AspartameAspartame is an artificial, non-saccharide sweetener used as a sugar substitute in some foods and beverages. In the European Union, it is codified as E951. Aspartame is a methyl ester of the aspartic acid/phenylalanine dipeptide. WikipediaFormula: C14H18N2O5Molar mass: 294.3 g/molIUPAC ID: N-(L-α-Aspartyl)-L-phenylalanine, 1-methyl esterMelting point: 246 °CDensity: 1.35 g/cm³
So why should we be concerned?
A study was done by the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio which showed adverse health effects to people who consumed aspartame flavored diet drinks.  The study suggested that instead of fighting obesity and its associated hazards, the use of aspartame might actually contribute to the conditions. Honesty and fair dealing would necessarily preclude adding even more aspartame to our diets. Right off, that alone is reason enough to question their motives, however, there is more.
Professor E. Pretorius, P. Humphries and H. Naudé, reported several disturbing observations concerning aspartame consumption in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Methanol, which forms 10% of the broken down product, is converted in the body to formate, which can either be excreted or can give rise to formaldehyde, diketopiperazine (a carcinogen) and a number of other highly toxic derivatives. Previously, it has been reported that consumption of aspartame could cause neurological and behavioural disturbances in sensitive individuals. Headaches, insomnia and seizures are also some of the neurological effects that have been encountered, and these may be accredited to changes in regional brain concentrations of catecholamines, which include norepinephrine, epinephrine and dopamine. The aim of this study was to discuss the direct and indirect cellular effects of aspartame on the brain, and we propose that excessive aspartame ingestion might be involved in the pathogenesis of certain mental disorders (DSM-IV-TR 2000) and also in compromised learning and emotional functioning. 
Perhaps the longest on-going study on the deleterious effects of aspartame consumption has been that of Woodrow Monte, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Food Science and Nutrition at Arizona State University. His 30-year research has established direct links between aspartame and several diseases, particularly the diseases of civilization such as heart disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s. Dr. Monte’s studies center on the methanol-formaldehyde toxicity paradigm with compelling evidence. In his book, While Science Sleeps, Monte explains how he considers methanol a medical Trojan Horse.
Until 200 years ago, methanol was an extremely rare component of the human diet and is still rarely consumed in contemporary hunter and gatherer cultures. With the invention of canning in the 1800s, canned and bottled fruits and vegetables, whose methanol content greatly exceeds that of their fresh counterparts, became far more prevalent. The recent dietary introduction of aspartame, an artificial sweetener 11% methanol by weight, has also greatly increased methanol consumption. Moreover, methanol is a major component of cigarette smoke, known to be a causative agent of many diseases of civilization (DOC). Conversion to formaldehyde in organs other than the liver is the principal means by which methanol may cause disease. The known sites of class I alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH I), the only human enzyme capable of metabolizing methanol to formaldehyde, correspond to the sites of origin for many DOC.
Dr. Monte has also compiled a list of 745 other studies showing that aspartame is indeed a very dangerous substance when consumed by humans. 
Numerous other researchers have consistently found damaging evidence linking aspartame andformaldehyde via the methanol component of aspartame. Rich Murray, MA, has also compiled a list of respected studies. 
A study included in that list by C. Trocho et al, reports the following:
Formaldehyde derived from dietary aspartame binds to tissue components in vivo. It clearly demonstrates cellular persistence and accumulation, or in layman’s terms, that formaldehyde can remain and accumulate in the body. It is absolutely established that formaldehyde converted from the methyl ester in aspartame embalms living tissue and damages DNA. 
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