Good Science and Bad Science, Part 3




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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

Cancer is a political problem more than it is a medical problem.

"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: Utz: Morrow:
4 old reports on aspartame toxicity 7.19.1 rmforall

"Jeff Utz, MD"-- not his real name -- has rendered a public service by posting four abstracts, from 1986 to 1989, of double-blind controlled studies that purport to prove the safety of aspartame.  Two refer to diabetes.

Since the volume of  published scientific research has been doubling faster than every 20 years since 1660, it behooves us to reference our judgments about the safety of any chemical or drug to the more recent competent reports by research teams not financed by vested interests.

In contrast to some fields of cultural verbiage, the more recent the report, the more credibility it bears.  45K post
This long review summarizes these recent reports, while these next two reviews go into more detail, contrasting  three well-known shoddy studies, industry financed of course, including the study by Leon, abstract given below by Utz.
Rich Murray: Gold: Koehler: Walton: Van Den Eeden: Leon: aspartame toxicity 6.4.1 rmforall
Rich Murray: Simmons: Gold: Schiffman: Spiers: aspartame toxicity 6.4.1 rmforall

[DKP has been implicated in the occurence 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.

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

This one is hot off the griddle:

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. 

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

There is substantial corruption of medical research by vested interests, described by this long, peer-reviewed review:    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

One would hope that all experts involved would focus on identifying all vulnerable populations and the exact toxic biochemistry, and, of course, act to eliminate aspartame, but, sadly enough, entrenched financial interests, just as in the case of tobacco, lead to corruption of the scientific process, as Walton elucidates in this 66-page report:

"Survey of aspartame studies: correlation of outcome and funding sources," 1998, unpublished as yet:
This study is available at
Al Raetz has justly criticized bias in both sides of the debate:

Walton found 166 separate published studies in the peer reviewed medical literature, which had relevance for questions of human safety. The 74 studies funded by industry all (100%) attested to aspartame's safety, whereas of the 92 non-industry funded studies, 84 (91%) identified a problem. Six of the seven non-industry funded studies that were favorable to aspartame safety were from the FDA, which has a public record that shows a strong pro-industry bias.

Moreover, 33 pro-aspartame studies were, with slight changes, published repeatedly in different journals from 2 to 6 times each. Walton comments, "Virtually all journals require that an affidavit be signed by all authors to the effect that neither the manuscript nor the data it contains have been previously published or concurrently submitted elsewhere for publication. Violation of this policy may have a detrimental impact on scientific progress and ethics."

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

Thus, the aspartame industry has funded many biased studies, and by unfairly publishing them again and again, created a false scientific image that aspartame is widely proven safe in laboratories. For a typical example of this disinformation, no author given: ,
The Aspartame Homepage (pro-aspartame)
"A Dozen Staight Answers about Aspartame Safety" , linked to . To their credit,   Sites by Aspartame's Critics

Walton's review does not mention the Colagiuri or the Okuno reports, abstracts given below by Utz.  The Colagiuri abstract reveals that aspartame was given at 162 mg daily for six weeks.  This is less than the 200 mg contained in one 12 oz diet soda.  It is rare for "anecdotal accounts" or "clinical reports" to reveal symptoms at this level of exposure to the cumulative toxicity  for only 42 days, unless the person is already an aspartame reactor. If the test groups are less than about a hundred subjects, they would not reveal toxicity effects at the level of 1% of users, which in the case of aspartame users in the USA alone, would be 1 % of 200 million-- 2 million... If the tests groups are fairly healthy, diabetics with proper diet and medication, then the study will establish nothing about various vulnerable groups, such as  fetus, infant, nursing mother, teen-age diet food addict,  obese, senior, and overworked medical professional who relies on SAD, Standard American Diet.

The Okuno abstract, given by Utz, describes a study using a single dose of aspartame, 500 mg, 2.5 diet sodas worth, on 22 diabetics, and then a two week study at 125 mg daily on 9 diabetics. This parody of investigation of a devastating toxicity for many diabetics  doesn't cost much, and surely makes PR executives' faces shine with joy, and would, if they had any,  warm their hearts.

Filer and Stegink are dealt with firmly in detail by the exceedingly well informed, lucid, polite layman Mark D. Gold:

Aspartame Toxicity Information Center Mark D. Gold   603-225-2100
"Scientific Abuse in Aspartame Research"   12 East Side Drive #2-18 Concord, NH 03301

Rich Murray, MA    Room For All
1943 Otowi Road, Santa Fe  NM  USA  87505   505-986-9103

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.  for 670 posts  45K post  20K post
Rich Murray: Smith: fibromyalgia & aspartame & MSG 6.27.1 rmforall

Excellent 5-page review by H.J. Roberts in "Townsend Letter",
Jan 2000,  "Aspartame (NutraSweet) Addiction"
H.J. Roberts, M.D.
Sunshine Sentinel Press  P.O.Box 17799  West Palm Beach, FL 33416
800-814-9800 561-588-7628 561-547-8008 fax
1038 page medical text   "Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic" published May 30  2001    $ 85.00 postpaid    data from 1200 cases over 600 references from standard medical research    34 chapters
Rich Murray: Roberts:
"Aspartame Disease" 1038 page expert magnum opus 7.5.1 rmforall

Subject:    Re: [Quackbusters]
What happens when you get off aspartame (Diabetic)
(Think how many women were not able to have children because they didn't know aspartame triggers infertility)
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 19:32:34 -0400
From:   "Jeff Utz, M.D." <>

