Methanol Toxicity From Aspartame/NutraSweet
About 10% By Volume
From Rich Murray

M.I.T. (physics and history, BA, 1964), Boston U. Graduate School (psychology, MA, 1967): As a concerned layman, I want to clarify the aspartame toxicity debate.

Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal, Canderel, Benevia) is reported by scientific studies and case histories to be toxic: headaches; many body and joint pains (or burning, tingling, tremors, twitching, spasms, cramps, or numbness); "mind fog", "feel unreal", poor memory, confusion, anxiety, irritability, depression, mania, insomnia, dizziness, slurred speech, ringing in ears, sexual problems, nausea, seizures, poor vision, hearing, or taste; fever, fatigue; red face, itching, rashes, burning eyes or throat, dry mouth or eyes, mouth sores; hair loss; obesity, bloating, edema, poor or excessive hunger or thirst, anorexia; coldness; diarrhea or constipation; breathing problems; racing heart, high blood pressure, erratic blood sugar levels; sweating; birth defects; brain cancers; addiction; aggravates autism, ADHD, and interstitial cystitis (bladder pain).

Almost all are typical of chronic methanol-formaldehyde toxicity: for detailed review Journal Of The Diabetic Association Of India 1995 Vol. 35, No. 4. Emerging Facts About Aspartame Dr. J. Barua (optometrist), Dr. Arun Bal (surgeon) (79 references) "...the total amount of methanol absorbed will be approximately 10% of aspartame ingested. An EPA assessment of methanol states that methanol "is considered a cumulative poison due to the low rate of excretion once it is absorbed." The absorbed methanol is then slowly converted to formaldehyde..." "Reaction of formaldehyde with DNA has been observed, by spectrophotometry and electron microscopy, to result in irreversible denaturation." "DKP has been implicated in the occurance of brain tumors." . Two teams find hot aspartame releases DKP: Food Addit Contam 2000 Oct; 17(10): 821-7 Simultaneous formation and detection of the reaction product of solid-state aspartame sweetener by FT-IR/DSC microscopic system. Lin SY, Cheng YD Biopharmaceutics Laboratory, Department of Medical Research & Education Veterans General Hospital-Taipei, Shih-Pai, Taiwan, Republic of China. and J Pharm Sci 1998 Apr; 87(4): 508-13 Hydration and dehydration behavior of aspartame hemihydrate. Leung SS, Padden BE, Munson EJ, Grant DJ Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455-0343, USA. Sophie S. Leung, PhD Dolores J. Grant, PhD

A radioactive tracer study proves that the methanol from a low dose of of aspartame binds formaldehyde, a deadly cumulative poison, into tissues: Trocho C et al, June 26 1998, Life Sci, 63(5), 337-349. (full abstract below)

Excellent 5-page review by H.J. Roberts in "Townsend Letter", Jan 2000, "Aspartame (NutraSweet) Addiction" H.J. Roberts, M.D. Sunshine Sentinel Press 6708 Pamela Lane West Palm Beach, FL 33405 800-814-9800 561-588-7628 561-547-8008 fax 900+ page text on aspartame toxicity to be available March 2001 Russell L. Blaylock, M.D. 601-982-1175 "Excitotoxins, Neurodegeneration and Neurodevelopment" The Medical Sentinel Journal Fall, 1999 , (95 references)

What many informed doctors are saying/have said about aspartame:

Dr. Woodrow C. Monte, "Aspartame: Methanol, and the Public Health," Journal of Applied Nutrition, Volume 36, No. 1, pages 42-54, 1984. (62 references) Professsor of Food Science Director of the Food Science and Nutrition Laboratory Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287 6411 South River Drive #61 Tempe, Arizona 85283-3337 602-965-6938 The methanol from 2 L of diet soda, 5.6 12-oz cans, 20 mg/can, is 112 mg, 10% of the aspartame. The EPA limit for water is 7.8 mg daily for methanol (wood alcohol), a deadly cumulative poison. Many users drink 1-2 L daily. The reported symptoms are entirely consistent with chronic methanol toxicity. (Fresh orange juice has 34 mg/L, but, like all juices, has 16 times more ethanol, which strongly protects against methanol.)

