Aspartame and Vision Damage

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In a study which appeared in the Journal of Applied Nutrition authoried by Dr. H.J. Roberts (Vol. 40, page 85-94, 1988), the following eye problems were found in persons who complained of adverse reactions to aspartame use:

Adverse Effect % of people with aspartame reactions
Decreased vision and/or other eye problems
(blurring, “bright flashes,” tunnel vision)
Pain (in one or both eyes)
Decreased tears, trouble with contact lens or both
Blindness (one or both eyes)

Dr. Roberts details the effects of aspartame on the eye in his book, “Aspartame (NutraSweet): Is It Safe.”

In 1987, Dr. Morgan Raiford, M.D., an ophthalmologist and an expert on the effects of methanol toxicity on the eye testified before U.S. Congress about the large number of patients he treated with vision loss due to aspartame (65 cases as of July 10, 1986). At that time, aspartame had been on the market for a short period of time and in relatively small amounts.

Below is an article published by Dr. Morgan Raiford:

Recently, an ophthamologist in India reported improvement in a number of his patients' conditions after the elimination of aspartame for a period of time. That ophthamologist and a surgeon (J. Barua and A. Bal) published a article in the Journal of the Diabetic Association of India (Vol. 35, No. 4, 1995, page 92-107) which discusses the dangers of aspartame use.

Of course, it is important to find substitutes for aspartame. It is equally important, in my opinion, to avoid going from one toxic sweetener to another. I put together what I feel are healthier sweeteners for the general population on a sweetener resource list on my web page. Diabetics can safely use some of these sweeteners and others in moderation (depending upon their condition).