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Author Topic: Aspartame
Elwood
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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This probalby belongs in rantidote: I am a devout drinker of diet coke and have pretty much gotten used to the "aspertame is toxic" lectures from my family. But now my boss preaching a whole new gospel: the new lore is that aspetame causes a chemical reaction with aluminum in the cans that when drank in quantity causes an electrical short in the brain that eventually leads to alzheimer's! I know it's been covered, we've been over it but I've just got to vent.

[ 24. December 2003, 11:04 PM: Message edited by: snopes ]

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"If I didn't see it and didn't know it was a real news report, I wouldn't believe it. I mean, how nutty can you get?"-Pat Robertson Oct 26, 2006.

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Auntie Witch
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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I quit worrying about aspartame when I saw they put it in Pedialite. If it's in something the dr tells me to give my three week old daughter, it can't be that big a deal.

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gooti
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Well, I've heard the rumors about aluminum but not aspartame specifically, and definitely not a combo of the two.

Here are some answers from the Facts for Health FAQ:

quote:
Does the artificial sweetener aspartame cause Alzheimer's disease?
A myth has arisen regarding aspartame. Artificial sweeteners, the main source of aspartame, are alleged by some to cause memory loss. Numerous careful studies in animals and humans have found no scientific evidence that aspartame causes memory loss or Alzheimer's disease.

And...

quote:
Is there a connection between aluminum and Alzheimer's disease?
Some metals, such as mercury and lead, are known to cause brain injury. This has triggered speculation about other metals, particularly aluminum, causing Alzheimer's disease (AD). Everyone's brain contains tiny amounts of aluminum. Aluminum is concentrated in plaques and tangles in AD brains. Most experts believe that aluminum is harmless, but some suggest aluminum may be involved in Alzheimer's disease in some way. It could be that aluminum buildup occurs after Alzheimer's disease damages nerve cells rather than aluminum being the cause of damage to nerve cells.

Arguments suggesting that aluminum may play some role in the development of Alzheimer's disease include aluminum's role in reactive oxygen species (also called free radicals). We form free radicals in our bodies throughout life. Usually the cells in the body deactivate these toxic particles. Excess free radicals damage proteins and are implicated in several diseases. In Alzheimer's disease, these free radicals may damage nerve cells. Aluminum changes the functioning of enzymes in the central nervous system. Some studies have shown that high concentrations of aluminum in drinking water are associated with increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. In contrast to this concern, careful studies have shown that regular use of antacids that contain vastly greater amounts of aluminum than water are not associated with increased risk of Alzheimer's disease.

It's easy to see how myths could occur about increased risk of AD from exposure to aluminum or food cooked in aluminum utensils. Stated simply, the amount of exposure to aluminum from cooking utensils, antacids or deodorants is not enough to cause Alzheimer's disease.

I haven't seen anything that adddresses the comination of the two, but, it doesn't mean it's not out there somewhere.
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BlueByrd
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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All I heard about unwanted side effects to aspartame is that it can give you the runs if ingested in sufficient quantities...

Blue "Outta my way or you'll be SORRY!" Byrd

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Brandi
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Blue Byrd in a pear tree:
All I heard about unwanted side effects to aspartame is that it can give you the runs if ingested in sufficient quantities...

Hm. Only artificial sweetener I knew of with a specific warning about having a laxative effect is sorbitol.
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Apparitia Kissing Santa Claus
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I learned (or was told) in a Drugs & Behavior class, that when you ingest aspartame, your body breaks it down into what is basically formaldehyde. We had to memorize the steps involved in this reaction. If I can't find anything online, I'm going to go home and dig up the information I have from the class.
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Apparitia Kissing Santa Claus
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Apparitia Kissing Santa Claus:
I learned (or was told) in a Drugs & Behavior class, that when you ingest aspartame, your body breaks it down into what is basically formaldehyde. We had to memorize the steps involved in this reaction. If I can't find anything online, I'm going to go home and dig up the information I have from the class.

here

here

and here

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ULTRAGLORIA
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Apparitia Kissing Santa Claus:
here

here

and here

These read like tinfoil hat conspiracies. Monsanto paying off the AMA??

Are there any more credible sites out there?

