Aspartame Update March 2001




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"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease."
- Thomas Edison

"Dr. Gross told Congress that aspartame violated the Delaney Amendment, which had forbid anything being put in food you knew would cause cancer, and this was because without a shadow of a doubt, aspartame can cause brain tumors."

"And if the FDA violates the law, who is left to protect the public?"

There is new research showing that a sugar called xylitol (pronounced zy-li-tol) can significantly improve oral health, improve calcium absorption, increase bone density and remineralize tooth enamel. Xylitol also helps prevent or eliminate gum disease, cavities, tooth loss, asthma, inner ear infections, chronic throat and sinus conditions, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease. Xylitol has only 2.4 calories per gram, compared to 4 calories per gram for sucrose sugar. Xylitol is digested slowly, making it easier on your pancreas and useful for diabetics. You can purchase xylitol in five pound bags and use it in cooking and for all purposes you would ordinarily use sugar. Due to the health benefits from consuming xylitol, we suggest that it is a good substitute for ordinary sugar.

The herb stevia is the best no-calorie sweetener. Available in health food stores.

Sugar feeds cancer


Rich Murray: Comet assay will show aspartame methanol formaldehyde toxicity 3.25.1 rmforall

March 25 2001     To:

Hello,  I could really use your help. Developed since 1978, your Comet assay can show any DNA damage quickly, accurately, and inexpensively in a few white blood cells.  A search on  on "Comet assay"  gives a hundred reports.  Many groups now use this to show formaldehyde toxicity:

Mutagenesis 2000 Jan;15(1):85-90
Induction and repair of formaldehyde-induced DNA-protein crosslinks in repair-deficient human cell lines.
Speit G, Schutz P, Merk O
Universitatsklinikum Ulm, Abteilung Medizinische
Genetik, D-89070 Ulm, Germany.

"We have previously shown that the alkaline Comet assay (single cell gel electrophoresis) in a modified version is a sensitive test for the detection of formaldehyde-induced DNA-protein crosslinks (DPC). Our results also indicated that formaldehyde-induced DPC are related to the formation of chromosomal effects such as micronuclei and sister chromatid exchanges...."

Int J Occup Environ Health 1997 Apr;3(2):95-104
DNA-Protein Crosslinks and Sister Chromatid Exchanges as Biomarkers of Exposure to Formaldehyde.
Shaham J, Bomstein Y, Melzer A, Ribak J
Occupational Cancer Unit, Occupational Health and Rehabilitation
Institute, P.O. Box 3, Raanana 43100, Israel.

Research in 1998 by C. Trocho et al, using a very low level of aspartame ingestion, 10 mg/kg, for rats, which have a much greater tolerance for aspartame than humans.  So, the corresponding level for humans would be about 1 or 2 mg/kg. (Many headache studies in humans used doses of about 30 mg/kg daily.)  This proves that aspartame causes binding of methanol's product, formaldehyde, a potent, cumulative toxin, into tissues, forming adducts with DNA in brain, liver, kidney, and retina cells:   Life Sci June 26 1998; 63(5): 337-49
Full report:

Formaldehyde derived from dietary aspartame binds to tissue components in vivo.   Departament de Bioquimica i Biologia Molecular, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain.    Línies de Recerca: Toxicitat de
Sra. Carme Trocho, Sra. Rosario Pardo, Dra. Immaculada Rafecas,
Sr. Jordi Virgili, Dr. Xavier Remesar,  Dr. Jose Antonio
Dr. Mariŕ Alemany Fac. Biologia Tel.: (93)4021521, FAX: (93)4021559

Sra. Carme Trocho   Fac. Biologia Tel.:   (93)4021544, FAX: (93)4021559

In view of the extraordinary high worldwide levels of both aspartame consumption and user complaints, along with very critical reports by informed professionals, it is obviously urgent to replicate the Trocho results in humans immediately.  Can you help me do this?

How much would it cost to test blood from a single person who has used ~4 L diet drinks daily for a year and who displays the usual serious symptom suite?   It would be desirable to have this person quit all aspartame and be tested weekly for 10 weeks-- the time usually reported for most of the toxic symptoms to abate.  Why not post this data, along with other tests and the subject's journal daily on the Net, real-time?  Would conventional medical insurance fund this testing?   Would any labs be willing to donate the testing, or to take this on as a doctoral project?   Does data already exist on aspartame, methanol, and formaldehyde DNA damage?  How should samples be taken, prepared, and sent?

