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Pregnancy and Aspartame

Easy Steps to a Safer Pregnancy - View e-book or Download PDF - FREE!
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.

Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy

These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.

H.J. ROBERTS, M.D., P.A.  300 27TH STREET WEST PALM BEACH, FL 33407-5299
(407)832-2408   Fax (407) 832-2400
Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine (Recertified)

It is my firm opinion that pregnant women, infants and children should avoid ALL products containing aspartame - including vitamins, drugs and supplements.

This corporate-neutral summary statement has been prepared as general information in response to numerous requests from concerned patients, parents and consumers. There is no bias or malice intended against any company, distributor, researcher or individuals who may hold a contrary view.

The statement is based on considerable observation, research and correspondence published in more than a score of articles and these two books:

This subject is also reviewed in an updated two-cassette talk: IS ASPARTAME (NUTRASWEET) SAFE? A MEDICAL, PUBLIC HEALTH AND LEGAL OVERVIEW -- 1995 (Sunshine Sentinel Press).


Each of the three components of aspartame - phenylalanine; aspartic acid; the methyl ester, which promptly becomes methyl alcohol or methanol -- and their multiple breakdown products after exposure to heat or during prolonged storage is potentially toxic, especially to the developing brain.

Such toxicity and other serious physiologic derangements are evidenced by the serious reactions suffered by thousands of persons who used these products. The neurotoxic and metabolic complications are likely to affect the fetus and young children even more severely.

In my publications, and testimony to Congress and an FDA advisory group, I have expressed the belief that the current wholesale ingestion of aspartame products by over half the adult population constitutes a probably imminent public health hazard. My concern is intensified by (1) evidence that these products may play a causative or aggravating role in many medical disorders (including headaches, dizziness, confusion, impaired vision, convulsions, and probably brain tumors), (2) the flawed nature of most scientific studies being used to prove the alleged safety of these products, and (3) reports of serious reactions volunteered to the FDA by over 7,300 irate consumers.


I urge ALL pregnant women and mothers who breast-fee to avoid aspartame products...without exception! This message also has been given to obstetricians.

The medical and scientific grounds for such advice include:


I have reported many adverse effects of aspartame products experienced by young persons. They include severe headaches, convulsions, rashes, asthma, gastrointestinal problems, and weight loss or gain. The neuropsychiatric features encompass irritability, hyperactivity, depression, antisocial behavior, deterioration of intelligence, and poor school performance.

These complications tend to be magnified in children with unrecognized hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), hypoglycemia (low blood sugar reactions), diabetes, and phenylketonuria or PKU. Persons with PKU lack the enzyme needed for handling phenylalanine, which can cause severe neurological and other damage if dietary precautions aimed at preventing excessive levels are not instituted.


The issue of aspartame-related birth defects has not been resolved by epidemiologic studies. I remain concerned about this possibility, however, because of histories of reports given me about severe problems in the fetus or infant of parents (including fathers) who consumed much aspartame at the time of conception and/or during pregnancy. Several animal studies support such concern.

1995 H. J. Roberts, M.D.

This was done by Dr. H. J. Roberts and his publications are on his web page at sunpress@icanect.net He has some excellent new tapes on aspartame and has just written a new book that has not been published on the plague of Aspartame Disease, by that time. He has other books as well.

There are several items that have to do with pregnancy, and his book goes into infertility ASPARTAME (nutrasweet) IS IT SAFE?, Charles Press.

{I just noticed that sunpress@icanect.net isn't a URL. If you're interested in this page, you can try writing this address and ask for the URL. I'll also try to get the URL to post next week. -Donna}

For more information on aspartame, visit this site by Dave Rietz: It includes the excellent and professionally-done research report on the effects of storage temperatures on the taste and chemical composition of diet coke by 11-year-old Jennifer Cohen for her sixth grade science project:

And this from Dave:
Last, but NOT least. The latest information is that a Monsanto VP by the name of Dr. Virginia Weldon is considered a TOP contender to be the new FDA commissioner! We think this is a terrible idea and there is a big push to get the word out, why this is a bad idea, and to get ANY drug/chemical employee OFF the list of possible candidates. The revolving door MUST stop! The payoffs, dishonesty and disinformation MUST stop. The FDA MUST be held accountable... or be dissolved! Serve the PUBLIC, or no one! The FULL story.

