Foods & drinks sweetened with aspartame taste excellent, yet have only a fraction of the calories that they would contain if they were sweetened with sugar. They therefore make a useful contribution to the maintenance of a healthy body weight.
Aspartame is a low-calorie sweetening ingredient found in powdered soft drinks, carbonated beverages, yogurt and dairy products, confectionary, fruit spreads and many other foods. Aspartame has been used by millions of consumers in countries around the world for more than 30 years.
Aspartame is made from aspartic acid and the methyl ester form of phenylalanine. Upon digestion, aspartame is completely broken down into its components - the amino acids aspartic acid and phenylalanine, and a small amount of methanol - which are then absorbed into the bloodstream.
The components of aspartame are then used in the body in exactly the same way as when they are obtained from other common foods and beverages. Neither aspartame nor its components accumulate in the body over time.
The amount of aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol produced during the digestion of aspartame is small compared to that which is obtained from everyday foods. In fact, a glass of tomato juice provides more than 3 times as much methanol as an equal amount of beverage sweetened with aspartame. A serving of skim milk provides nearly 7 times more phenylalanine and 14 times more aspartic acid than the same amount of beverage sweetened with aspartame.