Aspartame and bipolar
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Aspartame and bipolar

Q: Hello Dr. Phelps, I would like to know what your opinion on aspartame is, do you believe it can trigger mood swings and cause neurological problems. Another thing I was wondering is could it be a double whammy and counter act some mood stablizers because ppl might be trying to lose weight while on their medications and use more aspartame. Thank you for your time.. John

Dear John --
First answer: I don't know.  But here's how I'd go about investigating that: enter "bipolar aspartame" in the PUB MED search engine (instructions for use, if you're not familiar with it, are on my site.  If nothing comes up in such a search, it doesn't mean there isn't some connection, it just means such a connection hasn't struck someone enough to report it in the medical literature.  On the other hand, if you wait for some evidence to turn up, you won't "chase gooses" either.

In this case, that search turns up only one article:

Walton RG.
Seizure and mania after high intake of aspartame.
Psychosomatics. 1986 Mar;27(3):218, 220. No abstract available.
PMID: 3961094; UI: 86178241
and since there's no abstract, you don't get any details at all -- bummer.  So, that's all I or any psychiatrist without more data to go on could report on your theory.  I'll keep my eye out for it though.  Thanks.

Dr. Phelps

Published October, 2000


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