Aspartame sensitivity? A double blind randomised crossover study

Thozhukat Sathyapalan, Natalie J. Thatcher, Richard Hammersley, Alan S. Rigby, Alexandros Pechlivanis, Nigel J. Gooderham, Elaine Holmes, Carel W. Le Roux, Stephen Atkin, Fraser Courts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Aspartame is a commonly used intense artificial sweetener, being approximately 200 times sweeter than sucrose. There have been concerns over aspartame since approval in the 1980s including a large anecdotal database reporting severe symptoms. The objective of this study was to compare the acute symptom effects of aspartame to a control preparation. Methods: This was a double-blind randomized cross over study conducted in a clinical research unit in United Kingdom. Forty-eight individual who has self reported sensitivity to aspartame were compared to 48 age and gender matched aspartame non-sensitive individuals. They were given aspartame (100mg)-containing or control snack bars randomly at least 7 days apart. The main outcome measures were acute effects of aspartame measured using repeated ratings of 14 symptoms, biochemistry and metabonomics. Results: Aspartame sensitive and non-sensitive participants differed psychologically at baseline in handling feelings and perceived stress. Sensitive participants had higher triglycerides (2.05 ± 1.44 vs. 1.26 ± 0.84mmol/L; p value 0.008) and lower HDL-C (1.16 ± 0.34 vs. 1.35 ± 0.54 mmol/L; p value 0.04), reflected in 1H NMR serum analysis that showed differences in the baseline lipid content between the two groups. Urine metabonomic studies showed no significant differences. None of the rated symptoms differed between aspartame and control bars, or between sensitive and control participants. However, aspartame sensitive participants rated more symptoms particularly in the first test session, whether this was placebo or control. Aspartame and control bars affected GLP-1, GIP, tyrosine and phenylalanine levels equally in both aspartame sensitive and non-sensitive subjects. Conclusion: Using a comprehensive battery of psychological tests, biochemistry and state of the art metabonomics there was no evidence of any acute adverse responses to aspartame. This independent study gives reassurance to both regulatory bodies and the public that acute ingestion of aspartame does not have any detectable psychological or metabolic effects in humans. Trial Registration: ISRCTN Registry ISRCTN39650237.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0116212
JournalPLoS One
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Aspartame
aspartame
Cross-Over Studies
Metabolomics
metabolomics
artificial sweeteners
signs and symptoms (animals and humans)
Biochemistry
cross-over studies
biochemistry
glucagon-like peptide 1
Sweetening Agents
Psychological Tests
Snacks
Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
acute effects
snacks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Sathyapalan, T., Thatcher, N. J., Hammersley, R., Rigby, A. S., Pechlivanis, A., Gooderham, N. J., ... Courts, F. (2015). Aspartame sensitivity? A double blind randomised crossover study. PLoS One, 10(3), [e0116212]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0116212

Aspartame sensitivity? A double blind randomised crossover study. / Sathyapalan, Thozhukat; Thatcher, Natalie J.; Hammersley, Richard; Rigby, Alan S.; Pechlivanis, Alexandros; Gooderham, Nigel J.; Holmes, Elaine; Le Roux, Carel W.; Atkin, Stephen; Courts, Fraser.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 10, No. 3, e0116212, 18.03.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sathyapalan, T, Thatcher, NJ, Hammersley, R, Rigby, AS, Pechlivanis, A, Gooderham, NJ, Holmes, E, Le Roux, CW, Atkin, S & Courts, F 2015, 'Aspartame sensitivity? A double blind randomised crossover study', PLoS One, vol. 10, no. 3, e0116212. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0116212
Sathyapalan T, Thatcher NJ, Hammersley R, Rigby AS, Pechlivanis A, Gooderham NJ et al. Aspartame sensitivity? A double blind randomised crossover study. PLoS One. 2015 Mar 18;10(3). e0116212. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0116212
Sathyapalan, Thozhukat ; Thatcher, Natalie J. ; Hammersley, Richard ; Rigby, Alan S. ; Pechlivanis, Alexandros ; Gooderham, Nigel J. ; Holmes, Elaine ; Le Roux, Carel W. ; Atkin, Stephen ; Courts, Fraser. / Aspartame sensitivity? A double blind randomised crossover study. In: PLoS One. 2015 ; Vol. 10, No. 3.
@article{65c6649ba06d4566aad6068fc2b82402,
title = "Aspartame sensitivity? A double blind randomised crossover study",
abstract = "Background: Aspartame is a commonly used intense artificial sweetener, being approximately 200 times sweeter than sucrose. There have been concerns over aspartame since approval in the 1980s including a large anecdotal database reporting severe symptoms. The objective of this study was to compare the acute symptom effects of aspartame to a control preparation. Methods: This was a double-blind randomized cross over study conducted in a clinical research unit in United Kingdom. Forty-eight individual who has self reported sensitivity to aspartame were compared to 48 age and gender matched aspartame non-sensitive individuals. They were given aspartame (100mg)-containing or control snack bars randomly at least 7 days apart. The main outcome measures were acute effects of aspartame measured using repeated ratings of 14 symptoms, biochemistry and metabonomics. Results: Aspartame sensitive and non-sensitive participants differed psychologically at baseline in handling feelings and perceived stress. Sensitive participants had higher triglycerides (2.05 ± 1.44 vs. 1.26 ± 0.84mmol/L; p value 0.008) and lower HDL-C (1.16 ± 0.34 vs. 1.35 ± 0.54 mmol/L; p value 0.04), reflected in 1H NMR serum analysis that showed differences in the baseline lipid content between the two groups. Urine metabonomic studies showed no significant differences. None of the rated symptoms differed between aspartame and control bars, or between sensitive and control participants. However, aspartame sensitive participants rated more symptoms particularly in the first test session, whether this was placebo or control. Aspartame and control bars affected GLP-1, GIP, tyrosine and phenylalanine levels equally in both aspartame sensitive and non-sensitive subjects. Conclusion: Using a comprehensive battery of psychological tests, biochemistry and state of the art metabonomics there was no evidence of any acute adverse responses to aspartame. This independent study gives reassurance to both regulatory bodies and the public that acute ingestion of aspartame does not have any detectable psychological or metabolic effects in humans. Trial Registration: ISRCTN Registry ISRCTN39650237.",
author = "Thozhukat Sathyapalan and Thatcher, {Natalie J.} and Richard Hammersley and Rigby, {Alan S.} and Alexandros Pechlivanis and Gooderham, {Nigel J.} and Elaine Holmes and {Le Roux}, {Carel W.} and Stephen Atkin and Fraser Courts",
year = "2015",
month = "3",
day = "18",
doi = "10.1371/journal.pone.0116212",
language = "English",
volume = "10",
journal = "PLoS One",
issn = "1932-6203",
publisher = "Public Library of Science",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Aspartame sensitivity? A double blind randomised crossover study

