Aspartame and MSG Dangers

Aspartame                                                                                                         

What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Aspartame is, by far, the most dangerous substance on the market that is added to foods.

Most people are probably wondering, “What the heck is Aspartame?” The Webster Dictionary defines:   Aspartame   is an artificial, non-saccharide sweetener used as a sugar substitute in some foods and beverages !!?!

Millions of people use aspartame, the artificial sweetener known as NutraSweet to lower sugar intake for weight loss or diabetes.

As this product is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and composed of natural ingredients, would you assume it is safe to consume?

Aspartame is economically cheaper and sweeter than sugar, which is very appealing to soda beverage companies (i.e. Pepsi-Cola).  It is also very appealing to weight watchers who are seeking to lose weight, especially American women, because of its low calories;

What most diet soda beverage drinkers don’t know, is that aspartame, once inside the human body, converts into FORMALDEHYDE! Yes, formaldehyde, as in EMBALMING FLUID!!! At 86? degrees, aspartame converts into formaldehyde, which is a neuro-toxin and destroys the brain cells.

Well, common sense or medical or biological knowledge lets us know that the natural human body temperature is 98.6?, which means that any time you consume aspartame containing substances, the aspartame in those substances is going to convert into formaldehyde as a chemical by-product.

Formaldehyde or embalming fluid is used to stiffen dead bodies (corpses). Well, what do you think it’s going to do to a living body? The same thing it does to a dead body – This is why a report by American morticians reported a few years ago stated that more than 50% of all Americans are 40% embalmed WHILE ALIVE OR LIVING!   Yes, the living dead.   What is the FDA doing to protect the consumer from the dangers of aspartame?

Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA  including seizures and death.

Apart from the fact that Cancer feeds on Aspartame, below is a few of the 90 different documented symptoms listed in the report as being caused by aspartame :

  • Headaches/migraines,
  • dizziness,
  • seizures,
  • nausea,
  • numbness,
  • muscle spasms,
  • weight gain,
  • rashes,
  • depression,
  • fatigue,
  • irritability, 
  • tachycardia,
  • insomnia,
  • vision problems,
  • hearing loss,
  • heart palpitations, 
  • breathing difficulties,
  • anxiety attacks,
  • slurred speech,
  • loss of taste,
  • tinnitus,
  • vertigo,
  • memory loss, 
  • joint pain.

Adverse effects of aspartame, the following chronic illnesses can be triggered or worsened by ingesting of aspartame:

  • Birth defects
  • Brain tumors,
  • multiple sclerosis,
  • epilepsy,
  • chronic fatigue syndrome,
  • parkinson’s disease,
  • alzheimer’s,
  • mental retardation,
  • lymphoma, 
  • fibromyalgia,
  • Diabetes.

Aspartame is made up of three chemicals: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol.

 

How Aspartate (and Glutamate) Cause Damage

aspartate(MSG) is glutamic acid) in our food supply which is  causing serious chronic neurological disorders and a myriad of other acute symptoms. 

Aspartate and glutamate act as neurotransmitters in the brain by facilitating the transmission of information from neuron to neuron.

Too much aspartate or glutamate in the brain kills certain neurons by allowing the influx of too much calcium into the cells.   This influx triggers excessive amounts of free radicals, which kill the cells.   The neural cell damage that can be caused by excessive aspartate and glutamate is why they are referred to as “excitotoxins.” They “excite” or stimulate the neural cells to death.

Aspartic acid is an amino acid.   Taken in its free form (unbound to proteins) it significantly raises the blood plasma level of aspartate and glutamate. The excess aspartate and glutamate in the blood plasma shortly after ingesting aspartame or products with free glutamic acid (glutamate precursor) leads to a high level of those neurotransmitters in certain areas of the brain.

The blood brain barrier (BBB), which normally protects the brain from excess glutamate and aspartate as well as toxins,

1) is not fully developed during childhood,

2) does not fully protect all areas of the brain,

3) is damaged by numerous chronic and acute conditions,

4) allows seepage of excess glutamate and aspartate into the brain even when intact.

