Episode 61

Will Artificial Sweeteners Give Me Cancer?

Have we soured on artificial sweeteners??

Recently the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) released statements about artificial sweeteners and potential risks to our health. The IARC went as far as to list aspartame as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”

So, what’s all the hubbub about? Are artificial sweeteners actually bad for us? Does data exist to support a link between artificial sweeteners and cancer? Metabolic disease? Any other health concerns?

Do we have to stop drinking "sugar-free" beverages? Should we panic??


Listen to Your Doctor Friends! Let us help you understand the relevant data, and provide some context. We're your friends. Its what we're here for :)

Major points-of-interest (i.e. SWEET SPOTS) in this episode include:

Where do artificial sweeteners come from? Are they all "chemicals"?

What does the WHO's statement on non-nutritive sweeteners mean? What's the context? What are the data origins which spurred this recommendation?

Is there evidence that links artificial sweeteners to cancer? What kind of evidence?

How does the IARC classify carcinogenicity of substances?

What are examples of substances that are "Group 1- Carcinogenic to Humans" vs "Group 2A and 2B- Probably and Possibly Carcinogenic to Humans, respectively"?

What is JECFA? How do they classify substances and determine "safe levels" to consume on a daily basis?

What are stevia and monk fruit extract? Are they "better" for us since they're "natural"?

What is lycasin and why are the reviews of "Sugarfree Haribo Gummi Bears" so hilarious??

For more episodes, limited edition merch, or to become a Friend of Your Doctor Friends (and more), follow this link!

Also, CHECK OUT AMAZING HEALTH PODCASTS on The Health Podcast Network

(For real, this network is AMAZING and has fantastic, evidence-based, honest health information, and we are so happy to partner with them!)


Find us at:

Website: yourdoctorfriendspodcast.com 

Email: yourdoctorfriendspodcast@gmail.com 


Call the DOCLINE on 312-380-5005 and leave us a message. We will listen and maybe even respond/play it on the show!


(Disclaimer: we will not answer specific medical questions or offer medical advice. Consult your healthcare professional with any and all personal health questions.)


Connect with us:

@your_doctor_friends (IG)

@JeremyAllandMD (IG, FB, Twitter)

@JuliaBrueneMD (IG)

@HealthPodNet (IG)

About the Podcast

Show artwork for Your Doctor Friends
Your Doctor Friends

About your hosts

Profile picture for Jeremy Alland

Jeremy Alland

Dr. Jeremy Alland is a sports medicine physician at Midwest Orthopaedics at RUSH, a renowned, consistently top-10 nationally-ranked orthopedic practice in Chicago, IL. In addition to a busy clinical practice, he serves as the head primary care team physician for the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Dogs, as well as a team physician for the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Fire Soccer Club. An avid athlete, Dr. Alland played collegiate baseball for DePauw University before pursuing medicine and enjoys golfing, basketball and stand-up paddleboarding. He lives in a suburb of Chicago with his wife, Katie, two children, Olive and Logan, and their goldendoodle, Archie. He never thought he would have a podcast, but has found it insanely fun and is excited to bring fun and approachability to the most common questions we hear as doctors.

"Work Hard + be kind" -The Alland Kitchen Wall
Profile picture for Julie Bruene

Julie Bruene

Dr. Julie (Julia if we’re being formal, Julia Rose if she’s in trouble) Bruene is a sports medicine physician at Midwest Orthopaedics at RUSH, a renowned, nationally-ranked orthopedic practice in Chicago. She serves as a team physician for the Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bulls, and DePaul University. Aside from her obvious interests in sports and medicine, she is a true crime obsessive and is a total sucker for rescued cats. She lives in Chicago with her husband and partner-in-crime, Adam, and with several of the aforementioned rescued cats. We don’t need to get into specifics about the exact number here. She likes when people are kind to one another and when animals dress up like other animals. Rock over London, rock on Chicago.