Lennart Hardell, M.D., PhD, in 1999 reported in Sweden that both cell phone use and heavy aspartame use correlate with increased brain cancers +46 19 602 15 46

UPI reporter Gregory Gordon: 96K 3-part expose Oct 1987:

Users who quit often experience much immediate healing, but some symptoms may last for weeks. Heavy users may suffer weeks of painful withdrawal symptoms. Also avoid all forms of MSG (glutamate), legally mislabeled as "hydrolyzed vegetable protein" or even "natural flavoring". Actually, all artificial sweeteners lack proof of safety. It's fun to mix club soda with juices. A long-used herbal sweetener, stevia, is entirely safe and widely available. A corrupt FDA has refused to attest its safety: stevia, splenda, others

Read all labels!-- aspartame is in almost all diet sodas, many drink mixes, instant breakfasts, cereals, cake mixes, cookies, yogurts, puddings, jellos, chewing gums, breath mints, candies, toothpastes, laxatives, even vitamins and medicines. Absorption through the skin in the mouth may be especially strong, close to the brain.

In the USA alone, about 200 million use this ubiquitous product of a billion-dollar industry, first approved by a corrupt FDA in 1974 and 1981. In 1985, Monsanto purchased G.D. Searle, and made Searle Pharmaceuticals and The NutraSweet Company separate subsidiaries. In 2000 Monsanto sold off all its aspartame units.

If 1% of users have a problem with aspartame, that is two million in the USA alone. Thousands of people complained to the FDA since 1981, and in recent years on the Internet.

Ralph G. Walton, MD, Prof. of Clinical Psychology, Northeastern Ohio Universities, College of Medicine, Dept. of Psychiatry, Youngstown, OH 44501, Chairman, The Center for Behavioral Medicine, Northside Medical Center, 500 Gypsy Lane, P.O. Box 240 Youngstown, OH 44501 330-740-3621

"Seizure and mania after high intake of aspartame," 1986, Psychosomatics, 27: 218-20:

An age 54 woman with 20 years of depression had been stable for 11 years with medication. She had a grand mal seizure, followed by mania, insomnia, flight of ideas, and irritability. A brief hospitalization and CT scan found no apparent cause. After three weeks, this led to psychiatric hospitalization. Two days later, it was found that during the several weeks before the seizure and onset of mania, she had started using aspartame in place of sugar in her iced tea, a gallon daily. Four days later, the mania subsided, and 13 months later she continued to function well, and enjoying her large amounts of iced tea, with sugar, not aspartame.

Three careful double-blind experimental studies prove aspartame causes headaches: Koehler SM et al, 1988, Headache, 28(1), 10-14. Shirley M. Koehler, PhD 904-858-7651

Walton RG et al, 1993, Biological Psychiatry, 34(1), 13-17. Prof. Ralph G. Walton 330-740-3621

Van Den Eeden SK et al, 1994, Neurology, 44, 1787-93. Steven K. Van Den Eeden, PhD 550-450-2202 Truth in Labeling Campaign [MSG] Adrienne Samuels, PhD P.O. Box 2532 Darien, Illinois 60561 858-481-9333 "The Toxicity/Safety of Processed Free Glutamic Acid (MSG): A Study in Suppression of Information" Accountability in Research (1999) Vol 6, pp. 259-310

Health Press 505-474-0303 George R. Schwartz, M.D. "In Bad Taste: The MSG Symptom Complex"

Aspartame Victims Support Group [250] and also Spanish translations and Spanish egroup

"The Dangers of Aspartame" discussion forum: many long reports by Rich Murray:

Many long, referenced posts by Rich Murray are in the archive at

Aspartame Toxicity Information Center Mark D. Gold 603-225-2100 "Scientific Abuse in Aspartame Research" 12 East Side Drive #2-18 Concord, NH 03301

Mission-Possible-USA Betty Martini 770-242-2599 many links Jeff Martin, Attorney

Aspartame Consumer Safety Network 800-969-6050 214-352-4268 Mary Nash Stoddard, "The Deadly Deception" United Kingdom Mission Possible International 63 Downlands Road DEVIZES SN10 5EF Tel: 01380 728059

The great health advantages of a no-fat vegetarian diet are well described by Dr. John A. McDougall at , which has copious scientific references and Net links, and at

You may search among 11 million medical citations on PubMed for any topic or author, and for many studies get an abstract summary:

Here is research in 1998 at a very low level of aspartame ingestion, 10 mg/kg, for rats, which have a much greater tolerance for aspartame than humans. The same level for humans would be about 1 or 2 mg/kg. Many headache studies in humans used doses of about 30 mg/kg daily. A daily dose of 2100mg aspartame, about 4 L diet soda, used in many experimental tests on humans, supplies 210mg methanol into the body. Many cases report a typical serious symptom syndrome at this level.

