and has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).
Since 1982 complaints of 92 different symptoms have been submitted to the FDA for adverse reactions to Aspartame.
This accounts for over 75 percent of adverse reactions to all food additives reported.
Is Aspartame Really Safe?
Aspartame breaks down into 3 Components (Aspartame: C14H1805: L-aspartyl-L-phenylalnine Methyl Ester):
1.) aspartate the conjugate base of aspartic acid
Aspartic acid in its free form becomes an excitotoxin, a toxic molecule that stimulates nerve cells to the point of damage or death.
2.) phenylalanine an amino acid
Once phenylalanine is released in its free form, it is metabolized into diketopiperazine, a carcinogen.
3.) methanol a methyl ester
Once within the body, the methanol is broken down into formaldehyde and formic acid.
How Aspartame is Broken Down in Our Bodies
When Aspartame is absorbed into the body, it is broken down into the component parts:
phenylalanine (50%), aspartate (40%), and methanol (10%).
Aspartame is made by combining phenylalanine which is naturally produced by bacteria, with another amino acid.
Once phenylalanine is released in its free form, it is metabolized into diketopiperazine, a carcinogen.
Phenylalanine is a natural amino acid, that in high doses can produce neurotoxicity.
The way things work in nature almost all amino acids occur as whole proteins.
Therefore, our bodies slowly assimilate it, break it down, and then convert it in the liver so that the level or concentration of their amino acids is kept at low levels, and the brain is not assaulted by dangerous proteins.
In food, naturally occurring phenylalanine and aspartic acid are bound to other amino acids in long, complex chains of proteins so that they are not absorbed in a way that could cause damage.
But in Aspartame they are not, and enzymes in the gut can easily split them apart.
When companies like Monsanto manipulate foods and drinks, creating sweeteners that contain high levels of these amino acids in isolation, blood levels become extraordinarily high, resulting in a significant increase of these amino acids in the brain.
It is these high levels that produce destruction of certain groups of brain cells and produce disease, seizures, even death.
Methanol, known also as wood alcohol, is used to bind the phenylalanine molecule to the aspartate molecule in Aspartame. Anyone drinking about three cans of a drink sweetened with Aspartame per day is consuming about 56mg of methanol.
When freed of its bonded state, methanol quickly circulates throughout the body, accumulating predominantly in the liver and the nervous system.
Each time you consume a product containing Aspartame, the methanol is accumulating near the DNA resulting in damage to the DNA in the form of deletions and breakage of genes. Methanol has an affinity for cellular DNA and it tends to accumulate with each dose. Every time you consume Aspartame, these toxins are accumulating within your body.
It is very easy for us to gain an accumulation of Aspartame in our bodies since so many products contain it.
Breakfasts, gelatin desserts, breath mints, juice beverages, soft drinks such as Diet Coke, Coke zero and Diet Pepsi, tabletop sweeteners, tea beverages, sugar-free chewing gum, milk drinks, yogurts, Monster Munch crisps, some forms of Lipton Tea, Icebreakers Mints, Clear Splash flavored water, vitamins, including children’s vitamins, pharmaceuticals and supplements, we could go on and on.
Methanol is naturally occurring in fruits and vegetables and plants even in higher dosages than Aspartame but is always accompanied by ethanol.
The alcohol ethanol (grain alcohol) is used medically as a treatment of wood alcohol (methanol) poisoning. When you eat say… a piece of fruit, the ethanol in that fruit neutralizes the methanol very quickly so no harm is done.
However the methanol in Aspartame is not accompanied by ethanol. In Aspartame, methanol is a pure toxin.
Then once within the body, the methanol is broken down into formaldehyde and formic acid.
Formaldehyde used to be used as an embalming fluid and preservative for laboratory specimens, though not since it has been shown to be a potent and dangerous carcinogen.
Aspartate is converted in the liver into Glutamic Acid. This makes up for 40% of the molecular structure. Aspartate is also an isolate amino acid.
