Aspartame Experiment

Warning! Graphic Material

Introduction by author Carol Guilford

“In any such study of even a few hundred test animals, it takes no more than a dozen or so of them to exhibit a particular lesion to associate with the test agent, i.e., aspartame or its related chemicals.

Dr. Adrian Gross, FDA toxicologist in a letter to Senator Howard Metzenbaum, Oct. 30, 1986.

“In any such study of even a few hundred test animals, it takes no more than a dozen or so of them to exhibit a particular lesion to associate with the test agent, i.e., aspartame or its related chemicals.
Dr. Adrian Gross, FDA toxicologist in a letter to Senator Howard Metzenbaum, Oct. 30, 1986.


“In my opinion, we are the rats of the pharmaceutical and chemical companies that liberally spread their synthetic chemicals worldwide, with no one fully understanding the long-term adverse effects especially the complex interactions from injecting thousands of toxic chemicals into the plant and animal kingdoms sustaining our planet.

“Author Victoria Inness-Brown did everything in her power to give us a fair and accurate study on the effects aspartame has on rats. Using scientific methods she created two groups of rats, one was the control group and the other was given a name brand artificial sweetener that contained aspartame for their drink. She carefully logged the symptoms that both groups exhibited during their life span as part of the experiment.

While there were many examples of both males and females that were given aspartame growing fat none of the rats from the control group became fat. The author asks “What could be worse than a diet product that makes you fat? One that is also addictive!”

While many of the rats on aspartame showed symptoms of neurological damage, all rats in the author’s control group were free of visible symptoms of neurological damage. The shocking part of the experiment was the amount and sizes of tumors in the aspartame group. The pictures in the book are really shocking showing both the locations and the size of tumors on the rats.

The author does a great job explaining what aspartame is and what effects it could have on humans that consume large amounts. Her experiment followed scientific theory and she did a great job walking the reader through each part of her process step-by-step.

I also highly recommend Dr. Blaylocks “Exitotoxins: The taste that kills.” for those interested in the science behind why aspartame could cause neurological problems.

When Victoria Inness-Brown contacted me about “explosive information” concerning aspartame (Equal,NutraSweet) the controversial, artificial, chemical sweetener, I didn’t know what to expect. Despite overwhelming scientific evidence of aspartame’s danger to human health (tires have been recalled for less) it remains in 6,000 food, drink and medicinal products.

Who could imagine a private citizen would do an aspartame experiment with 108 rats for 2 years and 8 months?

The late Dr. Adrian Gross explained that rodent experiments are the means to find out what a particular substance will do to human beings

Look at Victoria’s pictures of her animals that ingested the equivalent amount of aspartame (in human terms) of less than one diet coke a day, until their spontaneous death. Importantly, the control groups, those fed no aspartame were free from visible effects. (1)

The artificial sweetener, Aspartame, was approved by the FDA, in 1981. By the 1990’s, the FDA had a list of 92 symptoms reported to them by 10,000 consumers, a list revealed to the public under the Freedom of Information Act. (2)

Personally, I have read thousands of cases from aspartame victims, many who post on Yahoo’s Aspartame Victim Support Group list, but Victoria’s photographs, the first ever to be released from any study, give meaning to the hypothesis, “A picture is worth a thousand words”.

Following is Victoria’s gutsy account of why she did her experiment, the protocol she used to conduct it and the remarkable pictures of the rats. Victoria says

I Wanted Visual Proof

I did my aspartame experiment because my family was addicted to diet soda. After researching the effects of aspartame, I strongly believed the artificial sweetener might one day lead to their illness and even early death.

Most influential in my research on the aspartame molecule was The Bressler Report. (3) Dr. Jerome Bressler, M.D., led an FDA task force to attempt to validate the authenticity of a study done by G.D. Searle, the pharmaceutical company that held the patent to the “sweetener”.

Dr. Bressler’s team did the Searle audit between April 25, 1977 and August 4, 1977 of study PT #988S73, a 115 Week Oral Tumorigenicity Study in the Rat. The rat study was supposedly done by Searle to examine the adverse effects of the crystalline form of aspartame’s breakdown from phenylalanine, 50% of the chemical’s composition to SC-19192, diketopiperazine (DKP).

Bressler’s force found irregularities in Searle’s experiment, missing raw data, errors and discrepancies in available data, exclusions of animals, and animals that had masses removed and were then returned to the study.

