'Aspartame danger' myths

Heard the one about how aspartame single-handedly caused the Gulf War syndrome? In recent years, outlandish allegations – often spread via the Internet by individuals who have little scientific or medical expertise – have tried to link the low-calorie sweetener to every ailment ranging from Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's disease to cancer and weight gain. However, the overwhelming body of scientific evidence via more than three decades of research and over 200 studies demonstrate that aspartame is safe and that aspartame is not associated with adverse side effects, even in very large amounts.

Here are some facts to help dispel the "Aspartame danger" myths.  

Myth: Aspartame Causes Cancer and Brain Tumors.

Facts: Aspartame does not cause cancer according to the American Cancer Society, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Cancer Institute. Before the 1981 FDA approval of aspartame, it was extensively evaluated in four long-term and lifetime studies in rodents which received enormous doses of aspartame, equal to the amount of aspartame in more than 1,000 cans of diet soft drink daily over a lifetime for an adult human. There was no increase in brain tumors or any other type of cancer.

Myth: Aspartame Causes Weight Gain.

Facts: Changes in body weight are related to many factors such as diet, exercise and heredity. Products made with aspartame can help with diet and weight control because they are lower in calories than their full calorie counterparts. Based on the overwhelming scientific evidence from numerous scientific studies, aspartame does not increase hunger, appetite, or food intake or cause weight gain.

Myth: Aspartame Causes Lupus, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.

Facts: The National Parkinson Foundation has concluded, "The cause of PD is unknown, PD existed before aspartame was invented, there is no evidence aspartame blocks the absorption of levodopa." (Levodopa is the major drug used to treat PD.) The Alzheimer's Association concluded there was "no scientific evidence of a link between aspartame and memory loss." The Lupus Foundation of America has concluded that there is "no specific proof of an association with aspartame as a cause or worsening of SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus)."

Myth: Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not consume aspartame.

Facts: The FDA and the Council on Scientific Affairs of the American Medical Association agree that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding can safely use aspartame. An American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition task force also has concluded that aspartame is safe for both the mother and developing baby. Experts recommend obtaining calories from foods that contribute to nutrient needs rather than from foods low in nutrients, when it comes to women during pregnancy. Aspartame sweetened foods and beverages satisfy a pregnant woman's taste for "sweets" without adding extra calories, leaving room for more nutritious foods.


  1. Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum United States says:

    Of course aspartame causes cancer.  Even FDA toxicologist, Dr. Adrian Gross, told Congress in 1985 that aspartame violates the Delaney Amendment because without a shadow of a doubt aspartame caused brain tumors and brain cancer.  He also said because of this the FDA should never have been able to set an allowable daily dose.  Two Ramazzini Studies have shown that aspasrtame is a multipotential carcinogen.  Even oncogene studies have shown the problem.  In original studies aspartame causes brain, mammary, ovarian, testicular, pancreatic and thyroid tumors.  The Bressler Report mentions adenocarcinogena.  What do you need, a burning bush?  

    Trade organizations like the American Cancer Association are funded by industry.  Do some research about them and you'll find they are the last people you ask this question.

    Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum, Foubnder
    Mission Possible International (warning the world off aspartame)
    [email protected]

    • Pro Aspartame Group Pro Aspartame Group United States says:

      Betty Martini,
      Your not a medical doctor, the "dr." is from some Mickey Mouse doctorate you obtained years ago.

      You have been charged on several fraud incidents and really should be put away. Martini, you make up so much false claims it is embarrassing. I have actually made it a point when people quote on some of your blatant lies to debunk those claims and you.

  2. Matt Matt United States says:

    It's funny Martini makes all these claims but has no documentation to back up her claims.

    Hey Betty where are your actually facts? All we here are claims with no proof. We all can make claims, but without documentation your just a joke who for some reason wants Aspartame gone.

    More than likely she works for Splenda seeing as since all this talk has come out, Splenda has taken over as the number 1 sweetener. And Splenda is nasty. Lies it comes from sugar. Man made sugar is not real sugar.

