Dangers of ASPARTAME – the Neurotoxin in our food…

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Welcome to Octobers Feature Topic – ASPARTAME

These Topics are CRITICAL to being better informed… We hope these Topics cover issues YOU want to know about?  We provide here evidence of the dangers of this dangerous poison and to encourage YOU to eliminate it from your diet… Be informed and ask yourself why we are being subjected to such Neurotoxins in our food chain??

Aspartame: A brief history

As early as 1960 aspartame was determined to  be a dangerous chemical and the emerging research years later only served to  affirm the true nature of this artificial sweetener. Over the years, aspartame  has been found to create holes in brain tissue, adversely affect the brain and  nerve development in the fetus, cause cancer, migraines, headaches, seizures,  convulsions and even retinal damage. With this amount of negative findings,  aspartame should have been removed from the market years ago!

Ironically,  aspartame was indeed removed from the market after it was already approved for  limited use based on tests selected by Searle, the company who originally  produced the artificial sweetener. This was after Dr. John Olney, a research  psychiatrist from Washington School of Medicine, revealed that  consumption of aspartic acid, a major ingredient in aspartame,  produced holes in the brains of animal subjects.

After two task forces  that found questionable laboratory practices as well as findings, the FDA  ordered a grand jury investigation of aspartame studies, but lawyers for the  government failed to initiate a legal action against Searle. Time ran out, and  the grand jury investigation had to be terminated. Of interest to note was that  one of the lawyers for the government, U.S. attorney William Conlon, later  joined the law firm representing Searle.

Unfazed by this setback, the FDA this time recommended a  Public Board Inquiry which recommended that aspartame be kept off the market  until further tests could prove that it did not cause tumors.  This led to a formation of another team of experts brought together to look into  the Public Board of Inquiry’s conclusions. This team found itself in a deadlock  over aspartame approval, causing the FDA Commissioner not to approve aspartame  this time.

In April 1981, Dr. Arthur Hayes was appointed the new  Commissioner for the FDA and he later approved aspartame for use in dry goods.  In 1983, he also approved aspartame for use in diet drinks, conveniently leaving  months later to work for Searle’s advertising agency.

 

What is Aspartame?

Over a billion people consume aspartame in their foods and beverages across the  world, believing it to be a safe ingredient, but what they probably don’t know  is that aspartame currently accounts for over 75% of all side effects  complaints received by the FDA’s Adverse Reaction Monitoring System (ARMS) for  the past 4 years. It is banned by health-conscious countries all over the  world, especially where there is a national health-care system in  place. Aspartame is best known by the brand names NutraSweet, Equal, Sweet One and Spoonful.

Aspartame is a synthetic chemical combination  which is comprised of approximately 50% phenylalanine, 40% aspartic acid, and  10% methanol. Aspartame is found in thousands of foods, drinks, candy, gum,  vitamins, health supplements and even pharmaceuticals. (http://www.wellsphere.com/wellpage/aspartame-banned)…

 

Why Aspartame is dangerous

75 percent of reported adverse reaction to  food additives is attributed to aspartame. Of these reactions, many are serious  and include seizures and death. A number of the 90 documented symptoms as  reportedly caused by aspartame are headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures,  nausea, numbness, rashes, depression, irritability, insomnia, hearing loss,  vision problems, loss of taste vertigo and memory loss.

Those who study  the adverse effects of aspartame report that the following medical conditions  are triggered or worsened by aspartame: brain tumors, multiple sclerosis,  chronic fatigue syndrome, mental retardation, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy,  lymphoma, birth defects, diabetes and fibromyalgia. And that’s not all —  according to Victoria Iness-Brown in her book “My Aspartame Experiment,” aspartame is also  addictive.

 

We can only guess and read between the  lines what kind of politics it took to get aspartame approved. After more than  8,000 complaints on NutraSweet side effects, a list of symptoms attributed to  aspartame from complaints submitted to the FDA was made public. This list  included among others: hallucinations, diarrhea, seizures,  depression, migraine, fatigue and insomnia. Aspartame has also been linked to  tumors, cancer and infertility.

Except for a brief declaration that  carefully controlled clinical studies showed aspartame is not an allergen, the  FDA merely issued an advisory that products containing aspartame must include a warning to  phenylketonurics, people sensitive to the compound phenylalanine. It still  continues to adhere to its stand that “aspartame as a carcinogen is not  supported by data.”
Aspartame was never tested on humans before its  approval. Now, it is found in 6,000 products and consumed by more than 250  million people, with Americans consuming around half of the world supply. By  default, we have now become the test subjects for aspartame’s safety.  Unwittingly we are providing evidence to aspartame’s toxicity through the  devastating effects it is slowly producing among its consumers. The list of  complaints submitted to the FDA as well as from anecdotal reports does not seem  to end anytime soon. If the government chooses to turn a blind eye on aspartame,  let us at least choose not to be a willing conspirator and suffer the  consequences of being a willing victim.

