Bathing suit season is in full swing. The ads for diet sodas, guilt-free desserts, and skinny yogurt are everywhere. But just how sweet are these tasty treats?
The debate over artificial sweeteners is heating up once again. As reported in Environmental Health Perspectives this month, an Italian research team has shown that cancers, including lymphomas, leukemias and breast cancer, were more common in rats exposed to the sweetener aspartame—sold under the name NutraSweet—than in animals that were not exposed.
The FDA and others argue that the Italian team’s methodology is flawed and does not follow National Toxicology Program guidelines. The study is the first to show that exposure to aspartame in the womb and in early life play may play a role in later life disease. Researchers allowed the animals to die natural deaths and did not to kill them at two years as NTP guidelines dictate.
But, as reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dr. Devra Davis of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute argues that this new methodology is actually the “wave of the future.” “You kill a rat at two years, that's comparable to killing a person at 60,” Dr. Davis said. But what happens after 60?
At BCF, we are very interested in this “wave of the future” and other scientific advances that will shine the light on early life exposures and their connections to later life breast cancer. As we wait for the science to catch up, maybe we can all try to make this bathing suit season a little less artificially sweet.