“The chemicals we ingest may affect more than our own health. They affect the health and vitality of future generations. The danger is that many of these chemicals may not harm us but will do silent violence to our children.”
~Senator Abraham Ribicoff (l971)
I have studied the numerous adverse effects of products containing the chemical aspartame for a quarter century as a corporate-neutral physician (board-certified internist; member of the Endocrine Society and American Academy of Neurology). I encompassed these adverse effects as “aspartame disease” in my large text, “Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic” published in 2001.
The prime motive for this ongoing effort to remove aspartame from products available in commerce is the enormous toll in illness, disability and death attributable to aspartame disease…and failure of the medical profession and many governmental and other public health agencies to concern themselves with this ignored epidemic. The fact that over two-thirds of adults in our society consume aspartame products, and approximately 40 percent of children, often in prodigious amounts, provides perspective.
Perhaps the most grievous aspect pertains to the damage that these products can induce in infants and children. Moreover, aspartame could affect subsequent generations borne to mothers who were misled about the safety of this and related chemicals. Indeed, some who regard the widespread promotion of aspartame products to these groups as “crimes against humanity” have urged the banning of aspartame products for their imminent threat to human health.
A case in point is the full page ad that appeared in Functional Foods & Nutraceuticals magazine (November 2004) titled, “Remember your first taste of Aspartame?” depicting an infant feeding at its mother’s breast (see page 15). It noted that the chief ingredients of aspartame are two building blocks of protein “…just like those founds in eggs, fruit cheese or fish – and even in mothers’ milk.”
In my January, 2005 objection to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission about such perceived deceptive advertising in “a material respect,” I listed the following reasons:
(1) omission of other major components of aspartame, especially the 10 percent free methyl alcohol (methanol)
(2) the profound adverse effects of the large amounts of its “two building blocks of protein” on neurotransmitters and other important systems, and
(3) the absence of any references to the terrible reactions induced by aspartame products in numerous infants and children.”
Aspartame disease in infants and children
The manifestations of aspartame disease in young children include severe headache, convulsions, unexplained vision loss, rashes, asthma, gastrointestinal problems, obesity, marked weight loss, hypoglycemia, diabetes, addiction (probably largely due to the methyl alcohol), hyperthyroidism, and a host of neuropsychiatric features. The latter include extreme fatigue, irritability, hyperactivity, depression, antisocial behavior (including suicide), poor school performance, the deterioration of intelligence and brain tumors.
Each of these disorders and the underlying mechanisms is detailed in my books, especially Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic. They tend to be magnified in patients with unrecognized hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), hypoglycemia (low blood sugar reactions), diabetes and phenylketonuria (PKU). Persons with PKU lack the enzyme needed for handling phenylalanine, one of the amino acids (It’s dramatic increase in the body can cause severe neurological and other damage if aspartame abstinence and other dietary precautions are not instituted).
It is my further opinion that exposure to aspartame products and other neurotoxins may initiate or aggravate changes in the nervous system that result in multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. The latter issue is detailed in my book, “Defense Against Alzheimer’s Disease.”
Pregnant women and nursing mothers
I continue to urge ALL pregnant women and mothers who breast-feed to avoid aspartame products…advice that many of my obstetric colleagues have adopted.
This precaution has been dramatically demonstrated as valid by the occurrence of convulsions in suckling infants as the mother drank an aspartame soda. The scientific grounds for the foregoing continue to increase. They include:
- exposure of the fetus to considerable phenylalanine and methanol
- maternal malnutrition associated with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and a reduction of calories
- transmission of aspartame and its breakdown components via the mother’s milk
- the increased “allergic load,” thereby risking future hypersensitivity problems
Birth defects and subsequent generational stigmas
The finding of aspartame metabolites in DNA clearly has profound implications. I have described severe problems in the fetus or the infants of parents-including fathers-who consumed aspartame at the time of conception and/or during pregnancy.
Epidemiological studies will be necessary to corroborate the role of aspartame consumption in medical, neurological, metabolic, immune and neoplastic disorders involving subsequent generations.
The urgent need for action
It is clear to all who have studied the matter that the initial approval of aspartame by the FDA in l981-in the face of severe objections from its in-house scientists, consultants for the General Accounting Office, and even a Public Board of Inquiry-was an erroneous political decision. This opinion is supported by considerable clinical experience, an increasing number of credible scientific studies, and demographic evidence relating to the contributory role of aspartame sodas and other products in the dramatic increase of obesity, diabetes, attention deficit disorder, brain tumors and other malignancies in children.