Aspartate is a powerful excitotoxin and reacts like phenylalanine does in the brain as a neurotoxin. (Blaylock,1997)
Excitotoxin is an unusual group of compounds of which are proteins. When you expose brain cells to it the brain cells become hyper-excited, firing their impulses very rapidly. They continue this behaviour until the cell becomes so exhausted that it actually dies.
Normally substances in the brain, glutamate and aspartate, are used as transmitter substances, allowing cells to communicate with each other.
These compounds are so toxic that the brain ‘normally’ keeps them in minutely low concentrations; it is very carefully regulated.
Anything that alters that and causes these compounds to increase can destroy brain cells and produce what is called neurodegeneration, or degeneration of the brain and spinal cord.
This is the case with Aspartame.
The aspartic acid is an exitotoxin and phenylalanine and methanol are neurotoxins at high levels in the brain.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (usually) controls methanol exposure very carefully, allowing only very minute levels to be found in foods or in environmental exposures.
Yet the level allowed in NutraSweet is 7 (Seven!) times the amount that the EPA will allow used elsewhere.
So we now have a product called Aspartame, which breaks down in our bodies into phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol which are all recognized as neurotoxins and combined into one sweet sugar. (Blaylock, 1997)
Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and Aspartame
November 21, 1986 the FDA: “The data and information supporting the safety of Aspartame are extensive. It is likely that no food product has ever been so closely examined for safety. Moreover, the decisions of the agency to approve Aspartame for its uses have been given the fullest airing that the legal process requires. Few compounds have withstood such detailed testing and repeated, close scrutiny and the process through which Aspartame has gone should provide the public with additional confidence of it’s safety.” (FDA, 2002)
The FDA figures indicate most Aspartame users only consume about 4-7 percent of the ‘acceptable daily intake’ the agency has set for NutraSweet/Aspartame. (Remember what you read above; anyone drinking about three cans of a drink sweetened with Aspartame per day is consuming about 56mg of methanol. That’s not taking into account consumption of Aspartame from any additional sources throughout the day; and that’s just the methanol.)
That level of daily consumption that is judged to be safe per the FDA is 50 milligrams (50 Milligrams = 0.0017636980974790206 Ounces) per kilogram (1 Kilogram = 2.2046 pounds) of body weight per day. The FDA considers Aspartame to be one of the most thoroughly tested and studied food additives the agency has ever approved. More than 100 toxicologists and clinicians studied and the agency has reviewed, confirming that Aspartame is safe for the general population. (Harvey, 2002)
0.00176369809747902 ounces = 50mg
2.204600 pounds = 1 kilo
0.0000352739619495804 ounces = 1 mg
So per the FDA for every 2.2046 of your pounds you can have 0.00176369809747902 ounces
Divide your weight by 2.2046
Example: if you are 100 pounds, 100/2.2046=45.359702
Multiply your result, in this case 45.359702, by 0.00176369809747902 ounces = 0.080000821 ounces.
0.080000821 ounces converts to 2267.95mg.
That’s your limit if you’re 100lbs.
0.080000821 ounces, or 2267.95mg per day says the FDA.
That’s the limit set by the FDA. It gets worse. According to the FDA, Aspartame users are supposedly only consuming 4-7 percent of those 0.080000821 ounces.
Four percent of 0.080000821 ounces = 0.003200033 ounces
Four percent 2267.95mg = 90.718mg
Yet one soda can in the United States is 12 (Twelve) ounces.
12 ounces = 340,194.278mg
One can of Diet Coke is Illegal. One can of Diet Coke exceeds the level of daily consumption that is judged to be safe for even a one hundred pound person… heck, anybody! per the FDA.
However in1981, Satya Dubey, an FDA statistician, stated that the brain tumor data on Aspartame was so “worrisome” that he could not recommend approval of NutraSweet.
