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Subject: Re: Nutrasweet and Airline Pilot grand m
From: (Jay Mann)
Date: Aug 11 1995

Mark Gold ( wrote:

: For every person who has been complaining about "ranting and raving" 
: I have received several posts or emails complaining of adverse 
: effects to the use of aspartame.  I can send excerpts to anyone who 
: is interested.

Great, so presumably you have passed them on to the groups that have
investigated people convinced they are sensitive to aspartame, and found
that in double-blind crossover studies, there was no effect.  (Cross-over
means that the subjects went from dummy to aspartame halfway along, or vice
One exception was for aspartame headaches, where there did seem to be
positive results.

References are:
Geha et al 1993.  Aspartame is no more likely than placebo to cause
urticaria/angiodema: results of a multicenter, randomized, double-blind,
placebo-controlled crossover study  {that's the title!}.  J Allergy &
Clinical Immjnology 92(4):513-20. 1993

van Eeden et al.  1994.  Aspartame ingestion and headaches: a randomized
crossover trial.  Neurology 44(10):1787-93.  {subjects very sure of
aspartame sensitivity had 0.37 headache-days versus 0.18 headache-days on
placebo.  Others had 0.33 headache-days on aspartame, 0.39 headache-days on

Garriga et al. 1991.  A combined single-blind, double-blind,
placebo-controlled study to determine the reproducibility of
hypersensitivity reactions to aspartame.  J of Allergy & Clinical Immunology
87(4): 821-7, 1991.

Of course, since some of these studies might have been supported by
aspartame manufacturers (who happen to have a legal requirement to provide
experimental data), you are free to think that everyone who receives this
kind of money is a paid liar.  As are the reviewers and editors of these
journals.  Not the same kind of honest, straightforward scientific
objectivity we are used to seeing from class-action lawyers.

Incidentally, I'm still writing up a review of methanol and formic acid
toxicity, with emphasis on quantitation.  So the only tidbit I'll put in
here is that formic acid is a normal constituent of human urine, even
without methanol ingestion.  There are mechanisms for getting rid of both
methanol and formic acid, so it not correct to call them cumulative poisons
unless you have access to some legitimate, compellingly convincing data.

Jay D Mann  <>
Christchurch, New Zealand

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