Part 2

From:        betty@noel.pd.org

2040 Ridgewood Drive, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30322
Division of  Medical Genetics
Statement for the Labor and Human Resources Committee, U.S. Senate
I have considerable concern for the increased dissemination and consumption of the sweetener, aspartame (1-methyl N-Laspartyl-L-phenylalanine) in our world food supply. This artificial dipeptide is hydrolyzed by the intestinal tract to product L-phenylalanine which in excess is a known neurotoxin. Normal humans do not metabolize phenylalanine as efficiently as do lower species such as rodents, and thus most of the previous studies in Aspartame effects on rats are irrelevant to the question, "does phenylalanine excess occur with Aspartame ingestion?" and if so "will it adversely affect human brain function?"

Preliminary studies in my laboratory provide tentative positive answers to both questions. Many studies of both acute and chronic ingestion of 34 mg Aspartame/kg/day have demonstrated a two to five fold increase in semi-fasting blood phenylalanine concentrations (from approximately 50 5o 250 pM) without concomitant increases in tyrosine or other amino acids. The degree of increase by normal humans depends on several variables including the efficiency of gut transport, liver utilization, and growth rates. It was thought by many scientists and clinicians that this degree of blood phenylalanine increases would not affect brain function. However, currently available information indicates that this is not true.

  1. In the developing fetus such a rise in maternal blood phenylalanine could be magnified four to six fold by the concentrative efforts of the placenta and fetal blood brain barrier. Thus a maternal phenylalanine of 150 pM could reach 900 pM in the developing fetal brain cell and this concentration kills such cells in tissue culture. The effect of such an increased fetal brain concentrations in vivo would probably be much more subtle and expressed as mental retardation, microcephaly, or potential certain birth defects.
  2. In the rapidly growing post-natal brain (children of 9-12 months) irreversible brain damage could occur by the same mechanism.
  3. In the adult we have found that changes in blood phenylalanine in these concentration ranges are associated with slowing of the electroencephalogram, and prolongation of cognitive function tests. Fortunately, these effects on the mature brain are reversible but provide clear evidence for a negative effect on sensitive parameters of brain function.
In view of these new (and confirmation of old) research findings, I suggest the following:
  1. Immediate quantitative labeling of all aspartame-containing foods, so the consumer will know how much phenylalanine he/she is ingesting.
  2. Declare an immediate moratorium on addition of aspartame to more foods, and remove it from all low-protein beverages, foods, and children's medications.
  3. Provide funds not controlled by industry to:
    1. Allow active surveillance for potential side-effects of aspartame on newborns whose mothers dieted with NutraSweet (aspartame)-containing foods.
    2. Allow active evaluation of other users whose complaints cannot be adequately studied at present.
    3. Clarify the dose relationship and mechanisms by which L-phenylalanine affects human brain function..
Respectfully submitted,
Louis J. Elsas, II, M.D.
Director, Division of Medical Genetics, Professor of Pediatrics
For more information on aspartame, you can visit this site by Dave Rietz:

Try this URL: http:
Aspartame (NutraSweet) Toxicity Information CenterHolistic Healing Web Page

The Online Birth Center News is copyright 1997 by Donna Zelzer. The individual writers hold copyright to the individual messages. Copies may be freely distributed electronically, as long as

  1. This permission and the authorship of the articles are retained in any additional publication of the article.
  2. The content of the article is not changed in any way.
  3. You do not charge for the article, other than the cost of download and/or connect time, or photocopying costs, in the case of a printed version.

This Web page is referenced from another page containing related information about Prenatal Nutrition


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