Artificial sweetener cyclamate

The artificial sweetener cyclamate was discovered in 1937.  It was coincidentally discovered by Michael Sveda, at the University of Illinois. Cyclamate is 30-40 times sweeter than sugar and is always used in combination with other sweeteners such as aspartame or saccharin. Cyclamate leaves a bitter taste, so this is one of the reasons why it is mixed with other sweeteners. It is contained in soft drinks, candies, chewing gums and pharmaceutical products. On the product declaration we can find it labeled as E952. To date it has caused much controversy because of its possible adverse effects on human health and the risk of cancer. It is prohibited in the United States, but the European Union approved it in 1996. Cyclamate is now used in more than 80 countries in the world.

Studies have shown that cyclamate in combination with saccharin promotes development of bladder cancer. Cyclamate is metabolized in cyclohexylamine (CHA). Most of the ingested cyclamate is not metabolized and is excreted in the urine unchanged. The small portion of cyclamate that remains in the body is metabolized into CHA by means of microflora of the lower digestive tract. CHA is more dangerous for human health than cyclamate itself. The amount of metabolized cyclamate varies from person to person. Some studies in rats have shown that CHA causes the testicular atrophy in rats. However, it is emphasized that more research needs to be done in order to confirm these statements.



  1. “Effect of the Suspected Tumor Promoters Saccharin, Cyclamate, and Phenol on Nerve Growth Factor Binding and Response in Cultured Embryonic Chick Ganglia“
    Douglas N. Ishii
  2. “Assessment of the Carcinogenicity of the Nonnutritive Sweetener Cyclamate“
    Farid E. Ahmed, David B. Thomas
  3. “Sweeteners permitted in the European Union: safety aspects“
    Alicja Mortensen
  4. Goyan, Jere E.,Commissioner of Food and Drugs. (4 September 1980).
  5. “Bladder tumors in rats fed cyclohexylamine or high doses of a mixture of cyclamate and saccharin. Science. 1970 Feb 20;167(3921):1131-2.“
    Price JM, Biava CG, Oser BL, Vogin EE, Steinfeld J, Ley HL.
  6. “Long-term toxicity and carcinogenicity study of cyclamate in nonhuman primates. Toxicol Sci. 2000 Jan;53(1):33-9.“
    Takayama S, Renwick AG, Johansson SL, Thorgeirsson UP, Tsutsumi M, Dalgard DW, Sieber SM.
  7. “The role of the gut flora in the metabolism of cyclamate. Biochem J. 1972 Oct;129(4):881-90.“
    Drasar BS, Renwick AG, Williams RT