Is Aspartame Bad For You? (Review of the Evidence)

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Hey folks, I wanted to take a minute to talk to you about aspartame. It’s a commonly used artificial sweetener that is controversial in some circles and not well understood by others. I decided to take the time to review the data and the studies and come to a conclusion about the product myself. I’m sharing that review and the data with you.

Marinovich, M., Galli, C., Bosetti, C., Gallus, S., & Vecchia, C. (n.d.). Aspartame, low-calorie sweeteners and disease: Regulatory safety and epidemiological issues. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 109-115.

Magnuson, B., Burdock, G., Doull, J., Kroes, R., Marsh, G., Pariza, M., … Williams, G. (n.d.). Aspartame: A Safety Evaluation Based on Current Use Levels, Regulations, and Toxicological and Epidemiological Studies. Critical Reviews in Toxicology, 629-727.

Butchko, H., & Stargel, W. (n.d.). Aspartame: Scientific Evaluation in the Postmarketing Period. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 221-233.

Tordoff, M. (1990). Effect of drinking soda sweetened with aspartame or high-fructose corn syrup on food intake and body weight. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 51(6), 963-969.

Lavin, J., French, S., & Read, N. (1997). The effect of sucrose- and aspartame-sweetened drinks on energy intake, hunger and food choice of female, moderately restrained eaters. International Journal of Obesity, 37-42.

Rolls, B., Kim, S., & Fedoroff, I. (n.d.). Effects of drinks sweetened with sucrose or aspartame on hunger, thirst and food intake in men. Physiology & Behavior, 19-26.
Blackburn, G. (1997). The effect of aspartame as part of a multidisciplinary weight-control program on short- and long-term control of body weight. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 65(2), 409-418.

Anton, S., Martin, C., Han, H., Coulon, S., Cefalu, W., Geiselman, P., & Williamson, D. (n.d.). Effects of stevia, aspartame, and sucrose on food intake, satiety, and postprandial glucose and insulin levels. Appetite, 37-43.

Eeden, S., Koepsell, T., Longstreth, W., Belle, G., Daling, J., & Mcknight, B. (n.d.). Aspartame ingestion and headaches: A randomized crossover trial. Neurology, 1787-1787.

Sturtevant, F. (1985). Use of aspartame in pregnancy. International Journal of Fertility, 30(1), 85-87.

Stegink, L. (1979). Plasma, erythrocyte and human milk levels of free amino acids in lactating women administered aspartame or lactose. Journal of Nutrition, 109(12).

Wolraich, M., Lindgren, S., Stumbo, P., Stegink, L., Appelbaum, M., & Kiritsy, M. (n.d.). Effects of Diets High in Sucrose or Aspartame on The Behavior and Cognitive Performance of Children. New England Journal of Medicine, 301-307.

Schaywitz, B. (1994). Aspartame, Behavior, and Cognitive Function in Children With Attention Deficit Disorder. Pediatrics, 93(1), 70-75.

Calories are the way we quantify the energy in a unit of food. 1000 calories = 1 kilocalorie, however most American food products equate 1 kilocalorie with 1 “Calorie” in the label. You should know how to count calories, how metabolism of carbs, fats and protein works, including synthesis and breakdown, calories in food and drink, how to define or describe a calorie, what a low calorie diet is, how many you need in a day, and what a negative calorie diet is.

Carbohydrate metabolism is complicated but you should understand how it works. Carbs can be referred to as starches, sugar, glucose, monosaccharide, polysaccharide, fructose, galactose, lactose, maltose, and sucrose. The purpose is to produce cellular energy, adenosine triphosphate, ATP and includes electron transports chain. This is known as aerobic respiratory and includes the citrus acid cycle, TCA, electron transport chain. There are many sources of carbs, they can be simple or complex. You should understand carb cycling, deficit, metabolism, anabolism, catabolism, breakdown, macromolecules, macronutrients, synthesis, counting carbs, daily requirements, diabetes mellitus, digestion, glycogen, gluconeogenesis, and glycolysis as it’s all very important and complex.

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