Compiled By Rich Murray, MA
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Posted: 31 March 2010

Formaldehyde from 11% methanol part of aspartame causes severe allergic dermatitis in boy, JE Jacob et al, Pediatric Dermatology 2009 Nov: Rich Murray 2010.03.30
Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Pediatric Dermatology. 2009 Nov-Dec;26(6):739-43.

Systematized contact dermatitis and montelukast in an atopic boy.

Castanedo-Tardan MP,
González ME,
Connelly EA,
Giordano K,
Jacob SE.

University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Departmentof Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, Miami, Florida, USA.

Upon ingestion, the artificial sweetener, aspartame is metabolized to formaldehyde in the body and has been reportedly associated with systemic contact dermatitis in patients exquisitely sensitive to formaldehyde.

We present a case of a 9-year-old Caucasian boy with a history of mild atopic dermatitis that experienced severe systematized dermatitis after being started on montelukast chewable tablets containing aspartame.

Patch testing revealed multiple chemical sensitivities which included a positive reaction to formaldehyde.

Notably, resolution of his systemic dermatitis only occurred with discontinuation of the montelukast chewables.
PMID: 20199453

four Murray AspartameNM reviews in SE Jacob & SA Stechschulte debate with EG Abegaz & RG Bursey of Ajinomoto re migraines from formaldehyde from aspartame, Dermatitis 2009 May: TE Hugli -- folic acid with V-C protects: Rich Murray 2009.08.12
Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Formaldehyde, aspartame, migraines: a possible connection.
Abegaz EG, Bursey RG.
Dermatitis. 2009 May-Jun;20(3):176-7; author reply 177-9.
No abstract available. PMID: 19470307

Eyassu G. Abegaz *
Robert G. Bursey
Ajinomoto Corporate Services LLC, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs
1120 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Suite 1010
Washington, DC 20036
* Corresponding author.
Tel.: +1 202 457 0284
Fax: +1 202 457 0107 (E.G. Abegaz) (R.G. Bursey)

"For example, fruit juices, coffee, and alcoholic beverages produce significantly greater quantities of formaldehyde than aspartame-containing products. [6]"

"[6] Magnuson BA, Burdock GA, Doull J, et al. Aspartame: a safety evaluation based on current use levels, regulations, and toxicological and epidemiological studies. Crit Rev Toxicol 2007;37:629-727"

[Two detailed critiques of industry affiliations and biased science in 99 page review with 415 references by BA Magnuson, GA Burdock and 8 more, Critical Reviews in Toxicology, 2007 Sept.: Mark D Gold 13 page: also Rich Murray 2007.09.15: 2008.03.24
Monday, March 24, 2008

"Nearly every section of the Magnuson (2007) review has research that is misrepresented and/or crucial pieces of information are left out.

In addition to the misrepresentation of the research, readers (including medical professionals) are often not told that this review was funded by the aspartame manufacturer, Ajinomoto, and the reviewers had enormous conflicts of interest."]

Dermatitis. 2008; 19(3): E10-E11.
(c) 2008 American Contact Dermatitis SocietyFormaldehyde, Aspartame, and Migraines:A Possible Connection
Sharon E. Jacob; Sarah Stechschulte
Published: 09/17/2008


Aspartame is a widely used artificial sweetener that has been linked to pediatric and adolescent migraines. Upon ingestion, aspartame is broken, converted, and oxidized into formaldehyde in various tissues. We present the first case series of aspartame-associated migraines related to clinically relevant positive reactions to formaldehyde on patch testing.

Case Series

Six patients (ages 16 to 75 years) were referred for evaluation of recalcitrant dermatitis. By history, five of the patients were noted to have developed migraines following aspartame consumption; the sixth reported dermatitis flares associated with diet cola consumption of >2 liters/day.

All six patients had current environmental exposures to formaldehyde or formaldehyde-releasing preservatives in their personal hygiene products and/or regular consumption of "sugar-free food" artificially sweetened with aspartame.

Based on their histories and clinical presentations, these patients were patch-tested with the North American Contact Dermatitis Group 65-allergen Standard Screening Series and selected chemicals from the University of Miami vehicle, fragrance, bakery, and textile trays.

All six patients had positive reactions to formaldehyde, and four had additional positive reactions to formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (FRPs). Expert counseling on allergen avoidance (including avoidance of formaldehyde, FRPs, and aspartame) and alternative product recommendations were provided to the patients.

At their follow-up appointments (between 8 and 12 weeks), all the patients showed clearance of their dermatitis. Four patients (two inadvertently) resumed their consumption of aspartame and subsequently returned for an additional follow-up visit. Three of the first five patients had recurrences of both their migraines and their dermatitis; the sixth patient (who had no migraines) had a positive rechallenge dermatitis. These four patients were again counseled on avoidance regimen.

Formaldehyde, aspartame, and migraines, the first case series, Sharon E Jacob-Soo, Sarah A Stechschulte, UCSD, Dermatitis 2008 May: Rich Murray 2008.07.18
Friday, July 18, 2008

Formaldehyde from many sources, including aspartame, is major cause of Allergic Contact Dermatitis, SE Jacob, T Steele, G Rodriguez, Skin and Aging 2005 Dec.: Murray 2008.03.27
Thursday, March 27, 2008

"For example, diet soda and yogurt containing aspartame (Nutrasweet), release formaldehyde in their natural biological degradation.
One of aspartame's metabolites, aspartic acid methyl ester, is converted to methanol in the body, which is oxidized to formaldehyde in all organs, including the liver and eyes. 22
Patients with a contact dermatitis to formaldehyde have been seen to improve once aspartame is avoided. 22
Notably, the case that Hill and Belsito reported had a 6-month history of eyelid dermatitis that subsided after 1 week of avoiding diet soda. 22"

Avoiding formaldehyde allergic reactions in children, aspartame, vitamins, shampoo, conditioners, hair gel, baby wipes, Sharon E Jacob, MD, Tace Steele, U. Miami, Pediatric Annals 2007 Jan.: eyelid contact dermatitis, AM Hill, DV Belsito, 2003 Nov.: Murray 2008.03.27
Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sharon E. Jacob, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Dermatology)
University of California, San Diego
200 W. Arbor Drive #8420
San Diego, CA 92103-8420
Tel: 858-552-8585 ×3504
Fax: 305-675-8317
Sarah A. Stechschulte, BA

Methanol (11% of aspartame), made by body into formaldehyde in many vulnerable tissues, causes modern diseases of civilization, summary of a century of research, Woodrow C Monte PhD, Medical Hypotheses journal: Rich Murray 2009.11.15
Sunday, November 15, 2009


Rich Murray, MA
Boston University Graduate School 1967 psychology
BS MIT 1964, history and physics
1943 Otowi Road
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505

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