Scientific studies show that Aspartame does not cause headaches or migraines The Truth About Aspartame Low Calorie Sweetener
The Truth About Aspartame Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding can safely use Aspartame
What is Aspartame
Aspartame in the Diet
Safety of Aspartame
Aspartame Use by Special Groups
Aspartame has no effects on mood

Aspartame Use by Special Groups

What is phenylketonuria (PKU) and why is there a statement regarding PKU on products sweetened with aspartame?

Can women who are pregnant or breastfeeding consume aspartame?

Can people with diabetes consume aspartame?

Does aspartame affect blood sugar control in people with diabetes?

Does aspartame cause allergic reactions?

Is there a relationship between aspartame and headaches?

Is aspartame safe for people with epilepsy?

Does aspartame cause changes in mood, thought processes or behavior?

Does aspartame affect children's behavior?

Does aspartame increase appetite or cause weight gain?

Is there any relationship between aspartame and cancer or brain tumors?

Can aspartame affect vision?

Is there a relationship between aspartame and multiple sclerosis?

Is there a relationship between aspartame and Parkinson's disease?

Is there a relationship between aspartame and Alzheimer's disease?

Is there a relationship between aspartame and lupus?




What is phenylketonuria (PKU) and why is there a statement regarding PKU on products sweetened with aspartame?

Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a rare inherited disease that prevents the essential amino acid phenylalanine from being properly metabolized. (An essential amino acid is required for normal growth, development, and body functioning and must be obtained from the diet, as the body cannot make it.) Because of this, phenylalanine can accumulate in the body and cause health problems. In the U.S. and many other countries, routine screening for PKU is required for all newborns. In the U.S., about 1 in 15,000 babies is born with PKU. People with PKU are placed on a special diet with a severe restriction of phenylalanine from birth to adolescence or after. Women with PKU must remain on the special diet throughout pregnancy. Since individuals with PKU must consider aspartame as an additional source of phenylalanine, aspartame-containing foods must state "Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalanine" in the U.S.

Can women who are pregnant or breastfeeding consume aspartame?

Yes. The FDA and the Council on Scientific Affairs of the American Medical Association agree that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding can safely use aspartame. An American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition task force also has concluded that aspartame is safe for both the mother and developing baby. Aspartame is broken down in the body to the same components (phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol) eaten daily in common diets by pregnant and breast feeding women. Sufficient calories are important during pregnancy, and calories should come from foods that contribute to nutrient needs rather than from foods low in nutrients. The variety of foods and beverages sweetened with aspartame can help satisfy a pregnant woman's taste for "sweets" without adding extra calories, leaving room for more nutritious foods.

Can people with diabetes consume aspartame?

Yes. The American Diabetes Association states that aspartame is a safe and useful sweetener for people with diabetes. Aspartame makes food taste sweet and does not contribute calories or raise blood sugar levels. About 90 percent of people with diabetes use aspartame-sweetened products. Foods and beverages sweetened with aspartame offer people with diabetes a much wider variety of products from which to choose and greater flexibility in budgeting their total carbohydrate intake. Thus, it can help them follow nutrition recommendations and still enjoy good-tasting foods.

Does aspartame affect blood sugar control in people with diabetes?

No. Research shows that aspartame does not affect short-term or long-term blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association states that, "Aspartame has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, a governmental agency that conducts thorough scientific review to determine foods that are safe for public consumption. (We) follow FDA recommendations and recognize there is no credible scientific evidence linking aspartame to any health-related problems for people with diabetes."

Does aspartame cause allergic reactions?

No. Although a few people have claimed that they have experienced allergic-type symptoms related to consuming aspartame, these anecdotal reports are not confirmed by carefully controlled scientific studies done at the National Institutes of Health and at six major academic medical centers. The results of these studies done with people who were convinced that aspartame caused their allergic reactions clearly demonstrated that aspartame is not associated with allergic reactions.

A wide variety of foods can cause allergic reactions in some people. Those who suspect a food allergy should seek diagnosis and treatment from a qualified medical professional, such as a board-certified allergist. Self-diagnosis can delay treatment of a more serious medical problem.

Is there a relationship between aspartame and headaches?

No. A carefully controlled study was done at Duke University Medical Center with people who were convinced that aspartame caused their headaches. This study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, demonstrated that aspartame does not cause headaches or migraines.