This report shows that aspartame causes binding of methanol's product, formaldehyde, a potent, cumulative toxin, into tissues.

Life Sci June 26 1998; 63(5): 337-49 From PubMed Formaldehyde derived from dietary aspartame binds to tissue components in vivo. ["Trok-ho"] Trocho C, Pardo R, Rafecas I, Virgili J, Remesar X, Fernandez-Lopez JA, Alemany M, Departament de Bioquimica i Biologia Molecular, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain.

Sra. Carme Trocho, Sra. Rosario Pardo, Dra. Immaculada Rafecas, Sr. Jordi Virgili, X. Remesar, Dr. Jose Antonio Fernandez-Lopez, Dr. Maria Alemany Fac. Biologia Tel.: (93)4021521, Fax: (93)4021559 Sra. Carme Trocho Tel.: (93)4021544, Fax: (93)4021559

Abstract: Adult male rats were given an oral dose of 10 mg/kg aspartame, 14C-labelled in the methanol carbon. At timed intervals of up to 6 hours, the radioactivity in plasma and several organs was investigated. Most of the radioactivity found (98% in plasma, 75% in liver) was bound to protein. Label present in liver, plasma and kidney was in the range of 1-2% of total radioactivity administered per g or mL, changing little with time. Other organs (brown and white adipose tissues, muscle, brain, cornea and retina) contained levels of label in the range of 1/12th to 1/10th of that of liver. In all, the rat retained, 6 hours after administration, about 5% of the label, half of it in the liver. The specific radioactivity of tissue protein, RNA and DNA was quite uniform. The protein label was concentrated in amino acids, different from methionine, and largely coincident with the result of protein exposure to labelled formaldehyde. DNA radioactivity was essentially in a single different adduct base, different from the normal bases present in DNA.

The nature of the tissue label accumulated was, thus, a direct consequence of formaldehyde binding to tissue structures. The administration of labelled aspartame to a group of cirrhotic rats resulted in comparable label retention by tissue components, which suggests that liver function(or its defect) has little effect on formaldehyde formation from aspartame and binding to biological components. The chronic treatment of a series of rats with 200 mg/kg of non-labelled aspartame during 10 days results in the accumulation of even more label when given the radioactive bolus, suggesting that the amount of formaldehyde adducts coming from aspartame in tissue proteins and nucleic acids may be cumulative.

It is concluded that aspartame consumption may constitute a hazard because of its contribution to the formation of formaldehyde adducts. PMID: 9714421, UI: 98378223

Karikas GA, Schulpis KH, Reclos GJ, Kokotos G. Dept. of Chemistry, University of Athens, Greece Measurement of molecular interaction of aspartame and its metabolites with DNA. Clin Biochem. 1998 Jul;31(5):405-7.

Mark D. Gold has an excellent, detailed analysis, "Scientific Abuse in Methanol / Formaldehyde Research Related to Aspartame" at:

In short, biochemical evidence exists to motivate us to seriously and respectfully consider anecdotal evidence of aspartame toxicity.

Mark D. Gold gives another detailed review, "Scientific Abuse in Seizure Research Related to Aspartame", at: .

"If the seizures from aspartame are caused by the combination of methanol/formaldehyde and the excitotoxic amino acid from aspartame, as I believe may be the case, it is important to note that methanol is 10 times more acutely toxic in humans than in rodents (Roe 1982), and it takes five times more excitotoxins given to rodents to simulate human ingestion (Olney 1988, Stegink 1979, page 90)."

_____ Rich Murray, MA Room For All 1943 Otowi Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505 505-986-9103 505-920-6130 cell


This article is for the education of the public at large, the physicians
and health specialists who have the integrity and intellect to understand
the implications of aspartame's ingredients and the biochemical and
pathological effects upon brain nerve cells and tissues, resulting in
serious neuro-endocrine disorders and other symptomologies.


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