Recent Independent Aspartame Research Results & News
The results of recent independent research continue the trend of research not funded by
the manufacturer finding serious problems with aspartame ingestion. Details about other
independent research demonstrating the hazards of aspartame ingestion can be found in the
Aspartame FAQs and
Aspartame Scientific Abuse web pages.
(1998 - 2007)
Table of Contents
- Analysis Shows Nearly 100% of Independent Research Finds Problems With Aspartame
- Aspartame Ingestion Causes Formaldehyde Accumulation in the Body
- Aspartame and MSG Cause Painful Fibromyalgia Symptoms
- Aspartame and Brain Tumors (Swedish Study)
- Aspartame Causes Memory Loss
- Aspartame and Lymphomas / Leukemias / Kidney & Peripheral Nerve Cancer
- Aspartame and Weight Gain
- Aspartame and Combined Toxicity from Formaldehyde & Excitotoxins
- 12 Environmental Health Experts Call for Aspartame Review and Possible Ban
Return to: Aspartame ( Nutrasweet ) Toxicity FAQs.
Analysis Shows Nearly 100% of Independent Research Finds Problems With Aspartame
An analysis of peer reviewed medical
literature using MEDLINE and other databases was
conducted by Ralph G. Walton, MD, Chairman, The Center for Behavioral Medicine,
Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine.
Dr. Walton analyzed 164 studies which were felt to have relevance to human safety questions.
Of those studies, 74 studies had aspartame industry-related sponsorship and 90 were funded
without any industry money.
Of the 90 non-industry-sponsored studies, 83 (92%) identified one or more problems with
aspartame. Of the 7 studies which did not find a problems, 6 of those studies 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.
Of the 74 aspartame industry-sponsored studies, all 74 (100%) claimed that no problems
were found with aspartame. This is reminiscent of tobacco industry research where it is
primarily the tobacco research which never finds problems with the product, but nearly
all of the independent studies do find problems.
The 74 aspartame industry-sponsored studies are those which one inveriably sees cited in
PR/news reports and reported by organizations funded by Monsanto/Benevia/NutraSweet
(e.g., IFIC, ADA). These studies have severe design deficiencies which help to guarantee
the "desired" outcomes. These design deficiencies may not be apparent to the inexperienced
scientist. Healthcare practitioners and scientists should print out the all of the
documents on the
Monsanto/NutraSweet Scientific Abuse web page, the
Scientific FAQs web page and the
Aspartame Toxicity Reaction Report Samples. Please refer scientific questions
Aspartame Ingestion Causes Formaldehyde Accumulation in the Body
Trocho, C., et al., 1998. "Formaldehyde Derived From Dietary Aspartame Vinds to Tissue
Components in vivo," Life Sciences, Vol. 63, No. 5, pp. 337+, 1998
"These are indeed extremely high levels for adducts of
formaldehyde, a substance responsible for chronic deleterious
effects that has also been considered carcinogenic.
"It is concluded that aspartame consumption may constitute a
hazard because of its contribution to the formation of
"It was a very interesting paper, that demonstrates that
formaldehyde formation from aspartame ingestion is very
common and does indeed accumulate within the cell,
reacting with cellular proteins (mostly enzymes) and
DNA (both mitochondrial and nuclear). The fact that it
accumulates with each dose, indicates grave consequences
among those who consume diet drinks and foodstuffs on a
daily basis." (Neuroscientist Russell Blaylock, MD)
Aspartame and MSG Cause Painful Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Ann Pharmacother 2001 Jun;35(6):702-6
Relief of fibromyalgia symptoms following
discontinuation of dietary excitotoxins.
Smith JD, Terpening CM, Schmidt SO, Gums JG.
Malcolm Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Gainesville, FL, USA.
BACKGROUND: Fibromyalgia is a common
rheumatologic disorder that is often difficult to treat
effectively. CASE SUMMARY: Four patients
diagnosed with fibromyalgia syndrome for two to
17 years are described. All had undergone
multiple treatment modalities with limited success. All
had complete, or nearly complete, resolution
of their symptoms within months after eliminating
monosodium glutamate (MSG) or MSG plus aspartame from their diet.
All patients were women with multiple comorbidities
prior to elimination of MSG. All have had recurrence of symptoms
whenever MSG is ingested. DISCUSSION:
Excitotoxins are molecules, such as MSG and
aspartate, that act as excitatory neurotransmitters,
and can lead to neurotoxicity when used in
excess. We propose that these four patients may
represent a subset of fibromyalgia syndrome
that is induced or exacerbated by excitotoxins or,
alternatively, may comprise an excitotoxin
syndrome that is similar to fibromyalgia.
We suggest that identification of similar patients and
research with larger numbers of patients must be
performed before definitive conclusions can be
made. CONCLUSIONS: The elimination of
MSG and other excitotoxins from the diets of
patients with fibromyalgia offers a benign treatment
option that has the potential for dramatic
results in a subset of patients. PMID: 11408989
Aspartame and Brain Tumors
A published study in Sweden that looked at various possible causes of brain
tumors (e.g., cell phones, aspartame) found a link between use of diet drinks
and certain types of large brain tumors in middle-aged and elderly population
Aspartame Causes Memory Loss
Title: DANGEROUS DIET DRINKS.
