NutraSweet making World News: Please send us all case histories

Jason Eriksen jerikse at bsd.meddean.luc.edu
Mon Nov 25 17:58:22 EST 1996


Betty,

You may remember me because we corresponded a few times, and you were
kind enough to send me information about this subject. I have looked
into this subject at some depth out of curiosity.

While Olney's research is interesting in itself, the epidemiology
research seems flawed. Since this 
is largely a correlative study, we cannot definitively conclude the 
Nutrasweet is in fact doing anything at all, only that there appears to
be a gradual increase in the number of reported cancers; yet it is known
that the cancer rate increased prior to this study.

I was very interested in the biological mechanism behind the neurotoxic
action of Neutrasweet, but there are a number of severe limitations which
make it unlikely that this is a culprit in neurodegenerative disorders.
In order for this drug to act as a neurotoxin in the CNS, it must be
able to cross the blood brain barrier, which aspartame does not apparently
do.

Methanol production through the metabolism of aspartame, over long 
periods, has also been cited as a possible mechanism of neurotoxicity,
but this appears to be unlikely, since the amount of methanol 
produced is equivalent to that found in a banana. As far as I know, 
bananas are not particularly toxic, and while they will start to make
one feel bloated if 10 or 20 of them are eaten per day, they do not seem
to have any adverse effects upon the CNS.

Cheers,
Jason



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