Sunday, August 1, 2010

NutraSweet - Day 3

We could spend one whole post on "how to file a complaint against NutraSweet" -- but the most simple and empowering choice is to check the label for aspartame and to not consume it.  Your purchasing dollars have power. 

Here is the short list of NutraSweet products: Trident, Diet Pepsi, Diet Coke, Diet Dr. Pepper, Crystal Lite, Extra Gum, Diet Iced Tea, Diet Snapple, Starbucks sugar-free syrups, many yogurts, nutritional bars, sugar-free cocoa, some protein powders...the list is long and growing!

On there is a discussion on the third byproduct of aspartame: methanol.  They assert that, "the body handles methanol the same whether it comes from juice or from aspartame sweetened food.  It is absorbed in the small intestine and immediately converted to water and carbon dioxide."  If I could prove them wrong in court I'd be a millionaire, right?

Here is some interesting information:
  • Quick math implies that every 12 ounce can of diet soda contains 10-18 mg of methanol (180 mg of aspartame with methanol contributing ~10%). 
  • Fruits and fruit juices contain ethanol, pectin, folic acid, niacin, vitamin C, and B complex vitamins which naturally detoxify the methanol.  Ethanol is the standard emergency room treatment for methanol poisoning.
  • Without ethanol and pectin, methanol metabolizes into formaldehyde and formic acid.
  • Formaldehyde and formic acid are highly toxic and known carcinogens.  Symptoms may include: headaches, dizziness, memory lapses, vision problems. 
  • An EPA assessment of methanol states that methanol "is considered a cumulative poison due to the low rate of excretion once it is absorbed. In the body, methanol is oxidized to formaldehyde and formic acid; both of these metabolites are toxic."
If anything, use this information to initiate your own research and draw your own conclusions. 

Woodrow C. Monte, Ph.D., R.D., "Aspartame: Methanol and the Public Health," Journal of Applied Nutrition, 36 (1): 42-53.


  1. Meemo, I would love to get the real scoop on Splenda and Truvia as well! I have heard that Splenda is not really made from sugar, but haven't had much luck researching it. I have switched to using Truvia, but still occasionally use splenda or have drinks containing splenda. Thanks for all your hard work, you are the best!! Keep it up!

  2. Hi Katie! I will make sure to post about alternatives to NutraSweet - thank you for the great idea. So nice to see a comment from you.