Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Share Your Opinion on MS and Aspartame

My friend Chris at HealthCentral is writing a piece on the connection (if there is one) between MS and aspartame.  He would like to get an accurate measurement of what the MS community believes.

Please go to http://www.healthcentral.com/multiple-sclerosis/poll-of-the-day.html and answer the one question: Do you think Aspartame causes MS?

Do go respond to the poll itself (does not require registration) because I do not believe that I can vote addition times to submit your votes.  Thank you!!


  1. Lisa, I did vote -- "unsure" -- but I'm wondering if there's anything you've ever written -- and I may have missed -- about such a connection between MS and aspertame. I'd be interesting in reading about it.

  2. From the evidence I've gathered from personal experience, there is definitely a relationship between what has been diagnosed as MS for me, and my past Aspartame consumption. Chris is welcome to my personal observations if he likes. They are currently in a private blog because I wanted to keep a record of what I was experiencing and thoughts at the time things were happening. I've completely avoided Aspartame for a good while and have not had a new exacerbation for a couple of years.

  3. Although my vote was "no", I have been doing some research for a couple of weeks now on this very subject. There is a lot of controversy over the relationship of excitotoxins (MSG, aspartame) and their role in the development of neurological disorders.

    I have avoided both aspartame and MSG whenever possible for many years, due to the fact that they triggered my migraine attacks.

    I'm reading a good book on the subject; Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills by Dr. R. Blaylock. Anyone that is wondering about aspartame should read it.


  4. Muff,
    This is a subject upon which I have NOT written. I haven't read convincing research into the subject, but to be honest I haven't looked for it. Full disclosure: I'm a big fan of Diet Coke. LOL

    Wonderful that you are doing so well after having eliminated aspartame from consumption. I used to read your blog and seem to recall that you also lost a lot of weight at some point. Do you think that these are related?

    MSG is one of those things which I avoid as it gives me big headaches (can't really call them migraines) and makes my hands/joints swell up. It certainly isn't worth whatever flavor enhancement it might give to food, at least not in my opinion.

  5. Thanks Lisa,

    Yes, I have lost a considerable amount of weight via a low carbohydrate diet. Low carb is also a low inflammation so it's helpful with many things, including MS.

    I hear you about the diet soda! I drank almost nothing but diet Coke, diet Pepsi, etc since the age of 18 (once I started college and was away from the protective watch of my parents). No water for me. None at all for several years.

    Now I drink almost nothing but water. When I diet soda it's sweetened with Splenda or one of the other non-aspartame artificial sweeteners.

    I've also given up chewing gum (because most of it is sweetened with aspartame). Chewing gum can be a major crutch while losing weight and I overdid that as well.

    I'm sure the aspartame is a culprit in my MS flair-ups. After giving up diet soda with aspartame for so long I decided to treat myself with a case of diet root beer one week. I couldn't find diet root beer sweetened with anything else.

    At the end of that week my MS was flaring so strongly that I was once again thinking I'd need an IV solu-med treatment.

    My doctor was on vacation that week and so I wouldn't be able to get what I needed until she was back.

    Since diet root beer seemed to be the only differentiating factor between feeling mostly fine and feeling crippled I poured the remainder of the diet root beer down the sink. From then on I only drank Diet Rite products (no aspartame).

    By the time my doctor returned from vacation I no longer needed the IV solu-med treatment. I'd gone from almost needing a walker and feeling like my life might be coming to it's end to feeling strong and relatively healthy. All this in a two-week period.

    This clued me in to the fact that maybe my MS wasn't really MS.

    I'll always have to experience the residual damage (limping when I walk more than a couple of blocks, my vision will blur when I'm overheated, I have a slight tremer in my hands that never goes away, I'm a little more than clumsy) but all of that is livable and doesn't worsen unless I am in a situation where I'm overheated at length ... or if I consume aspartame for a few days.

    Diet soda, diet jello, sugarfree gum. Not worth it when there are a growing number of alternately sweetened products.

    All I can suggest is for those who are curious to find out ... give up all aspartame products for a couple of weeks or so and see if you feel any better. Two weeks isn't that long. If aspartame isn't the culprit in someone's particular case I think that would be interesting for them to learn too.

  6. And after that wall of text I have one more thing to add. :) I said that maybe my MS wasn't really MS ... I meant that maybe my MS wasn't caused by the unknown but rather maybe it was caused by aspartame poisoning. I have brain lesions on the MRIs, I presented with Uthoff's sign and optic neuritis and was diagnosed in 2001.