The results were obtained from a four-year long animal study at the Florida State University College of Medicine.
Aspartame is an artificial sweetner sold under many different brand names – ‘NutraSweet’ and ‘Equal’ to name two. Considered 200 times more sweet than natural sugar, it’s been used to sweeten a variety of foods and drinks for more than 25 years. Perceived benefits of its use include a reduction in quantity needed to sweeten a food or drink (compared to the quantity of sugar required), and the fact its consumption does not increase energy levels.
The New Zealand Nutrition Foundation considers Aspartame safe. The Foundation says studies linking the additive to cancer have been discredited.
Results of the Florida State study were published last December in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In the study water containing 15% of the recommended daily intake of Aspartame for humans was given to mice daily. The length of the study allowed researchers to track the effects of Aspartame over generations of mice.
The Epoch Times reported:
‘The researchers noted what was called “such a robust anxiety-like trait” that was much more significant than they had anticipated. They also noticed that anxiety was passed along to several generations of male and female offspring by the aspartame-exposed males. When the mice were given the commonly used human antianxiety drug diazepam, the mice in all generations were relieved of their anxiety.
‘The passage of anxiety to succeeding generations is an example of epigenetic (temporary) change. Unlike genetic changes (i.e., mutations), epigenetic changes do not alter DNA, but they do change how the body interprets DNA sequences. They are also reversible. According to co-author Pradeep Bhide, the results of this study show that “we need to look back at the environmental factors because what we see today is not only what’s happening today, but what happened two generations ago and maybe even longer.’
Image credit: Suzy Hazlewood