In the light of this information, it is incumbent upon governmental agencies and consumers to severely curtail or stop the use of ALL aspartame products-including aspartame-sweetened vitamins, drugs and supplements. This also applies to a number of derivatives of aspartame and other chemicals that have not been evaluated by corporate-neutral investigators over sufficient periods of time using real-world products. Failure to do so invites the tragedy of a human “silent spring.”
The full spectrum of the mild to severe, even lethal adverse effects of aspartame use have been detailed in Dr. Roberts’ numerous articles, reports, studies letters and books. A comprehensive list of references to the literature Dr. Roberts has published on the subject of aspartame is available at http://www.wnho.net/aspartame_potential_danger.htm
Roberts, H. J.: Neurologic, psychiatric and behavioral reactions to aspartame in 505 aspartame reactors. In Proceedings of the First International Conference on Dietary Phenylalani8ne and Brain Function, edited by R. J. Wurtman and E.
Ritter-Walker, Washington, D.C., May 8-10, l987, pp. 477-481
Roberts, H. J.: Aspartame (NutraSweet) associated confusion and memory loss: A Possible human model for early Alzheimer’s disease. Abstract 306. Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Boston, February 13, l988.
Roberts, H. J.: Aspartame (NutraSweet) associated epilepsy. Clinical Research l988; 36:349A.
Roberts, H. J.: Complications associated with aspartame (NutraSweet) in diabetics. Clinical Research l988:3:489A
Roberts, H .J.: The Aspartame Problem. Statement for Committee on Labor and Human Resources, U.S. Senate, Hearing on “NutraSweet” Health and Safety Concerns, November 3, l987, 83-178, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, l988, pp. 466-467
Roberts, H. J.: Reactions attributed to aspartame-containing products: 551 cases, Journal of Applied Nutrition l988; 40:85-94
Roberts, H. J.: Aspartame (NutraSweet): Is It Safe? Philadelphia, The Charles Press, 1989
Roberts, H. J.: Does aspartame cause human brain cancer? Journal of Advancement in Medicine 1991: 4 (Winter):231-241
Roberts, H. J.: Aspartame-associated confusion and memory loss. Townsend Letter for Doctors 1991:June:442-443.
Roberts, H. J.: Myasthenia gravis associated with aspartame use. Townsend Letter for Doctors 1991; August/September: 699-700.
Roberts, H. J.: Joint pain associated with aspartame use. Townsend Letter for Doctors 1991;May:375-376.
Roberts, H.J.: Sweet’ner Dearest: Bittersweet Vignettes About Aspartame (NutraSweet). West Palm Beach, Sunshine Sentinel Press, Inc. l992.
Roberts, H.J.: Unexplained headaches and seizures. Townsend Letter for Doctors, 1992: 1001-1002.
Roberts, H.J.: Safety of aspartame (Letter) Townsend Letter for Doctors 1992: November:977-978.
Roberts, H. J.: Aspartame: Is it safe? Interview with H. J. Robert, M.D., Mastering Food Allergies 1992: 7 (#1), 3-6.
Roberts, H. J.: Testimony: Analysis of Adverse Reactions to Monosodium Glutamate. Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, Bethesda, April 8, 1993.
Roberts, H. J.: Aspartame (NutraSweet) NOHA News 1993; Winter:5-6.
Roberts, H. J.: Aspartame-associated dry mouth (xerostomia). Townsend Letter for Doctors 1993; February/March: 201-202.
Roberts, H. J.: “Dry eyes” from use of aspartame (NutraSweet). Townsend Letter for Doctors 1994;January:82-83.
Roberts, H. J.: Aspartame as a cause for diarrhea in diabetics. Townsend Letter for Doctors 1994; June:623-624.
Roberts, H. J.: Aspartame and headache. Neurology 1995; 45:1631-1633.
Roberts, H. J.: Defense Against Alzheimer’s Disease: A Rational Blueprint for Prevention. West Palm Beach, Sunshine Sentinel Press. 1995.
