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Aspartame May Be More Toxic in Men than Women

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Food Safety Research Center page and our Health Issues page.

 The Coca-Cola Company Beverage Institute for Health & Wellness (an oxymoron if I've ever heard one), has released an "aspartame safety" page that is described as a "resource for professionals."

 The only problem is that it claims aspartame is safe for use by nearly all populations, except for those born with the genetic disorder phenylketonuria (PKU). In reality, research suggests this artificial sweetener may be implicated in health risks ranging from cancer to seizures and even death.

Coca-Cola's Misleading Aspartame Information

 Aspartame is used in more than 6,000 products worldwide, including Diet Coke products, which may contain up to 190 milligrams (mg) of aspartame per 8.3 fluid ounce serving.

 Coca-Cola notes that "when aspartame is digested, the body breaks it down into aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol" - and it is methanol that is one of the root problems with aspartame.

 However, Coca-Cola (and many other food and beverage manufacturers) often misleadingly counter the claims of methanol being a harmful aspect of aspartame by pointing out that it also occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables. For instance, Coca-Cola writes:

     "Compared to amounts obtained from an aspartame-sweetened beverage, these components are consumed in much greater amounts from a variety of foods, including milk, meat, dried beans, fruits and vegetables... a serving of tomato juice provides about six times more methanol, compared to an equivalent serving of a beverage sweetened with aspartame."

 So why would methanol cause a problem in aspartame?

Methanol in Fruits and Veggies Differs From Methanol in Aspartame...

 

 Aspartame is primarily made up of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. The phenylalanine has been synthetically modified to carry a methyl group, which provides the majority of the sweetness. 

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