Aspartame pharmacokinetics: the effect of ageing
Age and Ageing, 25, (5), .
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Aspartame is an intense sweetener which is increasingly used in the UK. It is registered at an acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 40 mg/kg, although there are no previous data relating to the metabolism of aspartame in older people. Twelve young and 12 elderly volunteers each received a single dose of approximately 40 mg/kg of aspartame. Baseline concentrations of phenylalanine (the main metabolite of aspartame) rose after ingestion with a significantly higher maximum concentration (Cmax) (81.3 vs. 63.3 micromol/1, p<0.01) and area under the plasma concentration-time curve extrapolated to infinity AUC 9(0-infinity)(518.7 vs. 353.5 micromol . h/l, p<0.01) in the elderly group. The higher concentrations reflected a significant fall in volume of distribution (V) from 2.03 to 1.59 1/kg (p <0.05) and clearance (CL) from 7.3 to 4.9 ml/min/kg (p <0.005) in the elderly group. The greater effect on CL than on V resulted in a small but non-significant rise in elimination half life (3.5 to 3.9 hours). The sizes of the differences were modest implying that there is no need on pharmacokinetic grounds for a change in the ADI for older people.
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