AU - Sathyapalan, Thozhukat

AU - Thatcher, Natalie J.

AU - Hammersley, Richard

AU - Rigby, Alan S.

AU - Pechlivanis, Alexandros

AU - Gooderham, Nigel J.

AU - Holmes, Elaine

AU - Le Roux, Carel W.

AU - Atkin, Stephen

AU - Courts, Fraser

PY - 2015/3/18

Y1 - 2015/3/18

N2 - Background: Aspartame is a commonly used intense artificial sweetener, being approximately 200 times sweeter than sucrose. There have been concerns over aspartame since approval in the 1980s including a large anecdotal database reporting severe symptoms. The objective of this study was to compare the acute symptom effects of aspartame to a control preparation. Methods: This was a double-blind randomized cross over study conducted in a clinical research unit in United Kingdom. Forty-eight individual who has self reported sensitivity to aspartame were compared to 48 age and gender matched aspartame non-sensitive individuals. They were given aspartame (100mg)-containing or control snack bars randomly at least 7 days apart. The main outcome measures were acute effects of aspartame measured using repeated ratings of 14 symptoms, biochemistry and metabonomics. Results: Aspartame sensitive and non-sensitive participants differed psychologically at baseline in handling feelings and perceived stress. Sensitive participants had higher triglycerides (2.05 ± 1.44 vs. 1.26 ± 0.84mmol/L; p value 0.008) and lower HDL-C (1.16 ± 0.34 vs. 1.35 ± 0.54 mmol/L; p value 0.04), reflected in 1H NMR serum analysis that showed differences in the baseline lipid content between the two groups. Urine metabonomic studies showed no significant differences. None of the rated symptoms differed between aspartame and control bars, or between sensitive and control participants. However, aspartame sensitive participants rated more symptoms particularly in the first test session, whether this was placebo or control. Aspartame and control bars affected GLP-1, GIP, tyrosine and phenylalanine levels equally in both aspartame sensitive and non-sensitive subjects. Conclusion: Using a comprehensive battery of psychological tests, biochemistry and state of the art metabonomics there was no evidence of any acute adverse responses to aspartame. This independent study gives reassurance to both regulatory bodies and the public that acute ingestion of aspartame does not have any detectable psychological or metabolic effects in humans. Trial Registration: ISRCTN Registry ISRCTN39650237.

AB - Background: Aspartame is a commonly used intense artificial sweetener, being approximately 200 times sweeter than sucrose. There have been concerns over aspartame since approval in the 1980s including a large anecdotal database reporting severe symptoms. The objective of this study was to compare the acute symptom effects of aspartame to a control preparation. Methods: This was a double-blind randomized cross over study conducted in a clinical research unit in United Kingdom. Forty-eight individual who has self reported sensitivity to aspartame were compared to 48 age and gender matched aspartame non-sensitive individuals. They were given aspartame (100mg)-containing or control snack bars randomly at least 7 days apart. The main outcome measures were acute effects of aspartame measured using repeated ratings of 14 symptoms, biochemistry and metabonomics. Results: Aspartame sensitive and non-sensitive participants differed psychologically at baseline in handling feelings and perceived stress. Sensitive participants had higher triglycerides (2.05 ± 1.44 vs. 1.26 ± 0.84mmol/L; p value 0.008) and lower HDL-C (1.16 ± 0.34 vs. 1.35 ± 0.54 mmol/L; p value 0.04), reflected in 1H NMR serum analysis that showed differences in the baseline lipid content between the two groups. Urine metabonomic studies showed no significant differences. None of the rated symptoms differed between aspartame and control bars, or between sensitive and control participants. However, aspartame sensitive participants rated more symptoms particularly in the first test session, whether this was placebo or control. Aspartame and control bars affected GLP-1, GIP, tyrosine and phenylalanine levels equally in both aspartame sensitive and non-sensitive subjects. Conclusion: Using a comprehensive battery of psychological tests, biochemistry and state of the art metabonomics there was no evidence of any acute adverse responses to aspartame. This independent study gives reassurance to both regulatory bodies and the public that acute ingestion of aspartame does not have any detectable psychological or metabolic effects in humans. Trial Registration: ISRCTN Registry ISRCTN39650237.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84925433473&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84925433473&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1371/journal.pone.0116212

DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0116212

M3 - Article

VL - 10

JO - PLoS One

JF - PLoS One

SN - 1932-6203

IS - 3

M1 - e0116212

ER -