I am sure that most of you have noticed that the first part of the word “diet” is “die” so why do we consume products that are labelled as such when we don’t need to? Meaning, if your not a diabetic why not use natural sweeteners like Stevia or plain old Sugar! Seems like a no-brainer to me. Ingest unnecessary chemical sweeteners or something as natural as natural can get these days.
So what is Aspartame?
As you can see from the graphic above aspartame is a by-product of three chemicals; Aspartate, Phenylalnine and Methanol.
Next time your in a restaurant and you order a coffee and you see the packets of sugar on the table and the packets of sweetener pick up the sweetener and read the fine print. If it is Sugar Twin, an Aspartame based product, it clearly says “do not use without first discussing with your physician”! That’s right, it is a DRUG and it is monitored by the FDA like all other foods and drugs.
Aspartame is in thousands of products that you may consume every year including:
- instant breakfasts
- breath mints
- sugar-free chewing gum
- cocoa mixes
- coffee beverages
- frozen desserts
- gelatin desserts
- juice beverages
- milk drinks
- pharmaceuticals and supplements, including over-the-counter medicines
- shake mixes
- soft drinks
- tabletop sweeteners
- tea beverages
- instant teas and coffees
- topping mixes
- wine coolers
My Personal Experience
I bought aspartame sweetener once and every time I drank it, even though i only used about a quarter of a packet per coffee/tea my heart would race, I would get dizzy, my hearing would fade in and out as though I were going to faint and I would get the shakes. I also felt clammy and ill all over. The first time I actually thought I was having a heart attack. Turned out my heart was just racing!
I drink coffee and tea regularly now with sugar and I have never had another problem with it as a result of the caffeine and I have not switched brands of coffee or tea since I began drinking it as I didn’t start until I was several years into my twenties.
I STRONGLY stress that you speak with your doctor and get a physical before you use aspartame. It is in several medications so be sure to read your labels! If you are getting a prescription before it is filled simply ask if there is aspartame in the medication, if there is simply ask them if there is an alternative. There usually is, at least in any medications I have had the experience with. Sublingual medications tend to have it in it to make them more pleasing to the pallet. These medications are almost always available in pill form. If you don’t ask you won’t know and your health is in your hands!
What Does this Mean for My Unborn Baby?
In a study funded by Monsanto that was to study any potential birth defects caused by consuming aspartame was cut off after the initial date came in showing very scary information about aspartame consumption. A fetus may be at risk for several different effects from dizziness to subtle brain changes and retardation.
In a separate study aspartame was shown to cause mice to get holes in their brains when consuming aspartame.
Issues that you and your developing baby may encounter while consuming aspartame include but are not limited to:
In 1981 the FDA said the data on aspartame was so “worrisome” that they could not recommend it being approved for the product NutriSweet™.
In a two year study conducted by the manufacturer of aspartame, 12 of 320 rats fed a normal diet and aspartame developed brain tumors while none of the control rats developed tumors and five of the twelve rats with tumors were given low doses of aspartame. (source)
How did Aspartame become Approved?
Easy, in the mid 70’s the manufacturer falsified studied in several ways including removing tumors and placing the rats back into the study as healthy. So, when I listed brain tumors above you have to consider that the initial studies were falsified to get past the FDA in the first place so how many tumors were really caused?
We have all heard of it, yes? I am sure most of us associate it with cigarettes.
“The approval of aspartame was a violation of the Delaney Amendment, which was supposed to prevent cancer-causing substances such as methanol (formaldehye) and DKP from entering our food supply. A late FDA toxicologist testified before the U.S. Congress that aspartame was capable of producing brain tumors. This made it illegal for the FDA to set an allowable daily intake at any level. He stated in his testimony that Searle’s studies were “to a large extent unreliable” and that “at least one of those studies has established beyond any reasonable doubt that aspartame is capable of inducing brain tumors in experimental animals … ” He concluded his testimony by asking, “What is the reason for the apparent refusal by the FDA to invoke for this food additive the so-called Delaney Amendment to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act? … And if the FDA itself elects to violate the law, who is left to protect the health of the public?” “
In a statement concerning the use of products containing aspartame by persons with diabetes and hypoglycemia, the researchers says:
“Unfortunately, many patients in my practice, and others seen in consultation, developed serious metabolic, neurologic and other complications that could be specifically attributed to using aspartame products. This was evidenced by the loss of diabetic control, the intensification of hypoglycemia, the occurrence of presumed ‘insulin reactions’ (including convulsions) that proved to be aspartame reactions, and the precipitation, aggravation or simulation of diabetic complications (especially impaired vision and neuropathy) while using these products … Dramatic improvement of such features after avoiding aspartame, and the prompt predictable recurrence of these problems when the patient resumed aspartame products, knowingly or inadvertently.”
Another researcher stated that excitotoxins such as those found in aspartame can precipitate diabetes in persons who are genetically susceptible to the disease.
In a double blind study of the effects of aspartame on persons with mood disorders, findings showed a large increase in serious symptoms for persons taking aspartame. Since some of the symptoms were so serious, the Institutional Review Board had to stop the study. Three of the participants had said that they had been “poisoned” by aspartame. Researchers concluded that “individuals with mood disorders are particularly sensitive to this artificial sweetener; its use in this population should be discouraged.”(18) One researcher stated about aspartame, “I know it causes seizures. I’m convinced also that it definitely causes behavioral changes. I’m very angry that this substance is on the market. I personally question the reliability and validity of any studies funded by the NutraSweet™ Company.”(19)
Additionally, there are numerous reported cases of low brain serotonin levels, depression and other emotional disorders that have been linked to aspartame and often are relieved by stopping the intake of aspartame.
With the large and growing number of seizures caused by aspartame, it is sad to see that the Epilepsy Foundation is promoting the “safety” of aspartame. At Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 80 people who had suffered seizures after ingesting aspartame were surveyed. Community Nutrition Institute concluded the following about the survey:
“These 80 cases meet the FDA’s own definition of an imminent hazard to the public health, which requires the FDA to expeditiously remove a product from the market.”
Both the Air Force’s magazine, Flying Safety, and the Navy’s magazine, Navy Physiology, published articles warning about the many dangers of aspartame including the cumulative delirious effects of methanol and the greater likelihood of birth defects. The articles note that the ingestion of aspartame can make pilots more susceptible to seizures and vertigo. Twenty articles sounding warnings about ingesting aspartame while flying have also appeared in the National Business Aircraft Association Digest (NBAA Digest 1993), Aviation Medical Bulletin (1988), The Aviation Consumer (1988), Canadian General Aviation News (1990), Pacific Flyer (1988), General Aviation News (1989), Aviation Safety Digest (1989), and Plane & Pilot (1990) and a paper warning about aspartame was presented at the 57th Annual Meeting of the Aerospace Medical Association (Gaffney 1986).
A hotline was even set up for pilots suffering from acute reactions to aspartame ingestion. Over 600 pilots have reported symptoms including some who have reported suffering grand mal seizures in the cockpit due to aspartame.(21)
Additional Sources on the Use of Aspartame During Pregnancy
Aspartame and the Heart
This is my research. ALWAYS DO YOUR OWN!