Artificial sweeteners can be linked to increased levels of anxiety: Study

Dr Maliha Malik 03:25 PM, 19 Dec, 2022
Artificial sweeteners can be linked to increased levels of anxiety: Study

USA: A research article published in the PNAS journal by students at the Florida State University recently shows the results of a study that attempted to prove the hypothesis that the artificial sweetener Asapartame can cause anxiety in mice.

Aspartame is the one of the most common artificial sweeteners found in most food and drinks today, most commonly present in Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi, Dr Pepper and several other commonly bought edibles.

Aspartame is produced in large amounts yearly, according to the authors of this study, Aspartame is produced as much as 3,000 to 5,000 metric tons worldwide.

The study was conducted by introducing a Aspartame water to mice in their daily diet, and to the test the anxiety levels after a certain period of time, an open-field test was conducted.

The anxious mice, chose to remain on the sidelines of the field, where they believed they would feel safer, reducing their capability to take risks, therefore the amount of time the mice spent on the sidelines, away from the centre of the field, proved their levels of anxiety.

Dr Bhide, one of the authors of research, cautioned that “our data from mice suggest that similar outcomes may obtain in humans. Studies in human subjects would be needed to verify this suggestion.”

According to the researchers, Aspartame can cause epigenetic changes to the amygdala, in the brain, and produce anxiety-like behaviour in the mice

Dr Maliha Malik

The author is Sub Editor at Medical News Pakistan and can be reached at



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