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The Properties of Aspartame

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Some reports claimed that aspartame is associated with health problems from normal problems to serious diseases. The normal problems can be digestive symptoms, dizziness, headache, and changes in mood. The severe disease is diabetes, Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, lupus, birth defects, Gulf War syndrome, attention deficit disorders, multiple sclerosis, and seizures. However, recent studies cannot prove the side effect or toxicity of this sweetener when applied to food.

Despite this synthetic sweetener has no consistent proof of side effects, aspartame is still dangerous to people who suffer phenylketonuria (PKU) disease. Phenylketonuria is an uncommon genetic disorder in which the body cannot hydrolyze and absorb phenylalanine which is a common amino acid existed in several foods. Phenylalanine molecules will accumulate in the blood which leads to interfering other necessary substances (like amino acids) from reaching the brain. If the daily intake of phenylalanine is not carefully regulated, children with PKU will grow with abnormal brain development.

A routine blood test is used to determine people have PKU or not when shortly after birth. If the results show the positive with PKU, they need to eat a low-phenylalanine meal for whole life. It is important for children to identify this disease and follow the diet because their brains are easily damaged and still developing. Because PKU can affect the development of the fetus, this test is also important in pregnant women.

Because aspartame formula contains phenylalanine, it is necessary for people with PKU to avoid consuming aspartame in their meal. Aspartame is a methyl ester of the dipeptide of the natural amino acids L-aspartic acid and L-phenylalanine. Under acidic conditions in the stomach, aspartame may generate free amino acids by hydrolysis. Therefore, any products, which contain this artificial sweetener in the recipe, must be labeled like “Phenylketonurics: contains phenylalanine”.

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The properties of aspartame. (2019, January 15). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from
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