Roberts, H. J.: Lactose Intolerance. (Letter) New England Journal of Medicine 1995; 333:1359
Roberts, H. J.: Memory loss and aspartame. Townsend Letter for Doctors 1995; August/September:99-100
Roberts, H. J.: Aspartame as a cause of allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Archives of Internal Medicine. 1996; 156:1027
Roberts, H. J.: Critique of the Official Australia and New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA) Position on Aspartame. Soil & Health 1997; July/September: 15.
Roberts, H .J.: Preclinical Alzheimer’s disease (Letter) Neurology 1997; 48-549-55.
Roberts, H. J.: Aspartame effects during pregnancy and childhood. (Letter) Latitudes 1997; 3 (Number 1):3
Roberts, H. J.: “Dry eyes” from use of aspartame. Associated insights concerning the Sjogren syndrome.
Focus (Information Forum For Retinal Degenerative Disorders) 1998: Volume 3 (No. 3):16-17.
Roberts, H. J.: Submission to FDA regarding Docket No. 981F-0052 (Food Additive Petition for Neotame), March 3, 1998.
Roberts, H. J.: What’s blinding the world? Focus (Information Forum for Retinal Degenerative Disorders) 1998; Volume 3 (No. 3): 15-16
Roberts, H. J.: Ignored Health Hazards for Pilots and Drivers: The A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H File West Palm Beach, Sunshine Sentinel Press, 1998.
Roberts, H. J.: Aspartame toxicity denied – Dr. Roberts responds. Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients 1998; April:110-113.
Roberts, H. J.: The CACOF Conspiracy: Lessons of the New Millennium. West Palm Beach, Sunshine Sentinel Press, 1998.
Roberts, H. J.: Unrecognized aspartame disease in silicone breast implant patients. Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients 1998; May:74-75.
Roberts, H. J.: Unrecognized Aspartame Disease in Silicone Breast Implant Patients. Solicited Statement for the Committee on the Safety of Silicone Breast Implants, Institute for Medicine, Washington, D.C. Submitted on June 4, 1998.
Roberts, H. J.: Breast Implants or Aspartame (NutraSweet) Disease? The Suppressed Opinion About a Perceived Medicolegal Travesty. West Palm Beach, Sunshine Sentinel Press, 1999.
Roberts, H. J.: Aspartame (NutraSweet) addiction. Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients 2000; January (#198): 52-57.
Roberts, H. J.: Carpal tunnel syndrome due to aspartame disease. Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients 2000; November: 82-84.
Roberts, H. J.: Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic, West Palm Beach, Sunshine Sentinel Press, 2001.
Roberts, H.J.: Response to the assessment by the Alzheimer’s Association concerning Research and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients 2001; May:111-112.
Roberts, H .J.: The labeling minefield, with emphasis on aspartame. Nutrition Health Review 2001; #80:6.
Roberts, H. J.: Reply and commentary to the NutraSweet Company’s senior medical Consultant. Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients 2001; October:93-95.
Roberts, H. J.: Pseudotumor cerebri due to aspartame disease. Townsend Letter For Doctors & Patients 2002;June:66-68.
Roberts, H. J.: Aspartame-induced dyspnea and pulmonary hypertension. Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients 2003; January:6465.
Roberts, H .J.: Useful Insights for Diagnosis Treatment and Public Health. West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Institute for Medical Research, 2002.
Roberts, H. J.: The trouble with sweeteners. Nutrition Health Review 2003; July (#85): 3-6.
Roberts, H. J.: Aspartame disease: A possible cause for concomitant Graves’disease and Pulmonary hypertension. Texas Heart Institute Journal. 2004; 31:105
Roberts, H. J.: Aspartame-induced arrhythmias and sudden death. Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients 2004; May:121.
Roberts, H. J.: The potential hazard of aspartame absorption from within the mouth. Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients 2004; July:100.
Roberts, H. J.: Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic. 3 cassette audio set. (ISBN 1-884243-207).
West Palm Beach, Sunshine Sentinel Press, 2005. Roberts, H. J.: Mommylinks to Health: Aspartame (NutraSweet) Disease. CD (1-884243-134) West Palm Beach, Sunshine Sentinel Press, 2005.
(Dr. Roberts can be seen in the aspartame documentary: Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World, http://www.amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. He is an internationally known medical consultant and researcher. He is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in The World, Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, and The Best Doctors in the U.S. He has been knighted by the Order of St. George for his humanitarianism. His web site is http://www.sunsentpress.com or 1-800-827-7991. Many of the reports in his references can be read on http://www.dorway.com and http://www.wnho.net )