Aspartame may induce redox and lipid imbalance in rats via mechanism that involves oxidative stress and depletion of glutathione-dependent system.

PMID:  J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2015 Aug 6. Epub 2015 Aug 6. PMID: 26247507 Abstract Title:  Effects of long-term administration of aspartame on biochemical indices, lipid profile and redox status of cellular system of male rats. Abstract:  BACKGROUND: Aspartame (N-L-α-aspartyl-L-phenylalanine-1-methyl ester) (ASP) is a synthetic sweetener used in foods and its safety remains controversial. The study was designed to investigate the effects of long-term administration of aspartame on redox status, lipid profile and biochemical indices in tissues of male Wistar rats.METHODS: Rats were assigned into four groups and given distilled water (control), aspartame at doses of 15 mg/kg (ASP 1), 35 mg/kg (ASP 2) and 70 mg/kg (ASP 3) daily by oral gavage for consecutive 9 weeks.RESULTS: Administration of ASP 2 and ASP 3 significantly increased the weight of liver and brain, and relative weight of liver of rats. Lipid peroxidation products significantly increased in the kidney, liver and brain of rats at all doses of ASP with concomitant depletion of antioxidant parameters, viz. glutathione-s-transferase, glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, catalase and reduced glutathione. Furthermore, ASP 2 and ASP 3 significantly increased the levels of gamma glutamyl transferase by 70% and 85%; alanine aminotransferase by 66% and 117%; aspartate aminotransferase by 21% and 48%; urea by 72% and 58% and conjugated bilirubin by 63% and 64%, respectively. Also, ASP 2 and ASP 3 significantly increased the levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the rats. Histological findings showed that ASP 2 and ASP 3 caused cyto-architectural changes such as degeneration, monocytes infiltration and necrotic lesions in brain, kidney and liver of rats.CONCLUSIONS: Aspartame may induce redox and lipid imbalance in rats via mechanism that involves oxidative stress and depletion of glutathione-dependent system.

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