 

What is Aspartame composed of?

To understand the effects of aspartame  one must look at its genetic composition. This substance – which is 200 times  sweeter than sugar – is made of 50 % phenylalanine, 40 % aspartic acid and 10 % methanol.

Each  of the three ingredients in Aspartame poses its own dangers and each is well  documented as causing a long list of side effects and dangerous health  conditions. Watch for the ingredient Acesulfame Potassium, which is just  another name for Aspartame.

 

  • Aspartic acid

Aspartic acid is considered an excito-toxin, which means it over stimulates certain neurons in the body  until they die. Much like nitrates and MSG, aspartic acid can cause amino acid  imbalances in the body and result in the interruption of normal neurotransmitter  metabolism of the brain. (http://www.holisticmed.net/aspartame/aminoacid.pdf)

Russell Blaylock, a neurosurgery professor at the Medical University of Mississippi, describes aspartic acid as an isolated  amino acid that is just as toxic as glutamate, another popular additive.  Aspartic acid is an excitotoxin, a chemical that excites the brain to the point  of death. It alters the manner of brain formation in newborn infants,  permanently resulting in hyperactivity and behavioral changes in  children.

In its free form, unbound from proteins, it significantly  raises the plasma level shortly after ingestion. The excess aspartate in the  blood shortly after ingestion leads to high levels in certain areas of the  brain. It slowly begins to destroy neurons and a large part of neural cells in a  particular area of a brain are destroyed before any clinical symptom of an  illness is noticed. Reported physical effects after long exposure to excitatory  amino acid include Parkinson’s disease, brain lesions, neuroendocrine disorders  and hypoglycemia to mention a few.

Pregnant women and lactating mothers  increase their risk by consuming aspartame-laden products because the child’s  brain barrier, which protects the brain from excess aspartate and other toxins,  is not developed enough to protect it from this chemical. Moreover, while in the  womb and during the first year of life, these compounds can have free access to  the nervous system due to the fragility of the infant’s blood brain barrier  during this stage of development.

  • Phenylalanine

Phenylalanine is an amino acid. Individuals with  phenylketonuria, a genetic disorder, cannot utilize phenylalanine, causing  possible buildup in the body. Even for persons who are not suffering from  phenylketonuria, it has been shown that ingesting aspartame together with  carbohydrates can cause increased levels in the body. Excess phenylalanine in  the body causes the serotonin levels to dip leading to emotional disorders like  depression. Human testing has shown that phenylalanine levels significantly  increased in subjects who chronically used aspartame.

Even a single use  of Aspartame raises the blood phenylalanine levels. High blood phenylalanine can  be concentrated in parts of the brain and is especially dangerous for infants  and fetuses. Because it is metabolized much more efficiently by rodents than  humans, testing and research on rats alone is not sufficient enough to denounce  the dangers of Aspartame for human consumption. Excessive levels of  phenylalanine in the brain cause serotonin levels to decrease, leading to  emotional disorders like depression.

  • Methanol

Methanol is a neurotoxin and an extremely harmful substance.  The enzyme chymotrypsin facilitates its release in the small intestine. Its  absorption is sped up when aspartame is heated above 30 centigrad – or above 86  Fahrenheit – creating free methanol. This normally occurs when products  containing aspartame are improperly stored or when subjected to  heat.

Normally, methanol breaks down into formaldehyde and formic acid.  Formaldehyde interferes with DNA reproduction, retinal damage and birth defects.  Its toxicity affects the nervous system, taking approximately ten to thirty  hours before symptoms  manifest – the most common of which is vision impairment. The symptoms for  methanol poisoning have been reported to include dizziness, nausea,  gastrointestinal disturbances, memory lapses and numbness to name a few.

  • Methanol  becomes Formaldehyde (Embalming fluid): The most prominent danger of  Aspartame is that when ingested, the methanol (wood alcohol) is distributed  throughout the body, including the brain, muscle, fat and nervous tissues, and  is then metabolized to form formaldehyde, which enters cells and binds to  proteins and genetic material (DNA). Methanol is a dangerous neurotoxin and a known carcinogen, which causes retinal damage in the eye, interferes with  DNA processes, and can cause birth defects. (http://aspartame.mercola.com/)

 

Any dose of Aspartame is harmful

A stated consumption limit of 7.8mg/day is recommended, but a one litre of an aspartame sweetened drink contains at least 7-8 times that limit – being about 56 mg of methanol. Heavy users of  products containing aspartame consume as much as 250mg of methanol a day or 32  times the recommended limit.

Since humans do not possess certain key  enzymes that animal subjects possess, human are more sensitive to the toxic  effects of methanol. It is without doubt that animal testing on aspartame or  methanol does not accurately reflect the potential danger for humans.

 

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