Aspartame and Reproduction

Although I prefer writing positive blogs, I feel strongly enough about aspartame and its possible negative effect on fertility to devote this blog to a gloomy issue. Aspartame is an artificial sweetener used mainly in low-calorie products (see common foods with aspartame). It is derived from aspartic acid and phenylalanine and contains methanol. While some continue to argue that aspartame is not linked to health problems, I would argue that for those wishing to conceive or already pregnant, aspartame should be avoided. Aspartame has been linked to a variety of reproduction-related issues, including DNA damage, birth defects and reproductive cell health.

When attempting to conceive, cellular health of reproductive cells is important. The building blocks of aspartame (aspartic acid and phenylalanine) are excitotoxins. Excitotoxins stimulate the generation of unstable molecules known as free radicals, which can damage cell structures. Among those cells damaged by free radicals are reproductive cells (ova and sperm). Reproductive health is improved with healthy ova and sperm.

Not only is conception more readily achieved with healthy reproductive cells, but following conception, the DNA passed to the baby from the ova and sperm is critical in the formation of healthy offspring. If cellular DNA is damaged via aspartame-related toxins the likelihood of birth defects increases. Further, because the blood-brain barrier (highly selective permeable barrier between the brain and circulating blood) is developing in fetuses, toxins passed from mother to fetus through the placenta are more readily passed through to the fetus’ central nervous system.

So, if you are pregnant or want to conceive (or just want to be healthy) avoid aspartame. Who knows maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m not. Better to be safe than sorry.

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