Medical Definition of Aspartame

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Aspartame: A man-made sweetener with almost no calories used in place of sugar.

A diet program with aspartame and exercise gives better results than without this sweetener. People lose more weight and regain less weight.

Aspartame is a compound of two amino acids -- aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Because it is essentially half phenylalanine, people who have the genetic disease phenylketonuria (PKU) and cannot metabolize phenylalanine normally need to avoid diet drinks and other products containing aspartame (trade name: NutraSweet).

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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