What is Aspartame Poisoning?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 September 2019
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Aspartame poisoning refers to allergic reactions that may occur with continuous use of the artificial sweetener aspartame. While the product does not seem to cause issues for many people, a significant section of the population do report health issues that range from the minor issues such as a light headache to severe cramps and nausea, and even changes in heart rhythm. Aspartame poisoning has been identified among all sub-groups within the population. Men, women, and children have all been diagnosed with reactions to the sweetener.

In many cases, aspartame poisoning will clear up if the individual simply chooses to discontinue using products that contain the sweetener. This can mean staying away from such products as diet sodas, low calorie pudding and gelatin mixes, and a number of powdered drink mixes. Even some cereals and dried fruits contain aspartame as a flavor-enhancing ingredient. For the individual who becomes aware that he or she cannot tolerate aspartame, reading the labels on packaged foods becomes a necessity.

There is a wide range of symptoms reported with aspartame poisoning. While few individuals report severe reactions, the symptoms may become worse with continued use. Among the most commonly reported issues are headaches that develop within an hour or so of consuming a product containing aspartame. Nausea and diarrhea also may occur shortly after consumption.


There is growing evidence that the use of aspartame can impact neurological function. Aspartame poisoning may be evidenced by changes in mood, the development of anxiety for no apparent reason, or a feeling of lethargy or fatigue that does not seem to subside with rest.

Generally, aspartame poisoning will normally begin to subside once the substance flushes from the system and the individual makes a decision to avoid future use of the sweetener. However, there have been a few isolated cases where medical intervention was necessary to treat the symptoms for a short period of time. This was especially true in cases where the poisoning included severe symptoms such as heart palpitations or problems with breathing.

If you appear to develop some type of adverse reaction shortly after beginning to use aspartame as part of your diet, there is a good chance you are experiencing aspartame poisoning. Discontinue use of any products containing the sweetener immediately. If the symptoms persist, contact your physician for further assistance.


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Post 17

I lost all my body hair and had to have a body scan. My blood was affected and the consultant thought I had leukemia. My hair fell out and each day I would have to clean out the shower filter, it also went over my pillow. Since stopping all products with aspartame in it, things have improved, but I still have no body hair at all.

Post 16

I became quite ill after drinking two or three diet sodas per day for weight loss. My symptoms included headaches, extreme fatigue, tremors, blurred vision, decreased mental function, MS-like symptoms, and audio processing problems.

By chance, a friend emailed me and article on Aspartame poisoning and I eliminated it from my diet. Within two months, I was feeling well again. I do not understand why the FDA doesn't ban it from use.

Post 15

I started drinking diet soda 10 years ago, I developed head tremors, which no one told me about. Speaking to Neurologists who I work with they said stop drinking diet soda, in which I was assuming 10 cans a day. They told me to cut out my caffeine intake which I did and switched to caffeine free diet coke, within a year, still no change. In researching aspartame, I decided to stop the diet soda and move to seltzer, so far head tremors have decreased drastically.

Post 14

Speaking for myself, yes I had migraines due to saccharine and aspartame. Just this weekend feeling awful tired and migraine, and it turns out phenylalanine was in my vitamin (which was not before I bought the vitamin as usual but was not aware of the change) as I make certain I have only sugar- 'glucose' -- 'ose' family, etc. Phenylalanine is part of aspartame.

The lesson is always read the bottle first even if it's a brand you have been using for years before purchasing. Studies have said drinking three servings of diet coke or aspartame per day, increases the risk of cancer. This should be eye-opening for dietitians and the leaders of the ADA and FDA.

Post 13

Aspartame gave me hives and welts, especially around my eyes!

Post 12

I've been suffering more from anxiety and restlessness quite recently. I've concluded it may have been my aspartame use in the "diet" squash I've been drinking.

It seems I was fine when I woke up from a nap, but then I drank some squash and noticed uncontrollable mental activity.

I'm more prone to this than most people so I don't think everyone should avoid aspartame, but I think they all should be careful with their use and be aware of any negative affects they may be getting from their consumption of it.

I've concluded this form of anxiety I get is probably due to glutamate toxicity or a glutamate regulation dysfunction. It's interesting that glutamate is indicated in a lot

of conditions that aspartame is supposed to either cause or aggravate.

Aspartame seems to have some affinity for the glutamate (NMDA) receptor and glutamate is classed as an excitotoxin. Glutamate is used by the brain to increase brain activity and in large enough levels it can even kill brain cells. It's interesting how it does this. I think it releases free radicals and other chemicals that actually attack and rupture the cell walls of the neuron. This excitotoxic effect may be how it can contribute to all these health problems.

I'm feeling better now that I've had some BCAA (branched chain amino acids), which seem may help some people with anxiety.

Natural taurine also seems good for glutamate toxicity, so those susceptible should consider this amino acid, but avoid the synthetic form as it seems fairly toxic in the animal studies I've read about.