On Wed, 18 Jul 2001 13:40:29 -0700 (PDT)
Charles Morrow <> writes:
> --- Dean Hughson <> wrote:
> > Let's call this post
> >
> > Betty practices medicine and potentially kills an
> > insulin dependent diabetic.
> >
> > Does Dr. Roberts give you medical backups for these
> > unfortunates who run into you?
> >
> Betty's website (Quackbusters) should be labeled as such.
> I have a particular interest in IDDM as my daughter was
> recently diagnosed with it.  Betty's post were entirely
> indefensible and made it clear that she does not know what
> she is talking about.  She confused NIDDM with IDDM showing
> that she should not be allowed to make claims about either.
> Sincerely,   Charles Morrow

Aspartame does not interfere with glycemic control in type II diabetes (formally known as NIDDM) or type I diabtes (IDDM):

Am J Clin Nutr 1989 Sep;50(3):474-8
Metabolic effects of adding sucrose and aspartame to the diet of subjects with noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.
Colagiuri S, Miller JJ, Edwards RA.
Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, NSW, Australia.

This study compared the effects of adding sucrose and aspartame to the usual diet of individuals with well-controlled noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). A double-blind, cross-over design was used with each 6-wk study period. During the sucrose period, 45 g sucrose (9% of total daily energy) was added, 10 g with each main meal and 5 g with each between-meal beverage. An equivalent sweetening quantity of aspartame (162 mg) was ingested during the aspartame period.

The addition of sucrose did not have a deleterious effect on glycemic control, lipids, glucose tolerance, or insulin action. No differences were observed between sucrose and aspartame. Sucrose added as an integral part of the diabetic diet does not adversely affect metabolic control in well-controlled NIDDM subjects. Aspartame is an acceptable sugar substitute for diabetic individuals but no specific advantage over sucrose was demonstrated. Publication Types:    Clinical trial    Controlled clinical trial
PMID: 2672774

Diabetes Care 1989 Jan;12(1):67-74
Aspartame metabolism in normal adults, phenylketonuric heterozygotes, and diabetic subjects.
Filer LJ Jr, Stegink LD.
Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine
University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242.

This study reviews clinical studies testing the effects of various doses of aspartame on blood levels of phenylalanine, aspartate, and methanol in normal subjects and known phenylketonuric heterozygotes. The effect of aspartame on the phenylalanine-to-large neutral amino acid ratio under various feeding situations is shown. The clinical studies of aspartame in diabetic subjects are limited to observations of its effects on blood levels of glucose, lipids, insulin, and glucagon. These studies clearly demonstrate the safety of this high-intensity sweetener for use by humans. PMID: 2653751

Diabetes Res Clin Pract 1986 Apr;2(1):23-7
Glucose tolerance, blood lipid, insulin and glucagon concentration after single or continuous administration of aspartame in diabetics. Okuno G, Kawakami F, Tako H, Kashihara T, Shibamoto S, Yamazaki T, Yamamoto K, Saeki M.

A nutritive sweetener, aspartame (L-aspartyl-L-phenylalanine methylester) was administered orally to normal controls and diabetic patients in order to evaluate effects on blood glucose, lipids and pancreatic hormone secretion. An oral glucose tolerance test was also performed in the same subjects as a control study of aspartame administration. In 7 normal controls and 22 untreated diabetics, a single dose of 500 mg aspartame, equivalent to 100 g glucose in sweetness, induced no increase in blood glucose concentration. Rather, a small but significant decrease in blood glucose was noticed 2 or 3 h after administration. The decrease in blood glucose was found to be smallest in the control and became greater as the diabetes increased in severity. No significant change in blood insulin or glucagon concentration during a 3-h period was observed in either the controls or the diabetics. The second study was designed to determine the effects of 2 weeks' continuous administration of 125 mg aspartame, equal in sweetness to the mean daily consumption of sugar (20-30 g) in Japan, to 9 hospitalized diabetics with steady-state glycemic control. The glucose tolerance showed no significant change after 2 weeks' administration. Fasting, 1 h and 2 h postprandial blood glucose, blood cholesterol, triglyceride and HDL-cholesterol were also unaffected. From these and other published results, aspartame would seem to be a useful alternative nutrient sweetener for patients with diabetes mellitus.
PMID: 3522147

Another interesting article (10 litres per day, that is more than I drink)

Arch Intern Med 1989 Oct;149(10):2318-24
Safety of long-term large doses of aspartame.
Leon AS, Hunninghake DB, Bell C, Rassin DK, Tephly TR.
Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Safety of long-term administration of 75 mg/kg of aspartame per day was evaluated with the use of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group design in 108 male and female volunteers aged 18 to 62 years. Subjects received either aspartame or placebo in capsule form three times daily for 24 weeks. No persistent changes over time were noted in either group in vital signs; body weight; results of standard laboratory tests; fasting blood levels of aspartame's constituent amino acids (aspartic acid and phenylalanine), other amino acids, and methanol; or blood formate levels and 24-hour urinary excretion of formate. There also were no statistically significant differences between groups in the number of subjects experiencing symptoms or in the number of symptoms per subject. These results further document the safety of the long-term consumption of aspartame at doses equivalent to the amount of aspartame in approximately 10 L of beverage per day.
Publication Types:  Clinical trial    Randomized controlled trial
PMID: 2802896
> =====
> The plural of anecdote is not data


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