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Is Aspartame Dangerous? Bad for your Health?

Why do Doctors link Aspartame with Disease & Illness?

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener chemical that is used as a sugar-substitute. It commonly known as products like Equal, Nutrasweet & Spoonful; present in numerous foods and beverages.

Further down this page are quotes from doctors who link aspartame with a range of diseases like cancer, multiple sclerosis (MS), diabetes, obesity, sexual dysfunction, birth defects, infertility, psychiatric and neurological disorders. Also explained is how aspartame was allowed on to the market and remains there due to the financial links of people who rotate between the relevant corporations and government agencies

Dr HJ Roberts in 2004: "I have written about aspartame disease for more than 2 decades, because of the profound adverse neurologic, cardiopulmonary, endocrine, and allergic effects of aspartame products. These “diet” sodas, along with thousands of other products containing aspartame, are currently being consumed by an estimated 70% of the population." Dr. H.J. Roberts, MD, Pulitzer Prize nominee and author of Aspartame: Is it Safe? (Source:

Dr Ralph G. Walton, MD: "Studies of aspartame in the peer reviewed medical literature were surveyed for funding source and study outcome. Of the 166 studies felt to have relevance for questions of human safety, 74 had Nutrasweet® industry related funding and 92 were independently funded. One hundred percent of the industry funded research attested to aspartame’s safety, whereas 92% of the independently funded research identified a problem." (Source: Survey of Aspartame Studies: Correlation of Outcome & Funding Sources)


1: Video: Quick Overview

2: Article: Doctors Speak about the Dangers of Aspartame.

Medical Doctors link Aspartame to Several Diseases.

Some of these are briefly covered below with links for further details.

Dangers of Aspartame - Multiple Sclerosis?

Dr HJ Roberts states: "The most frequent features of aspartame disease include headache, dizziness, poor equilibrium, confusion, impaired or double vision, convulsions, ringing in the ears, slurred speech, tremors, extreme fatigue, motor and sensory disturbances affecting the limbs, and other neuropsychiatric complaints.

I have encountered scores of patients with aspartame disease in whom these features - in varying combinations - were diagnosed as multiple sclerosis. This has been particularly impressive in the case of weight-conscious young women using "diet" soft drinks, tabletop sweeteners, and sugar-free gum. The causative or contributing role of aspartame was convincingly indicated by (1) their dramatic improvement within several
days or weeks after avoiding aspartame products, and (2) the prompt predictable recurrence of complaints after resuming aspartame... often inadvertently."

(Source: Dr HJ Roberts MD, "Multiple sclerosis or aspartame disease?" at )

Dangers of Aspartame - Cancer?

Dr J Barua and Dr A Bal state: "In 1981, Satya Dubey, an FDA statistician, stated that the brain tumor data on aspartame was so “worrisome” that he could not recommend approval of NutraSweet. The late Dr Adrian Gross, an FDA toxicologist, testified before the U.S. Congress that aspartame was capable of producing brain tumors... It is interesting to note that the incidence of brain tumors in persons over 65 years of age has increase 67% between the years 1973 and 1990. Brain tumors in all age groups has jumped 10%. The greatest increase has come during the years 1985-1987. In his book, Aspartame (NutraSweet). Is it Safe? Dr Roberts gives evidence that aspartame can cause a particularly dangerous form of cancer - primary lymphoma of the brain." (Source: "Emerging Facts About Aspartame", Journal Of The Diabetic Association Of India, authored by doctors J Barua and A Bal.)

From an article titled Nutrasweet and Breast and other Cancers, Dr George R. Schwartz, MD states: "There is a startling epidemiologic connection between Nutrasweet (aspartame) and breast cancer... The epidemiologic correlations are striking and raise the hypothesis of cancer induction. While there are many potential pathways, we are postulating the most direct. Nutrasweet converts to methanol, which goes to intracellular formaldehyde. The latter affects DNA causing cell toxicity and chromosome abnormalities which precipitate cancers in susceptible people. Nutrasweet has already been shown to induce mammary tumors and testicular changes in experimental animals. Based on the epidemiologic associations, and biochemical effects at the cellular-DNA level, Nutrasweet and aspartame should be carefully studied as a potential environmental cause of well over one million cases of cancer."

In 2005 scientists reported: "In this report we present the first results showing that aspartame, in our experimental conditions, causes a statistically significant, dose-related increase in lymphomas and leukaemias in females." (See, "Aspartame induces lymphomas and leukaemias in rats", Eur. J. Oncol., vol. 10, n. 2, pp. 00-00, 2005;

Dangers of Aspartame - Diabetes?

