AMINO ACID COMPONENTS
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
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".