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What Are the Effects of Aspartame?

Updated on February 14, 2019

What Is Aspartame?

Aspartame is a sugar substitute and used widely in processed foods. It's also known as Acesulfame Potassium and is artificially created using three ingredients:

  • 10% Methanol
  • 40% Aspartic-Acid
  • 50% Phenylalanine

Known widely as Nutrasweet, Canderel and Spoonful; the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) refused to approve of the substance due to overwhelming evidence that it is dangerous. That was until 1981 when Dr Arthur Hull Hayes Jr. was appointed FDA Commissioner and forced the approval. He was then quick to leave his post, to take a job as a consultant with an aspartame manufacturer.


Dangers Of Aspartame

A quick look at the image opposite should give you some idea of why aspartame is so controversial. Aspartame is responsible for over 75% of all side effects, reported to the FDA's Adverse Reaction Monitoring System (ARMS) and is banned in several countries. It is known to cause at least 92 different health problems, including cancer and is highly addictive.

The main problem is that the aspartic-acid in this deadly sweetener is an excitotoxin~ which means it overstimulates cells until they die~ causing imbalances and nerve damage throughout the body, including the brain.

Once ingested, aspartame~ more specifically the methanol it contains~ is converted to formaldehyde (most commonly used as embalming fluid). It reaches every part of the body too, including the brain and muscle tissue. It binds to your DNA and is a known cause of cancer. The formaldehyde is then converted to formic acid (ant sting poison)~ a substance used for removing epoxy and urethane...just what you want in your body!

As if the above were not enough, Phenylalanine is concentrated in the brain and depletes serotonin levels. This is a major cause of depression and other emotional health problems.

Combine all three and you have a powerful and deadly cocktail that millions are consuming every day~ even young infants, who are most susceptible to the side effects.

What Is Aspartame In?

The best way to know if something contains aspartame is to look at the label. Aspartame is most commonly found in foods labelled as 'diet', 'sugar-free' or 'low fat' (despite being known to cause weight gain), but don't be fooled~ many non-diet foods, particularly branded soda drinks, are now using the poison too.

These are the most common products:

  • Diet/Zero/Light drinks
  • Non-diet drinks
  • Supplements
  • Pharmaceutical drugs
  • Chewing Gum
  • Yogurts & Pro-biotic drinks
  • Crisps & Snacks
  • Sugar substitutes (i.e. Canderel)
  • Pre-sweetened hot drinks
  • Sweets/candy
  • 'Sugar-free' sweets/candy
  • Deserts
  • Sauces & Spreads

There is roughly 50ml of methanol in 1 litre of diet soda~ this is over six times the recommended safe limit of 7.8ml a day, as suggested by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


Diseases That Aspartame Reaction Contributes To And Mimics

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes & Diabetic complications
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Lupus
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Birth Defects
  • Chronic fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
  • Lymphoma
  • Lyme Disease
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Panic Disorder
  • Depression & Other Psychological Disorders

Aspartame Withdrawal

As you can see aspartame is a serious cause for concern, and worse still it's addictive.

Obviously the best thing to do is stop all aspartame consumption immediately, for the sake of your health. But depending on your sensitivity and level of addiction, you may have some temporary side effects when you stop. This is why many people who know the dangers of aspartame continue to eat and drink it. But it is worth the temporary pain for the long-term benefits. The longer you continue to ingest aspartame, the more damage it will do.

Side effects of aspartame detoxification can include:

  • headaches
  • low energy
  • muscle aches
  • sweet cravings

To minimise withdrawal symptoms and speed up detoxification, drink plenty of water and try massage and skin brushing. Follow a healthy diet, exercise regularly and eat whole fruit to curb sweet cravings.

Further Reading On Aspartame Dangers

I have linked to several sources throughout this article and if you would like to know more about the findings I recommend following these.

In addition to the above links, the following sites also contain detailed information on studies conducted by doctors and organisations who in no way profit from the aspartame industry:

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 Karen Creftor


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    • profile image 

      4 years ago

      Over several months I had symptoms of hypothermia, exhaustions, and numbness. I eventually woke up one day with a large episode with vertigo, a heart rate of 48, and a temperature of 91 degrees. I eliminated aspartame and everything was better within a month. I would add hypothermia to this list.

    • profile image

      J. Murray 

      5 years ago

      It sure creates a lot of problems. I read ingredients in everything to make sure there is no aspartame, surlose in things.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Interesting factoid about Dr. Hayes...and really useful reminder to check labels. There are so many ingredients to be mindful of.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      6 years ago from New Delhi, India

      This is really scary but very useful and informative hub! Very well done and well researched hub, which should be an eye opener to many.

      Thanks for sharing!


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