CASPER, Wyo. You might not notice it, but it's included in many of the consumable items in your house.
Aspartame is usually the ingredient responsible for maintaining the sweet refreshment of your favorite soft drink without copious amounts of sugar.
Studies from the 70's to 80's linked aspartame to cancer, but doctors say we shouldn't worry over this FDA approved ingredient we consume so much of.
What we do need to watch out for is consuming large amounts of methanol, which is produced when metabolizing aspartame.
"Aspartame is two amino acids, and methanol and methanol is the one that's worrisome in large amounts. so much so that the studies haven't been able to quantify it with food or with substitute." Explained Andy Dunn of the Wyoming Medical Center.
Some of the foods we enjoy containing aspartame include diet soda, sugar free ice cream, reduced calorie fruit juice, gum, and yogurt.
It has not been proven to accelerate cancer growth or create tumors, but doctor Dunn's main concern is on the metabolic side, such as glucose levels, insulin, overall healthy weight, and water balance.
"Anytime you're putting in artificial sweetener, you're altering that osmotic regulation. There's other things outside of cancer we should be aware of, weight gain and some of those things."
Dr. Dunn says to balance artificial sweeteners with water to help with metabolic rate.