I will publish all replies in my public group of 54 members, including most of the credentialed professionals active in aspartame research:
Or, you may contact any of the professionals listed here:

Rich Murray: Aspartame Toxicity 3.26.1: Trocho 6.26.98  rmforall

Rich Murray, MA Room For All
1943 Otowi Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
505-986-9103   505-920-6130 cell

M.I.T. (physics and history, BA, 1964), Boston U. Graduate School (psychology, MA, 1967): As a concerned layman, I want to clarify the aspartame toxicity debate.

Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal, Canderel, Benevia) is reported by scientific studies and case histories to be toxic: headaches; many body and joint pains (or burning, tingling, tremors, twitching, spasms, cramps, or numbness); "mind fog", "feel unreal", poor memory, confusion, anxiety, irritability, depression, mania, insomnia, dizziness, slurred speech, ringing in ears, sexual problems, nausea, seizures, poor vision, hearing, or taste; fever, fatigue; red face, itching, rashes, burning eyes or throat, dry mouth or eyes, mouth sores; hair loss; obesity, bloating, edema, poor or excessive hunger or thirst, anorexia; coldness; diarrhea or constipation; breathing problems; racing heart, high blood pressure, erratic blood sugar levels; sweating; birth defects; brain cancers; addiction; aggravates autism, ADHD, and interstitial cystitis (bladder pain).

Almost all are typical of chronic methanol-formaldehyde toxicity: for detailed review
Journal Of The Diabetic Association Of  India
1995  Vol. 35, No. 4.  Emerging Facts About Aspartame
Dr. J. Barua (optometrist), Dr. Arun  Bal (surgeon)
(79 references)
"...the total amount of methanol absorbed will be approximately 10% of aspartame ingested. An EPA assessment of methanol states that methanol "is considered a cumulative poison due to the low rate of excretion once it is absorbed."  The absorbed methanol is then slowly converted to formaldehyde..." "Reaction of formaldehyde with DNA has been observed, by spectrophotometry and electron microscopy, to result in irreversible denaturation."
"DKP has been implicated in the occurrance of brain tumors."
Two teams find hot aspartame releases DKP:
Food Addit Contam 2000 Oct; 17(10): 821-7
Simultaneous formation and detection of the reaction product of solid-state aspartame sweetener by FT-IR/DSC microscopic system.
Lin SY, Cheng YD
Biopharmaceutics Laboratory,
Department of Medical Research & Education
Veterans General Hospital-Taipei, Shih-Pai, Taiwan,
Republic of China.
J Pharm Sci 1998 Apr; 87(4): 508-13
Hydration and dehydration behavior of aspartame hemihydrate.
Leung SS, Padden BE, Munson EJ, Grant DJ
Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy,
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455-0343, USA.
Sophie S. Leung, PhD
Dolores J. Grant, PhD

A radioactive tracer study proves that the methanol from a low dose of of aspartame binds formaldehyde, a deadly cumulative poison, into tissues: Trocho C et al, June 26 1998, Life Sci, 63(5), 337-349.    (full abstract below)

Excellent 5-page review by H.J. Roberts in "Townsend Letter",
Jan 2000,  "Aspartame (NutraSweet) Addiction"
H.J. Roberts, M.D.
Sunshine Sentinel Press 6708 Pamela Lane West Palm Beach, FL 33405
800-814-9800 561-588-7628 561-547-8008 fax
900+ page text on aspartame toxicity to be available  March  2001
Russell L. Blaylock, M.D.   601-982-1175
"Excitotoxins, Neurodegeneration and Neurodevelopment"
The Medical Sentinel Journal Fall, 1999 , (95 references)

What many informed doctors are saying/have said about aspartame:

Dr. Woodrow C. Monte, "Aspartame: Methanol, and the Public Health,"
Journal of Applied Nutrition, Volume 36, No. 1, pages 42-54, 1984.
(62 references)   Professsor of Food Science
Director of the Food Science and Nutrition Laboratory
Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287
6411 South River Drive #61 Tempe, Arizona 85283-3337
The methanol from 2 L of diet soda, 5.6 12-oz cans, 20 mg/can, is 112 mg, 10% of the aspartame. The EPA limit for water is 7.8 mg daily for methanol (wood alcohol), a deadly cumulative poison. Many users drink 1-2 L daily. The reported symptoms are entirely consistent with chronic methanol toxicity. (Fresh orange juice has 34 mg/L, but, like all juices, has 16 times more ethanol, which strongly protects against methanol.)

