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What exactly is it that's wrong with aspartamine etc?

(29 Posts)
FromGirders Tue 05-Jan-10 19:49:36

Now obviously I know that aspartamine (what's the difference between that and aspartame?) is The Work Of The Devil, and I've always avoided letting the dcs have it - I'd rather they had a bit of sugar, which is at least natural.
However, I'm rather embarrassed to realise I don't actually know why it's so dreadful. Other than urban myth e-mails and "well it's banned in the US" type of stuff. I looked it up in E for Additives and it wasn't even there - doesn't have an E-number does it!
So I'm looking for some evidence, pref of a peer-reviewed scientific nature, or at least a decent review, not tabloid scare-mongering, as to why I treat these ingredients like poison.
Any takers?

addictedtolatte Tue 05-Jan-10 20:08:27

bumping for you i am considering giving my ds sugared cordial instead? i just dont know whats bad about aspartamine?

biggulp Tue 05-Jan-10 20:13:57

it is a carcinogen.

sweeteners in general are terrible for the gut, they give your stomach signals to get ready for digestion, acids secreted, then no sugar to digest...has bad knock on.

ThisBoyDraculaDrew Tue 05-Jan-10 20:27:26

The 3 things aspartame is metabolised to are all highly toxic - aspartate, phenylalanine and methanol (which is converted to toxic formaldehyde and formic acid) (fact).

The debate comes down to whether the levels of exposure as sufficient to allow the toxicity to be a problem. My personal (scientific) opinion on this is that different people will have a different tolerances and therefore some will be affected more than others.

Personally I can see (and take measures to prevent) the primary damage caused by sugar (tooth decay). I can't see the harm that aspartame is oe isn't causing so prefer to steer clear if I have a choice.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 05-Jan-10 20:28:45

I've never heard of 'aspartamine' before - it seems to be a variant name of aspartame which is E951 to answer one of your questions.

Wiki seems to have a fairly rational overview, from which I infer that it is not banned in the US, but is FDA approved.

biggulp, if you can point us to peer-reviewed paper proving carcinogenicity that would be useful.

Personally I avoid aspartame simply because DD and I prefer the taste of sucralose. Its being used a lot more now - e.g. all Sainsbury's no-added sugar squashes use this rather than aspartame.

ThisBoyDraculaDrew Tue 05-Jan-10 20:32:33

PS it is aspartame which is the nasty.

Aspartamine is another name for asparagine which is a perfectly normal amino acid found in the body.

addictedtolatte Tue 05-Jan-10 20:33:50

grimma is sucralose a form of sugar i am not clued up on anything like this?

SleighGirl Tue 05-Jan-10 20:34:20

all I know is that it sends me dc loopy hence I avoid it.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 05-Jan-10 20:35:34

Are aspartate and phenylalanine toxic?
(unless you are one of the very few sufferers of phenylketonuria of course). Sounds a bit hmm to me.

Methanol is certainly bad if you drink it.

GothDetective Tue 05-Jan-10 20:36:04

Causes brain tumours in rats. DH tells me off for drinking too much diet coke but as I say to him I'm not a rat. grin

FromGirders Tue 05-Jan-10 20:38:20

Yes, but why does it send dcs loopy? Is it really the aspartame, or because the only time they get a fruit shoot is when they're somewhere like a soft play place, and they're hyper anyway?

FromGirders Tue 05-Jan-10 20:39:50

Sorry, meant to write "the only time I give them a fruit shoot" - was referring to my own dcs loopiness after sweeteners, no reflection on your parenting sleighgirl, sorry.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 05-Jan-10 20:40:15

Just about everything causes tumours in rats if you feed 'em enough of it.

SleighGirl Tue 05-Jan-10 20:40:39

well they've had it at home for no special reason and they still went loopy so def something in the squash.

ThisBoyDraculaDrew Tue 05-Jan-10 20:43:28

asparttate and phenylalanine are both natural products in the body.

They are however neurotoxins when in excess...hence (probably) the sending of your DC loopy.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 05-Jan-10 20:46:20

sucralose - essentially its sucrose with some of the hydroxyl groups replaced by chlorine.

addictedtolatte Tue 05-Jan-10 20:53:22

thanks grimma i have just had a look at that link and i now understand. smile it sainsburys for me tomorrow. i feel so bad giving my ds this crap for so long. sad

FromGirders Tue 05-Jan-10 20:53:52

ThisBoyDracula - may i ask what your science is? I used to know all the amino acids offf by heart . . . was also a science-y person in a former life . . . . brain now mush sad obviously!

FromGirders Tue 05-Jan-10 20:56:57

hmm my copy of E for Additives only goes up to E927 which explains why I couldnt find it. And it's not that old a copy!

ThisBoyDraculaDrew Tue 05-Jan-10 20:58:44

Molecular biologist primarily with quite a bit of genetics, bit of biochemistry.

FromGirders Tue 05-Jan-10 21:03:39

Ta! It's nice to sometimes be able to put comments into a context.
(Disclaimer, all opinions are valid and useful, I just happened to particularly be looking for science-y ones smile)

Thanks for all links etc, off to trawl through wiki and follow the trails until I get to some hard peer-reviewed evidence!

FromGirders Tue 05-Jan-10 21:04:53

Bizarrely, if you google aspartame, this thread is the sixth search result. Not actually what I was expecting . . .

Jux Tue 05-Jan-10 21:09:22

Is it the one which 'changes the genetic code' in the dna?

ThisBoyDraculaDrew Tue 05-Jan-10 21:25:40

Is what the one that changes genetic code in DNA?

Thanks Girders. FWIW I did quite a lot of research a year or 2 ago, including peer reviewd papers and at the time I think that I found hte wiki article a pretty balanced account.

IIRC it is fact that the aspartame breaks down into the compounds I listed above. You can find lots and lots and lots of peer reviewed articles about the toxicity of those metabolites which implies aspartame isn't great. I think there are some slightly less abundant papers directly looking at aspartame administration to rodents etc. but the key is - as always relevant dose/relevant routes of administration????

As I said earlier IMO, and based on my research there is no doubt that aspartame is toxic. The question for me is "are the levels found in cola etc. at a level where it is toxic/toxic enough to worry me?". The answer - I honestly don't know. Nobody does (IMO) - but the chances are that as everyone is diffferent what is toxic for one is fine for another.

It is artificial. Sugar is natural. I can see the damage of sugar. The (potential) harmful effects of aspartame are internal, and likely to be prgressive and undectable in the early stages - so I avoid where I can but I am by no means religeoius about it.

ThisBoyDraculaDrew Tue 05-Jan-10 21:28:22

it isn't even on the first page when I google it...

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