Aspartame may be linked to multi-generational memory and learning deficiencies, study suggests

Diet soda drinkers beware, because according to a new study, it could be killing your and your kids’ memory and learning abilities.

The study from Florida State University College of Medicine researchers specifically found that the non-sugar, low-calorie sweetener aspartame — which can be found in every diet soda drink — is linked to learning and memory deficits in mice.

“The offspring of male mice that consumed aspartame at levels equivalent to much lower doses than those deemed safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), demonstrated spatial learning and memory deficits over the course of a controlled 16-week exposure,” according to Florida State University News (FSU News).

Over the course of 16 weeks, mice were separated into three groups: “a control group that consumed only water, a group that ingested 7% of the FDA’s recommended maximum intake of aspartame – equivalent to [two] 8 oz. diet sodas daily – in its water, and a group that ingested 15% aspartame ([four] 8 oz. diet sodas daily) in its water.”

The mice were then tested to see how quickly they could locate a “safe” escape box out of a maze. The study found that the mice that consumed aspartame took far longer than the others to find the box.

“[T]hey can function, but they need longer time, or may need extra help,” researcher Deirdre McCarthy said.

(Source: Pixabay)

Publication of the study comes three months after the World Health Organization released a statement noting that aspartame is “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

Commenting on the latest findings, medical toxicology physician Dr. Kelly Johnson-Arbor warned that the effects of aspartame could potentially be hereditary.

“The results of this study suggest that even low-level consumption of aspartame may contribute to memory and learning problems that may be hereditary across generations. In addition, the study’s findings suggest that aspartame may cause genetic changes in sperm that may affect future generations,” she told Fox News.

The latest study is reportedly an extension of a previous study conducted in December of 2022 that linked aspartame to two generations’ worth of anxiety in mice.

“There is some overlap in terms of learning, memory and anxiety, in the sense that often there is an emotional component to our learning. When there’s an emotional impact, you remember better. But this is a quite distinct function and brain network,” researcher Pradeep Bhide said.

“The second thing we noticed here, unlike the anxiety (research), this went only one generation. It was not seen in the grandchildren, only in the children [of the male mice], which is another line of support that these kinds of transmissions occur due to epigenetic changes in the sperm,” he added.

Industry so-called “experts” have for their part come out swinging against the latest study.

“Not only should the results of this study not be extended to humans nor the general population, but there is also no link between low- and no-calorie sweeteners and cognitive impairments, such as memory loss and learning deficiencies in humans,” Robert Rankin, the president of the Calorie Control Council in Washington, D.C., said to Fox News.

“Further, the reported findings of this study are in contradiction to the totality of evidence and the numerous global health organizations that have regarded aspartame as safe, following rigorous assessments. Facts are important for the millions of consumers who look to low- and no-calorie sweeteners for managing sugar and calorie reduction, and they can continue to feel comfortable knowing aspartame is safe to consume,” he added.

The problem is another recent study seems to contradict the notion that aspartame is safe. Conducted by researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, the study found that “pregnant women who drink diet sodas and drinks with aspartame daily may be linked to autism to their male offspring,” as reported by Houston station KPRC.

“These associations do not prove causality but taken in concert with reports from earlier studies of increased prematurity and cardiometabolic health impacts among infants and children exposed daily to diet beverages and/or aspartame during pregnancy, our findings raise new questions about potential neurological impacts that need to be addressed,” lead researcher Raymond F. Palmer, Ph.D., said.

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