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Pharm-D (4th Prof)
Institute of Pharmacy
Aspartame is an artificial, non-saccharide
used as a sugar substitute in some foods and
In the European Union, it is codified as E951.
According to the
American Cancer Society, aspartame
is approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar.
The ingredients of aspartame
are aspartic acid and
phenylalanine. Both are
naturally occurring amino
acids. Aspartic acid is
produced by your body and
phenylalanine is an essential
amino acid that you get from
food. When your body
processes aspartame, part of it
is broken down into methanol.
Although toxic in large
quantities, small quantities of
methanol are not toxic.
1.Aspartame is a natural sweetener that is sold under
the brand names NutraSweet and Equal.
2.It is commonly found in “diet” foods.
3.While the sweetener remains popular, it has also faced
controversy in recent years.
4.Many opponents have claimed that aspartame is
actually bad for your health.
5.The FDA approves of aspartame, recommending a
maximum daily intake of 50 milligrams per kilogram of
• Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
• United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
• World Health Organization
• American Heart Association
• American Dietetic Association
FDA banned the artificial sweeteners cyclamate (Sucaryl) and
saccharin (Sweet’N Low).
Some examples of aspartame-containing products include:
•reduced calorie fruit juice
•sugarless candy and baked goods
•FDA: 50 milligrams per kilogram of body weight
•EFSA: 40 milligrams per kilogram of body weight
A can of diet soda contains about 185 milligrams of
A 150-pound (68-kilogram) person would have to
drink more than 18 cans of soda a day to exceed the
FDA daily intake. Alternately, they would need nearly
15 cans to exceed the EFSA recommendation.
People with phenylketonuria have too much
phenylalanine in their blood. Phenylalanine is an
essential amino acid found in protein sources such
as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products. It is also one
of the two ingredients of aspartame. People with
this condition aren’t able to properly process
phenylalanine. If you have this condition,
aspartame is highly toxic.
Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is thought to be a side
effect of some schizophrenia medications. The
phenylalanine in aspartame may worsen
uncontrolled muscle movements caused by TD.
When it comes to diabetes and
weight loss, one of the first steps
many people take is to reduce
empty calories from their diets.
This often includes sugar.
Aspartame has both pros and cons
when considering diabetes and
obesity. According to a
2014 PLoS One study, rats who
were fed aspartame had lower
body masses overall. One caveat
to the results was that these same
rats also had more gut bacteria, as
well as increased blood sugar.
This increase in blood glucose
was also linked to insulin
DIABETES AND WEIGHT LOSS
Natural Alternatives to Aspartame
• maple syrup
• agave nectar
• fruit juice
Public concern over aspartame
remains alive and well today. Some
studies (as well as the FDA) have
confirmed its safety, thereby leading to
acceptance for everyday use.
Due to heavy criticism, many people
have taken steps to avoid artificial
sweeteners altogether. Still, the
consumption of aspartame by people
conscious about their sugar intake
continues to soar.