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Aspartame & MS Symptoms

author image Linda Tarr Kent
Linda Tarr Kent is a reporter and editor with more than 20 years experience at Gannett Company Inc., The McClatchy Company, Sound Publishing Inc., Mach Publishing, MomFit The Movement and other companies. Her area of expertise is health and fitness. She is a Bosu fitness and stand-up paddle surfing instructor. Kent holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Washington State University.
Aspartame & MS Symptoms
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener. Photo Credit: MamaMiaPL/iStock/Getty Images

The health scare over aspartame that claims it leads to symptoms that resemble multiple sclerosis is a popular medical myth, according to the American Council on Science and Health. Nonetheless, the health scare continues to spread via email and on websites that purport to warn of the artificial sweetener’s dangers. There are several untrue claims regarding the MS-like symptoms that people who consume aspartame supposedly experience. Claims also say that consuming the sweetener leads to false diagnoses of MS.

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Vision Problems

The aspartame health scare claims that people experience vision issues that lead to an MS diagnosis. It claims that these symptoms disappear, and that in some cases vision returns, when the true culprit, methanol toxicity, is addressed. In fact, the scare says that aspartame causes a variety of neurological problems, including blindness, reports ACSH. Partial or complete vision loss can be a symptom of MS, reports the Mayo Clinic. This most often occurs in one eye at a time. Double vision and blurred vision can be other symptoms.

Leg Numbness

Aspartame health scare perpetuators say that “aspartame disease” can lead to numbness in the legs, reports ACSH. The scare even cites a case in which the ambassador of Uganda’s son supposedly lost his ability to walk due to using the sweetener. Numbness in the limbs is one symptom of MS, and may occur on the bottom half or on one side of the body, according to the Mayo Clinic.


Vertigo and dizziness also are purported to be caused by “aspartame disease,” reports ACSH. Dizziness is one common symptom of MS, reports the Mayo Clinic, which also advises that such symptoms often are followed by periods of remission and relapse. This is especially true in the beginning stages of MS, reports the Mayo Clinic.

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