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Aspartame (NutraSweet): Is it Safe? Paperback – October 1, 1992
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and why you should avoid it. As a popular guest on Healthy House Call for many years, Dr Roberts
gives you reasons why Aspartame is dangerous to your health with specific examples demonstrating
how this insidious sweetener should be removed from the market. Please read and listen to Dr Roberts.
Once you finish this book, you will want to buy copies for all of your friends complementing their
And it's hidden in all kinds of stuff. The pink saccharin sweetener packs at the 7/11 have it and it's not listed in the ingredients.
First, there are NO acceptable, reproducible scientific papers questioning the safety of aspartame. But there are conspiracy theorists arguing this point, who profit from books, false treatments, and other misleading innuendo by claiming that there are accepted, reproducible scientific papers.
Here are the facts. Only methanol amongst aspartame degradation products presents any risk to normal people---phenylalanine and aspartate are found in greater concentrations in normal foods, like milk and meat. Methanol is oxidized to formaldehyde and formate--both are chemically directly converted by the (tetrahydro)folate vitamin system into very valuable methyl groups. These methyl groups detoxify homocysteine and protect DNA (thymine). For more on its cycle see the figure at the top of p 3000 here, [...].
Formate and formaldehyde are [quoting another] "produced in the body during the endogenous demethylation of many compounds, including many foods and drugs. For example, the demethylation of the caffeine found in one cup of coffee produces 30 mg of formaldehyde (Imbus, 1988). Formaldehyde is essential in one-carbon pool intermediary metabolism. The metabolite of formaldehyde, formic acid, is a substrate for purine nucleotide synthesis (Sheehan and Tully, 1983). It can be calculated that more than 50,000 mg [that's 50 g] of formaldehyde is produced and metabolized in an adult human body daily and that an adult human liver will metabolize 22 mg of formaldehyde per minute (Clary and Sullivan, 1999). Consequently, it is quite clear that formaldehyde from aspartame provides a trivial contribution to total formaldehyde exposure and metabolism in the body" (p 18 in and refs from [...]).
Do these facts not make clear that the problem is not aspartame, methanol, formaldehyde or even formate, but metabolism issues in detoxifying them, which with folate (homocysteine and B12, see that cited p 3000) are potentially numerous? Up to 40% of some populations have folate polymorphisms, but most don't even know it. It is very uncommon to even test for this. For more read [...]. And that doesn't include people with high blood concentrations of the true excitotoxin homocysteine or low concentrations of vitamin B12 (again see that figure on p 3000). All side effects ever suggested [cancer, eye, neurological problems, etc] are really due to these personal folate-related issues, not to aspartame. And in people with these issues, they likely exist whether one uses aspartame or not. And that is my real point! I think it likely that amongst the few people that respond to aspartame, they are at real risk from these issues.
Second, so let us analyize some of Roberts' papers and to do that we only need focus on one, because none of his work has ever even entertained folate issues in their patients as explaining his findings, but many of his "toxicities" (thrombocytopenia, for example [...]), are the only report ever associated with aspartame, yet a search of thrombocytopenia reveals over 110 references, [...]a. Sounds to me like either he doesn't know what he is doing or he is one of these conspiracy theorists or both?
John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)
The so-called symptoms associated with "aspartame poisoning" mimic a multitude of other conditions, including most autoimmune conditions like thyroid disease, fibromyalgia, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc; as well as other conditions such as MVP. Many of these conditions are not widely diagnosed due to a lack of understanding by many physicians, not to mention the vagueness of symptoms.
On a personal note, I have been a long time headache sufferer. I stopped using aspartame for 6 months with absolutely no improvement in symptoms.