By Dan Shapley
Some artificial sweeteners have occasionally been linked to cancer in laboratory animals, and there's still some public unease over the widespread use of the sweeteners, according to a story in today's Los Angeles Times.
Here's a look at the artificial sweeteners that have been approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration, as detailed in the L.A. Times:
- Saccharin: Found in Sweet'N Low and Tab, saccharin was developed in 1879 and linked to bladder cancer in male rates in 1975. It carried a warning label and was considered a possible human carcinogen for nearly 20 years, until the U.S. National Toxicology Program at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences faulted the original studies.
- Aspartame: Found in NutraSweet, Equal, Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, aspartame was linked to brain cancer in laboratory rats, but a 2006 National Cancer Institute study found no link between aspartame and human cancer. More recent studies in Italy have reignited controversy.
- Neotame: Neotame is found in newer formulations of Tang and some sparkling waters.
- Acesulfame potassium: Found in Sweet One, Sunnett and, with Splenda, in Diet Snapple and Diet Rite, acesulfame potassium hit the market in 1998 and is also known as acesulfame K or Ace K. Critics of the FDA approval say more studies are needed to assess its safety.
- Sucralose: Found in Splenda, sucralose was approved for use in 1998 and has raised the ire of sugar producers for advertising that associates it with its natural cousin.
- Cyclamate: Now banned in the United States because of disputed links to cancer, it was once found in Tab and Fresca.