T Nation


Listen up folks. I, after quite some time, I just finished my senior project for a BS in Psychology. That’s right, Psych! My project is titled “The Effects of Aspartame on College Students’ Short Term Memory” Well, as it turns out, the students that ingested aspartame (diet soda)could not recall as many short term memory tasks as those who did not ingest aspartame(regular soda). This is on a >.05 significance level. So, next time you drink a diet soda, don’t forget to remember not to drink!? Oh, I think that even though you may not be a college student aspartame will still affect you:)

congratulations, I too will be finishing up a honor’s project in the near future. “The effects of mood on resistance exercise”. I am not done with my data collection and analysis yet but I will let you know.

I think you mean a p< 0.05 not p> 0.05. The second would mean that the null has a 95% chance of being true.

Well, as a psych academic specializing in human memory research, let me congratulate you on your work. I’d really like to know more about it. What did you tell your Ss that the purpose of the study was? And, did you give them the diet vs regular soda in disguised containers? I’m asking these things because in my research, we’ve found that telling people the beverage they are drinking is a vodka and tonic is enough to affect their memory–even though they’re really drinking plain tonic water! Weird, huh? Suggestion is a powerful thing. Congrats again.

nice to see someone with brains when it comes to this subject…aspartame is a NASTY NASTY NASSSSSSTTTTYYYY product…if you have any regards for your health…steer far faaaaaaar away from it…i know some of you might be thinking…o what do they know…wheres all the research?well dont be a moron…the research is there if u bother to actually look for it…just friendly advice…stay away from aspartame and other similar crap!

I believe that Dr. Mauro Dipasquale has stated that the only time that aspertame is bad for you is when you are ingesting carbs with it… something about the blood brain barrier. So think twice before ordering that Big Mac with a diet soda. Otherwise, there are no problems.

Just passing on info that I have learned at seminars…

Just what the sugar companies want you to believe . . . The FDA studied the “hell” out of Aspartame - no side effects. As far as I’m concerned Aspartame is fine - I don’t suck down the bullshit handed down by sugar company sponsered labs about brain tumors/etc. Think about it - Aspartame has been the biggest ass kicking sugar companies have EVER received - they had NO PROBLEM with sacarin because it tasted like shit. Also, for you sucralose fans, it has almost the same glycemic effect as pure sugar (afterall it is a sugar derivative). No offense to your latest study but I don’t buy it, nor get excited that easily.

Oh, my bad. p< 0.05. Thanks…BTW, yeah, I like diet soda too…right before a workout with my MD-6 gives me a good kick. Since I finished the study I have been cutting back on diet soda. Yes, I used foam cups as containers and I used 2 sets of words for a memory recall. 1 Set of familiar and 1 set of non-familiar shown at a rate of 1 per second, a total of 15 words. However, Jim Ellis, I was a skeptic as well until I did my project. JH, I think that the Aspartame molecule crosses the BBB(blood-brain-barrier) regardless of the presence of carbohydrates.

Did you take into account any confounding factors such as lack of sleep or drug use(ecstacy)cause both have been shown to affect short term memory?

Aspartame is horrible for you, no doubt about it. It never should have been released by the FDA. It’s not safe and study results have been altered to get it’s approval. Check out the Optimum wellness website, its Mercola, (u can figure out the url. And read the articles on aspartame.

I salute you and your project. Research is never an easy project (especially with the professors breathing down your back). I must call your attention to n impressive study done on aspartame by Richard Wurtman, M.D. et al at MIT published a few years (two?) back in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. You should be able at least to find the abstract online via a “medline” search engine or get the full length paper from your school library. In any event, this in-depth, large scale study found no ill effects of aspartame on performance, cognitivity or other related brain functions. I guess for those who think that the FDA has a love affair with aspartame the approval of sucralose is a blessing.

Just as doug has researched, so have I - aspartame has had the shit studied out of it and has had no ill effects. Optimum wellness website?? I checked the articles - not impressed. Memory loss?? I really can’t remember . . . Oh,memory loss, yeah, I’ve never seen any effects. There where some other dangers sited on this website but . . what was I talking about . . Oh yeah, other danger - I can’t remember them though.

Congrats, Mikey! I haven’t done enough studying up on the subject so I’ll steer clear of any pushing and shoving…

But for you diet soda gurus, go with Diet Rite…it’s sweetened with Sucralose (no aspartame) and also doesn’t have any sodium, not to mention the taste is outta this world.

My Doc gave me some info on aspartame. It’s safe as long as its not stored above 98 degrees. At above 98 it turns toxic. run a search on the net for the info, its out there. (how hot you think those trucks carying soda get during the summer?)

I have a question for Jim Ellis. I dont think that the glycemic index (how fast its absorbed) for sucralose should mean anything since afterall it has no calories. What is the insulin index level of sucralose? If it is as high as its gi, it seems to me that sucralose could be used in a post workout drink for dieters.

I made a protein blend a few months ago. It was sweetened with aspartame. It definately has an effect on the brain. I was drinking three of these drinks a day. After a few days, in the afternoons, I would get a stange headache, like someone was sucking my brain out.( Instead of pressure in my head, it was the lack there of). It took me a while to figur out what was causing it. Once I figured it was the aspartame, I discontinued use and the headaches went away.
My recommendation, stay away from the shit. It probally causes brain tumors.

In response to dman - I think sucralose is around 70 in the GI rating (despite LOW, not lack of, calories) - I don’t think it would be good for a recovery drink though (not high enough and I heard it causes subjects to wave around sugar company banners and talk about how bad aspartame is when taken too often). Also, ryan, nice placebo effect - you know when drinking too much aspartame I feel like deca!

In addition to the previous info given, when I distributed the beverage, it was given at room temperature. Hence, the aspartame molecule was “broken up”. Ever wonder why warm diet soda tastes like shit? I debriefed the students afterwards. Also, I waited about half an hour after ingestion before I asked the participants to pay attention to the screen and recall as many words possible. The presentation lasted 15 seconds, making it short-term memory free recall. During my research, I did run into some evidence that in some individuals it caused siezures. However, this was at 30 cans of diet soda a day.