Aspartame... What is a legitimate website or study to use as patient info?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 05, 2012 at 10:27 PM

I am not familiar with where people go get info on medical journals or legitimate studies on Aspartame. I am always firmly believed it was toxic and use to have severe headaches while using it as a teenager. unbenownst to be my parents had the same reaction when using it their coffee during the same time period and stopped using it.

Now I am trying to determing if my MIL's memory loss could be contributed to ahigh amount of neutrasweet. She is diabetic and use to use alot of it daily.

Thanks, Theresa



on January 10, 2012
at 03:13 AM

Thanks, I will see if folate shows on any of her blood work. Theresa

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4 Answers


on January 09, 2012
at 09:14 PM

Aspartame is perfectly safe used as directed. However, there appears to be a defined class of people for which labeling might be insufficient. And that class of people is those with an ongoing deficiency in the vitamin folic acid. Actually folate deficiency can explain all the "highly quoted, but incorrect 92 symptoms of aspartame toxicity". The dilemma here is that the people with that deficiency are often unaware of it, so they blame the acute consumption of aspartame. But really they are at risk of these problems for this other reason. Folate deficiency is directly connected to a large body of diseases, including breast and other types of cancers and still other issues. And folate deficiency is still a real world problem both alone and with a polymorphism associated genetic predisposition that is associated with headache; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19619240).

The connection between aspartame and folate deficiency is that aspartame contains a methyl ester; methanol is released upon hydrolysis. The purpose of the vitamin folate is to recycle methanol???s oxidation products formaldehyde and formate into methyl groups. Deficiency can lead to the same "symptoms" as methanol toxicity---but only in people that are otherwise deficient in this vitamin. Food consumption alone never leads to poisoning, but folate insufficiency can have the longer term consequences mentioned in the previous paragraph.

These facts explain everything about the whole "internet conspiracy" theory suggesting aspartame is unsafe. But you have to realize too that there is more methanol in juice drinks (pectin is a polymeric methyl ester) than in aspartame drinks. So again the problem is one of folate deficiency still being a human health problem, even after the US, Canada, and Chile required grain product fortification starting in 1998. That date is relevant also because all viable concern with aspartame were raised before that date, but the frank malformations and teratology in infants of deficient mothers is what led to action on the folate deficiency. Those issues have dropped dramatically amongst the population. They have not been eliminated because of various genetic issues (polymorphisms) that make some people require even more folic acid than others.

But the take-home message here is that all papers showing any issue with aspartame failed adequately to ensure folate sufficiency in either their animal work or use populations (including diabetics and others), most of whom have a documentable ongoing folate-deficiency in the first place. This whole folate insufficiency issue presenting an issue with methanol metabolism has been known for roughly four decades, although the genetic polymorphisms aspects are new.

John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)



on January 10, 2012
at 03:13 AM

Thanks, I will see if folate shows on any of her blood work. Theresa



on January 06, 2012
at 05:04 PM

Google Scholar doesn't seem to do a good job in the medical field. Your best bet is pubmed.com, run by NIH. The Cochrane library and UpToDate are also good sources.


on January 07, 2012
at 02:52 AM

Obviously, I cannot know definitively, but it's possible. Memory loss is one of the 92 different adverse reactions attributed to aspartame.

www.dorway.com www.holisticmed.com/aspartame I'm employed by Wisdom Natural Brands, the makers of SweetLeaf Stevia

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