Headaches are one of the most common human complaints. Many factors can cause headaches, ranging from stress and sleep disturbances to physical illnesses. It is potentially dangerous to assume that a headache is related to aspartame, when the cause may be a serious physical or psychological condition.

Is aspartame safe for people with epilepsy?

Yes. The Epilepsy Institute of New York and the Epilepsy Foundation of America say that aspartame is safe for use by people with epilepsy. Numerous scientific studies were done in animals and in people who were convinced that aspartame caused their seizures and in children with epilepsy. The results of these studies demonstrated that aspartame does not cause or worsen seizures.

Does aspartame cause changes in mood, thought processes or behavior?

No. Well controlled scientific studies conducted by behavioral experts at a number of respected academic centers, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard Medical School, and Yale Medical School, demonstrate that aspartame has no effects on mood, behavior, or cognition, including memory loss.

Does aspartame affect children's behavior?

No. Numerous scientific studies were done at major institutions, including the National Institute of Mental Health, Yale University Medical School, and Vanderbilt University Medical School, to evaluate behavior in children given large amounts of aspartame. The results of these studies showed that aspartame consumption does not cause behavioral changes in children, including those diagnosed with “hyperactivity” or with attention deficit disorder (ADD).

Does aspartame increase appetite or cause weight gain?

No. Changes in body weight are related to many factors such as diet, exercise and heredity. Products made with aspartame can help with weight control because they are lower in calories than their sugar-sweetened counterparts. Based on the overwhelming scientific evidence from numerous scientific studies, aspartame does not increase hunger, appetite, or food intake or cause weight gain.

Is there any relationship between aspartame and cancer or brain tumors?

No. Aspartame does not cause cancer according to the American Cancer Society, the FDA and the National Cancer Institute. Before the 1981 FDA approval of aspartame, it was extensively evaluated in four long-term and lifetime studies in rodents which received enormous doses of aspartame, equal to the amount of aspartame in more than 1,000 cans of diet soft drink daily over a lifetime for an adult human. There was no increase in brain tumors or any other type of cancer.

When aspartame is digested, the body breaks it down into its components, aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol, which are consumed in much greater amounts in common foods, such as milk, meat, dried beans, fruits and vegetables. The body handles the components from aspartame in the same way it handles them when derived from other foods. Aspartame does not enter the bloodstream and therefore cannot travel to essential organs including the brain. Thus, there is no physiological reason why aspartame could cause cancer.

Can aspartame affect vision?

No. Although scientists know that huge amounts of methanol can affect vision, only small amounts of methanol are formed when aspartame and many fruits, vegetables and juices are digested. In fact, a glass of tomato juice provides about six times as much methanol as an equal amount of a beverage sweetened with aspartame. During the digestion of aspartame in the gastrointestinal tract, the released methanol is then easily further metabolized by normal body processes in the same way as when methanol is derived from other dietary sources. Numerous scientific studies have shown that the methanol from aspartame does not accumulate in the body and thus cannot reach harmful levels.

Is there a relationship between aspartame and multiple sclerosis?

No. The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation stated, "There is no evidence that aspartame in any way causes, provokes, mimics or worsens MS." Further, an article published by The National Multiple Sclerosis Society stated, “Several websites and documents circulating on the Internet are making unsubstantiated claims about aspartame, an artificial sweetener used in many diet soft drinks and other foods.”

Is there a relationship between aspartame and Parkinson's disease?

No. A scientific study done at Georgetown University has shown that aspartame has no effect on Parkinson's disease (PD). Further, The National Parkinson Foundation, Inc. has concluded, “The cause of PD is unknown, PD existed before aspartame was invented, there is no evidence aspartame blocks the absorption of levodopa.” (Levodopa is the major drug used to treat PD.)

Is there a relationship between aspartame and Alzheimer's disease?

No. In dispelling myths about Alzheimer’s disease, the Alzheimer's Association concluded there was “no scientific evidence of a link between aspartame and memory loss.”

Is there a relationship between aspartame and lupus?

No. The Lupus Foundation of America has concluded that there is “no specific proof of an association with aspartame as a cause or worsening of SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus)” and “People with lupus should always consult with their physician before making any changes in their medical treatment, diet, exercise or other routine based on information received via the Internet or other sources lacking known credentials.”


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