It is clear Searle misrepresented the carcinogenicity of DKP and hid incriminating data from the FDA.

One unreported tissue mass in Searle’s study measured 5.0 X 4.5 X 2.5 cm. Equivalent to 2 in. X 1.75 in. X 1.0 in. A significant sized tumor that should be visible to the naked eye, hard to miss.

I was convinced I would see tumors and possibly other harmful effects to convince my family and friends to avoid aspartame.

My Experiment Setup

My experiment protocol: Summary of aspartame rat study protocol

Protocol ParameterDescription
Source of aspartameNutraSweet packets.
Form of aspartameNutraSweet dissolved in drinking water, available 24 hours per day.
DosageTwo packets of NutraSweet per eight ounces of water (about 80 mg of aspartame per each eight ounces); about 34 mg/kg of aspartame for males; 45 mg/kg for females.
DurationTwo years, eight months (about 138 weeks, where one month = about 4.3 weeks); until the spontaneous death of the animals.
Rat strainBred from two males, two females, each from different varieties of PetCo rats, including the Sprague Dawley strain. Maintained a genetic mix throughout the breeding, avoided mating brothers and sisters, mothers and sons, fathers and daughters.
Number of rats in studyExperimental group of 30 males, 30 females. Control group of 24 males, 24 females; a total of 108 rats.
Type of feedKaytee’s Supreme Fortified Daily Blend for Rat & Mouse and Kaytee’s Supreme Fortified Daily Blend for Hamster & Gerbil from a local feed store.

Diet Pepsi, Aspartame or Nutrasweet?

Because my family members were addicted to diet soda, at first I wanted to put Diet Pepsi in my rat’s water bottles. That idea was short lived. After turning a filled bottle upside down and attaching it to a cage, the liquid immediately started flowing out, carbonation pressurizes the bottle, so diet Pepsi wouldn’t work. It was just as well, because the cost of the soda would have been prohibitive over the course of the experiment.

I did not want to mix dry NutraSweet with rat food for several reasons. First, I wanted to simulate the effects of diet soda, a liquid. Next, NutraSweet is sold as powdered crystals that are tiny compared to the grains and alfalfa pellets comprising the food I fed my rats. I knew the powder would fall to the bottom of the food bowls, allowing the rats to avoid it.

I also knew from personal experience it would be hard to calculate the dosage, because so much food ends up in the trays under their cages. Finally, aspartame crystals may clump, allowing rats to avoid them. In “The Bressler Report”, the FDA task force reported the rats learned to eat around the DKP crystals.

I decided to mix pure aspartame in their water. In an Internet search for an aspartame supplier, I found only food and beverage manufacturers are permitted to purchase aspartame. Dr. Ralph Walton, a respected researcher, in the mid-90’s, experienced the same problem. No aspartame for sale for his study. (4)

The National Institute of Health evaluates a packet of aspartame-based sweetener such as NutraSweet contains 40 mg of aspartame.

I decided on putting the NutraSweet in their drinking water, at the rate of two packets, a total of 80 mg of aspartame, per each 8 oz of water.

A 12-oz diet soda has about 180 mg of aspartame, 15 mg of aspartame per oz., the amount in approximately 4.5 packets of NutraSweet.

According to the industry-run Aspartame Information Center website, a conservative estimate of the maximum dose of aspartame for humans per day, the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI), as set by the FDA, is 50 mg/kg, approximately twenty cans of 12-ounce diet soda for a 150 lb. adult and six 12-ounce cans for a 50-pound child. Tabletop sweetener ADI is 97 packets for an adult and 32 packets for a child.

The animals in my study weighed on the average of 1 pound for males and 0.66 pounds for females. The ADI for the males was 16.9 mg and for the females 13.5 mg

To put these numbers into perspective, the aspartame received by my rats daily, was equivalent to two-thirds the aspartame contained in 8-oz of diet soda.

My masters degree is in mathematics.

Rat Strain

Most studies are done on rats that are genetically identical. According to a friend who runs a rabbit and mouse lab for a local bio-tech company, “Some vendors sell strains of rats that have gone through 30 generations of brother and sister in-bred mating”.

This concept seemed counter-intuitive to me. How do these strains of rats represent the general population? In “Mean Genes”, Jay Phelan and Terry Burnhan write: “Almost all animals avoid mating with close relatives because it makes for bad babies. From mice to monkeys, animals are reluctant to have offspring with siblings.