    • sue sumpner sue sumpner United Kingdom says:

      Two years ago my husband was having serious problems with his left eye. swelling veins on his head and permanent crippling head pains....not migraine, worse. he had injections into his eye veins face...very painful, he is not the sort to take tablets or go to the drs, i was scared as he had to have mri xrays etc. the consultants were stumped. Then my daughter came home from uni one weekend, she now has a degree in biochemistry, and listened as i told her what was happening...she asked about his diet. he drinks alot of coffee using 3 sweetners and drank only diet coke. She told him to lay off the sweetners etc and within one week his pain had gone and his eye was back to normal size. he has no repeat of the symptoms. my son who has had migraines since little decided to stop drinking diet drinks and has also not had a migraine since. i warn everyone i know of the dangers and believe that aspartame was the cause of their ailments. i dont care what people reply to this as i have the living proof. thank god for my daughter who asked the right question at the right time.... is it too much to ask that drs etc at least ask about the patients diet and at least advise there could be a link...not in all cases but there is that small chance....or is it because it costs nothing to administer and earns nothing for the fat cats

      • Jim Morelli Jim Morelli United States says:

        Fortunately, I AM a biochemist. I asked her what she was eating. There was nothing obvious, no artificial sweeteners, just normal meat, fruits, veggies. I had the though about gluten allergies, as they cause digestive problems with some people. We went to the doctor's and sure enough, gluten intolerant. I walked away swearing revenge for the evil bread makers. Making bread literally since antiquity. 1000 years BC, they snuck it under the nose of the regulatory authorities (Orrg). My point-your family may be sensitive to aspartame, or there could  be a million other reasons for the correlation. One families experience is not evidence of toxicity.

      • And
        Jim Morelli Jim Morelli United States says:

        Any good doctor facing a patient with symptoms like that which are not explained with another ailment, would suggest an elimination diet, where you start with the most basic foods, and add back slowly of many weeks, to see if addition of something has an effect. If this had been the case with aspartame, you'd know it. UNLESS-you are a conspiracy theorist. Then NO argument matters.

  3. J J Canada says:

    For anyone who disagrees with you, you ask for THEIR research.  Where's YOURS?????

    You say Aspartame does not cause seizures.  My research is my neurologist and my own experience.

    My experience tells me you're full of shit!  

    • Isa Huntsman Isa Huntsman United Kingdom says:

      I have epilepsy and I was a regular drinker of normal soda. To lose weight I recently changed to diet soda. I don't have any more seizures than I did on regular soda. In fact, I probably have fewer seizures, but that could be due to a variety of factors.

      Of course, this is just one person's report. And unlike the bottom of the barrel conspiracy theorists that go around screaming "ASPARTAME, ASPARTAME!" I don't expect anybody to take this single report as evidence. I just can't understand how people are so gullible. Many of you are tabloid paper readers, so that probably explains it.

  4. Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum United States says:

    For anyone needing research you can find it on www.mpwhi.com  There is Dr. Ralph Walton's research for 60 Minutes showing 92% of independent scientific peer reviewed studies show the problem.  Many of the studies are also on this site.  For instance click on the button at the top that is labeled on embalming, and you will see the entire Trocho Study.  On the banners you will see the congressional records exposing aspartame, UPI investigation, the FDA Board of Inquiry revoking the petition for approval, and even the fsamed Dr. John Olnet's testimony to the Board of Inquiry, 49 pages on how aspartame destroys the brains of children or fetus. Click on aspartame news to go back to different years and pick u0p other articles and studies.  You can also go to the Aspartame Toxicity Center which even rebuts info from the manufacturer with medical references.  

  5. GroovyPKP GroovyPKP United States says:

    I know many MANY people who stopped having migraines after they stopped consuming caffeine - perhaps your husband should have tried giving up caffeine.  I have been using Aspartame since it came out in the very early 80's - no health issues (knock on wood)

  6. Draga Draga United States says:

    Has anyone noticed that those who are pro aspartame tend to rant and shout demanding yet more evidence ? Those who support aspartame are like small children shouting until their point is accepted.  Bless

  7. Aspartame Lover Aspartame Lover United States says:

    It can't hurt you.  Maybe we should ban dihydrogen oxide too.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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