Effect of Nutrasweet on health.

OPIRG wcsbeau at superior.carleton.ca
Tue Aug 10 01:20:25 EST 1993


In article <16C1DCB70.SIMMS at vmd.cso.uiuc.edu> SIMMS at vmd.cso.uiuc.edu writes:

>Marty --
>Thanks for the nice summary (only part reprinted here).  But I'm left with
>a couple of questions.  Since it seems the problem is mainly for children,
>is it possible to tell that nutrasweet is causing them a problem before
>the actual brain damage?

I very much doubt it, for reasons explained below, although there
might be some test that could be run, though heaven only knows what
test that might be.

The effects of the damage is a delayed effect, what is called
"late-occuring sequelae". That is because the parts damaged are not
"up and running", as it were, until much later in development.

The parts of the brain that are damaged are the arcuate nucleus of the
hypothalamus and the median eminence, a part of the pituitary gland.
To make a long story short, these areas control the suprahormones that
govern the release of other homones controlling development, including
sexual development. These suprahormones are also ultimately responsible for
normal cyclic release of sex steroid hormones. 

Since the functions affected are not complete in children, the full
effect cannot be seen until the damage has occurred *and the
individual has reached adulthood*. 

> And how much is too much?

Good question, and one I suggest you pose to Dr. Madeline Price or Dr.
John Olney, at Washington U, in St. Louis, who have been researching 
this for the past 20-odd years. They are in the Department of Psychiatry and
Pathology at Wash. U's School of Medicine.

>Also, I have been assured by many people that nutrasweet consumed during
>pregnancy will not harm the fetus.

I am very curious as to *who* these people are: doctors? researchers?
And *from where* they are getting their information.

And, I would be pleased to send you a bibliography refuting what they
have told you.

>  Are you implying that this is a
>danger?

Yes, I beleive he is. The birth defects caused by Asp and Glu to
mammalian brains are not controversial in the literature.  

>  Or if the mother does not suffer ill effects from aspartame
>is there no chance of damage?

Whatever you take eat or inhale or inject can be transmitted to the
fetus. The needs of a growing and developing organism are not exactly the
same as those of an adult. What may be a trace amount for the mother
could be too much for the child developing inside her, and she would
not know, because of the delayed effect of Asp and Glu. Everybody
remember Thalidomide? It was given for morning sickness, if my memory
serves me right. So - something which is of benefit, even , to the
mother could just as easily harm the growing fetus.

Cheers,
Dianne Murray
OPIRG-Carleton



More information about the Bioforum mailing list