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STUDY PROVES NUTRASWEET DOES NOT CAUSE ALLERGIC REACTIONS

 STUDY PROVES NUTRASWEET DOES NOT CAUSE ALLERGIC REACTIONS
 BOSTON, March 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Aspartame, more commonly known as


NutraSweet, does not cause allergic reactions when consumed, according to a recently completed study directed by Raif S. Geha, M.D., chief of the Division of Immunology at Children's Hospital in Boston and professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. The study, carried out at six medical centers in the United States and Canada, was conducted in response to consumer complaints of hives and swelling that were thought to be associated with the sweetener.
 "Because aspartame is never consumed in its pure form but in combination with other ingredients, it was difficult to determine if reported allergic reactions were caused by aspartame or other products," Geha says. "By conducting this study in a controlled hospital setting, we were able to determine that aspartame was no more likely than placebo to cause allergic reactions in people allegedly sensitive to the product."
 Twenty-one individuals who had claimed to develop allergic reactions after consuming aspartame were enrolled in the study, which took place between 1987 and 1991. Each participant was admitted to the clinical research center at one of the six medical centers and received aspartame and placebo on alternate days for a five-day period. The doses of aspartame and placebo were increased during the hospital stay, with the dose of aspartame totaling the amount in two liters of NutraSweet- containing carbonated soft drink, which is about six times the amount ingested by high-level aspartame consumers.
 Neither the participant nor the investigator knew which substance was given on which days, and patients were monitored for allergic reactions throughout the hospital stay. The results of the study indicate that there is no statistically significant difference in the occurrence of allergic reactions or other adverse side effects when aspartame is compared with placebo.
 In addition to Geha, study investigators include: C. Edward Buckley, M.D., Duke Medical School, Durham, N.C.; Paul Greenberger, M.D., and Roy Patterson, M.D., Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago; Stephen Polmar, M.D., Ph.D., Children's Hospital, Boston, formerly of Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis; Andrew Saxon, M.D., and Albert Rohr, M.D., UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles; and William Yang, M.D., and Michel Drouin, M.D., University of Ottawa Medical School, Ottawa, Canada.
 NutraSweet, produced by The NutraSweet Company of Deerfield, Ill., which funded the study, is a sweetener commonly found in carbonated soft drinks, light yogurt, ice cream, and other products. The study results will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology March 7 in Orlando, Fla.
 -0- 3/7/92
 /CONTACT: Office of Public Affairs, Children's Hospital, 617-735-6420, or Jillane Kleinschmidt at Ogilvy Adams & Rinehart, 312-988-4339, or home: 312-404-6932/ CO: The NutraSweet Company ST: Illinois IN: FOD SU: MA -- NYSA006 -- 6127 03/07/92 13:15 EST
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Date:Mar 7, 1992
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