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Aspartame, a Deadly Sweetner?

Aspartame is the ubiquitous artificial sweetener marketed under the brand names of NutraSweet, Canderel and shortly in a new form called Neotame. Touted as having no unpleasant aftertaste, it does, apparently have some rather serious drawbacks. A number of well-documented books by medical doctors have been published, linking Aspartame to brain tumors, brain cell damage and neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Other reports link it to ADD/ADHD

According to Russell Blaylock, MD, a practicing, board-certified neurosurgeon and author of Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, we are witnessing enormous damage to the brain and nervous system due to the ever-increasing amount of Nutrasweet and other excitotoxic subtances.

The use of aspartame, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, and monosodium glutamate in prepared foods and beverages continues to increase on a yearly basis. Dr. Blaylock clearly demonstrates that the neurotoxic potential of excitotoxins such as MSG and aspartame is so overwhelming that it can no longer be ignored.

In his book, Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, Dr. Batmanghelidj states, “ In the intestinal tract, aspartame converts to two highly excitatory neurotransmitter amino acids: apspartate and phenylananine, as well as methyl alcohol/formaldehyde – wood alcohol. I personally think this claim [of the FDA that it is safe] is made to brush aside voiced objections for commercialization of a manufactured “food” that has a known toxic byproduct.”

Recent studies, utilizing radiolabeled aspartame, have demonstrated that its methanol has an affinity for cellular DNA and that it tends to accumulate with each dose. This means that each time you consume a diet cola or aspartame sweetened foods, the methanol accumulates near the DNA, resulting in damage to the DNA in the form of deletions and breakage of genes. Within the body, methanol is broken down into formaldehyde and formic acid. Formaldehyde was used in the past as an embalming fluid and preservative for laboratory specimens. It is no longer used because it has been shown to be a powerful carcinogen.

Ralph G. Walton, MD, a Professor at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, analyzed 164 studies that were felt to have relevance to the safety of Aspartame for human consumption. Seventy-four of those studies had aspartame industry-related sponsorship and 90 were funded without any industry money. Of the non-industry-sponsored studies, 83 of the 90 (92%) identified one or more problems with aspartame. Of the 7 studies that did not find a problem, 6 were conducted by the FDA. Given that a number of FDA officials went to work for the aspartame industry immediately following approval (including the former FDA Commissioner), many consider these studies to be equivalent to industry-sponsored research.

 “It is ludicrous,” said Dr. Blaylock, “with all we know about the destructive effects of excitotoxins, to allow our children and ourselves to continue on this destructive path.” The concerns voiced by him and other respected doctors and educated laymen are serious enough to make one think twice before reaching for that diet soda or using MSG. Please look into some of the resources given below and make up your own mind.

Websites: (Association of American Physicians and Surgeons)

List of dietary sugars and their effects:


Blaylock, Russell L., Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills (Health Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico, c1994).

H. J. Roberts, M.D., Aspartame (NutraSweet), Is it Safe? Paperback (September 1992) The Charles Press, Publishers;