Gotu kola and valerian also work in similar ways, although BCAA is the only supplement to actually help. Gotu kola may be of benefit to me, but it's not as noticeable as BCAA, although they may need to be taken in combination.

The anxiety has now subsided greatly. I'm going to be consuming a lot more BCAA, especially when I feel I need it. I will also try to monitor my intake of natural taurine, gotu kola and valerian. I've noticed valerian (health food store quality) is good for use before bed, but I tend not to use it much during the day.

Sorry for the long comment. I just felt I had to get all this across to people.

Post 11

I have been doing an Army type program after school for a year now. I'm in 11th grade. I have not had a problem with the exercise until recently. We just got back from a fall break not too long ago and they put in a bar to serve lunch now. I ate everything but the pizza and did just fine at practice.

Today I ate the pizza they were serving and I went to practice. The minute after PT (Physical Training) I broke out into hives. I asked my aunt, the lunch lady, if I could see the products for the pizza and the pepperoni had aspartame in it. So I would suggest everyone read the labels on the food you get everywhere. It got so bad I had to leave practice and that made me even more mad.

Post 10

I have been diagnosed with interstitial cystitis, and aspartame is a trigger that adversely affects my bladder. I ate Fiber One bran cereal for years before noticing it had aspartame. I also failed to check ingredients in a jello cup recently and had a reaction. I checked its ingredients and sure enough, aspartame was in it. I don't know if aspartame was the initial cause of my IC.

Post 9

I am an aspartame poisoning sufferer but I have a second problem: aspartame addiction. Aspartame caused severe depression and anxiety and my "coping mechanism" is drinking diet coke all day long.

I have also come across research that suggests former alcoholics are at greater risk for this addiction as it becomes a "replacement." I stopped drinking two years ago and my already-toxic levels of consumption grew to about six litres a day.

I am lost. My depression trumps my motivation to try and quit and I cannot find a doctor who understands what I'm seeking. Does anyone know of a doctor who has specific knowledge of how to kick aspartame addiction? live in Canada but am willing to reach out to an American doctor. Someone, please give me guidance!

Post 8

A scientific explanation for the effects of Aspartame poisoning can be found in the book, "Excitotoxins-The Taste That Kills", by Neurosurgeon, Dr. Russell L. Blaylock.

Hopefully, the discussion on this subject continues.

Post 7

I'm 28 years old and have been drinking sodas since I was younger than 10 (so over 18 years now) and have not had a single one of any of these symptoms and on an average of three cans per day. I'm not even overweight these products were also overseas in Kuwait no such over heating causing toxins happened. it is possible that all this could be some people are just plain allergic. don't blame the companies that make them.

Post 6

I drank sodas with aspartame from the time it came on the scene in the early 80s until 96 or 97.

I started have strange numb spots sometimes on my cheeks and sometimes on my thighs and they just seemed to bounce around my body. We had a small walk-in kitchen and a my roommate came home one day to find me in the kitchen walking around in little circles. When she asked what I was doing, I didn't know.

I wasn't working and had no insurance. So I put the symptoms into the internet and came up with muscular dystrophy and fibromyalgia. Then I came across an "I hate aspartame" site. They blamed the Gulf war syndrome on soda

that was left in the hot desert too long. Don't know. Could be.

They recommended going off of it for six months. I stopped using it. Two weeks later, the symptoms were all gone and have never returned.

Maybe it's an allergy, I don't know. But I don't use it. No way!

Post 4

I have never been allergic to anything. I've always been healthy and at the age of 54 and go to the gym three times a week for the past 10 years. All of a sudden I started having the hives and doctors were baffled and then the constant burping 24 hours a day, blurred vision, and a seizure happened five minutes after I got out from behind the wheel of a truck.

They rushed me to hospital and they found nothing except elevated blood pressure no reason found for the joint pain, memory loss, depression, acid reflux. and then one day a lady asked what I was drinking I said Crystal Lite and that's when I found out about aspartame

poisoning and I stopped then! And my health started improving every day. After four months of suffering from hives they started to go away! so please do not drink or eat this poison. I had to learn the hard way.
Post 2

I heard surprising information when talking to a lady in a health food store.

She was buying food items to send to her Army son in Iraq.

Her son told her, "don't send anything with Aspartame in it!"

It turns out that when Aspartame gets overheated (in the Ira1 heat), it turns into formic acid (an ant poison.)

Post 1

My wife gets hives and a face flush immediately after consuming soft drinks with aspartame.

A friend in the medical field had allergy tests for 100 different items, and couldn't find the reason why he was breaking out in hives all over his face.

Both eliminated most of their hives problem when they eliminated diet sodas.

However, my wife still had some hives when she drank any soda pop.

Then my wife had a severe MSG (monosodium glutamate) attack requiring a hospital emergency Room visit, after eating Chinese Food.

She researched MSG and found that Aspartame acts on the body much like MSG.

Finally, she found that cokes contain "citric acid", an MSG substance made from corn and black mold, not citrus. Once she eliminated citric acid, her hives problem disappeared completely. So her problem was MSG!

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