Aspartame and Diseases: Could a Simple Sweetener Cause You Pain and Suffering?
Having a serious illness is bad enough, but learning that aspartame can be the cause of diseases like lupus, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and cancer is downright disconcerting. In this article, we’ll look at the claims against artificial sweeteners and the accusations that they are causing serious illness.
Let’s start with exactly what aspartame is, the common symptoms and illnesses claimed to be associated with its use, the relationship between aspartame and diet, and sweet and healthy alternatives.
What is aspartame?
Aspartame is a sugar substitute that was discovered in 1965. It is 200 times sweeter than natural sugar and is marketed as a product to aid in our never-ending quest to lose weight.
The chemical composition of aspartame
Aspartame contains 50% phenylalanine. According to the 1976 Grolier Encyclopedia, “cancer cannot live without phenylalanine.”
Many aspartame proponents claim that phenylalanine is a safe amino acid. However, this is true when the amino acids function in the proper context and proportion to all other substances in the body. In this case, one amino acid dominates (as with regular aspartame consumption) and the result is that ‘the body’s seizure threshold is lowered’.
Another 40% of aspartame is aspartic acid. This has been linked to creating lesions in the brains of mice and other laboratory animals that result in brain tumors. This ingredient is also known to break down into a substance known as methanol, 10% wood alcohol by weight, plus formaldehyde, formic acid, and DKP or diketopiperazine (a brain tumor agent).
When aspartame reaches 85 degrees (or higher), it breaks down into the above components. Since our body temperature averages 98.6 degrees, it takes about 10 minutes after ingestion for it to start its toxic transformation.
Aspartame and Disease
Many people believe that methanol toxicity creates symptoms similar to many dangerous diseases (see below) and have been misdiagnosed as a result of reactions to aspartame.
Nutrition expert Dr. Janet Hull says, “As a nutritionist, more than 90 percent of my clients experience some type of health problem associated with aspartame: weight gain, hair loss, serious medical conditions, eating disorders , mental disorders and fatigue.” After eliminating its use, the health of some has returned to normal. Dr. Hull states “Eight out of ten of my clients have health symptoms that go away when they stop using Aspartame.”
Side effects of aspartame are indicative of your genetic individuality and physical weaknesses. It’s important to identify what side effects (if any) aspartame is creating within you.” Side effects can be immediate, occur gradually, or be acute reactions.
If you are a high aspartame user who consumes amounts of diet soda, coffee with sweeteners, or regularly consume foods made with this product, it may be an idea to consider a change in your dietary practices.
However, with so many foods now including aspartame, it’s also important to become an avid reader of food labels. NutraSweet, Equal, and Spoonful are common brand names for aspartame that you’ll want to be aware of in addition to ‘low calorie’ and ‘diet’ products.
Keep in mind that while many of the illnesses associated with aspartame are not necessarily fatal, methanol toxicity is.
Aspartame has been linked to triggering or mimicking the following diseases:
- multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Post-Polio Syndrome
- Lyme’s desease
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- grave’s disease
- Meniere’s disease
- Alzheimer disease
- THE A
Aspartame and diet: how effective is it?
Although aspartame is marketed as a helpful weight-loss product, according to the American Cancer Society, it can actually cause people to gain weight. Why? Because aspartame users often experience carbohydrate and sugar cravings, which then lead to binge eating.
In addition to these increased cravings, chemically altered sodium (salt) is believed to be stored in fat cells in the hips and thighs. Not exactly what diet seekers are looking for!
Common symptoms claimed to be related to aspartame:
Some other side effects that may be related to aspartame use that you should be aware of also include:
- loss of balance
- Memory loss
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- mood disorders
- hearing impairment
- nausea vomiting
- Speech problems (slurred speech)
- bread stamp
- muscle bread
- breast bread
- menstrual complications
If you are an avid aspartame user and have noticed any of the problems or symptoms listed above, it may help to eliminate aspartame from your diet and work with a health expert to see if any of your symptoms show any improvement.
Since many doctors do not consider this product to be a health hazard, it may be beneficial to work with an alternative health expert, such as a naturopath, to determine if aspartame is a causal factor in your symptoms.
Here is a list of common foods to watch out for that may contain aspartame:
Jellies and Puddings, Frozen Foods, Iced Tea, Crystal Light, Kool Aid, Cereals, Baked Goods, Hot Chocolate, Nuts, Gum, Multivitamins (for children and adults), Chewable Aspirin,…and that’s just a few for starters.
Remember, there are thousands of foods made with this product in our grocery stores, so consider taking a few extra minutes and start keeping track of the foods you may want to avoid if you want to eliminate this chemical from your diet, and take note. any changes or health benefits.
Some sweet solutions for aspartame
If you want to sweeten your food, some of the more common healthy alternatives include: blackstrap molasses, stevia, honey, evaporated cane juice, fruit juice, rice syrup, small amounts of licorice root, and barley malt.
There are also several good resources for additional products that you can easily access in addition to these articles.
If you have doubts… see how you feel
I am not a doctor or licensed health specialist. However, I myself have turned a so-called ‘incurable’ disease (lupus) on its head and believe that we all have a personal responsibility for our own health and should not rely on doctors alone. Even within the medical community, it is common to see conflicting information about what we should or should not do when it comes to our health and what is safe.
There is currently a strong movement calling for natural and healthy alternatives for food, disease treatment and lifestyle choices that challenge the often inefficient and ineffective methods of the medical and pharmaceutical approach.
I hope you will take it upon yourself to consider your own ‘Aspartame’ health test and see if you have any improvement in any unwanted physical conditions or symptoms you may be experiencing in your own life. What matters most are the ‘results’ that can affect the future of your health.