Subject(s): ASPARTAME -- Physiological effect; NONNUTRITIVE sweeteners
Side effects; MEMORY
Source: Psychology Today, Mar/Apr 2001, Vol. 34 Issue 2, p20, 2/5p
Section: [Nutrition] Facts&Findings
MIND DANGEROUS DIET DRINKS
CAN'T REMEMBER WHAT YOU HAD FOR LUNCH?
WHAT YOU ATE OR DRANK MIGHT BE THE REASON.
New research suggests that the artificial sweetener aspartame
may actually go to your head.
By Peter Rebhahn
Anecdotal evidence that aspartame disrupts memory has been growing since
the sugar substitute was approved in the early 1980s, though attempts to
prove the claim have so far been equivocal. Previous studies have tested
memory by asking aspartame users to remember lists of words or numbers--
tests of short-term memory. But according to Timothy M. Barth, Ph.D., a
psychology professor at Texas Christian University, those studies
focused on the wrong type of memory.
In his study of 90 students, Barth found that participants who regularly
drank diet sodas containing aspartame performed as well as nonusers on
laboratory tests. However, aspartame users were more likely to report
long-term memory lapses like forgetting details of personal routines or
whether or not a task had been completed.
"These people aren't crazy," says Barth. Instead, "the type of memory
problems they report are not the type of memories that have been
assessed in the typical laboratory study."
After reporting his findings at a recent Society for Neuroscience
meeting, Barth cautioned that he thinks it's premature to condemn
aspartame. But he does worry about the largely untested effects of
long-term use. Already, he has made some converts. "Several of my
graduate students who drank diet soda no longer do."
Aspartame and Lymphomas / Leukemias
A long-term study linking aspartame ingestion to lymphomas and leukemias in animals.
The full study can be read at:
Russell Blaylock M.D. commented: "The new study released in the European Journal of Oncology by
Morando Soffritti and co-workers should terrify mothers and all those consuming aspartame
sweetened products. This was a carefully done study which clearly demonstrated a statistically
significant increase in several types of lymphomas and leukemias in rats. Both of these
malignancies have increased significantly in this country since the widespread use of aspartame.
"This study confirmed the previous study by Dr. Trocho and co-workers, which also found the
formaldehyde breakdown product of aspartame to be damaging to cellular DNA and that this
damage was accumulative. The type of damage was a duplicate of that associated with cancers.
Along with this most recent study, this means that drinking a single diet cola sweetened with
aspartame every day could increase one's risk of developing a lymphoma or leukemia.
"They also found an increased incidence of malignant brain tumors, even though it was not
statistically significant. This does not mean there is no association to brain tumors,
since only the animals exposed to aspartame developed the tumors. With children and pregnant
women drinking the largest amount of diet colas, this puts their children at the greatest
risk of developing one of these horrible diseases. Their study found that even low doses
of aspartame could cause these malignancies; yet, the higher the dose, the more cancers
that were seen."
A followup study was published in Environmental Health Perspectives showing that there
was a significant increase in cancer of the kidney and peripheral nerves. The full
published study can be found in PDF format at:
Aspartame and Weight Gain
A study conducted at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center reported a
"41% increase in risk of being overweight for every can or bottle of diet soft drink
a person consumes each day." The findings come from eight years of collecting data by
Sharon P. Fowler, MPH and colleagues. The results of the study was reported at the
65th Annual Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association in San Diet on
June 10-14, 2005 (Abstract 1058-P). While this study, by itself, does not prove that
aspartame causes weight gain, it adds to the evidence seen in independent research.
For example, a study conducted by Dr. H.J. Roberts found that 5% of subjects reporting
symptoms from aspartame also reported a "paridoxic weight gain."
(Reactions Attributed to Aspartame-Containing Products: 551 Cases," Journal of Applied
Nutrition, Volume 40, page 85-94). Lavin found that females with eating restraint
had a higher Calorie intake subsequent to aspartame intake as opposed to sugar or water
intake. (Lavin, J.H., S.J. French, N.W. Read, 1997. "The Effect of Sucrose- and
Aspartame-Sweetened Drinks on Energy Intake, Hunger and Food Choice of Female,
Moderately Restrained Eaters," International Journal of Obesity, Volume 21,
pages 37-42, 1997.)
Aspartame and Combined Toxicity from Formaldehyde & Excitotoxins
A study published in Toxicology (2005 Jun 1; 210(2-3): 235-45.
"Cytotoxic effect of formaldehyde with free radicals via increment of
cellular reactive oxygen species.") by Saito and colleagues demonstrates
that formaldehyde is much more toxic to cells when free radical levels
are increased. As has been demonstrated by Trocho, et al. in 1998,
aspartame ingestion leads to the significant exposure to and accumulation
of formaldehyde adducts in the organs and tissues. In addition, 40% of
aspartame breaks down into an excitotoxic amino acid. As Neuroscientist
Russell Blaylock points out, "Excitotoxins destroy neurons partly by
stimulating the generation of large numbers of free radicals."
12 Environmental Health Experts Call for Aspartame Review and Possible Ban
SCIENCE VOL 317 6 JULY 2007 page 31
The letter from the 12 U.S. environmental health experts can be found at:
Souring on Fake Sugar
Fearful it causes cancer, 12 U.S. environmental health experts last week asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to review the potential health risks of the artificial sweetener aspartame,
which appears in everything from medicines to diet sodas.
A study published last month in Environmental Health Perspectives found somewhat more leukaemias and lymphomas in male rats receiving less aspartame than the recommended maximum for humans;
at higher doses, the rats had a marked increase in cancers throughout the body.