Chemistry debunks the biggest aspartame health myths

(Stephanie Hanson) #61

Tell me more about what I’m looking for with the ketone levels while testing. Pls and TY


As an experiment, I would take initial readings after your glucose has stabilized in the morning (if you have some dawn effect), then take both glucose and ketones before the test and at the times mentioned above. Figure out the glucose-ketone index (GKI) by dividing the glucose value by the ketone value where both are measured in mmol/L.
Be interested to see the results. :slight_smile:

(Lori) #63

I understand that everyone is different and their insulin responses might be different, however I just wanted to throw my 2 cents in, if I may.

I have reactive hypoglycemia. That means if I eat something high in sugar/carbs, my blood sugar will elevate (as you would expect it to). My body of course creates the insulin to take care of that BS spike but then my body digests the food well before my insulin has been completely used up and within an hour of eating the high sugar food, my blood sugar will plummet. It has been as low as 1.8 mmol/l but I can usually feel it when it gets down to about 2.8 or 2.4 and then I can correct it.

This will always happen with candy, sweet pastries, or anything that is high in simple sugars. I NEVER drink regular pop, but I have been served it in a restaurant before…thankfully I can taste the difference. I have to be careful when I order from a restaurant because I’ve eaten ribs before and then had my blood sugar drop, and it has also happened with sweet potato fries or popcorn at a movie theater, so it may also have something to do with whether I eat anything else with the carb or just the carb alone. As you can imagine, a ketogenic diet is perfect for me because I can’t trust carbs that I used to eat sometimes.

In any case…my point to this post is that I drink diet coke every day. It is my evening drink of choice. And it is what I order at a restauarant. If/when I do drink alcohol, it is always mixed with diet coke. Additionally, I use Splenda in my tea every day. So I would assume that if artificial sweeteners tricked your body into producing insulin, then I would surely know about it because my blood sugar would then drop to below normal.

Perhaps this has nothing to do with anything, but I thought I’d share.



quote=“DBatting, post:1, topic:5713”]
7. Aspartame Sensitivity Myth -

Thanks for your post. I’m not convinced and believe the research is lacking. In my experience sensitive people do react to aspartame. And that’s why I’m posting.

I dug deeply into that study above and I read their protocol. As usual they excluded everyone with any known allergies. This seems like a good idea 'cos it will reduce confounding factors. Right? However, it very likely also throws out the exact people who are actually reacting to aspartame. Actually proven allergy-sensitive individuals. So who where they left with? People who thought they were sensitive but weren’t. It’s no wonder the study concluded as much.

The same thing happened with MSG research. For decades they excluded anyone who was allergic to anything and the results always showed MSG as harmless. When they finally got around to designing protocols to include people with asthma and other allergies it was clear that MSG did have a profound effect on certain individuals. to the point that it could be life-threatening.

So, while it’s great news that healthy non-allergy-prone individuals can safely eat aspartame, the research says nothing about those of us who suffer an array of allergies.

Sorry if I missed another research paper that already addressed my point. I look forward to seeing research done on actually proven allergy-sensitive individuals rather than just ones who thought they were sensitive.

(Michael Wallace Ellwood) #65

Although I’m not a fan of sweeteners, and personally don’t use them, I found it interesting that in Gary Taubes’ “The Case Against Sugars”, he seemed to find evidence that on the whole, the sweeteners over the years had got a pretty unjustified bad rap.

And why? Look no further than the sugar and HFCS industry, of course.

As a matter of interest, my mother told me today that during the war, she had given up sugar in her tea so that her mother could have it. Her father, my granddad, also stopped having sugar so my grandma could have it, but in his case, used saccharin tablets. The latter were apparently not on ration, and available all through the war (this was in the UK). (My grandma was a saintly lady, and made a lot of sacrifices for her children, but the one thing she could not give up was the sugar in her tea, and she needed her tea to get by. She lived to nearly 90 BTW.).


Great points, and do you have a link to the MSG research that showed a problem for people with asthma, etc.? I hadn’t heard of it or anything showing MSG to be a problem, but would be interested to know if so (I suppose particularly as I do have a lot of allergies myself, but either way I doubt it would be a problem for me personally at this point, not that I have occasion to eat much MSG anyway).

But, this kind of problem is something I had been thinking of when reading through this thread. I can’t off the top of my head show any direct problem with Aspartame, and I’m very willing to question the sources of some information (perhaps misinformation) on the matter with regards to it’s problems.

