Re: Nutra-Tumors
Sun, 24 Nov 1996 15:39:59 -0500

In a message dated 96-11-24 02:58:55 EST, you write:

<< But what does it mean "the amount is less than a banana" ? >>

We will have to let them tell us what they mean. The amount probably be will
be measured in Methanol concentration by weight or by volume the same as it
is measured in other foods and beverages. I like by weight better, w/w. It
could also be measured in milligrams percent, milligrams per 100 grams or
parts per million.

<< What amount ? >>

The Methanol from a NutraSweet sweetened product could be compared to the
amount derived from a banana based on percent w/w concentration. I think
bananas have less than 1 percent w/w total alcohols and much less than that
is methanol, but I don't know exactly how much less. The journal _Food
Technology_ (I think) had an article I read on this some years ago.

<< Most nutra-sweet containing beverages have
it listed as the second or third ingredient. As I've read,
it's 10% methanol. >>

You can't go by that. That would be the raw Asparatame material and not the
concentration in the beverage. From my work in the food industry less than
one gram of NutraSweet is dissolved per 355 grams of soda, so <1gram per 356
total grams x 100 is <0.28 percent NutraSweet w/w. Then, 10% (I assume you
are sure of this, I didn't check) of <0.28 percent is concentration of
<0.028 percent w/w Methanol (actually a breakdown product (not "in")

Now, what does a banana have? Greater to? or equal to? or less than <0.028
percent methanol concentration?

<<This seems pretty high over all, espe-
cially if you consider some people drink 6 cans a day.
I suspect the consumption of nutra-sweet exceeds
on average the consumption of bananas. >>

Very true, for some. (I can't stand NS myself). Lets take the <0.028 % w/w
methanol times six (6 cans, Oh, yuck!) is 0.17 percent w/w methanol. So,
we could compare 0.17% w/w Methanol in 6 sodas sweetened with NutraSweet to
the percent w/w concentration of Methanol in a banana.

<< And anyways, just because bananas may contain an
agent that is harmful does not mean that that agent
is no longer harmful simply because we think of
bananas as healthy. >>

True, but it would go a very long way to _suggest_ epidemiologically the
methanol concentration IS safe. I don't know of any metabolic pathway that
shows a lower concentration of Methanol will cause more problems than a
higher concentration. Of course, methanol is toxic in a high enough
concentration. The question is not methanol, per se, the question is the
concentration and the metabolic pathways.

<<Pretty simple logic. It
could be that bananas have so much good
stuff--they do--it counters the bad. >>

Ha Ha. Now, I know your just kidding around ;-)

Good post.


Dynamically Optimistic,

November 24, 1996
12:36 pm