Aspartame sensitivity? : a double blind randomised crossover study
Sathyapalan, Thozhukat; Thatcher, Natalie J.; Hammersley, Richard; Rigby, Alan S.; Pechlivanis, Alexandros; Gooderham, Nigel J.; Holmes, Elaine; Le Roux, Carel W.; Atkin, Stephen L.; Courts, Fraser
Natalie J. Thatcher
Alan S. Rigby
Nigel J. Gooderham
Carel W. Le Roux
Stephen L. Atkin
Heiner K. Berthold
Background Aspartame is a commonly used intense artificial sweetener, being approximately 200 times sweeter than sucrose. There have been concerns over aspartame since approval in the 1980s including a large anecdotal database reporting severe symptoms. The objective of this study was to compare the acute symptom effects of aspartame to a control preparation. Methods This was a double-blind randomized cross over study conducted in a clinical research unit in United Kingdom. Forty-eight individual who has self reported sensitivity to aspartame were compared to 48 age and gender matched aspartame non-sensitive individuals. They were given aspartame (100mg)-containing or control snack bars randomly at least 7 days apart. The main outcome measures were acute effects of aspartame measured using repeated ratings of 14 symptoms, biochemistry and metabonomics. Results Aspartame sensitive and non-sensitive participants differed psychologically at baseline in handling feelings and perceived stress. Sensitive participants had higher triglycerides (2.05 ± 1.44 vs. 1.26 ± 0.84mmol/L; p value 0.008) and lower HDL-C (1.16 ± 0.34 vs. 1.35 ± 0.54 mmol/L; p value 0.04), reflected in 1H NMR serum analysis that showed differences in the baseline lipid content between the two groups. Urine metabonomic studies showed no significant differences. None of the rated symptoms differed between aspartame and control bars, or between sensitive and control participants. However, aspartame sensitive participants rated more symptoms particularly in the first test session, whether this was placebo or control. Aspartame and control bars affected GLP-1, GIP, tyrosine and phenylalanine levels equally in both aspartame sensitive and non-sensitive subjects. Conclusion Using a comprehensive battery of psychological tests, biochemistry and state of the art metabonomics there was no evidence of any acute adverse responses to aspartame. This independent study gives reassurance to both regulatory bodies and the public that acute ingestion of aspartame does not have any detectable psychological or metabolic effects in humans.
Sathyapalan, T., Thatcher, N. J., Hammersley, R., Rigby, A. S., Pechlivanis, A., Gooderham, N. J., …Courts, F. (2015). Aspartame sensitivity? : a double blind randomised crossover study. PloS one, 10(3), e0116212. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116212
|Journal Article Type||Article|
|Acceptance Date||Nov 25, 2014|
|Online Publication Date||Mar 18, 2015|
|Publication Date||Mar 18, 2015|
|Deposit Date||May 29, 2015|
|Publisher||Public Library of Science|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
|Copyright Statement||© 2015 Sathyapalan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited|
This file is under embargo due to copyright reasons.
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