Aspartame is made up of three chemicals: aspartic acid, phenylalanine dipeptide, and methanol.
Aspartic Acid : Aspartic acid significantly raises the blood plasma level of aspartate and glutamate which are neurotranmitters . Shortly after ingestion of aspartame, the excess aspartame and glutamate cross the blood-brain barrier and kill neurons by allowing the influx of excessive calcium into the cells. This influx triggers free radicals, which kill the cells. Aspartate and glutamate are referred to as "excitotoxins." They "excite" or stimulate the neural cells to death.
Phenylalanine dipeptide : Phenylalanine is an amino acid and the breakdown product that is found in brain tissue. Persons with the genetic disorder phenylketonuria (PKU) cannot metabolize phenylalanine. It has been shown that ingesting aspartame can lead to excess levels of phenylalanine in the brain even in persons who do not have PKU. This can be especially dangerous for infants and foetuses.
Methanol : Methanol forms 10% of aspartame and is metabolised to formic acid and formaldhyde in the body,. both potent neurotoxins
The blood brain barrier is not well developed in foetuses and infants, thus allowing excess glutamate and aspartate to be easily uptaken by the nerve cells in the brain. The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology recently stated ..."It is prudent to avoid the use of dietary supplements of L-glutamic acid by pregnant women, infants, and children. The existence of evidence of potential endocrine responses, i.e., elevated cortisol and prolactin, and differential responses between males and females, would also suggest a neuroendocrine link and that supplemental L-glutamic acid should be avoided by women of childbearing age..."
In the U.S., aspartame is the subject of a large percentage of adverse reactions to food supplements reported to the FDA. Symptoms reported include headaches and migraines,breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, dizziness, weight gain, rashes, nausea, depression, fatigue, irritability, insomnia, heart palpitations, and loss of taste, While many of these remain unproven, implications remain strong and we believe aspartame is unsuitable as an ingredient in toothpaste.
In the European Union, aspartame is codified as E951