University of Illinois Extension

Are artificial sweeteners safe?

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Many people would like to use artificial sweeteners, but avoid them because they fear that they may be unsafe. Saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, and sucralose underwent years of testing before manufacturers were permitted to add them to foods. They have each been determined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be safe for use by almost all people. The exception is for those very rare people who are born with a condition called phenylketonuria (PKU). These people cannot metabolize foods that contain large amounts of phenylalanine, one of the ingredients in aspartame. People with this condition must avoid aspartame and many other high-protein foods. Certain other people may report headaches or other symptoms after eating foods containing artificial sweeteners. These people should also avoid the artificial sweeteners since they are not a required part of the diet.

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This document is a source of information only, and is not medical advice.