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A Lie can run around the world before the Truth can get its boots on. - Terry Pratchett

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Apparitia Kissing Santa Claus
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I'm looking...most of them seem to go over the average person's (myself included) head.
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mystic burrito
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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^ me drinking diet-rite


quote:
All I heard about unwanted side effects to aspartame is that it can give you the runs if ingested in sufficient quantities...

"sufficient quantities" ? I eat one sugar free mint and I'm on the pot for a day and a half. The only non-sugar sweetener I can have is Splenda and it leaves a too-sweet aftertast in my mouth.


Tina

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Elwood
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Apparitia Kissing Santa Claus:
I learned (or was told) in a Drugs & Behavior class, that when you ingest aspartame, your body breaks it down into what is basically formaldehyde. We had to memorize the steps involved in this reaction. If I can't find anything online, I'm going to go home and dig up the information I have from the class.

We had the formaldehyde discussion a while back, over the summer IIRC. That is the UL "warning" I get from my brother and other members of my family. No amount of debunking will convince him otherwise.

The aluminum thing was new to me, which is the "Again" portion of the thread title.

El "it can't be worse than the calories" Wood

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"If I didn't see it and didn't know it was a real news report, I wouldn't believe it. I mean, how nutty can you get?"-Pat Robertson Oct 26, 2006.

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CatPurrson
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Is that a sugar-free candy cane?

My mom took care of a woman whose mother swore that aspartame was just the same as sugar and would raise your blood sugar. She insisted her (diabetic) daughter drink only Diet-Rite. [Roll Eyes] And regular Coke. [Roll Eyes]

As far as sugar-free candy, I doubt it's the aspartame that causes diarrhea. Though stranger things have happened... My guess is that the candy probably contains a sugar alcohol (such as mannitol or sorbitol) and they're frequently the culprits. IIRC, the buggers are hydrophilic and increase the water content of the bowel. Hope that's not TMI?

It took me forever (it seemed) to get used to drinking diet soda. I still haven't found a cola that "tastes right". Love my Caffeine-Free Diet Dr Pepper! [Big Grin]

Great, now I'm thirsty. [lol]

CatPurrson

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have yourself a Merry Little Galaxy
The First USA Noel


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Most artificially sweetened confectionery in Australia carried the warning "Excess consumption may have a laxative effect", but I think it could be sorbitol that does it - and I learnt that the hard way as a teenager after scoffing an entire roll of mints!

The only instance where consuming aspartame does have serious health consequences is for those who have phenylketonuria (PKU)

This at least was a rational aspartame site which does briefly mention the PKU connection.

Little "sweet tooth" Galaxy

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cstam1979
The Red and the Green Stamps


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First what kind of mother would insist their diabetic (high blood sugar) drink regular coke. Thats just plain stupid. She would rather her daughter drink 8 tsp of sugar than what amounts to a harmless amount of aspertame. Diabetes means that the pancreas does not create the chemical needed to even out the blood sugar level. For that matter I couldn't have regular coke when I was diagnosed Hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) I had to avoid sugar completely. As far as aspartame goes there was a concern over it a while back over this same concern however it was some nonsense about wood alcohol in it. This was changed. They also at one time said it could cause cancer in large enough doses my mother and I figured out for that to happen you would have to drink over 800 cans a day for this to occur. I don't know how we figured this out but we did. So there is no need to worry about aspartame as its a harmless chemical. However I hope that the Diabetic dauger drinks more diet rite than coke. Drinking too much sugar could kill her.
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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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I am extremely jealous of the CatPurrson, because caffeine-free Diet Dr. Pepper is not available here, only high-test DDP.

Bummer.

Four Five Kitties

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Ali Gator
I Saw Three Shipments


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I'm still up in the air about aspartame. Since I am on a sugar-restricted diet, this subject interests me. I've read both good and bad about aspartame; one week there are reports that it's OK, the next week I read about the dangers of it. But I recently came across a site that claims it can cause breast enlargement in men. This has to be the strangest claim I've seen yet!

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The Birth Of The 44 DD's

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cstam1979
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I don't think this is a true story about the 44DD boobs on a guy. Aspartame doesn't harm the internal organs in any way. There are other things we eat that also are converted into Formaldehyde. It does not harm the nerves in any way either. As far as his web site thepentagram.com. It sounds like a satanist site. Aspartame is simply a sweetener used instead of sugar in diet drinks. Don't believe the link because it is untrue.
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JR
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by For Wonko: ULTRAGOTHA:
Monsanto paying off the AMA??

