Commenting on research published in PLOS Medicine about artificial sweeteners and breast cancer risk, Dr Kotryna Temcinaite, Senior Research Communications Manager at Breast Cancer Now, said:
“With around 55,000 women and 370 men getting the devastating news they have breast cancer each year in the UK, we urgently need to find new ways to prevent people from developing this disease.
"Many factors can affect how likely someone is to be diagnosed with breast cancer, including age, lifestyle, genes and environment.
“This study suggests a higher intake of the artificial sweetener aspartame is linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.
"But as many different things can influence the risk of breast cancer, understanding whether there is a direct link between just one factor and the disease is challenging.
“This is why we need further high-quality research and independent evidence, to draw strong conclusions and to help us understand the biological reasons for this.
"What we do know is that eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active are steps people can take to help reduce their risk of breast cancer.
“Anyone who is concerned about their breast cancer risk can call Breast Cancer Now’s free Helpline on 0808 800 6000 to talk to one of our expert nurses.”