I bought my rats at PetCo and bred them for my experiment. I purchased rats of different colors, to get a genetic verity. I also attempted to breed rats that were not brothers and sisters, to avoid in-breeding mutation.

I found most of the observable symptoms occurred during the last third of the rat’s life-span, illuminating the information that the adverse effects of aspartame are cumulative.

I chose to allow my rats to live out their natural lives. I honor them for their sacrifice and for showing the way for the rest of us.

I put NutraSweet in their water starting in March, 2002, and the last of them died in November 2004. The experiment lasted a total of two years, eight months.

Even though I had read the Bressler Report, I was struck by the number and size of the growths. Eleven females and one male developed tumors. That’s 37% of the females on aspartame.

During the audit of Searle’s DKP study, pathologist Dr. Charles H. Frith spent three days with the FDA task force to review 145 animals. Sufficient slides substantiated 73 female animals with grossly observed masses.

Three Aspartame Females With Tumors

In 2005, Dr. Morando Soffritti of the European Foundation of Oncology, in Bologna, Italy completed an 8-year “mega-experiment” with1800 rats, to evaluate the potential carcinogenic effects of aspartame.

The results of the experiment showed a dose-related statistically significant increase of lymphomas and leukemias in female rats. This statistically significant increase was also observed at the dose level of 20 mg/Kg of body weight, a dose inferior to the accepted daily intake permitted by current regulations.

Results of Dr. Soffritti’s second long-term carcinogenicity bioassay on Aspartame… not only confirm but also reinforce our first experimental demonstration (Belpoggi et al. 2006; Soffritti et al. 2005, 2006) of APM’s multipotential carcinogenicity at a dose level close to the human ADI. Furthermore, the study demonstrates that when life-span exposure to APM (aspartame) begins during fetal life, its carcinogenic effects are increased.

I was relieved to know to know Dr. Soffritti also let his rats live until spontaneous death because most cancers occur “in the last third of a person’s lifetime”

There are no photographs from the Soffritti study. But one can surmise, they looked something like this.

These females in my mini-experiment appear to have mammary or lymph tumours.

This female developed a large tumor on her left side.

This female developed developed a tumor on the right side of her face.

This female has a very large tumor on her right side.

This male had a growth on the right side of his face.

This female had a tumor near the left lymph gland of her neck. note the identifying mark on her head.

The tumor grew to gigantic proportions and appeared to be filled with numerous smaller tumors. The tumor became entangled with her right foreleg causing difficulty when moving.

This last photo of the same female, taken after death, shows the small tumors more pronounced along with the blood vessels that fed.

The fact that the European Union can discredit the Ramazzini Institute’s damning 8-year cancer study is because, as researcher Mark Gold, ( points out, after extensive background checks – the persons controlling our world-wide health have big-time ties to industry.


Endocrinologist, Dr. H. J. Roberts, M.D. writes in “Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic”, “The FDA initially received ocular complaints attributed to aspartame from 177 consumers” (Dr. Linda Tollefson, personal communication, August 12, 1987).

Eye complaints, in the 1200 cases Dr. Roberts clinically observed for his book “were prominent”, including retinal detachment and in 27 cases, blindness occurred in one or both eyes. Other aspartame “reactors” reported tunnel vision, eye pain, jerking of the eyes, bright flashes, dry eyes, trouble with contact lenses and bleeding eyes.

Male with bleeding eyes

These two males had eye infections 

“In 1991, I was diagnosed with an ‘ncurable’ case of Grave’s Disease, a fatal thyroid disorder, I never really had Grave’s Disease but my doctors were convinced I did. I had aspartame poisoning with symptoms of ‘textbook’ Grave’s Disease caused by aspartame saturating my foods€.

Dr. Janet Starr Hull

“Sweet Poison”: How The World’s Most Popular Artificial Sweetener is Killing Us. New Horizon Press

One of the symptoms of Grave’s Disease is protruding eyes. This is a no-longer private e-mail from Dr. Hull to Carol Guilford.

“YES, I had protruding eyes, cystic acne, and my hair was falling out in clumps. I had gained 30 pounds, too. ALL that went away within a year from stopping all aspartame. I even had holes in my retina from the methanol, and those have closed up now. All backed up by my eye surgeon”.

If you go to Dr. Hull’s web site,, you will find her a beautiful-looking woman.

Four aspartame-fed females with protruding eyes 

No observable eye disorders were found in my control group of 48 animals

Neurological Problems

No observable neurological problems were displayed in my control group.