The excess glutamate and aspartate slowly begin to destroy neurons. The large majority (75 percent or more) of neural cells in a particular area of the brain are killed before any clinical symptoms of a chronic illness are noticed.   (MSG) is glutamic acid) in our food supply are causing serious chronic neurological disorders and a myriad of other acute symptoms.

The risk to infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly and persons with certain chronic health problems from excitotoxins are great.

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), which usually understates problems and mimics the FDA party-line, recently stated in a review that:

“It is prudent to avoid the use of dietary supplements of L-glutamic acid by pregnant women, infants, and children. The existence of evidence of potential endocrine responses, i.e., elevated cortisol and prolactin, and differential responses between males and females, would also suggest a neuroendocrine link and that supplemental L-glutamic acid should be avoided by women of childbearing age and individuals with affective disorders.”

Aspartic acid from aspartame has the same deleterious effects on the body as (MSG) glutamic acid.

The exact mechanism of acute reactions to excess free glutamate and aspartate is currently being debated. As reported to the FDA, those reactions include:

aspartame effect

  • Headaches/migraines
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pains
  • Fatigue (blocks sufficient glucose entry into brain)
  • Sleep problems
  • Vision problems
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Depression
  • Asthma/chest tightness.

One common complaint of persons suffering from the effect of aspartame is memory loss.

Washington University, a neuroscientist and researcher, and one of the world’s foremost authorities on excitotoxins. (He informed Searle in 1971 that aspartic acid caused holes in the brains of mice.)

 

Phenylalanine (50 percent of aspartame)

Phenylalanine is an amino acid normally found in the brain. Persons with the genetic disorder phenylketonuria (PKU) cannot metabolize phenylalanine.  This leads to dangerously high levels of phenylalanine in the brain (sometimes lethal).

It has been shown that ingesting aspartame, especially along with carbohydrates, can lead to excess levels of phenylalanine in the brain even in persons who do not have PKU.
PKU is inherited as a single-gene disorder, which is a condition caused by a mutant or abnormal gene.  They test for PKU, a few drops of blood are taken from the infant’s heel after birth. Those with phenylalanine levels of 20.0 mg/dl or higher are considered likely to have “classical” PKU.
Some infants with slightly higher levels of phenylalanine have “mild hyperphenylalanemia.”

Today many clinicians believe that any child with a phenylalanine level greater than six or eight mg/dl should be treated with a modified phenylalanine restricted diet.
This is not just a theory, as many people who have eaten large amounts of aspartame over a long period of time and do not have PKU have been shown to have excessive levels of phenylalanine in the blood.

Excessive levels of phenylalanine in the brain can cause the levels of seratonin in the brain to decrease, leading to emotional disorders such as depression. It was shown in human testing that phenylalanine levels of the blood were increased significantly in human subjects who chronically used aspartame.

 

Early studies measuring phenylalanine build up in the brain notice significant rises in phenylalanine levels specifically the hypothalamus, medulla oblongata, and corpus striatum areas of the brain had the largest increases in phenylalanine.   Excessive build-up of phenylalanine in the brain can cause schizophrenia or make one more susceptible to seizures.

Therefore, long-term, excessive use of aspartame may provide a boost to sales of seratonin re-uptake inhibitors such as Prozac and drugs to control schizophrenia and seizures.

 

Methanol (aka wood alcohol/poison) (10 percent of aspartame)

Methanol/wood alcohol is a deadly poison.   Some people may remember methanol as the poison that has caused some “skid row” alcoholics to end up blind or dead.

Methanol is gradually released in the small intestine when the methyl group of aspartame encounter the enzyme chymotrypsin.

