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Can aspartame cause multiple sclerosis (MS)?

For years, Internet postings have suggested that aspartame (or NutraSweet) can cause multiple sclerosis (MS). This information can be particularly worrisome for people, since the exact cause of MS is not known.
 
Before its approval in the early 1980s by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), aspartame underwent extensive review to demonstrate that it was safe for human consumption. Since its approval almost 40 years ago, aspartame has been consumed in more than 6,000 products by hundreds of millions of people in hundreds of countries throughout the world. Since it is impossible to detect all side effects in premarketing studies, aspartame has undergone extensive postmarketing surveillance to ensure that the additive is safe.

With the exception of a few very mild side effects, aspartame appears to be safe. There are no reliable scientific data supporting the claim that aspartame causes MS. Indeed, following an extensive analysis of 500 reports about aspartame and its potentially adverse effects, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that there was no scientific evidence supporting the claim that aspartame causes certain diseases, including MS. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.