Film maker Cori Brackett (“Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World”) wrote a book of poetry, “Through the Shadows”, about her MS diagnosis and her year-long recovery after she threw out the diet Coke. (

Aspartame male whose hind legs became paralysed

He did not live long after.


Torticollis is a condition that causes the neck to twist, involuntary to one side. The NSTA, the National Spasmodic Torticollis Association, describes torticollis as “Spasmodic Torticollis (ST), a painful and debilitating neurological disorder caused by a dysfunction of the brain”.

According to the NSTA, this aspartame-fed male and female rat have “tonic torticollis rotational”.

This female perpetually turned her head to the left, a human symptom of Torticollis .

This male also had trouble walking, frequently falling over.

Note that his body is leaning toward his left side.

Unsteady gait is No. 61 on the FDA list of aspartame symptoms.

Genetic Damage 

“Searle had submitted 13 tests in an attempt to establish that aspartame did not cause genetic damage but memos from public records show that FDA scientists who reviewed the tests found serious deficiencies in all of them.
Mary Nash Stoddard “Deadly Deception: Story of Aspartame”

Former Texas State Judge Stoddard is the founder of the ACSN, The Aspartame Consumer Safety Network, along with her partner, consumer attorney, James Turner.

This aspartame-fed female had a tooth growing outside the mouth 

The large tan male rat in the centre below was the same age as his stunted male and female cousins.  The smaller rats grew to about half the average weight of their cousins.

Close-up of a female born with a single eye

A male born with one eye 

Changes in skin in No. 65 on the FDA list and No. 66 is change in hair or nails. These shots are graphic, indeed. No rats in the control group showed skin problems.

These aspartame-fed males had thinning and yellowing fur. 

A skin lesion on an aspartame-fed male

The skin of this female rat started coming off the week before it died.

The unkindest cut of all. Change in body weight is No. 53 on the FDA list. (5)

This female aspartame-fed rat became obese.




“A Monsanto spokeswoman confirmed that aspartame for the US market is often made using genetic engineering.”  OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration classifies methanol, formaldehyde and formic acid, components of aspartame as hazardous.  

Carol Guilford convinced me to let her attempt to explain Aspartame, The Poison, in just a few paragraphs.

Aspartame is a very sophisticated, clever drug. So, first off, let me point out that this sophisticated, clever drug could never have been “discovered” accidentally.  

Incidentally, James M. Schlatter, the scientist who, working on an ulcer drug licked his finger to find the sweet chemical NutraSweet has never been questioned.

PHENYLALANINE, 50% of the aspartame molecule is isolated from the chain of amino acids with which it exists in nature. Isolated phenylalanine, neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock, M.D. tells us crosses the blood brain barrier to interfere and kill the neurotransmitters of the brain by “exciting them to death”. (“Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills)

In 1987, Dr. Louis J. Elsas, then Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Division of Medical Genetics at Emory University testified at the hearing before the United States Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, concerning “NUTRASWEET, HEALTH AND SAFETY CONCERNS”.

Dr. Elsas told the Senators, “In the developing fetus such a rise in maternal blood phenylalanine could be magnified four to six fold by the concentrative efforts of the placental and fetal blood brain barrier and this concentration kills such cells in tissue culture. The effect of such an increased fetal brain concentrations in vivo would probably be much more subtle and expressed as mental retardation, microcephaly, or potential certain birth defects”.

Does autism ring a bell? When Dr. Elsas told the senate this significant fact about phenylalanine, in 1987, infant autism rates were 1 in 1500, today they are 1 in 150 and rising.

How many of us ever heard of Alzheimer’s, in 1980? The rates have doubled since aspartame was approved; a conservative statistic is 5 million in the US have the disease.

PHENYLALANINE converts to DKP, diketopiperazine, a tumor agent. The suspicious study of DKP by Searle Pharmaceuticals prompted the FDA to audit the experiment, the results of which are documented in the Bressler Report.

ASPARTIC ACID is 40% of the aspartame molecule. Dr. Madelon Price, in 1998 was Professor of Neurobiology at Washington University, in St. Louis, Missouri told her students: “Aspartic acid (aspartate) has been known to be a neurotoxin for 30 years. (now 40 years) Rodents that have ingested too much aspartame as infants are stunted as adults, obese and have sexual and reproductive dysfunctions. (7)

At the same lecture to her students that day, someone asked Dr. Price whether the phenylalanine in neotame, the aspartame clone, approved by the FDA was the same as the phenylalanine in aspartame. Dr. Price answered, it was. Neotame is now in the food supply, unlabeled, without a PKU warning for those who cannot metabolize phenylalanine. “Ah, says industry, but there’s such a small amount of phenylalanine in neotame, it doesn’t count”.