Dr J. Barua and Dr A Bal: "Aspartame may adversely affect the capacity to control glucose metabolism in the already compromised diabetic. According to research conducted by Dr H.J. Roberts, a diabetic specialist, a member of the American Diabetic Association, and an authority on artificial sweetners, aspartame:
1. Leads to the precipitation of clinical diabetes.
2. Causes poorer diabetic control in diabetics on insulin or oral drugs.
3. Leads to the aggravation of diabetic complications such as retinopathy, cataracts, neuropathy and gastroparesis.
4. Causes convulsions."

The American Diabetic Association, which received large amounts of funding from the manufacturers of NutraSweet, ignored a 1987 abstract submitted by Dr Roberts (a diabetic specialist) which summarised 58 diabetic aspartame reactors. He has stated: "I now advise ALL patients with diabetes and hypoglycemia to avoid aspartame products."

The Neurosurgeon Dr Russell Blaylock MD, in his book Excitotoxins - the Taste that Kills, says aspartame may trigger clinical diabetes.

Dangers of Aspartame - Weight Gain & Obesity?

Dr Sandra Cabot, medical doctor for over 25 years and best-selling author: "After having been consulted by thousands of overweight people suffering with problems concerning the liver and/or metabolism I can assure you that aspartame will not help you in any way, indeed it will help you to gain unwanted weight... When you ingest the toxic chemical aspartame it is absorbed from the intestines and passes immediately to the liver where it is taken inside the liver via the liver filter.

The liver then breaks down or metabolizes aspartame to its toxic components - phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol. This process requires a lot of energy from the liver which means there will be less energy remaining in the liver cells. This means the liver cells will have less energy for fat burning and metabolism, which will result in fat storing. Excess fat may build up inside the liver cells causing "fatty liver" and when this starts to occur it is extremely difficult to lose weight. In my vast experience any time that you overload the liver you will increase the tendency to gain weight easily.

Aspartame also causes weight gain by other mechanisms:
- Causes unstable blood sugar levels, which increases the appetite and causes cravings for sweets/sugar. Thus it is particularly toxic for those with diabetes or epilepsy.
- Causes fluid retention giving the body a puffy and bloated appearance. This makes people look fatter than they are and increases cellulite."

(Source: 'Aspartame And MSG Have Caused An Epidemic Of Obesity' at

Dangers of Aspartame - Brain Damage and other Neurological Disorders?

On the back of his book Excitotoxins - the Taste that Kills, Dr Russell Blaylock MD states that aspartame acts as an "excitotoxin" which "added to foods and beverages literally stimulates neurons to death, causing brain damage of varying degrees." Excitotoxins "can be found in such ingredients as monosodium glutamate [MSG], aspartame (NutraSweet), cysteine, hydrolyzed protein, and aspartic acid."

Dr Blaylock: "But of primary concern is the effect of these powerful brain cell stimulants have on the developing brain of the infant and child and the later development in the adult of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's dementia, Huntington's disease and ALS. The brain not only utilizes the excitatory amino acids as normal neurotransmitters, but there exists a delicate balance of excitatory and inhibitory chemicals in the brain. When the balance is upset, serious disorders of the nervous system can result."(Source: Article by Dr Betty Martini, 2011,

ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), Motor Neuron Disease, Lou Gehrigs Disease:

These are different names for the same condition. Dr Blaylock explains them as: "a neurodegenerataive disease that primarily affects... the primary neurons in the spinal cord that control muscle movements of the body."

Is 'Gulf War Syndrome' ALS? During the first Gulf War, 'Operation Desert Storm', truckloads of aspartame drinks cooked in the Arabian sun. At 86 degrees Aspartame liberates methanol in the can. Thousands of U.S. service men and women returned home with a chronic fatigue syndrome and weird toxic symptoms - termed as 'Gulf War Syndrome'.

Dr Betty Martini comments: "Two new studies appearing in the journal Neurology, one privately funded, the other federally supported, both report an above-average occurrence of ALS among Persian Gulf War deployed veterans... a roughly two fold risk... when compared with nondeployed U.S. military personnel... With deployed troops developing ALS more frequently and, maybe more importantly, much earlier in life than average... If these troops who served in the Persian Gulf had been warned about aspartame... many would still be alive today. At last count, 40,000 had perished."

(Source: "The Case for Aspartame Disease being Gulf War Illness, Lou Gehrigs..." by Dr Betty Martini, 2011 at )

Dangers of Aspartame - Male Sexual Dysfunction?