Lennart Hardell, M.D., PhD, in 1999 reported in Sweden that both cell phone use and heavy aspartame use correlate with increased brain cancers   +46 19 602 15 46

UPI reporter Gregory Gordon: 96K 3-part expose Oct 1987:

Users who quit often experience much immediate healing, but some symptoms may last for weeks. Heavy users may suffer weeks of painful withdrawal symptoms. Also avoid all forms of MSG (glutamate), legally mislabeled as "hydrolyzed vegetable protein" or even "natural flavoring". Actually, all artificial sweeteners lack proof of safety. It's fun to mix club soda with juices. A long-used herbal sweetener, stevia, is entirely safe and widely available. A corrupt FDA has refused to attest its safety: stevia, splenda, others

Read all labels!-- aspartame is in almost all diet sodas, many drink mixes, instant breakfasts, cereals, cake mixes, cookies, yogurts, puddings, jellos, chewing gums, breath mints, candies, toothpastes, laxatives, even vitamins and medicines. Absorption through the skin in the mouth may be especially strong, close to the brain.

In the USA alone, about 200 million use this ubiquitous product of a billion-dollar industry, first approved by a corrupt FDA in 1974 and 1981. In 1985, Monsanto purchased G.D. Searle, and made Searle Pharmaceuticals and The NutraSweet Company separate subsidiaries. In 2000 Monsanto sold off all its aspartame units.

If 1% of users have a problem with aspartame, that is two million in the USA alone. Thousands of people complained to the FDA since 1981, and in recent years on the Internet.

Ralph G. Walton, MD, Prof. of Clinical Psychology, Northeastern Ohio Universities, College of Medicine, Dept. of Psychiatry, Youngstown, OH 44501, Chairman, The Center for Behavioral Medicine, Northside Medical Center, 500 Gypsy Lane, P.O. Box 240 Youngstown, OH 44501    330-740-3621

"Seizure and mania after high intake of aspartame," 1986, Psychosomatics, 27: 218-20:

An age 54 woman with 20 years of depression had been stable for 11 years with medication. She had a grand mal seizure, followed by mania, insomnia, flight of ideas, and irritability. A brief hospitalization and CT scan found no apparent cause. After three weeks, this led to psychiatric hospitalization. Two days later, it was found that during the several weeks before the seizure and onset of mania, she had started using aspartame in place of sugar in her iced tea, a gallon daily. Four days later, the mania subsided, and 13 months later she continued to function well, and enjoying her large amounts of iced tea, with sugar, not aspartame.

Three careful double-blind experimental studies prove aspartame causes headaches: Koehler SM et al, 1988, Headache, 28(1), 10-14.
Shirley  M. Koehler, PhD   904-858-7651

Walton RG et al, 1993, Biological Psychiatry, 34(1), 13-17.
Prof. Ralph G. Walton   330-740-3621

Van Den Eeden SK et al, 1994, Neurology, 44, 1787-93.
Steven K. Van Den Eeden, PhD   550-450-2202

Arthur D Forman
Associate Professor, Clinical Neuro-Oncology 713/794-1286
1515 Holcombe Blvd Box 0100 Houston, TX 77030
Tmothy M. Barth Department of Psychology
Texas Christian University TCU Box 298920 Fort Worth, TX 76129
Chairman, Physiological Psychology   817-921-7410

David Edelberg, M.D
Rush Medical College Chicago, Illinois 60612    312-942-6913
Dr. Edelberg has a long-standing interest in chronic illnesses that have eluded conventional treatment, especially those prevalent in people under age 60, such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia and back pain.    Truth in Labeling Campaign [MSG]
Adrienne Samuels, PhD P.O. Box 2532 Darien, Illinois 60561
858-481-9333  "The Toxicity/Safety of Processed Free Glutamic Acid (MSG): A Study in Suppression of Information"
Accountability in Research (1999) Vol 6, pp. 259-310

Health Press    505-474-0303
George R. Schwartz, M.D.
"In Bad Taste: The MSG Symptom Complex"

Aspartame Victims Support Group [>250] and also Spanish translations and Spanish egroup

"The Dangers of Aspartame" discussion forum: many long reports by
Rich Murray:

Many long, referenced posts by Rich Murray are in the archive at
Aspartame Toxicity Information Center    Mark D. Gold    603-225-2100
"Scientific Abuse in Aspartame Research"    12 East Side Drive #2-18 Concord, NH 03301

Mission-Possible-USA    Betty Martini   770-242-2599   many links    Jeff Martin, Attorney

