London: Allaying fears about consuming sucralose, a calorie-free artificial sweetener which is used in a broad range of low-calorie foods including fizzy drinks and chewing gums, a new study has concluded that the sweetener does not cause cancer and is safe to ingest.
“This latest review of sucralose studies should reassure those who choose sucralose, and can be particularly useful to scientists and healthcare professionals, who may be asked for information on low calorie sweetener safety,” said lead author of the study Colin Berry, Emeritus Professor of Pathology at University of London.
In a society where obesity is increasingly recognised as a risk factor for disease, low- and no-calorie ingredients are logical choices for those wishing to manage their weight. However, some people have concerns that sucralose may be linked to cancer.
So the researchers conducted a review of studies assessing sucralose carcinogenicity potential, and placed them in the context of the types of studies relied upon by national and international regulatory agencies to make recommendations on the safety of new food ingredients.
In the studies reviewed, even when exposure levels were several orders of magnitude greater than the recommended acceptable daily intake, sucralose did not demonstrate carcinogenic activity, the study published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer said.
“Concerns are raised from time to time on what components of our lifestyle affect the rates of cancer,” Berry said.
“Smoking and sunlight are on all our lists and obesity is beginning to be recognised as a major factor. So low calorie sweeteners, which are important to many in managing their weight, need to be examined carefully in terms of lifetime use,” Berry observed.