Artificial sweeteners: safe or unsafe?

J Pak Med Assoc. 2015 Feb;65(2):225-7.


Artificial sweeteners or intense sweeteners are sugar substitutes that are used as an alternative to table sugar. They are many times sweeter than natural sugar and as they contain no calories, they may be used to control weight and obesity. Extensive scientific research has demonstrated the safety of the six low-calorie sweeteners currently approved for use in foods in the U.S. and Europe (stevia, acesulfame-K, aspartame, neotame, saccharin and sucralose), if taken in acceptable quantities daily. There is some ongoing debate over whether artificial sweetener usage poses a health threat .This review article aims to cover thehealth benefits, and risks, of consuming artificial sweeteners, and discusses natural sweeteners which can be used as alternatives.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aspartame / adverse effects
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / chemically induced*
  • Dipeptides / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Obesity / chemically induced*
  • Saccharin / adverse effects
  • Sucrose / adverse effects
  • Sucrose / analogs & derivatives
  • Sweetening Agents / adverse effects*
  • Thiazines / adverse effects
  • Weight Gain


  • Dipeptides
  • Sweetening Agents
  • Thiazines
  • Sucrose
  • trichlorosucrose
  • Saccharin
  • acetosulfame
  • neotame
  • Aspartame