Aspartame, found in almost all artificially sweetened foods, beverages, chewing gums and sweeteners (like Equal & Nutrasweet), was approved by the FDA in 1981. For more than eight years the FDA had refused to approve it because of the seizures and brain tumors this drug produced in lab animals. The FDA continued to refuse approving it until President Reagan (a friend of Searle) took office. He then fired the FDA Commissioner who wouldnít approve it, and Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes was appointed as commissioner. Even then there was so much opposition to approval that a Board of Inquiry was set up. The board said: "Do not approve Aspartame." But - Dr. Hayes overruled his own Board of Inquiry!
Shortly after Commissioner Hayes approved the use of Aspartame in carbonated beverages, he left for a position with Aspartame maker G.D. Searleís PR firm! (Ed. Must have been just a coincidence, right?)
Note: On 27 June 1996, without public notice, the FDA removed all restrictions from Aspartame, allowing it to be used in everything, including all heated and baked goods.
Long-Term Damage: If you are lucky, Aspartame causes an immediate reaction, leading you to avoid continued use. But for many people it causes slow, silent damage. It may take one, five, 10, or 20 years, but it seems to cause some reversible and some irreversible changes in health with long-term use.
Mechanisms through which Aspartame damages the body
Ten percent of Aspartame consists of methanol (wood alcohol), which is a deadly poison. The most well known problems from methanol poisoning are vision problems. (Methanol consumption is known for causing some hard-core alcoholics to end up blind, or dead.)
The other 90 percent of Aspartame consists of phenylalanine and aspartic acid. These amino acids are normally used in the synthesis of protoplasm, when supplied by the foods we eat. But when ingested without the other 20 amino acids we would normally receive from food, they are neurotoxic.
The absorption of methanol into the body is sped up considerably when free methanol is ingested. Free methanol is created when Aspartame is heated to above 86į Fahrenheit. This would occur when an Aspartame-containing product is improperly stored, or when it is heated as part of a food product such as Jello. This free methanol begins to form in liquid Aspartame-containing products stored at temperatures above 86į F and also within the 98.6į human body. Methanol, from Aspartame, is also released in the small intestine when it encounters the enzyme chymotrypsin.
This methanol breaks down into formaldehyde in the body. Formaldehyde is a deadly neurotoxin which - in addition to being a known carcinogen - causes retinal damage, interferes with DNA replication, and causes birth defects. This formaldehyde then converts to formic acid (which happens to be anti-sting venom). Formic acid also happens to be used commercially to strip epoxy and urethane coatings. Imagine what it does to your living tissues!
Due to the lack of a couple of key enzymes, humans are many times more sensitive to the toxic effects of methanol than animals. Therefore, tests of Aspartame or methanol on animals do not accurately reflect the danger for humans.
The fact is, most victims havenít a clue that Aspartame may be the cause of their health problems!
An EPA assessment of methanol states that it... "is considered a cumulative poison due to the low rate of excretion once it is absorbed. In the body, methanol is oxidized to formaldehyde and formic acid; both of these metabolites are toxic." (Ed. The EPA knows itís dangerous, so why not the FDA?)
The recommended limit of methanol consumption is less than 8 mg/day. Approx. 1 quart of Aspartame-sweetened beverage contains about 56 mg of methanol. Heavy users of Aspartame-contain-ing products consume as much as 250 mg of methanol daily or 32 times the EPA limit. (Ed. Plain old sugar is certainly unhealthy, but it would have to be better than Aspartame, if you just have to have that occasional Coke or Pepsi. Try the natural sweetener "Stevia" for your sweet fix.)
Thereís a reason for the warning for Phenylketonurics found on EQUAL and other Aspartame products. Phenylketonurics are 2 percent of the population with extreme sensitivity to Aspartameís phenyalanine (but not if it occurs naturally in food). With Aspartame, it gets to you, too, causing brain disorders and birth defects! Finally, the phenyalanine breaks down into DKP; yet another brain tumor agent.
Bottom line: Aspartame converts to dangerous byproducts that have no natural countermeasures. A dieterís empty stomach accelerates these conversions and amplifies the damage. Components of Aspartame go straight to the brain, resulting in headaches, mental confusion, seizures and faulty balance. Lab rats and other test animals died of brain tumors.
Take the 60-day No-Aspartame Test
It often takes at least 60 days without any Aspartame (NutraSweet) to see a significant improvement. Check all labels very carefully (including vitamins and pharmaceuticals). Look for the word "Aspartame" on the label and avoid it. (Also, it is a good idea to avoid "acesulfame-k" or "sunette.") Finally, avoid getting nutrition information from junk food industry PR organizations such as IFIC, or organizations that accept large sums of money from the junk and chemical food industry, such as the American Dietetic Association.
If, after two months with no Aspartame, your symptoms are either gone, or are much less severe, please get involved to get this neurotoxin off the market. Write a letter to the FDA, with a copy to Betty Martini (for proof of how the FDA doesnít keep proper records). Write your congressmen. Return products containing Aspartame to the point of purchase... for a FULL refund. Make a big stink if they wonít give you a full refund! Tell all your friends and family... and if they stop using Aspartame and also "wake up well"... get them involved in the same way.
Aspartame is an "approved sweetener" because of a few greedy and dishonest people who place profits above human life and well-being. With the FDA and our Congress culpable, only an informed and active public will affect its re-classification from "food additive" to toxic drug, and removal from the human food chain.
EDíS NOTE: Xylitol and Stevia are alternative sugar substitutes that are actually good for your health. More on these next month.
TOXIC ASPARTAME SYMPTOMS
Many reactions to Aspartame are very serious, including seizures and death. This is a list of common reactions.
Aspartame Disease Mimics Symptoms or Worsens the Following Diseases:
Bloating, Edema Blood Sugar Control Problems (Hypoglycemia or Hyperglycemia)
Brain Cancer (Pre-FDA approval studies in animals)
Burning eyes or throat
Canít think straight
Excessive Thirst or Hunger
Flushing of face
Hair Loss or Thinning
Headaches/Migraines (triggered by chronic intake)
Impotency and Sexual Problems
Impressions "thinking in a fog"
Inability to concentrate
Marked Personality Changes
Muscle spasms (in your legs)
Nausea or Vomiting (headache related)
Numbness or Tingling of Extremities
Other Allergic-Like Reactions
Rapid Heart Beat
Seizures and Convulsions
Slurring of Speech
Tachycardia (excessively rapid heartbeat)
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS)
Diabetes and Diabetic Complications
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
Depression & Psychological Disorders