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Aspartame for Treating Arthritis: Pros & Cons

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A reader shared with us his novel approach for treating arthritis with a Aspertame (also known by the brand name NutraSweet®) and Equal.

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I was surprised to read a letter in your column from a diabetic who gets headaches after using Equal. Some people may have trouble with this sweetener, but for me it has been a blessing.

I too am a diabetic and aspartame allows me to consume foods that would be off limits otherwise. I have noticed that my joints hurt less when I am using aspartame. At first I thought it was just a coincidence, but I am now convinced that Equal relieves my arthritis.
Just thought you would like another perspective on aspartame.

A. Thanks for your thoughtful response. Aspartame (Equal) appears to have analgesic activity. A report in the May 1998 issue of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics demonstrated significant relief from arthritis pain with aspartame compared to placebo. Researchers gave arthritis sufferers either four or eight tablets (totaling 76 or 152 mg) of the sweetener.

Aspartame appears to have some aspirin-like effects on bleeding and fever as well. This means it may increase bleeding time and should be used cautiously by those on blood thinners. Unlike aspirin, aspartame does not irritate the digestive tract.

We know that many people shun aspartame because it gives them headaches. There has also been research from Italy suggesting that this sugar substitute might have carcinogenic potential in a rodent model. Research published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine also confirms a possible cancer link.

We have interviewed the researcher in Italy to get his most recent thoughts on the aspartame controversy. If you would like to listen, here is a link to the free extended "bonus" interview with Dr. Soffritti.

For people who would like non-drug and non-artificial approaches to joint pain and arthritis treatment, we suggest either our Guide to Alternative Treatments for Arthritis or our book The People's Pharmacy Quick and Handy Home Remedies from National Geographic. You will learn all about turmeric (curcumin), fish oil, pomegranate, cayenne, Certo and grape juice, cherry juice, gin and raisins, honey and vinegar, magnets, pineapple juice, sloe gin, soap and vitamin D.

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11 Comments

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How many Aspertame packets per day should be used?

I would appreciate an answer.

Thank you.

How many packets of the Nutra-Sweet should be used for optimum results? My husband suffers with arthritis. Thank you.
Joni

I cannot believe you would use poison for arthritis. I can tell you for sure that aspartame will not help on a long term basis. Real food and nutrition is the only thing that will help. Not artificial, brain altering, poison.

When Aspartame was introduced in the early 80s I thought it was a God send for my waistline. However I started experiencing a brain misfiring. My brain would tell my tongue what words to say and the last couple of words in the sentence would NOT be what I had intended to say. After ruling out everything except the Diet Cokes I was drinking I stopped the soda and in 3 days the problem went away.

I have talked with other people who say they experienced the same thing. People assume because there are no calories in aspartame it will help to control weight. Unlike sugar Aspartame slows down the bodies metabolism, therefore burning fewer calories.

Every thing I eat is checked for Aspartame. We take too many chemicals into our bodies now. A preferred help to arthritis is the help I learned on the People's Pharmacy the first week of Oct. 'winter of '08-'09. Nine white gin soaked raisins.

Last winter and again this winter I have NO pain or growth in the joints of my arthritic riddled 71 year old body. It works!

Health Educator, retired. Hellen

I believe that there is a connection between arthritis and aspartame.
I am diabetic and have been for 25 years. I have consumed a lot of aspartame.

I developed arthritis a few years ago and at 44 it was getting severe. I decided to go off diet soda for a week just on a whim.

90% of my arthritis symptoms vanished and the stiffness I had in my hands is completely gone. I think you may be doing more harm than good trying to treat arthritis with aspartame. In my case it has had the exact opposite effect.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR EXPERIENCE. YOU MAY NOT BE THE ONLY ONE WITH SUCH A REACTION.

I got rid of my arthritis pain by using hyaluronic acid, 100 mg twice daily. The one I use also has collagen in it and is about $40 for 180 capsules, which would be three months supply. It is difficult to find locally, except at the vitamin shoppe, in hundred mg caps, so I find it at "the vitamin shoppe". It seems less expensive there than online.

Please go online and research "hyaluronic acid". I believe it was discovered to help arthritis pain in the u.k. The website I first found said it was discovered that people using a mouthwash (not available in the us.s or Canada) containing it were noticing their pain was gone. I ordered a bottle of the mouthwash, but about the time I had used half of it, my capsules arrived. The mouthwash is expensive, so I just use the capsules now.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: MOST OF THE RESEARCH ON HYALURONIC ACID HAS BEEN DONE WITH INJECTIONS INTO THE JOINT. WE HAVE SEEN LITTLE TO SUPPORT TAKING IT ORALLY.

I started using aspartame years ago to keep my calories down and started getting such pains in the back of my head that I thought I might have a brain tumor. I stopped using the aspartame and the pain gradually disappeared. I started using the aspartame again as an experiment and the pain in my head came back. I now check all products I buy to make sure they do not contain this chemical. I since have met other people who have had the same experience.

I find this to be perhaps an anomaly. Aspartame causes seizures for one. My Daughter-in-law had seizures for years and 2 trips to the Mayo Clinic later, it was found that she had levels of Aspartame in her system from the Diet Pepsi she drank daily. She gave them up and anything else with Aspartame and she had been seizure free for 2 years now. Remember one man's poison....

In the mid eighties we first read about asparteme and started using it on our cereal each morning about 5 times a week. We are now both in our high eighties and have no significant arthritis. I play golf 3-4 times each week and ccompetitive tennis doubles once each week. I am positive that aspartime has helped my present physical condition.

My husband is a diabetic and also overweight, so he stated drinking diet coke. He drank it for several years. He got to the point were he could hardly walk and hurt all over. He has arthritis too. Then he read an article about the bad effects of aspartame. After he quit drinking the diet coke, he felt better right away. I now have to check all food items for aspartame.

This is a joke. And it is dangerous. 8 years ago I drank diet pepsi every day for a couple of years. I also sweetened tea with this stuff. My legs got to the point when I stood up I could not take a step without pain shooting down my leg. It got so bad I told my husband I did not think I would be able to walk much longer. I happened to read a book on fibromyalgia, which I thought I might have, and I read that aspartame could cause the symptoms I was experiencing.

I came off all sweeteners at once. Within a week ALL pain in my legs was gone. I will never eat it again. I am careful not to eat or drink anything that has it as an ingredient. I warn anyone who tells me they have unusual pain if they drink diet anything. If they say they do I tell them my experience.

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