However, one accusation against Aspartame I had heard was that many of the studies conducted showing it’s safety when they sought FDA approval were found to be not only flawed, but incredibly suspicious, with some studies, for instance, waiting until dead rats had rotted for months to check certain levels, or having cut out large chunks of flesh before officially examining for the presense of tumors in what was left. This appeared to not exactly be reported, but came up with FDA officials went to inspect some findings and the lab facilities of the studies in question, which lead to the FDA’s second denial of approval fr Aspartame.

BUT I hold all that as potentially hearsay or hoax as I haven’t seen much hard evidence or anything I can particularly trust to support that any of it actually happened, or happened the way implied. It’s also not an entirely solid argument that it took so long to push the stuff past the FDA, who aren’t necessarily known for resisting anything with enough money behind it which this had (that just sounds bad, but could be meaningless and doesn’t hold up as a serious argument). Still, it leaves some room for doubt and suspicion, at least for a while.

Of course, around here we all know how mixed up studies can be considering the contradictory claims about fat, sugar, carbs, cholesterol, etc that are out there. Sometimes too much is extrapolated from too little (particularly when the media takes it and the general public get the information). Sometimes people are scared of nothing. Sometimes there really is something to it all even if it’s only under circumstances we haven’t clearly defined yet.


Bear in mind that the late 80’s research was on general asthma populations. The more recent research filters out asthmatics who have had a history of MSG reactivity because that would supposedly confound the results. Same problem I highlighted above. Also bear in mind that the doses being tested a much lower in the more recent research.

Thanks for the info about aspartame. I believe it’s foolish to trust these chemical additive researchers. Food colouring is another issue. I was told recently that every artificial food colouring is banned in at least one country.


I’m a bit confused here, from that it looks like it was shown MSG either isn’t likely a problem or is inconclusively a problem.

From the link:

In summary, the existence of MSG-induced asthma, even in history-positive patients, has not been established conclusively.

And at the end:

It is impossible to reconcile the six studies presented in this review. When one reviews all studies, the study procedures employed by Allen et al. (1987) and Moneret-Vautrin (1987) are not sufficiently credible to persuade me that the authors measured anything other than spontaneous asthma in patients deprived of their essential maintenance medications. Four additional studies have attempted to confirm the results presented above, and none of the asthmatic patients have experienced asthma attacks after ingesting MSG. During these four properly controlled oral challenge studies, I would have expected at least one positive response to MSG challenge, if MSG causes asthma attacks. Certainly, before any governmental restrictions on the use of MSG in humans are activated, well-designed studies will have to demonstrate that MSG can actually induce asthma attacks.

This seems to show argue that MSG probably really is harmless, rather than a likely profound effect on certain individuals.


I was talking about the 80’s research that actually researched a general asthmatic population. The follow up research excluded those who claimed a reaction. Also, read into the research to see their protocols and you can see they are different. So it’s surprising when they say they cannot reproduce the same results as the 1988 experiment. So my summary is for decades it was claimed that MSG has no reaction. Then came research which proved the reaction (2 studies). Followed by new research that shows no correlation. However, looking into the no correlation research they deliberately excluded their hits in advance (check the protocol).

Another thing you could do is go to an asthma forum and ask there.


Ok, I see. But, from the sounds of it, that puts it in a position of just uncertainty (which, sure, is better than proven false), since it seems the 2 studies “proving” the reaction didn’t really prove it (they were small, and the reactions were small, and had the confounding factors of taking asthma patients off their normal medication, so, as the paper you linked concluded, they couldn’t rule out simply spontaneous asthma attacks that would have happened under the same circumstances without MSG).


Fair enough. For me there’s something fishy going on as it’s not hard to establish amongst general asthmatic populations that there are extreme reactions to MSG. I had asthma for 30 years. It’s run through my family. I’ve been involved in asthma groups for a long time. There’s definitely something fishy with some researchers saying that no one has an extreme adverse reaction. I haven’t followed the money but it’s surprising. I’d be more inclined to simply trust the research done in the 80’s, at a time before big pharma had so many tendrils in the research arena.


I think you’d need to go further back than that for the time you are looking for. Maybe they have more now, but I’m lead to believe Big Pharma was still pretty heavily influencing research in the 80’s as well.

That said, MSG wouldn’t be much of an interest to Big Pharma per se, as it’s just a food additive/flavoring primarily developed in Japan (the Japanese origin is only of minor relevance), but certainly there are some food and restaurant companies that have an interest in refuting claims against MSG (I don’t know how influential the particular ones are, though some food companies certainly are huge and known to ‘influence’ much research, and journalism, related to their products).