Dr James Bowen, MD states: "Aspartame damages the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus produces gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GRH). The GRH goes down the stalk between the hypothalamus and pituitary and causes the pituitary then to produce gonadotropins. The ganglia goes to the testicles and causes them to produce testosterone. When you're causing hypothalmic destruction with neuroexcitotoxins like NutraSweet you're suppressing the formation of male hormone without which there is no sexual drive or pleasure for either. In original studies aspartame triggered atrophied testes and testicular tumors." (Source: James Bowen, MD, 'Male Sexual Dysfunction Triggered By Aspartame' at

Dangers of Aspartame - Panic Attacks and Convulsive Seizures?

Dr J. Barua and Dr A Bal: "Some medical studies have demonstrated that aspartame can be neurotoxic, has triggered seizures in previously non-convulsive adults, can increase the risk of human systemic damage when heated, and has induced neuropsychiatric symptoms like panic attacks... At Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 80 people who had suffered seizures after ingesting aspartame were surveyed. Community Nutrition Institute concluded the following about the survey: “these 80 cases meet the FDA’s own definition of an imminent hazard to the public health, which requires the FDA to expeditiously remove a product from the market." (Source: Emerging Facts About Aspartame", Journal Of The Diabetic Association Of India 1995)

Aspartame and airline pilots: vertigo, seizures and plane crashes?

Doctors J. Barua and Dr A Bal reported that as of 1995: "Over 600 pilots have reported symptoms including some who have reported suffering grand mal seizures in the cockpit due to aspartame... Both the [USA] Air Force’s magazine “Flying Safety” and the Navy’s magazine, “Navy Physiology” published articles warning about the many dangers of aspartame... The articles note that the ingestion of aspartame can make pilots more susceptible to seizures & vertigo. Articles sounding warnings about ingesting aspartame while flying have also appeared in the National Business Aircraft Association Digest (NBAA Digest 1993), Aviation Medical Bulletin (1988), The Aviation Consumer (1988), Canadian General Aviation News (1990), Pacific Flyer (1988), General Aviation News (1989), Aviation Safety Digest (1989), & Plane & Pilot (1990) & a paper warning about aspartame was presented at the 57th Annual Meeting of the Aerospace Medical Association (1986). Recently, a hotline was set up for pilots suffering from acute reactions to aspartame ingestion."

Apparently some people have suffered aspartame related disorders with doses as small as that carried in a stick of chewing gum. This could mean that airline pilots who consume aspartame are more susceptible to flicker vertigo and flicker-induced epileptic activity. It also means that these pilots are potential victims of sudden memory loss, dizziness during instrument flight and gradual loss of vision. Some pilots have experienced grand-mal seizures in the cockpits of commercial airline flights and have lost medical certification to fly and with it their careers. How many aeroplane crashes have been due to the effects of aspartame?

Dangers of Aspartame - Graves Disease and Hyperthyroidism?

In 2004 Dr Roberts reported in the Texas Heart Institute Journal: "My 1st report on aspartame-related Graves' disease described 4 weight-conscious women with hyperthyroidism who experienced dramatic remissions within several weeks to 3 months of avoiding aspartame. Four other women who had been treated previously for Graves' disease developed symptoms suggestive of this condition within a few weeks to 6 months after beginning aspartame consumption; symptoms subsided after cessation. These symptoms promptly recurred (generally within 2 days) on multiple rechallenges. The number of patients in this series has doubled since the initial report." (Source:

Dangers of Aspartame - Fibromyalgia?

In 2001 the Annals of Pharmacotherapy published a study titled "Relief of fibromyalgia symptoms following discontinuation of dietary excitotoxins."

The case summary reads: "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... 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."

(Source:; A fuller article is at: )

Dangers of Aspartame - Pulmonary Hypertension and Dyspnea Breathing Difficulties?

In 2004 Dr Roberts states in the Texas Heart Institute Journal: "The problem of aspartame-induced pulmonary hypertension was raised by a 27-year-old woman with severe dyspnea [difficulty beathing] and other features attributable to aspartame disease who was found to have primary pulmonary hypertension at autopsy. This association assumed increased relevance because of my database, which revealed that dyspnea was a major symptom in 110 of 1,200 persons (9%) who reacted to aspartame products. In no case could the dyspnea be attributed to a known heart or lung disorder. Most of the patients were weight-conscious women in their 20s to 40s, who experienced marked improvement after avoiding aspartame. Their dyspnea promptly recurred after rechallenge, both upon self-challenge and upon in advertent exposure." (Source:

Dangers of Aspartame - Infertility & Birth Defects?

