Dr. Woodrow C. Monte’s Methanol Research – University Of Arizona - Part 11

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(French)15 White 32800 442500 -- Rose 78800 981000 -- Red 128 800 160 667 -- Pear 188 1370 137 250 -- Cherry 276 1370 201 294 -- Wines (American)30 Low 50800 622500 -- High 325 800 406 385 -- Aspartame Sweetened Beverages48 2 liters 5 liters Uncarbonated Drinks48 558 6875 0 110 mg 275 mg Cola (Carbonated)48 568 7000 0 112 mg 280 mg Orange (Carbonated)48 918 11375 0 182 mg 455 mg Aspartame, pure25000 *17.6% of U.S. Population consume an average of 185.5 gm of Orange juice a day1 *1.1% of the U.S. Population consume an average of 173.9 gm of Grapefruit Juice a day1

Data obtained in a Department of Agriculture survey of the food intake of a statistically sampled group of over 17,000 consumers nationwide, indicate that the 17.6% of the population that consume orange juice daily take in an average of 185.5 gm of that juice. these statistics indicated that 1.1% of the population consume an average of 173.9 gm of grapefruit juice while only 1.8% drink approximately 201 gm of tomato juice daily. Table 1 shows that under normal conditions these individuals would only be expected to consume between 1 and 7 mg of methanol a day from the sources. Even if an individual consumed two juices in the same day or a more exotic juice such as black currant, there would still be some protection afforded by the ethanol present in these natural juices. Consumption of aspartame sweetened drinks at levels commonly used to replace lost fluid during exercise yields methanol intake between 15 and 100 times these normal intakes (Table 1). This is comparable to that of "winos" but without the metabolic reprieve afforded by ethanol. An alcoholic consuming 1500 calories a day from alcoholic sources alone my consume between 0 and 600 mg of methanol each day depending on his choice of beverages (Table 1).

The consumption of aspartame sweetened soft drinks or other beverages is not limited by either calories or osmolarity, and can equal the daily water loss of an individual (which for active people in a state like Arizona can exceed 5 liters). The resultant daily methanol intake might then rise to unprecedented levels. Methanol is a cumulative toxin8 and for some clinical manifestations it may be a human-specific toxin.


Simply because methanol is found "naturally" in foods, we can not dismiss the need for carefully documented safety testing in appropriate animal models before allowing a dramatic increase in its consumption.

We know nothing of the mutagenic, teratogenic or carcinogenic effect of methyl alcohol on man or mammal5. Yet, if predictions are correct5 it won't be long before an additional 2,000,000 pounds of it will be added to the food supply yearly.

Must this, then, constitute our test of its safety?


Continue to Part 12


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