Dietary Methanol & Formaldehyde

For those who are sensitive to Formaldehyde, naturally occurring Methanol is ‘the Trojan Horse’ into your bodies, perhaps triggering symptoms that you couldn’t put a finger on.

Dietary methanol exists in all pectin-bearing fruits and vegetables.

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables (juiced or raw/whole) is not a problem - as the small amounts of naturally occurring methanol is typically bound to the pectin which we simply excrete and none of the methanol is absorbed into our bodies.

However –once tinned, bottled and preserved, as well as time on the shelf - all of which can increase the concentration of methanol which separates from the pectin into ‘free’ methanol which is then readily absorbed into the body where it oxidises into formaldehyde.

Our bodies process and break down the formaldehyde into formic acid and then formate -with links to several diseases (MS, Alzheimer’s).  

 Note; at room temperature, it only takes one month for 10 percent of the methanol to be released. After about six months, virtually all of the methanol is liberated.

Best to avoid the following for Methanol esp. Aspartame which is 11% Methanol and try to eat fresh, dried or frozen.

Wood & Cigarette smoke

Fruit and vegetable products and their juices in bottles, cans, or pouches

eg. Sundried tomatoes, tinned tomatoes, fruit juices

Diet foods, drinks and chewing gum with Aspartame

Fermented & Smoked food of any kind, particularly fish and meat

Jellies, jams, and marmalades not made fresh and kept refrigerated

Slivovitz and other fruit schnapps

Vehicle exhausts

Medical, chemical or mortuary labs or solvents with or using formaldehyde

See Aldehydes & Formaldehyde for more examples

This is a huge subject which some believe is the biggest cause of modern day diseases – here is an extract from ‘Methanol; A chemical Trojan Horse as the root of the Inscrutable U’ by Proffessor Woodrow C. Monte Phd.

"Until 200 years ago, methanol was an extremely rare component of the human diet and is still rarely consumed in contemporary hunter-gatherer cultures.  With the invention of canning in the 1800’s canned and bottled fruits and vegetables, whose methanol content greatly exceeds that of their fresh counterparts, became far more prevalent.  The recent dietary introduction of aspartame, an artificial sweetener 11% methanol in weight, has also greatly increased methanol consumption.

Moreover, methanol is a major component of cigarette smoke, known to be a causative agent of many diseases of civilization (DOC).  Conversion to formaldehyde in organs other than the liver is the principal means by which methanol may cause disease.

The known sites of class 1 alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH 1), the only human enzyme capable of metabolizing methanol to formaldehyde, correspond to the sites of origin for many DOC.

Variability in sensitivity to exogenous methanol consumption may be accounted for in part by the presence of aldehyde dehydrogenase sufficient to reduce the toxic effect of formaldehyde production in tissue through its conversion to the much less toxic formic acid. The consumption or endogenous production of small amounts of ethanol, which acts as a competitive inhibitor of methanol’s conversion to formaldehyde by ADH 1, may afford some individuals protection from DOC."

For the full version -

Links for further information on methanol toxicity:



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