Wait a minute. Dr. Price explains, “Aspartate (aspartame) is additive in its effects with glutamate and other excitotoxins. In other words, a subtoxic dose of aspartame added to a subtoxic dose of glutamate (MSG) may add up to a toxic dose. Unfortunately it is hard to find food that does not contain added glutamate, and for some categories of food it does not have to be listed on the label.

METHANOL is 10% of the aspartame molecule. Methanol (wood alcohol) is a known poison and addictive, too. Doesn’t everyone knows someone who carries a diet Coke around all day?

The aspartame industry claims there is more methanol in a glass of orange juice than in aspartame products, but in a natural product, such as orange juice, the poisonous wood alcohol has the antidote for methanol inherently in it– ethanol.

Free methanol turns into formaldehyde (embalming fluid).

In 1998, a research team from the biology department of the University of Barcelona, Spain, C.Trocho, et al concluded: “Aspartame converts to formaldehyde in vivo in the bodies of laboratory rats.”

“Formaldehyde is a highly reactive small molecule which strongly binds to proteins and nucleic acids forming adducts which are difficult to eliminate through the normal metabolism pathways, the amount of formaldehyde adducts coming from aspartame in tissue proteins and nucleic acids may be cumulative. It is concluded that aspartame consumption may constitute a hazard because of its contribution to the formation of formaldehyde adducts”.

The formaldehyde from the free methanol then breaks down to formic acid, ant sting venom.

Yes, a very, sophisticated, clever drug, killing us sweetly.


  1. Three female rats in the control group of 48 had small tumors.
  2. Activist Betty Martini has a receipt from the Dept. of Health and Human Services for her request of the aspartame “report” The cost was $42.30. The letter is dated June 6, 1995
  3. The complete Bressler Report can be read at
  4. Dr. Ralph Walton compiled a list of all controlled human and animal studies looking for the effects of aspartame. Out of 90 independently-funded studies, 83 of them found one or more problems caused by aspartame. But out of the 74 studies funded by the aspartame industry (e.g., Monsanto, G.D. Searle, etc). every single one of them claimed that no problems were found.
  5. Dr. Sandra Cabot (“The Liver Cleansing Diet) in a position paper on aspartame explains the liver is so busy detoxing the poisons from aspartame, it cannot properly metabolize fat.
    MSG is also an “excitotoxin that causes obesity.
    Dr. Blaylock writes, in an article for Nurse World Magazine€¦ “dozens of independent laboratories have confirmed the connection between gross obesity and exposure to MSG early in life. More recent studies have also found it induces type 2 diabetes. “One of the most frightening connections is with sudden cardiac death. It is known that the heart’s electrical conduction system contains a number of glutamate receptors, as does the heart muscle itself. If these glutamate receptors are overstimulated, fatal arrhythmias can result.” Change in heart rate is No. 15 on the FDA list of aspartame symptoms.
  6. Everything you ever wanted to know about the methanol in aspartame is in Dr. Monte’s letter of January, 2006. Author, columnist David L. Dewey has posted the letter at David’s concise article Aspartame – Sweetness Disguised as Disease or Death is at
  7. Dr. Price worked with Dr. John Olney, who in 1969 found aspartic acid caused nerve damage in the brains of mice. It was Dr. Olney who discovered that aspartame and MSG could kill brain cells by “exciting them to death, hence the name “excitotoxin.

In 1996, Dr. Olney showed the link between aspartame and brain cancer, up 10% after aspartame had been on the market for 3 years and one year after its inclusion in diet sodas.

Despite an airing on “60 Minutes, Dr. Olney was media-blitzed by industrial power, in the same manner as Dr. Soffritti is being dismissed today, ten years later.

Death is No. 77 on the FDA list of aspartame symptoms.

By: Victoria Innes-Brown, M.A.


The views expressed and methods used to conduct this information study are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of approach of Doctors Across Borders T/A Doctors Beyond Medicine. We do not condone the harming of any animals, humans, plants or nature. The presentation of material in this study therefore does not imply the expression of any opinion or study conducted whatsoever on the part of DAB/DBM, but serves as an information illustration.