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Aspartame and Arthritis

Sugar substitutes such as Sweet 'N Low (saccharin), Splenda (sucralose) and NutraSweet (aspartame) have become staples of the American diet to reduce calorie intake and decrease the amount of sugar in food 1. The Food and Drug Administration has deemed aspartame safe for the U.S. population, and not a contributor to arthritis or other diseases.

About Aspartame

A chemist working on a product for ulcers at G.D. Searle and Co. discovered aspartame in 1965. He found that the powder was 100 to 200 times sweeter than sucrose. Dr. Betty Martini describes aspartame in her article on as an "excitotoxin" that, when added to foods and beverages, "stimulates neurons to death."

Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Dr. Julian Whitaker, author of "The Lowdown On Aspartame/NutraSweet," published in the March 2000 issue of Health and Healing Journal of Complementary Medicine, cites in his article that rheumatoid arthritis was brought on by consumption of products containing aspartame 12. His review of numerous cases showed arthritis symptoms disappeared after eliminating aspartame from a patient's diet.

Aspartame Study

Dr. H.J. Roberts, author of "Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic," talked about the direct role products containing aspartame have on health in his article "Professional Opinion Concerning the Role of Products Containing Aspartame in Arthritis and Fibromyalgia." His 15 years of study of more than 1,200 patients found a dramatic decrease in joint pain after discontinuing use of products containing aspartame 2.

Acidity of Aspartame

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Dr. Tenesha Weine says in her article "Sickly Sweet: The Problem With Aspartame" that aspartame makes your body acidic, disrupting the normal pH balance, leading to joint pain and arthritis 3. In treating patients with arthritis, she finds that eliminating aspartame helps alleviate arthritis by bringing pH to a more alkaline level.


When looking at building a diet to maintain good health and naturally treat conditions such as arthritis, avoiding artificial ingredients, additives and sweeteners is something to think about. Not knowing the possible side effects of these compounds and how they will react with any medications you may be taking are certainly worth taking into consideration.