The absorption of methanol into the body is sped up considerably when free methanol is ingested.   Free methanol is created from aspartame when it is heated to above 86 Fahrenheit (30 Centigrade).  This would occur when aspartame-containing product is improperly stored or when it is heated (e.g., as part of a “food” product such as Jello).

methanolMethanol breaks down into formic acid and formaldehyde in the body. Formaldehyde is a deadly neurotoxin. An EPA assessment of methanol states that methanol “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.”

They recommend a limit of consumption of 7.8 mg/day.

A one-litre (approx. 1 quart) aspartame-sweetened beverage contains about 56 mg of methanol. Heavy users of aspartame-containing products consume as much as 250 mg of methanol daily or 32 times the EPA limit.

Symptoms from methanol poisoning include :

  • headaches,
  • ear buzzing,
  • dizziness,
  • ausea,
  • gastrointestinal disturbances,
  • weakness,
  • vertigo,
  • hills,
  • memory lapses,
  • numbness and shooting pains in the extremities,
  • behavioral disturbances, and neuritis.

The most well known problems from methanol poisoning are

  • vision problems including misty vision, 
  • progressive contraction of visual fields,
  • blurring of vision,
  • obscuration of vision, 
  • retinal damage, and blindness.

Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, causes retinal damage, interferes with DNA replication and causes birth defects.

“There are no human or mammalian studies to evaluate the possible mutagenic, teratogenic or carcinogenic effects of chronic administration of methyl alcohol.”

It has been pointed out that some fruit juices and alcoholic beverages contain small amounts of methanol.   It is important to remember, however, that methanol never appears alone. In every case, ethanol is present, usually in much higher amounts.  Ethanol is an antidote for methanol toxicity in humans.

The troops of Desert Storm were “treated” to large amounts of aspartame-sweetened beverages, which had been heated to over 86 degrees F in the Saudi Arabian sun.   Many of them returned home with numerous disorders similar to what has been seen in persons who have been chemically poisoned by formaldehyde. The free methanol in the beverages may have been a contributing factor in these illnesses. Other breakdown products of aspartame such as DKP (discussed below) may also have been a factor.

In a 1993 act that can only be described as “unconscionable,” the FDA approved aspartame as an ingredient in numerous food items that would always be heated to above 86 degree F (30 degree C).

Diketopiperazine (DKP)

DKP is a by-product of aspartame metabolism.  DKP has been implicated in the occurrence of brain tumors.   It was noticed that when DKP  nitrosated in the gut, it produced a compound that was similar to N-nitrosourea, a powerful brain tumor causing chemical.

Some authors have said that DKP is produced after aspartame ingestion. I am not sure if that is correct. It is definitely true that DKP is formed in liquid aspartame-containing products during prolonged storage.

DKP has also been implicated as a cause of uterine polyps.


History of Aspartame:

Aspartame is the technical name for the brand names NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal-Measure. It was discovered by accident in 1965 when James Schlatter, a chemist of G.D. Searle Company, was testing an anti-ulcer drug.

Aspartame was approved for dry goods in 1981 and for carbonated beverages in 1983.   It was originally approved for dry goods on July 26, 1974, but objections filed by neuroscience researcher Dr John W. Olney and Consumer attorney James Turner in August 1974 as well as investigations of G.D. Searle’s research practices caused the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to put approval of aspartame on hold (December 5, 1974). In 1985, Monsanto purchased G.D. Searle and made Searle Pharmaceuticals and The NutraSweet Company separate subsidiaries

Aspartame’s Hidden Dangers

If a product is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and composed of natural ingredients, would you assume it is safe to consume?

If the same product is an artificial sweetener, would you assume it helps control your weight?

Millions of people use aspartame, the artificial sweetener known as NutraSweet™, with these assumptions in mind.

Aspartame can be found in thousands of products such as:

  • instant breakfasts
  • breath mints
  • cereals
  • sugar-free chewing gum
  • cocoa mixes
  • coffee beverages
  • frozen desserts
  • gelatin desserts
  • juice beverages
  • laxatives
  • multivitamins
  • 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
  • yogurt

However, aspartame’s tainted history of approval and potentially toxic ingredients cast serious doubt on the safety of this sugar substitute. Furthermore, aspartame may actually increase your appetite.

