The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences


L-aspartyl-L-phenylalanyl-methyl ester, commonly known as aspartame, is one of the most widely used and controversial sweeteners. Many have questioned the safety of this chemical, concerned that it may be neurotoxic and carcinogenic. Numerous studies have been conducted on the three basic constituents of aspartame: aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol; scientists have tried to determine whether the ingestion of aspartame will cause a significant increase in blood plasma levels of these chemicals, and whether such an increase is dangerous. This review analyzes various studies conducted on the health effects of these metabolitic byproducts of aspartame.