Aspartame Consumer Safety Network    800-969-6050    214-352-4268
Mary Nash Stoddard, "The Deadly Deception"    United Kingdom Mission Possible International
63 Downlands Road DEVIZES SN10 5EF    Tel: 01380 728059

Adverse Reactions to Aspartame
Judy Tidwell

The great health advantages of a no-fat vegetarian diet are well described by Dr. John A. McDougall at, which has copious scientific references and Net links, and at

You may search among 11 million medical citations on PubMed for any topic or author, and for many studies get an abstract summary:    accurate searches on anything and anyone   search millions of posts on news groups

Here is research in 1998 at a very low level of aspartame ingestion, 10 mg/kg, for rats, which have a much greater tolerance for aspartame than humans. The same level for humans would be about 1 or 2 mg/kg. Many headache studies in humans used doses of about 30 mg/kg daily. A daily dose of 2100mg aspartame, about 4 L diet soda, used in many experimental tests on humans, supplies 210mg methanol into the body. Many cases report a typical serious symptom syndrome at this level.

This report shows that aspartame causes binding of methanol's product, formaldehyde, a potent, cumulative toxin, into tissues.

Life Sci June 26 1998; 63(5): 337-49 From PubMed
Formaldehyde derived from dietary aspartame binds to tissue components in vivo.   ["Trok-ho"]
Trocho C, Pardo R, Rafecas I, Virgili J, Remesar X,
Fernandez-Lopez JA, Alemany M, Departament de Bioquimica i
Biologia Molecular, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona,

Sra. Carme Trocho, Sra. Rosario Pardo, Dra. Immaculada Rafecas,
Sr. Jordi Virgili, X. Remesar, Dr. Jose Antonio Fernandez-Lopez,
Dr. Maria Alemany Fac. Biologia
Tel.: (93)4021521, Fax: (93)4021559
Sra. Carme Trocho    Tel.: (93)4021544, Fax: (93)4021559

Adult male rats were given an oral dose of 10 mg/kg aspartame, 14C-labelled in the methanol carbon. At timed intervals of up to 6 hours, the radioactivity in plasma and several organs was investigated. Most of the radioactivity found (>98% in plasma, >75% in liver) was bound to protein. Label present in liver, plasma and kidney was in the range of 1-2% of total radioactivity administered per g or mL, changing little with time. Other organs (brown and white adipose tissues, muscle, brain, cornea and retina) contained levels of label in the range of 1/12th to 1/10th of that of liver. In all, the rat retained, 6 hours after administration, about 5% of the label, half of it in the liver. The specific radioactivity of tissue protein, RNA and DNA was quite uniform. The protein label was concentrated in amino acids, different from methionine, and largely coincident with the result of protein exposure to labelled formaldehyde. DNA radioactivity was essentially in a single different adduct base, different from the normal bases present in DNA.

The nature of the tissue label accumulated was, thus, a direct consequence of formaldehyde binding to tissue structures. The administration of labeled aspartame to a group of cirrhotic rats resulted in comparable label retention by tissue components, which suggests that liver function (or its defect) has little effect on formaldehyde formation from aspartame and binding to biological components. The chronic treatment of a series of rats with 200 mg/kg of non-labeled aspartame during 10 days results in the accumulation of even more label when given the radioactive bolus, suggesting that the amount of formaldehyde adducts coming from aspartame in tissue proteins and nucleic acids may be cumulative.

It is concluded that aspartame consumption may constitute a hazard because of its contribution to the formation of formaldehyde adducts.
PMID: 9714421, UI: 98378223

Karikas GA, Schulpis KH, Reclos GJ, Kokotos G.
Dept. of Chemistry, University of Athens, Greece
Measurement of molecular interaction of aspartame and
its metabolites with DNA. Clin Biochem. 1998 Jul;31(5):405-7.

Mark D. Gold has an excellent, detailed analysis, "Scientific Abuse in Methanol / Formaldehyde Research Related to Aspartame" at:

In short, biochemical evidence exists to motivate us to seriously and respectfully consider anecdotal evidence of aspartame toxicity.

Mark D. Gold gives another detailed review, "Scientific Abuse in Seizure Research Related to Aspartame", at: .

"If the seizures from aspartame are caused by the combination of methanol/formaldehyde and the excitotoxic amino acid from aspartame, as I believe may be the case, it is important to note that methanol is 10 times more acutely toxic in humans than in rodents (Roe 1982), and it takes five times more excitotoxins given to rodents to simulate human ingestion (Olney 1988, Stegink 1979, page 90)."
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