies showing no relationship between aspartame and cancer have been criticized for being too short in duration and too vague in assessing the intake of aspartame long term. This new study addresses these two issues. The fact that also shows a positive relationship with cancer should not be a surprise, since an earlier study of best research of its kind conducted in animals (900 rats throughout their natural life) showed very similar results in 2006: aspartame significantly increased the risk of lymphomas and leukemia both men and women. More worrying is the mega-tracking study, which began aspartame exposure of rats in the fetal stage. The increased risks of lymphoma and leukemia were confirmed, and this time female rats also showed significantly increased (mammary) rates of breast cancer. This raises a fundamental question: What will be the future high-quality studies uncover links with other cancers in which aspartame has been implicated (brain, breast, prostate, etc.)

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Now there are more reasons than ever to completely avoid aspartame in our daily diet. For those who are tempted to return to sugary sodas as a “healthy” alternative, this study had a surprising finding: men who consumed one or more soft drinks sweetened with sugar a day saw an increase of 66 percent in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (even worse than diet soda).

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