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Authors Roberth Hudak and Ruth Green in their article Adverse Reactions to Aspartame:

Double-Blind Challenge in Patients from a Vulnerable Population (1993) states that people
with particular mood disorders may be more prompt to be affected by this artificial sweetener.
This is the main objective of the experiment done. The authors based their study in their own
experience working with patients suffering from affective disorder. The study had two different
groups, the experimental and control group, where the experimental were people suffering from
the disorder mentioned and the control group did not have this suffering, in total 13 subjects. The
subjects were reporting the results by a checklist symptoms methodology.
The patients and inpatients volunteers were supposed to take the medicine given during 20 days.
This study was conducted using a double-blind methodology, so there were subjects taking
placebo and others taking aspartame.
The authors have noticed that the aspartame played a important role in the impact of the central
nervous system, which concluded that aspartame was the main origin of adverse causes. The
experiment executed for the article purposes was not completely accurate and trustable, even
thought the authors presented an interesting topic and approach, there are several scantinesses
due to the incorrect choose of people for the analysis, the improper amount of aspartame given to
the patients and the methodology applied to obtain information from patients.

First, The article focus on a topic that is crucial for these days that is in
fact common to use artificial sweeteners with the wrong idea of the
good benefits that these sweeteners bring. The experiment have a
great and interest data, the article provides a well narrated background
on a topic that concerns us all and the motivation provided by the
authors is notable that has created a article that is easy to follow.
According to Mercola (n.d.) this artificial sweetener is commonly taken
in beverages by a numerous people from America without considering
the effects that this causes.
Humphries et al. (2008) demonstrates that The consumption of
this artificial sweetener could disturb the neurological and
behavioural activities in people that is sensible. Headaches,
insomnia and seizures are also some of the neurological effects
that have been encountered.

Second, This experiment required of people receiving psychiatric


treatment. Although this meet the requirements for the desired
development of the experiment, the specific treatment should have been
indicated since the beginning, or at least in the course of the selection of
people. However this was never mentioned, so there are people taking
prozac and other group taking protriptyline. The distinct chemicals on
these different type of medicines are not taken into account for the

proper examination. The fact that there are patients of the experiment
that stay in the hospital and others not, gives the idea that there was no
consistency in the reactions of the aspartame because some of them
could have been taking more medicines and could have been under more
care effects. There should have been considered that the chemicals in the
medicine commented are not the same, so it is not the same reactions or
effects, it is not possible to compare this or to join as a same data.
Third, for

this particular experiment the investigators should have


gathered more people, it is not possible to analyze the reactions of
aspartame in only 8 people. The fact of having more people increases the
closeness to reality, in matter of medicine, it is more accurate when there
are more people considered that people are so different that each one
will provide something to the experiment. As Steven Novella (2009)
announces in his article there are small studies that have shown always
suspicious because the groups may be significantly different by chance
alone. He sustains that if there are more people, this fact reduces the
effect of unknown confounding factors.
Furthermore, in the study there are men and women combined. There
should be one analysis for men and one for women. The effect on
women cannot be compared with the effect on men. Women have
emotional days that depression or adverse reactions will increase in
those days and the effects can be confused with the results of hormonal
and emotional influence.
In addition, the effects of the sweetener were diagnosed by a Checklist
symptoms methodology. This methodology creates a psychologic effect
in patients that make them doubt about the real symptoms that they have
suffered through the timeline of the experiment.
As there exists a psychologic effect in people that do not suffer from
mood disorders, it can be understood that people with these problems
would be more influenced than people without disorders.
Like Katrina Abuabara claims in there article there are actually some
limitations of this type of methodology, she also mentions that there is a

risk of misleading the results if there is a mistake in the standardized


questions and this type of methodology is not quite competent in
encapsulating adverse effects or compiling observations. Then, for better
outcomes the author should have implemented an empirical way to
account all the symptoms caused by aspartame, he could have added to
the checklist more specific questions also for example length of the pain,
exact location, days that they were manifested, etc.. so there is no doubt
that the person suffered from that pain.
In conclusion, the analysis in the effects of aspartame in people with
mood disorders must be developed in a more adequate approach in order
to achieve results closer to reality. It is true that the article mentions an
essential topic, however the lack of veracity makes it difficult to believe
in the results. Although honestly not a single study in medicine is the
last word and there are always enhancements to be made, this study
could have contributed more in the subject of concentration if the
experiment should have been completed in more time with a group of
130 people, separating men from women and specifying the type of
medicine that the subjects must be taking during the observation. Also,
the way of conducting this research having
A. One Paragraph (Order of points can vary):
A call for more research
why that research is needed/how it should be conducted.
Brief restatement of points
Restatement of a Negative+ Positive Transitional Thesis

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Aspartame's Hidden Dangers


Dr. Mercola

Direct and indirect cellular effects of aspartame


on the brain 2008
P Humphries1,2, E Pretorius1 and H Naud1

Department of Anatomy, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, Gauten

EvidenceinMedicine:ExperimentalStudiesSteven
NovellaonDecember9,2009
Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2012) 132, e2. doi:10.1038/jid.2012.392

The Role of Systematic Reviews and Metaanalysis in Dermatology


Katrina Abuabara1,4, Esther E Freeman2,4 and Robert Dellavalle3
Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
USA
2
Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General
Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
3
Dermatology Service, Denver VA Medical Center, Denver, Colorado, USA
4
These authors are co-first authors and made equal contributions.
Correspondence: Katrina Abuabara, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania,
3400 Spruce Street, 2 Maloney, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104,
1