Return to aspartame (thing)
|All I know is that drinking anything with aspartame in it gives me a migraine and I know several other people with the same problem. I have also seen research, but I'm afraid I can't cite the papers, which links aspartame with various forms of brain tumour and minor nerve damage.|
The only advice when concerned about the effects of a chemical is to look up the research yourself (and see how much of it is funded by the people who make the chemical, in this case I believe Monsanto, and make your own decision.
In my case aspartame has definite bad side effects, and tastes horrible, so I cut it out. You may decide differently...
Personally I suspect that most of the dangers supposedly associated with the chemical are scaremongering, but the claim made by Monsanto that the chemical can't cross the blood-brain barrier and thus can have no effect on the brain is demonstrably untrue in my case at least (and yes, I know, the plural of anecdote is not data...)
Update 8/02/04 momentatus' w/u below seems to explain why aspartame gives me migraines - I hadn't seen that explanation before, but it makes perfect sense. The advice I give still stands however - look into the research for yourself if at all concerned. I find the claims against negative health effects in general far from convincing, but mildly worrying nonetheless.
However, there is one specific case when aspartame definitely has bad effects, that surprisingly hasn't been mentioned here, and that is the case of people with phenylketonuria, known as PKU. These people cannot process phenylalanine, and if they don't avoid any food containing it during their childhood years they suffer from severe brain damage. This is probably where a lot of the rumours about aspartame causing damage first come from.