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WARNING! Aspartame (Nutrasweet) Labelling Need

Sandra L Wegert sandraw at U.Arizona.EDU
Sat Nov 18 02:58:42 EST 1995

> I have wondered if, since aspartame is actually a modified form off
> phenylalanine, metabolism in phenylketonuria sufferers would leadd
> to the same symptomes as phenylalanine itself.  Is the phenylalanine
> actually released from the molecule or is aspartame a substrate for
> the enzymes invovled in phenylalanine degradation?

Phe is most certainly released from aspartame.  Check your can of Diet 
Coke: there's a warning there for PKU's.

> On a second note, does anyone know of any reported psychoactive
> properties of aspartame as this molecule is chemically related
> to neurotransmitters such as L-DOPA?  My own e
> experience with aspartame makes me think that there is some
> subtle effect that may only be evident during periods of 
> suppressed neurotransmitter activity.

As someone who has done blood-brain-barrier work, we could find no 
evidence that aspartame even gets into the brain (Davis, T.).  What is 
your experience?  I've found that at very high doses (3 cans of Diet 
Coke) it gives me a slight headache and seems to aggrevate my sciatica, 
so maybe a smidgin does get in, or maybe it's a volume effect.

> j.e.cox at cranfield.ac.uk

sandraw at U.Arizona.EDU

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