Leading diabetologists welcome findings of European review on safety of aspartame

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Leading diabetologists in the country have welcomed the recent safety review by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on widely used aspartame and hoped that it would clear the apprehensions prevailing about it in India also.

“Safety concerns have been aired on and off about the consumption of aspartame, ever since the product was approved around 25 years ago as a food additive. It has proved to be a boon to people who need to avoid table sugar. I hope that this comprehensive review of aspartame by EFSA experts finally puts all controversy about its safety to rest. This should also strengthen the consumer confidence in the aspartame based products,” said Dr. Rajeev Chawla, director of North Delhi Diabetes Centre New Delhi.

According to reports, the Indian wellness market is valued around Rs. 590 billion. Among these the nutrition foods/ beverages / supplements comprise of Rs. 150 billion and aspartame is an important part of the industry which represents around 75 per cent of the entire artificial sweeteners in India.

Aspartame, one of the most commonly used artificial sweeteners in the world, has been declared totally safe for human consumption at current levels of exposure by the EFSA. After a detailed analysis and considering all available information, the EFSA experts concluded that the current Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of 40 mg per kg of body weight daily does not pose any long- or short-term health concern for people.

“The taste of aspartame is close to sugar and there is no aftertaste. It is contraindicated in people with phenylketonuria and is not recommended for pregnant women,” said Dr C Munichoodappa, director, the Bengaluru Hospital, while welcoming the findings.

“Due to increased awareness of the harmful effects of consuming too much sugar, health conscious people are willing to restrict calories intake by consuming artificial sweeteners such as aspartame,”  Dr Mayur Patel, chairman and chief diabetologist of All India Institute of Diabetes & Research, added.

Source: PharmaBiz

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