I think this blogger does a really good job of evaluating, critiquing and summarizing the research (and the hoaxes, urban legends, and falsehoods that are passed along as "common knowledge).
Some of the information is a bit technical for anyone without advanced high school or entry level college chemistry, statistics and/or research methodology and design, but I think it's still worth wading through anyway.
I only found his blog today looking for some of the research I based my own conclusions upon. He does a much more thorough job of it than I could.
If I had to summarize the aspartame science
1. Caloric intake excess, not sweeteners make you fat.
2. Sweeteners may increase hunger, but that hasn't been established, especially in humans. Sugar also increases hunger.
3. If you control caloric intake, weight will not be impacted.
4. Most of the adverse affects of aspartame are actually related to folate deficiency and folate metabolism.
What that means is that if you are folate deficient, aspartame will make it worse. The worst (and proven) symptoms associated with aspartame are actually a result of the folate deficiency. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables (or a folic acid supplement) will solve the problem.
Some people have sensitivities to folates and/or the amino acid phenylalanine. If aspartame causes a person adverse symptoms, so will other foods containing the folates and/or amino acid, even "healthy" foods like fruits, vegetables, and proteins) containing those substances.
#4 really breaks down even further.
If you have aspartame-triggered symptoms, eat more fruits and vegetables or take a folic acid supplement.
If symptoms improve or disappear, you probably had a folate deficiency.
If symptoms worsen, you may have a sensitivity to folates. You will have to avoid aspartame AND the fruits and vegetables that also trigger symptoms.
Plenylalanine sensitivity is harder to address, because it's an essential amino acid, and avoiding phenylalanine is difficult, unpleasant, and generally not a good idea unless absolutely necessary. Essentially such a diet is often describes as "if it tastes good, you can't have it," and the list of what you can't eat will be much longer than that of what you can.
Last edited by kaplods : 10-27-2013 at 04:18 PM.