Only 1 diet soda a day could raise the risk of leukemia in both, women and men, as well as of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma in men, as shown in the recent results of the most long-term study on aspartame as a carcinogen.
The Most In-Depth Study on Aspartame
Researchers in this study have investigated the 22-year period data from Nurses’ Health Study which concerned only women, and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study concerning only men.
The analysis included 47,810 men and 77,218 women for a total of 2,278,396 person-years of data.
Another factor that makes this study superior to former studies is the thorough assessment of aspartame intake. Participants were receiving a detailed dietary questionnaire every two years, and every four years their diets were reassessed.
Former studies which didn’t discover a connection to cancer have assessed the aspartame intake of participants only at one point in time, and this is probably the biggest weakness which contributed to their inaccuracy.
A Diet Soda Daily Raises the Risk of Leukemia, Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas, and Multiple Myeloma
According to the results of the new study, a 12-fl oz./355 ml can of diet soda a day leads to:
- 102 % higher risk of multiple myeloma risk (in men)
- 42 % higher risk of leukemia in both, women and men (pooled analysis)
- 31 % higher risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (in men)
The results were compared to those of participants who consumed no diet soda. It’s unclear why the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma is raised only in men consuming higher amounts of diet soda. This beverage is the largest dietary source of aspartame in America. The annual intake of aspartame in Americans is about 5,250 tons, out of which 4,500 tons (86%) is from diet sodas.
Confirmed the Past High Quality Animal Research
Most of the former studies on aspartame were criticized for being too inaccurate in assessing long-term intake of aspartame, as well as for being too short.
It should come as no surprise that it also shows a connection to cancer as another 2006 best-in-class animal research study involving 900 rats for the period of their entire lifespan, showed extremely similar outcome: the intake of aspartame drastically raised the risk of leukemia and lymphomas in both, females and males.
However, more worrying results showed the mega follow-up study which also confirmed the raised risk of leukemia and lymphoma, but the female rats also showed dramatically raised risk of breast (mammary) cancer. This imposes the important question of whether future high quality studies will discover connection to other types of cancer in which aspartame has been implicated (breast, brain, prostate, etc.).
The study also found that drinking one or more sugar-sweetened sodas a day increases the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma by 66% in men, which is worse than diet soda. The bottom line is that no soda is the healthiest soda.