Aspartame is rapidly and completely metabolized in humans and experimental animals to aspartic acid (40%),
phenylalanine (50%) and methanol (10%). Methanol, a toxic metabolite is primarily metabolized by oxidation to formaldehyde
and then to formate these processes are accompanied by the formation of superoxide anion and hydrogen peroxide.
This study focuses on whether the oral administration of aspartame (40 mg/kg.bw/day) for 15-days and 30- days, has
any effect on membrane bound ATPase, ‘Marker’ enzymes (ALP, ALT, ACP, AST &LDH) some selective liver and kidney
function parameter and antioxidant status in liver and kidney of rats. To mimic human methanol metabolism, folate
deficient rats were used. After 15-days of aspartame administration, there was no change observed in kidney, however
liver showed a significant decrease in membrane bound ATPase enzyme (Na+/k+, Mg2+ & Ca2+), marker enzymes (ALP,
ALT, AST & LDH) and significant increase in marker enzymes (ACP), antioxidant enzyme level. However, after aspartame
administration for30-days, liver and kidney both showed a significant decrease in membrane bound ATPase enzyme(
Na+k+, Mg2+ & Ca2+), marker enzymes (ALP, ALT, AST & LDH) and decrease of antioxidant enzyme level in liver
and significant increase in marker enzymes (ACP) and antioxidant enzyme level in kidney. This study concludes that oral
administration of aspartame (40mg/kg.bw/day) for longer duration may induce oxidative stress by aspartame metabolite
methanol and can damage both liver and kidney. The liver was found to be more sensitive than kidney to oxidative stress,
as also reflected by the histology of liver and kidney.