Comparative Clinical Pathology

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 927–933 | Cite as

Effect of long-term intake of aspartame on serum biochemical parameters and erythrocyte oxidative stress biomarkers in rats

  • M. Abhilash
  • Mathews V. Varghese
  • M. V. Sauganth Paul
  • Manju Alex
  • R. Harikumaran NairEmail author
Original Article


Aspartame is one of the most widely used artificial sweeteners globally. Data concerning acute toxicity of aspartame is controversial, and knowledge on its chronic effect is limited. The present study evaluates the effect of long-term intake of aspartame on serum biochemical parameters and erythrocyte antioxidant defence system in rats. Male Wistar rats, weighing 150–175 g, were randomly divided into one control group and three experimental groups. The control group received only drinking water, whereas the experimental groups were orally administered with aspartame at the concentrations of 50, 500 and 1000 mg/kg b.wt respectively for 180 days. Results showed that administration of aspartame (1000 mg/kg b.wt) caused a significant increase in the levels of serum total bilirubin (P < 0.05). The activity of glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase was significantly reduced in the erythrocytes of rats that had received aspartame (1000 mg/kg b.wt) (P < 0.05). Glutathione was significantly decreased in 500 mg/kg (P < 0.05) and 1000 mg/kg (P < 0.001) aspartame groups. It can be concluded from these observations that long-term consumption of aspartame leads to dose-dependent increase in free radical production and produces impairment in antioxidant status in erythrocytes mainly through alterations in glutathione-dependent system.


Aspartame Erythrocytes Bilirubin Antioxidants Glutathione 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Abhilash
    • 1
  • Mathews V. Varghese
    • 1
  • M. V. Sauganth Paul
    • 1
  • Manju Alex
    • 1
  • R. Harikumaran Nair
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of BiosciencesMahatma Gandhi UniversityKottayamIndia

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