The Worst No. 2: Aspartame (aka Equal or NutraSweet) Found in a whopping 6,000 foods (including cereals, sodas, and even your favorite sugarless gum), this sugar substitute has been scientifically proven to cause health problems in humans and animals. A study in the journal "Neurology" showed that some people are particularly susceptible to headaches caused by aspartame, while animal studies have linked this artificial sweetener to cancer. This sugar substitute is also a life-threatening no-no for people with Phenylketonuria (PKU), a rare condition in which the body can't break down phenylalanine, a main component of aspartame.
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