Phenylalanine is one of the eight essential amino acids necessary
for the basic functioning of human cells that leads to normal growth and
development. It is found in most foods, especially those high in protein, such
as meat, cheese, and milk.
Food labeling laws require products that contain phenylalanine to
be labeled with a warning for people who have the inherited disorder
phenylketonuria (PKU), because these people cannot safely consume phenylalanine. For
example, aspartame (NutraSweet), a common sweetener, is a nonprotein source of
phenylalanine. Aspartame is used in many diet soda pops and sugar-free foods.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.