While the FDA approval may signal the green light for safe consumption, 85 percent of all complaints registered with the FDA are for adverse reactions to aspartame, including five reported deaths.

A closer look at the unscientific studies, suspicious approval methods, and its harmful ingredients, reveal the hidden dangers of this artificial sweetener. In reality, aspartame poses a public health threat.

Ailments Resulting From Aspartame

The components of aspartame can lead to a wide variety of ailments. Some of these problems occur gradually while others are immediate, acute reactions.A few of the many disorders associated with aspartame include the following:

  • Birth Defects

A study funded by Monsanto to study possible birth defects caused by consuming aspartame was cut off after preliminary data showed damaging information about aspartame. Additionally, in the book, While Waiting: A Prenatal Guidebook, it is stated that aspartame is suspected of causing brain damage in sensitive individuals.

A foetus may be at risk for these effects. Some researchers have suggested that high doses of aspartame may be associated with problems ranging from dizziness and subtle brain changes to mental retardation.

  • Cancer (Brain Cancer)

In 1981, an FDA statistician stated that the brain tumor data on aspartame was so “worrisome” that he could not recommend approval of NutraSweet.

In a two-year study conducted by the manufacturer of aspartame, twelve 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 tumors were in rats given a low dose of aspartame.

The approval of aspartame was a violation of the Delaney Amendment, which was supposed to prevent cancer-causing substances such as methanol (formaldehyde) and DKP from entering our food supply. A late FDA toxicologist testified before the U.S. Congress that aspartame was capable of producing brain tumours.

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 the mid-1970s it was discovered that the manufacturer of aspartame falsified studies in several ways. One of the techniques used was to cut tumors out of test animals and put them back in the study.

Another technique used to falsify the studies was to list animals that had actually died as surviving the study. Thus, the data on brain tumors was likely worse than discussed above. In addition, a former employee of the manufacturer of aspartame told the FDA on July 13, 1977 that the particles of DKP were so large that the rats could discriminate between the DKP and their normal diet.

  • Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is actually recommending this chemical poison to persons with diabetes, but according to research conducted by a diabetes specialist, aspartame:

1) Leads to the precipitation of clinical diabetes.

2) Causes poorer diabetic control in diabetics on insulin or oral drugs.

3) Leads to the aggravation of diabetic complications such as retinopathy, cataracts, neuropathy and gastroparesis.

4) Causes convulsions.

In a statement concerning the use of products containing aspartame by persons with diabetes and hypoglycaemia, 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 hypoglycaemia, 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.(5)

  • Emotional Disorders

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.”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.”

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.

  • Epilepsy/Seizures

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.

Why don’t we hear about these things?

The reason many people do not hear about serious reactions to aspartame is twofold:

1) Lack of awareness by the general population. Aspartame-caused diseases are not reported in the newspapers like plane crashes. This is because these incidents occur one at a time in thousands of different locations across the United States.

2) Most people do not associate their symptoms with the long-term use of aspartame. For the people who have killed a significant percentage of their brain cells and thereby caused a chronic illness, there is no way that they would normally associate such an illness with aspartame consumption.

How aspartame was approved is a lesson in how chemical and pharmaceutical companies can manipulate government agencies such as the FDA, “bribe” organizations such as the American Dietetic Association, and flood the scientific community with flawed and fraudulent industry-sponsored studies funded by the makers of aspartame.

What is the FDA doing to protect the consumer from the dangers of aspartame?

In 1991, the FDA banned the importation of stevia.  The powder of this leaf has been used for hundreds of years as an alternative sweetener.   It is used widely in Japan with no adverse effects.  Scientists involved in reviewing Stevia have declared it to be safe for human consumption–something that has been well known in many parts of the world where it is not banned.

 

Disclaimer:  The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information and encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.

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