People try the sweetener aspartame when they are trying to lose weight. The reasoning is that it has no calories and can be substituted for sugar which is high calorie. Dieters would be surprised to know that research has shown that Aspartame actually increases the weight and waistlines of its users .
Along with weight gain there are other serious health considerations involved with Aspartame. Aspartame has been associated with cardiovascular incidents. In fact, a decade-long study of 60,000 women has confirmed that drinking diet soda sweetened with aspartame is linked with a 30 percent increase in heart attack risk and a 50 percent increase in death risk. These findings were presented at American College of Cardiology 
Italian studies by Dr. Morand Soffriti concluded that aspartame is a multi-carcinogenic agent in rats. Further its “multi-carcinogenic effects were evident even at daily dose 20mg/kg b.w. much less than the current ADI of 50mg/kg b.w.” (22, Sofritti et al). The daily recommended allowance of aspartame has potential to cause multiple types of cancer and tumors. In addition to cancer and cardiovascular disease aspartame has been implicated in the deterioration of the optic nerve. Dr. Raiford writes “This product has some highly toxic reactions in the human visual pathway and we are beginning to observe the tragic damage to the optic nerve, such as blindness, partial to total optic nerve atrophy.”
So bypass the aspartame, Splenda, NutraSweet and the diet products that contain them. Yes, time to drop the diet coke from the diet! It just isn’t worth the risk.
The American Cancer Society study7 conducted in early 1980s included 78,694 women who were highly homogenous with regard to age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and lack of preexisting conditions. At one-year follow-up, 2.7 percent to 7.1 percent more regular artificial sweetener users gained weight compared to non-users matched by initial weight.
Vyas A. Abstract 917-05. Presented at: American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions; March 29-31, 2014; Washington, D.C.
Soffritti, Morando: Belpoggi, et al. First Experimental Demonstration of Multipotential Carcinogenic Effects Adminstered in the Feed of Sprague Dawley Rats. PDF retrieved 7-31-2014.