According to the Dec, 1994 issue of Health and Healing, ed. Julian Whitaker,
M.D., aspartame does affect some people adversely to the extent that they
know of it; and 75% of all non-drug complaints to the FDA have been about
aspartame. He questions the studies showing its safety because they are
based on giving a capsule rather than using the form mixed with food.
Methanol is 10% of aspartame. Methanol is toxic especially to the optic
nerve; and the poisoning effects of taking methanol are cumulative. Methanol
also breaks down into several carcinogens. Methanol is absorbed more rapidly
if it is broken down by long storage or heating. The FDA, however, approved
aspartame even for baked goods. I might mention that I have a number of
instances in my files of the FDA putting private profit of large industries
before public health.
Whitaker recommends stevia as a substitute.
At your nearest medical school library or by inter-library loan, you might
want to read:
WC Monte, "Aspartame: methanol and the public health," J of Applied Nutrition
36 (November 1, 1984) 42-52
RD Walton, et. al. "Adverse reactions to aspartame: double-blind challenge in
patients from a vulnerable population, Biol. Psychiatry, 34 (1993) 13-17
HL Roberts, "Does Aspartame cause human brain cancer?" J. Advancement in
Medicine 4:4 (Winter, 1991) 231-41
PR Camfield, et. al., "Aspartame exacerbates EEG spike-wave discharge in
children with generalized absence epilepsy: a double-blind controlled study,"
Neurology, 42 (May, 1992) 1000-1003
Although my own personal opinion is that aspartame is not a serious threat to
health for most people if consumed only occasionally, I would not want to see
anyone using it on a long term regular basis.