The late Dr. Adrian Gross, an FDA toxicologist, even testified before the United States Congress that Aspartame was capable of producing brain tumors.
This made it illegal for the FDA to even set an allowable daily intake at any level.
The Research on Aspartame:
Who Conducted it, Who Sponsored it
It is critical for us to observe what was researched, how it was researched, who paid for it, and who conducted the tests that were relied upon to bring the Aspartame product to market.
Was the study(s) that were relied upon to bring the product to market done by parties with a vested interest with the sale or selling of the product? (As is often the case when Monsanto is involved?) Or were the study(s) that were relied upon to bring the product to market done independently?
The FDA, Butchko,1994, Leon 1989, Moser 1994, all cited this study by Schiffman:
In 1987 Schiffman published a double-blind cross-over study of 40 subjects claiming to have headaches from Aspartame ingestion. The author concluded no increase in headaches were seen in the Aspartame group. “In this population, Aspartame is no more likely to produce headaches than a placebo.”
What the researcher$ fail to mention is that the $chiffman (1987) research is useless because of major design flaw$.
Schiffman 1987 major flaws:
1.) Aspartame was given for only 1 day.
2.) The Aspartame was given in encapsulated form, thereby decreasing the toxicity by eliminating the sudden absorption of the excitotoxin amino acid and methanol. (Stegink,1987)
3.) The Schiffman study was partially funded byMonsanto/NurtaSweet and conducted at the Searle Center at Duke University.
5.) Susan Schiffman performed her research at the “Searle Center” at Duke University.
6.) The Searle Center is under the guidance of William Anlyan, a former G.D. Searle Director.
7.) Schiffman is a former General Foods and G.D. Searle Consultant.
8.) The FDA itself assisted in the very design of the study protocol.
The following study was done at the Clinical Research Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, USA. It was also supported by a grant from the NutraSweet Company itself, to the Center for Brain Sciences and Metabolism Charitable trust. ( JCN, 1998 ):
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition cited the research report done by P.A. Spies, L.Sabounjian, A. Reiner, D.K. Myers, J. Wurtman and D.L. Schomer, who stated in their study: Background: Neurobehavioral symptoms have been reported anecdotally with Aspartame. Objective: This study sought to determine whether Aspartame can disrupt cognitive neurophysiologic or behavioral functioning in normal individuals. Results: Plasma phenylalanine concentrations increased significantly during Aspartame treatment. Conclusion: Large doses of Aspartame had no effect in neuopsychologic, neurophysiologic or behavioral functioning in healthy young adults.
In the Journal of the American Medical Association Article “Aspartame and Memory Loss” The question was asked “Is there any evidence that Aspartame causes memory loss?” The response provided by Robert H. Moser, “Aspartame does not cause memory loss. Aspartame is a dipeptide; it is composed of two amino acids, L-aspartic acid and L-phenylalanine as the methyl ester. It is completely digested into its components, which enter the portal blood and are rapidly incorporated into the metabolic cycles of the body. These amino acids are identical to those that occur after the digestion of all protein foods, except the amounts are far less. Thus the end products of Aspartame digestion are normal food components found in much greater amounts in common foods.” Then he goes on to say “ I am a consultant to the NutraSweet Company and have been for the past 8 years, and I have reviewed the world literature on this subject.” (JAMA, 1994)
Yet the Koehler ( 1988 ) Study administered Aspartame for 4 weeks and came up with a much different conclusion. Not one of the above mentioned cited the Koehler ( 1988 ) double blind study. Not one.
Clearly many of studies that have been cited, quoted and relied upon for accurate and truthful data indicating the safety of Aspartame have been done by interested, vested parties that have a close connection to the NutraSweet Company themselves.
In a survey of 166 studies on the effects of Aspartame on human health, 74 had industry-related funding and 92 were independently funded.
Of the industry-sponsored articles 100 percent attested to aspartame’s safety.
