All Children's Hospital Logo

Health Information Library

Parents > Q&A > Pregnancy and Infants > Are Artificial Sweeteners OK to Consume During Pregnancy?
Are Artificial Sweeteners OK to Consume During Pregnancy?

I'm 4 months pregnant and sometimes enjoy food and drinks that are artificially sweetened. But could I be causing harm to my baby?
- Joanie

There has been some controversy and debate about the safety of artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame and saccharin, but most health care professionals believe they're safe when used in moderation.

One thing that is clear is that you should avoid aspartame if you have the hereditary disease phenylketonuria, or PKU, in which the body can't break down the compound phenylalanine, found in aspartame. The jury is still out on whether saccharin is safe to use during pregnancy. Although it crosses the placenta and can accumulate in fetal tissue, there's not enough evidence to prove that it is harmful to an unborn baby.

The bottom line is it's OK to have an occasional diet soda or sugar-free food. Still, it's wise to check product labels and try to limit anything with artificial sweeteners (especially saccharin), just to be on the safe side. And check with your doctor about the safety of specific sweeteners, including any that are new on the market.

Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date reviewed: October 2012

Related Articles
P    Eating During Pregnancy
P    Figuring Out Food Labels
P    Pregnancy & Newborn Center
P    Pregnancy Myths and Tales
P    Pregnancy Precautions: FAQs
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2014 KidsHealth® All rights reserved. Images provided by iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com

Additional Info

Pocket Doc Mobile App
Maps and Locations (Mobile)
Programs & Services
Employment
For Health Professionals
For Patients & Families
Contact Us
Find a Doctor
News
CME

All Children's Hospital
501 6th Ave South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 898-7451
(800) 456-4543

Use Normal Template
© 2014 All Children's Hospital - All Rights Reserved