Why not, they got the FDA..

Serriously, Monsanto is the company that thinks that a few months of feeding something to fish is sufficient to demonstrate it's safety to humans. Do NOT turn your back on Monsanto.

Anyway, yes, formaldehyde is a proven byproduct of aspartame. Even better is the fact that it isn't a diet product, as your body thinks it's got carbs, releases the insulin. No carbs? You get hungry.

Pick a different sweetener, that stuff's no good.

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Doc Savage
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Here.

http://www.snopes.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=35;t=000225

And here.

http://www.snopes.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=35;t=000175

I hope the links still work.

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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^ me if I have any aspartame at all

I too can only have Splenda fake sugar, but I love it, because it means that I can drink the Hansen's Diet Sodas, and also some fruit flavored waters that they sell at Costco(don't remember the brand name right now)

I quit the aspartame on the advice of my doctor because I get really really debilitating migraine headaches and aspartame is known to be a trigger for some people.
Anyways it tastes bitter. And now that I have been off the aspartame for 2 years, I feel better.
Also, aspartame is made up of two linked amino acids, which are naturally occuring in other food that we eat. It is probably not toxic to normal healthy people, but people with liver and kidney damage are not supposed to drink sodas, but it might be because of the sodium or something else in soda, because I don't think it is specifically diet soda.
Does anyone know about this?

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What is .02 worth?

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Smart Arse
Ceylon Sailor


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Why does it seem that EVERY artificial sweetener (not just aspartame) supposedly harms your health. Sites such as this one describe the many evils of such "toxic" substances. The claim is that they are not harmful in the short term, but long term studies of "chronic" effects are inadequate or nonexistent. Sometimes I wonder if our mistrust of all things "artificial" or "chemical" leads to paranoia.

Smart "I'm not fat, I'm just aspartame intolerant" Arse [Big Grin]

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Smart "Tired of concocting clever middle names" Arse :D

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Christopher
Peruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town


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quote:
Originally posted by Smart Arse:
Why does it seem that EVERY artificial sweetener (not just aspartame) supposedly harms your health. Sites such as this one describe the many evils of such "toxic" substances. The claim is that they are not harmful in the short term, but long term studies of "chronic" effects are inadequate or nonexistent. Sometimes I wonder if our mistrust of all things "artificial" or "chemical" leads to paranoia.

Smart "I'm not fat, I'm just aspartame intolerant" Arse [Big Grin]

Yes it does lead to paranoia. I especially like people who refuse to touch "anything with chemicals." Uh, yeah. That would petty much leave, oh, I don't know...VACUUM?!

And of course the fact is that everything is harmful to us. And if there is something that has not yet had studies showing it to be harmful, then that very fact means that it could be harmful and we don't know it. Remember NASA's " Killer Tomatoes " experiment?
quote:
The gardening experiment made national news two weeks ago when a memo written by a consultant to NASA's school programs leaked to the press with its comment that the seeds might produce poisonous fruit.

"There is a remote possibility that radiation-caused mutations could cause the plants to produce toxic fruit," according to the memo written by Nelson Ehrlich, associate director of the aerospace education services program at Oklahoma State University.

The seeds were exposed to cosmic rays in space, where radiation levels are higher than those on Earth. The news reports caused several schools to drop the experiment.



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Daphodil
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
All I heard about unwanted side effects to aspartame is that it can give you the runs if ingested in sufficient quantities...

I'm not sure what sufficient quantities are, but I know that's my reaction whenever I have any artificial sweetener, even just a little (such as a piece of sugar-free gum or the couple of sips of soda that tell me it's diet instead of regular).

Daph (too much information) odil

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theloneabalone
Xboxing Day


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Aspartame will only be a dangerous sweetener for people with phenylketonuria, which is a genetic disorder that affects your phenylalanine hydroxylase, an enzyme that breaks down excess phenylalanine. eating anything rich in phenylalanine, that just so happens to be an aminoacid, and thus present in most protein foods, causes an accumulation of phenylalanine that could become toxic for the phenylketonuric.

for 99% of the population, aspartame should be safe.

plus, why talk about it, when you can click and read.