Of the non-industry sponsored articles 92 percent demonstrated some type of adverse reaction.
Data provided by research that is unbiased and studied independently clearly paints a completely different picture of the safety, and lack thereof, of Aspartame/NutraSweet:
The Ecologist in June 2000 states in their article titled “Sweet Talking” that research shows the potential health risks of Aspartame. While NutraSweet maintains that its product is entirely safe, independent researchers continue to present evidence of the chemicals neurotoxicity. It has linked it’s ingestion with the onset of numerous adverse symptoms including headaches, seizures, convulsions and mood disorders.
Aspartame had been the focus of controversy long before it was approved for public consumption in 1981.
It is 18 years later that further tests on brain tumors are being conducted, not by NutraSweet (of course not) instead, by independent researchers at King’s College London.
In August 1979 the Bressler Report was released. Investigators found significant deviations from acceptable procedures for conducting non-clinical studies.
In 1987 Dr. Jacqueline Verrett, a toxicologist and member of the Bressler Task Force, testified before a US Senate hearing. She described the discrepancies found in the Searle Tests of Aspartame as serious departures from acceptable toxicological protocols.
Dr. Jacqueline Verrett stated, “It is unthinkable that any reputable toxicologist giving a complete objective evaluation of this data resulting from such a study could conclude anything other that the study was uninterruptible and worthless and should be repeated.”
Many of the flaws cited in these studies were also present in all of the other studies submitted by Searle. (Gold, Martini and Metcalfe, 2000) Therefore it appears the safety of Aspartame and its breakdown products has still not been satisfactorily determined by NutraSweet’s own researchers.
The American Dietetic Association, “As the market for foods containing Aspartame continues to increase, practitioners need to be aware of Aspartame’s health implications. There is concern about the influence of Aspartame’s constituent amino acids in brain function.” ( JADA, 1990)
R.J. Wurtman did a study that was reported in The New England Journal of Medicine indicating Neurochemicals changed following high-doses of Aspartame consumption with dietary carbohydrates. (1983)
Dr. Adrian Gross, an FDA toxicologist, testified before the United States Congress that Aspartame was capable of producing brain tumors.
Making it illegal for the FDA to set an allowable daily intake at any level.
He stated in his testimony before the United States Congress that Searle’s studies were in most aspects unreliable, and that at least one of those studies has actually established beyond any reasonable doubt that Aspartame is capable of inducing brain tumors in experimental animals. (Hearing, 1987)
Many Healthcare Professionals, including Nutritionists have known all along that Aspartame is hazardous. Now a growing number of those Professionals are seeing the consequences of medium and long-term aspartame uses and have begun to warn their clients to stay away from Aspartame. (Barua &Bal, 1995)
In 1981, Satya Dubey, an FDA statistician, stated that the brain tumor data on Aspartame was so “worrisome” that he surely could not recommend approval of NutraSweet.
Labeling, Your food, and Aspartame
Aspartame containing products must be labeled: “Phenylketonurics: Contains phenylalanine.” This warning is specifically to aid individuals who suffer from PKU (The genetic disorder Phenylketonuria), so that they can avoid such foods.
This dietary restriction also applies to pregnant women with hyperphenylalanine (high levels of phenylalanine in blood) because they do not properly metabolize the amino acid phenylalanine.
According to the Food Standards Agency In the UK, foods containing Aspartame must carry ingredient panels that refer to the presence of ‘Aspartame’ or it can state ‘E951′.
They must include a warning on the label: “Contains a source of phenylalanine.” This is usually towards the last line of the ingredients.
Products containing sweeteners such as Aspartame also must show the statement “with sweetener(s)”, this should be close to the main product name.
Foods that contain both sugar and Aspartame must carry the statement “with sugar and sweetener(s)”.
Now I ask you the question:
“Is Aspartame Really Safe?”
A shortcut to be updated as to when new articles are published is here