Aspartame Effects and Health Risks

Should You Worry about Aspartame Effects?

Since aspartame was discovered in 1965 by chemist James Schlatter, this chemically based artificial sweetener has been used in thousands of products. In fact, aspartame was discovered accidentally when it was used in determining the viability of an anti-ulcer drug being considered for the marketplace.

The FDA approved the use of aspartame after studies and task forces evaluating the sweetener deemed issues with consumption to be minor. Yet, since its introduction to the market decades ago, aspartame has continued to be under the scrutiny of the FDA and other research groups.

In recent years, this nearly ubiquitous sweetening agent has shown to be hazardous and a health risk in many studies. Aspartame is made of  50% phenylalanine, 40% aspartic acid and 10% methanol. 

Studies have shown that the components of aspartame have the potential to be deadly. If stored for a long period, phenylalanine decomposes into diketopiperazine, which is a carcinogen.

In a research study, aspartic acid was found to cause holes in the actual brains of laboratory mice. Methanol is a toxin which, when stored in at cool temperatures, gives rise to formaldehyde in the body. Formaldehyde is a product is used for embalming the dead. Some research studies show that phenylalanine, which comprises 50% of the makeup of aspartame, has concerning neuro-toxic effects when not taken with other amino acids.

In a 22-year research study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition involving over 125,000 people, significant links were found between daily intake of aspartame and the development of leukemia and lymphoma. 

One of the main ways people consume aspartame is through the sweetener brands Equal, NutraSweet and Sugar Twin. There are also generic versions of these brand names. Aspartame, is also used a common an additive in most diet and sports drinks. In fact, this artificial sweetener is a common ingredient in approximately 5,000 foods on the market today. This is why every label must be read if aspartame is to be avoided.

Aspartame seems to be even more toxic for those with health conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. This artificial sweetening agent should never be given to children, and pregnant and breast feeding women should totally avoid it.

Information for this article by Fred Fishburn of

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