My well-meaning mom keeps sending me stuff like this:
Aspartame has been found to “eat” tiny holes in our cellular membrane. When this happens, things like Multiple Sclerosis (MS), cancer, mood disorders and many other serious issues will show up.
One of my clients LOVED her diet Coke. She drank 6 cans a day. As an adult, she developed MS; which became so severe she was bound to a wheelchair. Once I explained to her just what aspartame was doing to her cells she decided to kick her addiction to soda. Guess what? Her body started to heal. She is no longer in a wheelchair. She still has symptoms, but her diagnosis went from “extreme MS” to “moderate!”
The anecdote doesn't prove anything, as even if we assume it to be factual, there could be any number of more probable reasons why her MS improved (e.g. medication, changes in activity, diet, season, whatever.) Ignoring the supposed link between holes in cellular membranes and every disease known to man, has aspartame really been found to do anything of the sort, or is this just a fictional claim? I've not been able to find any studies that could have been the claimed findings.
Other instances of similar claims specify that Aspartame "eats holes in brain tissue":
Early tests of aspartame showed it produced microscopic holes and tumors in the brains of experimental mice, epileptic seizures in monkeys, and was converted by animals into dangerous substances, including formaldehyde. In 1974, however, in spite of the information in its files, the FDA approved aspartame as a dry-foods additive. The approval to market was short lived. source