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Auspicious Aspartame Study Funded By Sweetener's Japanese Maker Ajinomoto

Posted Sep 12 2008 3:42am

Aspartame targeted for bogus study funded by parent company in Japan

Imagine for a moment that you read a news headline that proclaimed, "Study Concludes Eating French Fries Does Not Cause Obesity." Would that get your attention? Sure it would, until you kept reading and discovered that the company who paid for that study to be conducted was none other than McDonald's! Now how credible is that headline?

As off-the-wall as that example may sound, that is PRECISELY what has happened with a study on a rather controversial subject. This University of Maryland press release details the results of a study conducted by a panel of "experts" who declared the artificial sweetener aspartame is 100% absolutely safe for human consumption. Oh really?

Regular readers of my blog already know what I think about aspartame--or as I like to call it, NASTY-tame! I warned my fellow low-carbers to avoid aspartame if at all possible in my latest YouTube video because there are too many unanswered questions about this sugar substitute with some rather peculiar side effects.

Speaking from personal experience, I try to avoid NASTY-tame because it has done a doozy on my body in many ways when I consume more than just a little bit of it. I can tolerate about 1-2 diet sodas made with aspartame and that's it. Besides the disgusting flavor of aspartame (aka Equal and Nutrasweet), it also can bring on some of the most vicious headaches I have ever experienced.

Dr. Bernadene Magnuson assures us aspartame is completely safe

And this is something lead researcher Dr. Bernadene Magnuson, assistant professor of Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Maryland, acknowledged in this Reuters column about the study when she named headaches as "one possible area of concern" because "a small subset of the population" could be impacted by it.

Why do these "experts" attempt to say this side effect is somehow the exception and not the rule? Statin drug companies claim the same thing about their products causing joint pain in only a very small segment of the population when just about everyone I know who takes Lipitor, Crestor, or any of the other statins experience this. What's wrong with this picture?

Dr. Magnuson, along with various other panel members from the United States, The Netherlands, and Great Britain, examined previous research conducted on aspartame to determine whether there is validity in the claims that it leads to health concerns such as brain abnormalities and cancer, among other things. After sifting through over 500 studies dating back three decades, their conclusion was to give aspartame nothing but high marks as an approved sweetener.

“There have been continued questions in the media and on the Internet about the safety of aspartame,” Dr. Magnuson remarked. “Our study is a very comprehensive review of all of the research that’s been done on aspartame. Never before has a group with the breadth of experience of this panel looked at this question.”

The results of this study were published in the September 2007 issue of the journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology.

But the real sticking point to this whole so-called study goes back to the point made at the beginning of this blog post: Guess who paid for this study to be done? It was none other than the Japanese manufacturer of aspartame-- Ajinomoto Company Inc. who has an entire web site devoted to this "core strategic product" of theirs.

Just how credible is a study like this one? I'm not saying a study can't be objective simply because it is paid for by a company whose product stands to benefit from a positive report. But you have to admit something really screwy is going on around here when aspartame is given such flying colors by an allegedly unbiased panel.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has given their seal of approval for aspartame, but my personal experiences consuming it are all that matter to me. Headaches, memory trouble, and even weight stalls have occurred whenever higher amounts of aspartame are in my body. I don't know about you, but I'd rather not even mess with these side effects which is why I stick with sweeteners like Splenda instead (even if it is more difficult to find diet sodas made with it ).

You can contact Dr. Bernadene Magnuson about her study on the safety of aspartame by e-mailing her at

Labels: Ajinomoto, artificial sweeteners, aspartame, Bernadene Magnuson, Critical Reviews In Toxicology, Japan, low-carb, Splenda, statins, study, sugar substitutes, University of Maryland

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