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July 10, 1987

The Safety of Aspartame

Author Affiliations

The Children's Hospital Boston

The Children's Hospital Boston

JAMA. 1987;258(2):205. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400020047025

To the Editor.—  In a Letter to the Editor, Dr Pardridge1 interpreted our data2 on effects of maternal hyperphenylalaninemia on offspring IQ as indicating "a 10.5-point drop in the IQ of babies born of mothers with 250-μmol/L increments in the blood phenylalanine level." This is an inaccurate interpretation of the data, as we have previously pointed out.3 By categorizing the information in Fig 1 of our report according to the maternal plasma phenylalanine levels represented in our sample, we obtained the following mean IQ scores for offspring:This does not represent a 10.5-point drop in IQ of offspring for each 250-μmol/L increment in the maternal plasma phenylalanine level. In fact, the mean IQ of 119 for offspring at maternal plasma phenylalanine levels of 200 to 300 μmol/L—which are higher than the plasma phenylalanine levels that normal individuals or those who carry the gene for phenylketonuria have even