I am a Lupus and Fibromyalgia sufferer among other things, and a friend of mine has just sent me this info via face book I do not know if it is right or wrong and just wondered if anybody else out there has ever heard of it. Basically Aspartame is an ingredient that is a substitute used in diet foods and drinks for sugar and is found in nutra sweet, Equal, Splenda, Spoonful, diet coke, diet pepsi, and most diet substitutes ( I have just looked in my cupboard and found Canderel and that has it in as well). If you google the word Aspartame it comes up as a poison and that is why my friend sent me the info as in America they have an increasing amount of over 40's who are being diagnosed as having Lupus, Fibro or MS, but they are also connecting an increasing amount of these adults to consuming diet foods and drinks with the ingredient Aspartame in it, in America the tests that have been done with different people have shown that there is a huge difference in some of the Lupus sufferers, Fibromyalgia sufferers and MS sufferers once they have stopped consuming any type of edible food or drink that contains Aspartame, I just wondered if anyone else out there has heard of this or has googled it,


20 Replies

  • It's a hoax. A massive hoax. There's even a Wikipedia entry about it! Check out and for more info. I imagine it'd be healthier not to consume aspartame (as it would be to avoid all additives, processed food, artificial flavourings etc etc) but there is simply no empirically sound, peer reviewed, unbiased studies that suggest aspartame causes/exacerbates lupus, fibro, MS or anything else. Hope that helps. X

  • Maybe nothing *yet* impirically sound but I know for a fact artificial sweeteners really, really don't agree with me! Avoid!

  • Well, there's been over 200 studies conducted over the last 30 years that all say it's safe:

    "FDA officials describe aspartame as "one of the most thoroughly tested and studied food additives the agency has ever approved" and its safety as "clear cut". The weight of existing scientific evidence indicates that aspartame is safe as a non-nutritive sweetener."

    Everybody has something that doesn't agree with them... Tiger Lily your anecdote is like me saying "Bananas make me feel sick. There isn't any evidence *yet* that bananas are dangerous but still you should avoid them too." The aspartame hoax is scaremongering at it's worst, aimed at frightening sick and desperate people. Aspartame may not agree with certain people, in the same way some people can't tolerate caffeine or alcohol. But there's a long jump from that to "it's a poison that is causing all your health problems and everyone should avoid it".

  • Piffle. But like most things, natural is probably best.x

  • I have lupus fibro raynauds and hughes and have stopped anything with it in, my friend is a chemist and believes it is poison it's been tested on rats with the results of tumours etc, American doesn't have a good word to say about it, I would avoid it like the plaque

  • I don't know of any direct link with lupus - but as kaysie says (above) I remember reading something many years ago (at least 20 and possibly more) about Aspartame and how it is carcinogenic (cancer causing). I think this was hushed up at the time, but there have been stories of women over-consuming diet drinks and contracting cancer as a result.

    I never gave it to my children and I wouldn't consume it either. To my knowledge I have never eaten it and I still have lupus - so if it is causal it is not the only cause!

  • Who know's whether there is any truth in what is reported but I read a similar report a few years ago and I decided to remove Aspartame from my diet (except for the odd diet coke with a vodka!) and my Lupus has been in remission for quite some time now. It could, and probably is, a coincidence but hey, what have you got to loose. Try removing it from your diet for a significant period of time and see if you notice any improvement. Different things work for different people and so each to their own & give it a try if you want to.

  • I also have Lupus and everything else it dishes up and I always use Agave Nectar. It is a natural sweetener in a squeezy bottle and I get it at Sainsbury's. It looks like honey but doesn't taste like it. I use it in drinks and on cereals - everything, and it lasts too. I wouldn't have artificial sweeteners as they do make you go to the loo and that can't be right. Agave nectar is from the agave plant and is completely natural. It's lovely, do try it. It's better for you than sugar as well as it is very low GI. It's made by The Groovy Food Company and is completely organic.

  • Agave Nectar is the most wonderful sweetener isn't it? I don't sweeten very much as I haven't a sweet tooth but I do like a sweetener in my bedtime milk (Soya light). I avoid artificial sweeteners as they taste so empty to me. Not a real sweetness, just nothingness!

    I expect there is a lot going the rounds about soya as well but I always believe in moderation. A little of what you fancy does you good...... Or does it?

