Consuming artificial sweeteners linked to cancer risk: study


Consuming artificial sweetener could increase the risk of developing cancer, a large-scale study suggested Thursday, but experts not involved in the research said it was not enough proof to consider changing current health advice.

Sweeteners are consumed by millions every day in products like diet soda, partly as a way to avoid weight gain from sugar — but how healthy these substitutes are themselves has long been a matter of controversy.

To assess the cancer risk of sweeteners, researchers analysed the data of more than 100,000 people in France who self-reported their diet, lifestyle and medical history in intervals between 2009-2021 as part of the NutriNet-Sante study.

They then compared consumption to the rate of cancer, while adjusting for other variables such as smoking, poor diet, age and physical activity.

The participants who consumed the largest amount of sweeteners, “beyond the median amount, had an increased cancer risk of 13 percent compared to non-consumers,” Mathilde Touvier, research director at France’s INSERM institute and the study’s supervisor, told AFP.


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