Side Effects of Acesulfame K

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Woman drinking soda in movie theater
Woman drinking soda in movie theater (Image: g-stockstudio/iStock/Getty Images)

Artificial sweeteners, such as acesulfame-K, are often blamed for everything from thyroid problems to cancer. You'll find this sugar-free, calorie-free sweetener, which is 200 times sweeter than sugar, in gum, desserts, candy, yogurt and beverages. You won’t find it on any banned substances list, however, because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration deems it safe for consumption. Adverse effects of ace-K, which has been in widespread use since 2003, have not been proved in humans.

The Green Light

The FDA has reviewed more than 100 studies on the safety of acesulfame-K -- also known as acesulfame-potassium -- and other non-nutritive sweeteners. There's no evidence that it causes cancer or increases your risk, says the National Cancer Institute. Evaluations by the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives also revealed no adverse effects, according to the Beverage Institute for Health and Wellness.

Outer Limits

The acceptable daily intake of acesulfame-K is 15 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day. If you weigh 150 pounds -- 68 kilograms -- your acceptable daily limit is 1,023 milligrams. The Beverage Institute for Health and Wellness equates that to around 20 cans of one popular diet cola.

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