  • it certainly dosent agree with me big time sweetener diet drinks etc

    medics have told me to stay clear of it g

  • This has been doing the rounds for many years.

    The Lupus Foundation of America released an updated statement on Aspartame and lupus in July of this year;

    This is from their website -

    Is the artificial sweetener aspartame related to lupus?

    Dr. Laura Coleman is a Registered Dietitian and an Associate Research Scientist at the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation in Wisconsin. She is also a member of the Lupus Now publication advisory board for the Lupus Foundation of America.

    "There is limited research on the role of artificial sweeteners in contributing to lupus, and the research that has been done has had conflicting results. Whether or not you choose to use artificial sweeteners is a personal choice, and depends on what other health conditions, if any, you may have that warrant your avoiding regular sugar. Talk with your health care provider if you are concerned about the need to use artificial sweeteners. "

  • I'll only add that 'natural only' is not necessarily entirely right as a lot of poisons are *entirely* natural - should you find yourself steeping the needles of the yew tree or sucking the nectar from the oleander, you will soon be dead! Cane sugar is processed too. Poorly Poppet is right: a lot of people have things that disagree with them - in my case I am allergic to the entire onion family. That doesn't make them poisonous, just to me. And I could claim that because I had some tumours that grew after I'd accidentally ingested onions, that's why. more likely, I just developed tumours . . . We've got enough to contend with without scaring each other witless over things like this. If there was any significant link, it would have been withdrawn by now. If it makes you unwell, don't use it. Most important, hang on in! Jo

  • Aspartame has had loads of bad press. On the pack of packs of Sweet n Low and other similar products it does say that the product is known to cause cancer in mice (or words to that effect) so I try and avoid it whenever I can.

  • Who knows for sure except the manufacturers. I've also heard its a poison so why chance it. Oh and by the way, the government would lie to us? Hmmmm

  • Hi puddleduck. All I can tell you is that it simply does not agree with me so I assiduously avoid anything containing aspartame. It certainly won't harm you to cut it out of your diet.

  • I was a big artificial sweetner user...I avoid the one called equal....splenda not as bad.....the natural one that's ok to use,according to naturopath doctor is Stevia.

  • I stopped drinking diet drinks & using artificial sweeteners & after a couple of weeks my Fibro leg pains stopped! Also by having a spoonful of sugar in my tea & having fizzy non-diet drinks I have not had any weight gain & that was my main reason for opting for diet drink versions. Might not work for everyone, but worth a try cutting out Aspartame.

  • Like MaggieS said I remember reading a study more than 20 years ago connecting artificial sweeteners with increased risk of cancer (although I thought it was saccharin - but I have brain fog, so it might have been Aspartame). The carcinogenic effect was proven in research on mice but the food and drink agencies fought back that the doses used in mice were massive in comparison to what humans consumed in low calorie/diet food and drink. However there wasn't sufficient research done at the time into whether there could be a cumulative effect in the human body if taken over long periods. I agree that we should not let these stories scare us. Personally I avoid sweeteners but that is a taste choice. I usually try to eat healthily but find it really difficult in the cold weather or when I am having a poor health flare - then I crave stodgy food and sweet things.I would say it's probably best to eat what makes you feel good and avoid anything that you are concerned about or that disagrees with you.

  • Hi I am another that is supporting the avoid the poison side of this debate, as there were conflicting arguments for and against I decided I would try for myself and see what happened as like you caring friends and family had sent me the frightening Facebook article.

    I stopped taking all diet/low cal drinks and whether or not it is coincidence my symptoms have improved, whatever the reasons I feel tons better look better as my skin has healed up a lot so I will not go back to using it.

    As with a lot of things I think it is trial and error and see what works for you,

    good luck

    Madmagz x

  • Hi Puddleduck, i was interested to read your blog and the other replies. I have SLE and am currently also suffering with some type of abdominal complaint, as yet undiagnosed. My doctor prescribed Fybogel to help my bowels and guess what? It contains Aspartame too. Have stopped taking this now as Aspartame gives me an itchy rash. Have also know for a long time that it is bad stuff - there must be some substance to all the bad reports about it. I would avoid it like the plague too! Keep as well as you can XX

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