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StarlandVocalBand
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I have known people who experienced mild allergic-type reactions after ingesting aspartame, from stomach pains/diarrhea to headaches.

Doesn't mean it's a DEADLY POISON! of course--you should see what happens to me when I eat strawberries (icon above depicts me hiding my puffy red face under a bag).

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Margali
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Roseanne Roseanna-Banana:
But I recently came across a site that claims it can cause breast enlargement in men. This has to be the strangest claim I've seen yet!

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The Birth Of The 44 DD's

ROTFLMAO
being the possessor of a personal pair of 44DD 'tracts of land', he is full of it. the 44 refers to the diameter of the barrel of the chest at the place the bra strap goes around, the DD portion describes the thickness of the tissue filling the cups...essentially a DD cup us about 4.5 inches of tissue depth. i think those are much closer to a C cup...

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Slainey
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by JR:
Do NOT turn your back on Monsanto.

That would be difficult since since I have to drive right by their headquarters to get to work. lol
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bratling
Silence of the Clams


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I must be really lucky, I drink about 6 diet Cokes a day with no problems (I'm sure my kidneys will hate me later for that!) and 2 yogurts - fat-free with Aspartame a day as well. I have no problems what-so-ever.

Now - if I eat a cheese that is yellow I blow up like a ballon.

ETA: .. a really important making sense word

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Muck
The First USA Noel


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Fat free Coke? What'll they think of next?

Muck

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bratling
Silence of the Clams


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quote:
Originally posted by Muck:
Fat free Coke? What'll they think of next?

Muck

I meant yogurt! I just.. totally forgot the word [Razz]
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ica171
Deck the Malls


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This reminds me of the Snopes page about apple seeds causing cyanide poisoning. (http://www.snopes.com/food/warnings/apples.asp) Like it says, a lot of foods contain chemicals that are bad, but I don't hear anyone saying that we need to stop eating apples. I think the whole aluminum-aspartame thing is another scare tactic put out by who knows. I also remember hearing way back at the beginning of the aspartame debate that the amounts of aspartame that caused cancer in rats was more than a human would ever be able to consume in one day, like hundreds of cases of diet soda, but I can't back that up. I think if you're drinking hundreds of cases of diet soda a day, you have bigger problems than aspartame cancer.
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Orlandoite
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I just came back from my doctor this morning (a D.O.) and she advised me to STOP drinking diet coke and any product with aspartame. She told me they have medical reports advising them to tell their patients to stop. She specifically mentioned brain problems. That's enough for me to STOP!
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gothixgirl
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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my sister and i went into a diner while in Toronto and the waitress gave us a 10 minute lecture when we ordered diet cokes. She said the aspartame made her epilepsy a lot worse..she then said "so do you still want them, and we both said yep" my sis added "oh i only drink it every once in a while, ha! she goes through 12 cans in 2 days! thr drinks we got were so watered down,just tasted like bar mix.
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PhiloPharynx
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by Orlandoite:
I just came back from my doctor this morning (a D.O.) and she advised me to STOP drinking diet coke and any product with aspartame. She told me they have medical reports advising them to tell their patients to stop. She specifically mentioned brain problems. That's enough for me to STOP!

Did she show you the reports? Or cite references? Also, were those early reports? Did they have any confirmation? That's the reason we have the "It's dangerous one week and safe the next" syndrome. People love to take early or isolated findings without considering the whole body of work.

quote:
Originally posted by gothixgirl:
my sister and i went into a diner while in Toronto and the waitress gave us a 10 minute lecture when we ordered diet cokes. She said the aspartame made her epilepsy a lot worse..she then said "so do you still want them, and we both said yep" my sis added "oh i only drink it every once in a while, ha! she goes through 12 cans in 2 days! thr drinks we got were so watered down,just tasted like bar mix.

I hope you didn't tip well!
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Soprych
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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If someone with a seizure disorder is reactive to asperatame, it does not always mean that large amounts of asperatame as involved.

I experienced a significant increase in the number and severity of seizure activity when I began taking a fiber supplement that contains aspertame. Did not read the label, did not know it as in there.

My brother can drink cases of diet soda daily and have no problems.

I have seen no documentation that would lead me to believe aspertame "gives you" seizure disorders but I personally need to avoid it and know a few others that do as well.

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