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Aspartame - seriously worried I haven't cut it out in pregnancy

(18 Posts)
RugbyWidow7 Thu 09-Jun-11 13:44:35

I have just been reading about the fact that it can cause birth defects and brain problems. I am 29 weeks pregnant and have been really careful to cut out caffeine, alcohol, various foods, perfumes etc, but never gave a thought to sweeteners. I have had diet coke, sugar free chewing gum, and yogurts throughout my pregnancy as I did before.

Does anyone have any more information on aspartame during pregnancy? I'm really worried I've done some damage now. Thanks.

buttonmoon78 Thu 09-Jun-11 14:14:35

I've never heard of it being a problem during pg before. I must have had plenty during all 4 pgs and so far 3 have turned out fine. #4 due in July and no problems so far.

I'd be guessing though that as with many 'bad' things it would take a lot, like litres and litres of diet coke a day to do any harm.

dizzy77 Thu 09-Jun-11 14:37:16

I'm reaching back to GCSE biology here but seem to remember (and I'm sure something my midwife said referenced this) that aspartame is only a major risk if you/the baby has a specific genetic configuration - I believe this is screened for routinely through blood tests etc.

Whilst it's a scary thing to google as (in non-scary summary) probably better to eat sugar if you're going to eat sweet things, as buttonmoon says I think it's more generally one of those risks people weigh up for themselves (eg no alcohol at all vs odd glass of wine).

However, I am sure someone with more knowledge than me can give you the reassurance you need.

spatchcock Thu 09-Jun-11 14:39:56

Where did you read that?!

There have been internet conspiracies associated with aspartame but it has been tested time and time again (including by 90 different countries that have found it to be safe) and no harm is ever found to result from ingesting it. Unless you have that condition where you're allergic to it (sorry, don't know anything about this).

Stop googling.

More info here.

d0gFace Thu 09-Jun-11 14:49:12

I read this recently sorry its daily mail;

Riddzy Thu 09-Jun-11 15:00:23

"I read this recently sorry its daily mail"

Not really very helpful, dogface.

'This research is not to test the safety of aspartame – that is already established.

'The study will address consumer concerns, including anecdotal reports that have linked a range of conditions to aspartame.'

If you'd googled a bit more, dogface, you would've found out that this study is based on a small number of people's fears - ie, anecdotal evidence. Also, the study hasn't really got off the ground because they've only had about ten volunteers.

Riddzy Thu 09-Jun-11 15:01:06

Sorry if that sounded snarky! But you should really do your own research - there are plenty of FACTS out there without needing to resort to Daily Mail misreporting!

KateeTheBump Thu 09-Jun-11 15:03:24

I've been trying to avoid sweeteners, but that's mostly because I don't like them very much anyway (they taste bitter and leave an aftertaste)

Don't worry, you won't have done any harm with 'normal' consumption.

d0gFace Thu 09-Jun-11 15:17:37

Not saying its fact just something I read recently(not researching was just in the news) thought the op might have seen the same thing.confused

d0gFace Thu 09-Jun-11 15:22:13

Sorry for posting!

KateeTheBump Thu 09-Jun-11 15:25:56

Don't take it personally d0gface, probably just the dailyfail got to her!

Riddzy Thu 09-Jun-11 15:40:38

Yes, apologies dogface, didn't mean to be rude. It's just that it's not really recent, AND it's the dailyfail! Newspapers are notorious for bad science reporting, even such bastions as the Guardian get it wrong so I would take any news outlet's reporting with a grain of salt.

d0gFace Thu 09-Jun-11 15:42:04

The article read to me like its safe with normal consumption, thought it might put the op's mind at rest. But yea im sorry if I made anyone worry. I think im having one of those days. smile

Damn you Daily fail!

Im still having sugar free juice ect.

One time I made the mistake of google'ing 'pineapple in pregnancy' it made for some interesting reading. smile

d0gFace Thu 09-Jun-11 15:42:56

x posted.

d0gFace Thu 09-Jun-11 15:44:42

I didnt even realise the date, Im sure I came accross it in the front page news.

How embarrassing.blush

LDNmummy Thu 09-Jun-11 16:36:44

Aspartame is very bad for you from what I know, but you have to consume high quantities (as in daily). As a society, we unfortunately do.

But, I have been eating yogurt and sugar free gum and I am very against the use of sweetners. As long as you are not having it excessively, I wouldn't worry.

I'm sure your LO is fine, I would just cut it out now.

nocake Thu 09-Jun-11 16:50:04

From the American Pregnancy Association website -

According to the Food and Drug Administration(FDA), Aspartame is safe for use during pregnancy and lactation. It is recommended to limit consumption to a moderate level.

Aspartame should not be used by anyone with PKU (a rare metabolic disorder), rare liver disease, or by pregnant women who have high levels of phenylalanine in their blood. Phenylalanine is a component of aspartame, and it may not metabolize correctly in anyone who has these conditions.

There's also an article on pubmed -

RugbyWidow7 Thu 09-Jun-11 18:52:07

Thank you everyone for your posts. It's really kind of you to take the time to post about this. I really do feel a lot better now, esp. having read your link Nocake.

Don't worry at all d0gface - MIL also told me about the Daily Fail article, which is what started me thinking about this. This can only be a good thing in my opinion as I am now aware, in a position to read up about it, to consult the lovely MN ladies and to ultimately do something about it.

I will cut it out from now on and stop worrying about it.

I really appreciate your help. Thanks all.

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