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Which of the following artificial sweeteners would the nurse recommend for a client who has phenylketonuria (PKU)?

1. Equal™
2. Sweet ‘n’ Low™
3. Nutrasweet™
4. Aspartame


A client with PKU has a genetic condition that prevents the utilization and conversion of the amino acid phenylalanine, leading to increased levels with toxic clinical manifestations. The product Sweet ’n’ Low contains saccharin as the sweetening agent, which will not cause problems for the PKU client. All of the other options are incorrect, because both Equal and Nutrasweet (options 1 and 3) contain aspartame (option 4) as their active ingredient. Aspartame contains aspartic acid, a methyl group, and phenylalanine. Intake of these products can be dangerous for a client who has a clinical diagnosis of PKU; warning labels are found on packages of these food products denoting this fact. The question requires specific recall of PKU and the content of artificial sweeteners. If you had difficulty answering the question, review this content.


Member since: April 2011
(Boynton Beach,FL) Original question source

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Topics: Foundational Sciences: Nutrition, Nursing Process: Implementation

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