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Low-calorie allergy.

Low-calorie allergy

Aspartame, the low-calorie sugar substitute marketed as NutraSweet and Equal, can cause skin hives and swelling of throat tissue, according to a medical researcher at Washington University in St. Louis. Anthony Kulczycki, an allergist and immunologist, says he has positively identified the aspartame allergy in six patients and is studying another 44 potential victims.

Kulczycki says he initially was skeptical that aspartame could cause an allergic reaction because it is such a small molecule.

However, he found that after aspartame is eaten, its bonding with protein in the body can cause allergic reactions, which can be "very severe," he says. The throat of one of Kulczycki's patients swelled so badly that she needed emergency treatment, he says.

He says the hives or swelling can appear immediately after a person drinks a diet soda or hours later. People who suspect they are allergic to aspartame should avoid it for two weeks to see whether the symptoms disappear, Kulczycki says.
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Title Annotation:allergic reactions to aspartame
Publication:Science News
Date:Jun 28, 1986
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