Dangers of Diet soda ingedients

I have a friend who insists that diet soda not only causes cancer, kills brain cells, but when above 15 Deg C the aspartame turns into formeldehyde. She claims she say this on dateline or some other tv news show. If there are dangers to drinking diet soda warm, cold, or any way I would be intrested to Know. I unfortinatly drink about 2-4 cans a day.


Here’s Cecil’s answer.

Here’s snopes version.

Here’s Cecil’s answer.

Funny you should mention formaldehyde. You see, aspartame molecules look like three smaller molecules stuck together; one of those smaller molecules is methanol. Methanol, when metabolized by the body, is temporarily changed into (among other things) formaldehyde. I read somewhere (possibly Cecil’s column; I don’t feel like checking now) that if aspartame is heated (very hot, not just body temperature), then methanol can be released as the aspartame breaks down. I think that the amount of methanol found in diet soda is nowhere near toxic levels, however. I’ll bet your friend heard someone mention the “aspartame = methanol = fomaldehyde” theory, and got it mixed up to just “apartame = formaldehyde”.

I used to drink several cans of diet coke every day, and I’m in good health. If aspartame were known to be dangerous, it would be banned. Unless, of course, corruption is at work…