Myasthenia Gravis

Andrew Ray aray at
Mon Jul 24 23:31:32 EST 1995

In article <237 at>, beaumont at (Andrew 
Beaumont) writes:

>>Talk about the just some of the diseases NutraSweet triggers:  systemic lupus
>>(epidemic), multiple sclerosis (epidemic), chronic fatigue syndrome 
>>(methanol breaks down the immune system), epilepsy, Alzheimers, birth 
>>defects, Parkinson's, lymphoma, diabetes, fibromyalgia, mental retardation,
>>brain tumors (as it did in lab animals) and other cancers, etc.
[rest deleted for space]

Just to clarify things first, Mr. Beaumont is not saying that these diseases 
ARE caused by aspartame - he is joining the list of people here who are 
questioning "Betty Martini's One Person War on Nutrasweet".  I'm here to add
to the list.

Mr. Beaumont is correct in that ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) is a genetic 
disorder.  Of course so are most of the diseases "caused" by aspartame.  Many
of the others are autoimmune problems - the presence or lack of aspartame is
not going to affect whether your body produces antibodies to your own system.  
I'm not saying that there is definitely no relationship between some of these
problems and aspartame, but there is no good evidence for a causative effect 
(as Mr. Beaumont also states).  Aspartame is two amino acids - phenylalanine
and aspartate (phe-asp-methyl ester, if I remember correctly).  As soon as this
hits your stomach, peptidases will break it down into phe and asp and methane.
Unless you're phenylketonuric (PKU), these amino acids will either be 
metabolized or excreted.  That's it.  The likelihood of aspartame having any
effects at all is extremely small - much smaller than most things you eat any
given day.  If aspartame was as deadly as BM (pun intended) would have us 
believe, I and many of my friends would be suffering from siezures, lupus, 
cancer, MG, ALS, MS, and a host of other problems.  For the record, I drink
about a case of Diet Coke every couple weeks, and use aspartame to sweeten the
coffee I drink every day.  Also for the record, I'm in perfect health according
to my last checkup.  I'm certainly not suffering from any of the above 
problems.  My advice - get a grip!  You're probably doing much worse things to
your body than anything aspartame could do to you!

Andrew Ray
Emory University
Neuroscience Program
aray at

PS Anecdotal evidence and case studies are very poor excuses for a fully 
controlled experiment.

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