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Aspartame linked to Premature Birth

Updated on August 2, 2016

Aspartame - Overview

If you are planning to get pregnant. pregnant or not pregnant, you should always determine diligently the most suitable types of foods to consume. This brief article provides you with an info on the danger of consuming diet soda containing aspartame that shown by a study to be associated with preterm birth.

Many people consume diet soda because they believe it is a healthier option compared to regular soda. Even though diet soda does not contain sugar (in the form of high fructose corn syrup, HFCS), it normally contains an artificial sweetener called aspartame.

The term diet attracts laypersons attention as it sounds as if the products are healthier than regular soda. It is very unfortunate that most people are ignorant to warnings written by experts on the dangers of consuming foods/drinks containing aspartame.


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Danish Study

Researchers interviewed 59,334 pregnant Danish women, as reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2010) indicates that aspartame may increase the risk of premature birth.

Researchers interviewed the women about their soft drink consumption. They then compared collected data with the results of the women births. What were their findings?

Those who consumed a can of diet soda per day found to increase the risk of premature birth by 38%. Consuming as much as four cans per day on a regular basis found to increase the risk by 78%. Premature birth (also known as preterm birth) is defined as birth less than 37 weeks after conception.

Researchers did not find any correlation between sugared soda consumption and preterm birth. The result suggests that aspartame used as an artificial sweetener may play a role in the effect. They suggested that the preterm birth may due to in part by methanol.

Methanol is a neurotoxin produced when aspartame is reduced in the body. In the body, methanol is said oxidized to formaldehyde and subsequently to formic acid, both of which are cytotoxics (toxic to cells).

Health Problems

The acid contents in term of citric and phosphoric acids are said to be much higher in diet soda compare to that of regular soda. It also contains artificial colorings and flavoring. Phosphoric acid is believed to be associated with osteoporosis while artificial colorings and flavorings are implicated in ADHD in children. The latter also believed to epigenetically affect gene expression.

Aspartame has been long warned by critics to cause many health problems. Side effects can occur gradually, can be immediate, or can be acute reactions.

There a number of symptoms said to be associated with aspartame consumption. The following are symptoms attributed to aspartame in complaints submitted to the FDA by the Department of Health and Human Services dated April 20, 1995:

Headache, dizziness/poor equilibrium, change of mood, vomiting or nausea, abdominal pain or cramps, change in vision, diarrhea, seizures and convulsions, memory loss, fatigue/weakness, neurological complaints, sleep problems, hives, change in heart rate, itching, gran mal, numbness/tingling, local swelling, change in activity level, difficulty breathing, oral sensory changes, change in menstrual pattern.

The highest percentage of complaints is at the top of the list while the least at the bottom. There are also other reported symptoms categorized as symptoms reported by less than 100 complaints.

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