Dr. Woodrow C. Monte’s Methanol Research – University Of Arizona - Part 3

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Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid, the daily consumption of which is required to maintain life. However, Dr. Richard J. Wurtman, Professor of Neuroendocrine Regulation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, presented data to the FDA demonstration that in humans the feeding of a carbohydrate with aspartame significantly enhances aspartame's positive effect on plasma and brain phenylalanine and tyrosine levels (48 Federal Register at 31379). There are sound scientific reasons to believe that increasing the brain levels of these large neutral amino acids could affect the synthesis of neurotransmitters and in turn affect bodily functions controlled by the autonomic nervous system (e.g., blood pressure). The proven ability of aspartame to inhibit the glucose-induced release of serotonin within the brain may also affect behaviors, such as satiety and sleep.

Aspartic acid

Aspartic acid, is not an essential amino acid but is normally easily utilized for human metabolism. However, under conditions of excess absorption it has caused endocrine disorders in mammals with markedly elevated plasma levels of luteinizing hormone and testosterone in the rat and release of pituitary gonadotropins and prolactin in the rhesus monkey. The amount of luteinizing hormone in the blood is a major determinant of menstrual cycling in the human female.


Methanol (methyl alcohol, wood alcohol), a poisonous substance, is added as a component during the manufacture of aspartame. This methanol is subsequently released within hours of consumption after hydrolysis of the methyl group of the dipeptide by chymotrypsin in the small intestine as it occurs in soft drinks after decomposition of aspartame during storage or in other foods after being heated. Regardless of whether the aspartame-derived methanol exists in food in its free form or still esterified to phenylalanine, 10% of the weight of aspartame intake of an individual will be absorbed by the bloodstream as methanol within hours after consumption.

Methanol has no therapeutic properties and is considered only as a toxicant. The ingestion of two teaspoons is considered lethal in humans.

Methyl alcohol produces the Methyl alcohol syndrome, consistently, only in humans and no other test animal, including monkeys. There is a clear difference between "toxicity", which can be produced in every living thing, and the "toxic syndrome".


Continue to Part 4


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