Aspartame, an artificial sweetener also known as NutraSweet or Equal, is used in more than 6,000 products. Research has shown that aspartame is a carcinogenic agent, and that its effects are increased when exposure starts before birth.
A new study looked at the effect of giving aspartame to mice. They were exposed to aspartame starting before their births (at 12 days of gestation) and lasting until their deaths. At that time, autopsies revealed a significantly increased risk of liver and lung cancer.
According to the study in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine:
"The results of the present study confirm that [aspartame] is a carcinogenic agent in multiple sites in rodents, and that this effect is induced in two species, rats (males and females) and mice (males)."