Continual consumption of aspartame found to increase oxidative stress in brain tissue

Researchers from King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia have found that aspartame, a common artificial sweetener, has a damaging effect on the brain. More specifically, they found that the long-term consumption of aspartame increases oxidative stress in brain tissue and disrupts neurotransmitters, which harms physiological functions.

  • For the study, the researchers assessed the effect of aspartame consumption on neurotransmitters and oxidative stress in the brain of rats.
  • Aspartame has been used as an alternative sweetener among people with diabetes and for weight management.
  • They randomly divided the rats into four groups: one group served as the control group, while the remaining groups were given aspartame at a dose of 50, 75, and 125 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) body weight per day, respectively.
  • The treatment period lasted for 40 days.
  • The researchers then collected blood and brain samples after 10, 20, 30, and 40 days from the start of the experiment for biochemical analysis.
  • The results showed that aspartame consumption reduced the antioxidant activities of glutathione and superoxide dismutase, while elevating the amount of oxidative stress by increasing malondialdehyde levels.
  • Aspartame intake also significantly reduced the levels of the brain neurotransmitters serotonin, GABA, and dopamine and increased the level of acetylcholine and norepinephrine.
  • The effect of aspartame is dose-dependent.
  • The findings of the study were published in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines.

In conclusion, these findings suggest that long-term aspartame consumption increased oxidative stress in brain tissue and disrupt neurotransmitters.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

To read more studies on the harmful effects of artificial sweeteners, visit

Journal Reference:

A.S Baothman o, Moselhy ss. H Al-Shehri s, Al-malki al. IMPACT OF ASPARTAME CONSUMPTION ON NEUROTRANSMITTERS IN RAT BRAIN. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines. 01 October 2017; 14(5): 89-95. DOI: 10.21010/ajtcam.v14i5.12

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