Aspartame and Lung Function

Aspartame is a popular sweetener used in many low-sugar foods, including fizzy diet drinks and low-sugar yoghurts, and is used in some chewing gum. Unfortunately, studies have linked it with health issues including obesity and infertility.

In July 2023, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC) placed aspartame into Group 2B for potential carcinogenicity to humans – alongside diesel fuel, injectable birth control pills and several foodstuffs.

However, this doesn’t imply that aspartame is dangerous in small doses; when taken orally as a low-calorie sweetener is broken down by your body into various chemicals; some of which may cause adverse reactions in certain individuals; however the amounts consumed regularly by those using such products tend to be very minimal.

Aspartame can be broken down into two amino acids -phenylalanine and aspartic acid-which the body then converts to other amino acids that in turn become chemical messengers such as norepinephrine and epinephrine that play key roles in numerous physiological functions, from heart rate regulation and blood pressure regulation, through to glucose metabolism regulation.

Aspartame can also be broken down into methanol, leading to adverse health effects including liver damage and brain inflammation. Heating aspartame accelerates this breakdown process. Methanol is known as neurotoxicant and may even be carcinogenic; according to one 2006 lifespan study published in Environmental Health Perspectives it led to higher incidents of malignant tumors compared with controls, and was particularly dangerous during pregnancies when exposure began early on.