The effects of aspartame, even if consumed in very small doses, can be passed directly to the foetus. Foetal tissue cannot tolerate methanol. Dr James Bowen has dubbed Nutrasweet "instant birth control". The foetal placenta can concentrate phenylalanine which apparently leads to mental retardation.

Dangers of Aspartame - Violent Behaviour?

In this seminar 'Nutrition and Behaviour' Dr Russell Blaylock discusses the links between violent behavior and aspartame among other dietary factors.

Phenylalanine in aspartame lowers the seizure threshold in the brain and blocks the production of serotonin. The U.S. and other countries have been swept by a rage of violence. Researchers attribute this in part to low serotonin levels in the brain, which produces depression, rage and paranoia.

Instead of investigating and eliminating such chemical causes of violence, the U.S. Administration spends billions of dollars to build prisons. Also consider that dangerous drugs such as Prozac (see Prozac leaflet) are prescribed to counter low brain serotonin levels. It would seem that he chemical-pharmaceutical companies are laughing all the way to the bank. First, they make a fortune out of aspartame, and then, an extra fortune out of the pharmaceutical drugs used to suppress the effects of aspartame and to suppress the adverse effects of those drugs too.


A summary of main symptoms of illness and disease that doctors link to aspartame :

Headaches, dizziness, mood swings, breathing difficulty, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and cramps, change in vision (like blindness), diarrhea, seizures and convulsions, memory loss, fatigue and weakness, neurological problems, rash, sleep problems like insomnia, hives, change in heart rate (heart palpitations), itching, gran mal, numbness and tingling, local swelling, difficulty in breathing, oral sensory changes (like loss of taste), change in menstrual patterns, muscle spasms, weight gain, irritability, anxiety attacks, tachycardia, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), joint pain, nausea, depression, hearing loss, slurred speech. From a 1995 article:

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Do the 60-day No Aspartame Test:

  • Do the 60-day 'No Aspartame Test' and observe your health results. Look at all food labels very carefully.
  • Tell your doctor and your friends!
  • Dispose of or return all aspartame products to the store ie. anything with NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful and so on.

What is Aspartame?

Aspartame is a molecule composed of three components: aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol. Once ingested, the methanol, which is wood alcohol that has killed or blinded thousands of skid row drunks, converts into formaldehyde and formic acid (Ant Sting Poison). Formaldehyde, a deadly neurotoxin, is a common embalming fluid and a Class A Carcinogen (cancer-causing agent). Phenylalanine is also neurotoxic when unaccompanied by the other amino acids in proteins.

Some suggest that the best way to think of aspartame is as a minute dose of nerve gas that eradicates brain and nerve functions. The large majority (75%) of neural cells in a particular area of the brain are killed before any clinical symptoms of a chronic illness are noticed.

For more information refer to this article on aspartame toxicology.

Food & Drug Administration turning a blind eye to the damage done by Aspartame?

As of the late 1990s the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) had received more than 10,000 consumer complaints on aspartame. That was 80% of all complaints about food additives. Yet the FDA remained and remains complacent and has done nothing to alert the public, who assume that since aspartame products are so highly advertised, they must be as safe.

As cited above the US Community Nutrition Institute has stated about one survey: "These 80 cases meet the FDA's own definition of an imminent hazard to the public health, which requires the FDA to expeditiously remove a product from the market."

It has been suggested by some that perhaps FDA ought stand for "Fatal Drugs Allowed"?

The FDA, Aspartame and the Commercial Conflict of Interest?

In the early 1980s the head of the FDA, Arthur Hayes, overruled his own board of inquiry which had concluded that aspartame was too dangerous to approve for marketing. After he overrode their decision and approved aspartame, Mr. Hayes then went to work for the public relations firm of the company who discovered and developed aspartame - G.D. Searle.

In a similar scenario, U.S. federal attorney Sam Skinner was assigned to prosecute G.D. Searle for fraudulent safety-tests. However, he switched sides and went to work for Searle's lawyers. The case against G.D. Searle died when the statute of limitations ran out.

The Nutrasweet Company was later owned by the chemical giant Monsanto - producer of many toxic chemicals including DDT, Agent Orange, Dioxins, PCBs as well as Roundup herbicides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). During the 1990s Monsanto reaped $2 billion per year from aspartame. It has been asserted that "This can buy a lot of bureaucrats".

Does the FDA work for industry or for citizens? It is supposed to protect the public from dangerous products.

These two diagrams highlight the conflict of interest - the revolving door - between corporations like Monsanto and the USA government. Click the images to open larger versions in a new window.





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