All that said, I can believe there is still reason for suspicion and perhaps there are simply some gaps in the general understanding that much research is leaving open (whether MSG does have an effect on rather particular, already compromised groups, even if it doesn’t have much effect on those outside those groups).


Hmmm, I see. So going back to 1969 you can see MSG was found to cause brain lesions and beahvioural disorders. 1969 is still a modern assessment, after 60 years of unchecked use.

100% of the recent research used by FSANZ and the FDA to determine GRAS has been funded by industry. This doesn’t include the earlier studies I mention, 1989, 1969, etc that show it as unsafe. All the flavour enhancers are now banned in children’s food in Australia. If they are safe? Why is this? Foods with added MSG specifically warn that they are not safe for consumption by children under 2 years of age. Somebody knows there’s something fishy with the most recent science. It’s like the FDA accepts that they are now a body that is restrained by industry interests in what they can say and use as research. The FDA adds a specific comment that MSG’s GRAS rating may change in future. Also indicating that they’re not fully buying into the modern research.

MSG isn’t a restaurant primarily thing here in Australia. Perhaps it’s that way in the states but in the rest of the world it is in all primary food systems. It’s often not called MSG. It’s 621 and it’s correlate is 631 which is often considered to cause the same triggers. In Asian countries it’s called many things and sometimes just “Salt”. It’s relevant to big pharma because more asthma triggers in the food system are in their interests. Then they add more and more research of non-allergic non-asthmatic people it’s in the interests of the additive industry as well as big pharma. The more unchecked asthma triggers in the food chain the more easy it is to sell immunosuppressants, corticosteroids, and bronchodilators. The FDA tried to change the MSG warning labeling to include all glutamates in 1999 but was trounced by industry.


I just wanted to add that many of members of this forum are the exact people that are excluded from this recent research into Aspartame and MSG and other contentious additives.

In all the modern research, people who are sensitive to inflammation are excluded from the study groups (people with known allergies and reactions to the substance). So a person who is carbohydrate reactive (many members - if not most - of this forum) and who is also choosing to trust the research exonerating aspartame is making a decision not actually supported by the science.

The take home message is to trust industry funded research at your health peril.

(Brad) #75

Thoughts on this study?


If I followed the links correctly, it’s based on data extracted from the Framingham Heart Study which is epidemiological and based on Food Frequency Questionnaires (FFQs) and only shows correlation and can’t prove causation, so it’s entirely possible that something else that’s coexistent with those drinks is causing the issues.

However, the title of the article in The Sun contradicts itself because the body of the article shows that the link to dementia was statistically insignificant, so why include it in the title unless for the purposes of sensationalism?

They were also 2.9 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s. But after accounting for all lifestyle factors, the researchers found the link to dementia was statistically insignificant.

Just more :poop: from journalists that don’t follow the information and just want page views.

(Derek I. Batting) #77

Precisely. Gid M-K summed it up pretty thoroughly in his article at Medium:

Diet Drinks Aren’t Killing You

How to stop worrying about that Big New Study that doesn’t mean much to your life

"Read The Goddamn Study

The first thing to note is that every media scare article got it wrong about dementia.

Every. Single. One.

In fact, once the researchers took into account the effect of conditions that are known to cause dementia (for example diabetes), the risk of drinking diet soft drinks disappeared. Completely."

. . .

"So every article was wrong about dementia. Based on this study there’s no increased risk of getting dementia when you drink diet soft drinks at all! Something literally anyone could’ve noticed if they had read the actual study. It’s not long.

(Mike Glasbrener) #78

When I consumed carbs previously I could consume diet coke/pepsi w/o any noticeable negative side effects. Once I severely restricted carbs Sometimes I’d go out to lunch and eat a keto meal and diet diet coke/pepsi. An hour or so later I’d get a massive crushing headache. After it happened several times I converted to consuming unsweetened tea instead. Headaches gone. So I’ve concluded something in the aspartame is causing a reaction in my body and causing the headaches. I don’t have a meter so I do not know if it is a blood sugar reaction.

(betsy.rome) #79

So what about cyclamates? IIRC, very popular with diet sodas in the 60’s, then banned by FDA, although legal in other places in the world. I’m betting the sugar lobby got it banned, considering the time frame & what we know now about Big Sugar.

(Clara Teixeira) #80

Love this thread and attached rant. Too much of any artificial sweetener has caused stomach pain and bloating for me. However my husband drinks diet coke daily with no problems and is losing weight at an incredible pace. It really comes down to the individual and what they can tolerate.