Diet sodas may increase risk of leukemia in men

A new study suggests that men who consume regular amounts of diet sodas or sodas sweetened with sugar may be facing a higher risk of leukemia and other forms of cancer than men who avoid those drinks.

According to a report, the same risk factor is not present with women and appears linked to the additive aspartame, an artificial sweetener added to many diet drinks to reduce their sugar content but maintain a sweetness. The study appears in the latest edition of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and was conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard School of Public Health.

Some journals however, are hesitant or flat-out refused to publish the results of the study.

Based on the results, men who drank at least one diet soda beverage per day or more containing aspartame were 31 percent more likely to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The risk of multiple myeloma increased by 102 percent among drinkers of diet sodas and other beverages. Sugar-sweetened sodas also spiked a man’s risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma by 66 percent. That same risk was again not present in women observed for the purposes of the study.

The study found that men who consumed at least one diet beverage per day were 41 percent more likely to develop leukemia than men who avoided the drinks altogether.

The study used pooled data from two large-scale public health surveys: the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS).

According to the report at, the media has been critical of the release of information included in this study because it does not draw any firm conclusions about the effects of aspartame on men, instead it merely shows that men who drank these beverages were more likely to have these diseases. Other factors as to what may have led to those cancer diagnoses were not figured in this study.

Some other clinical journals have refused to publish the results of this study because of its lack of a firm connection between consuming aspartame and blood cancers. A firm link connecting the artificial sweetener to various forms of blood cancer have not been established in any long-term studies on humans but it has been found in animal studies.

Previously conducted studies done in the short term were unable to establish such a link in humans.


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