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Aspartame: Fibromyalgia & Preterm Birth

When we learned how bad butter was, the food industry responded by giving us margarine, which turned out to be even worse. When dietary guidelines told us to lower our fat intake in hopes that we’d pick up an apple, the food industry gave us fudge drizzled Snackwell cookies. Similar reasoning led to the billion-dollar diet soda industry.

A recent study profiled in my Diet Soda and Preterm Birth entitled “Intake of Artificially Sweetened Soft Drinks and Risk of Preterm Delivery: A Prospective Cohort Study in 59,334 Pregnant Danes” concluded that the daily intake of diet soda may increase the risk of preterm delivery. It probably wasn’t the caffeine or preservatives, since sweetened versions of the same sodas didn’t result in the same problem. So what is it?

They think it’s the toxic aspartame (Nutrasweet) breakdown products either affecting the mother’s uterus or directly affecting the baby’s developing nervous system. These are the same toxins (wood alcohol and formaldehyde) blamed for headaches associated with aspartame. If you click on my video pick above, I profile case reports of fibromyalgia chronic pain sufferers cured by removing the artificial sweetener from their diets.

As far as I’m concerned, nontoxic treatments should always get precedence, and you can’t get much more nontoxic than removing processed foods from your diet! Alternately, many folks suffering with fibromyalgia symptoms may have been misdiagnosed and are actually suffering from an easily treated vitamin D deficiency. What’s the best way to treat that? See Vitamin D Pills vs. Tanning Beds, one of my dozen videos on vitamin D. I’ve got a bunch of previous videos on sweeteners including Is Nutrasweet Bad For You? Erythritol is probably A Harmless Artificial Sweetener.

Of course regular soda isn’t good for us either. High fructose corn syrup may contain mercury and have adverse effect on our children (Diet & Hyperactivity). See Food Industry Funding Effect for a discussion of how studies funded by soft drink (and dairy) corporations may be biased.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here and watch my full 2012 presentation Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death.

Image credit: Artondra Hall / Flickr

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Dr. Michael Greger

A founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. Currently Dr. Greger serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States. Hundreds of his nutrition videos are freely available at


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1:51AM PDT on Jul 25, 2015

Good article,thanks

4:18PM PDT on Mar 13, 2014


12:28PM PDT on May 31, 2013

Some people never consume artificial sweeteners but unfortunately still have fibromyalgia. I am very much against artificial sweeteners, and I think there is a good chance that those who have tried to lose weight by using them have become diabetic or prediabetic. There isn't a study or proof that I've heard of about this but I know people where this has probably been the case. Everyone wants to know why there is such a huge increase in obesity and diabetes. Let's look at aspartame and other artificial sweeteners as a possible cause!

12:19AM PST on Feb 15, 2013

I am dead against artificial sweeteners b/c of the result it gave me to my body. I drink water water water all the time. I dont eat or use margarine b/c of the by products but I use good butter instead and that is from time to time. Cook with margarine and the cake tastes awful but cook with butter it one way or another and the dish tastes delicious. However which way you look at aspartame or artificial sugars..same thing same word meaning the same thing, its the scourge of the earth.

9:48AM PST on Feb 14, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

8:41AM PST on Dec 22, 2012

Butter isn't bad. We have been told it is by those who make money from chemically altered oils,

9:58PM PST on Dec 21, 2012

I highly recommend the documentary 'Sweet Misery', about this stuff!

12:03PM PST on Dec 21, 2012

Diet soda tastes disgusting anyway. As does regular soda.

7:54AM PST on Dec 21, 2012


7:52AM PST on Dec 21, 2012

Thank you Dr. Michael Greger, for Sharing this!

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