Aspartame is an intense sweetener, approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar, which has been used in soft drinks and other low-calorie or sugar-free foods throughout the world for more than 25 years. It is also referred to as E951. It was discovered by accident in 1965 when James Schlatter, a chemist of G.D. Searle Company, was testing an anti-ulcer drug.
The artificial sweetener has been the subject of several controversies since its initial approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1974. The FDA approval of aspartame was highly contested, with critics alleging that the quality of the initial research supporting its safety was inadequate and flawed and that conflicts of interest marred the 1981 approval of aspartame.
So why is it so bad?
Chemicals already in our body 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 can kill neurons by allowing too much calcium into the cells. This influx triggers excessive amounts of free radicals, which in turn kill the cells.
Aspartame is made up of 40% Aspartic Acid, 50% Phenylalanine, Methanol a.k.a wood alcohol/poison/ANTIFRREEZE!
Aspartic acid is an amino acid that significantly raises the blood plasma level of aspartate and glutamate. As mentioned above this leads to killing off of our cells!
The large majority (75 percent or more) of neural cells in the brain are killed before any clinical symptoms of a chronic illness are noticed. A few of the many chronic illnesses that have been shown to be contributed to by long-term exposure to excitatory amino acid damage include:
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Memory loss
- Hormonal problems
- Brain lesions
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Neuroendocrine disorders
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.
Excessive quantities of phenylalanine in the brain can cause the levels of serotonin 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.
Methanol is a deadly poison. It is used in products such as bio diesel and antifreeze. (So why wouldn’t you want to drink it?)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 30°c. This would occur when aspartame-containing product is stored in direct sunlight or when it is heated e.g. in Jelly. Methanol breaks down into formaldehyde in the body. Formaldehyde is a deadly neurotoxin. Yes the stuff they use in embalming-nice!
As well as the more serious conditions mentioned above ingestion of Aspartame has been shown to have lower level health responses that people would not necessarily have related to that diet drink they have had. These include.
• Fatigue (blocks sufficient glucose entry into brain)
• Anxiety attacks
• Sleep problems
• Abdominal pains
• Vision problems
• Asthma/chest tightness
• Memory Loss
Aspartame is predominately but not limited to use in diet, low fat, no sugar products. This is so that manufacturers can take out the calorie content making you think it therefore a healthier product but still make the product taste sweet. Some examples include:
Diet Coca Cola,Pepsi,7up, tango etc, Coca Cola Zero, Pepsi Max ,Lucozade Sport ,Schweppes Slimline Drinks (now you know why I tell you to take the calories and go full fat!), Robinsons Orange Squash, Robinson’s No added sugar range, Muller Light Yoghurt, Some Activia Flavour Yoghurts, Weight Watchers Products (don’t set me off again!)Wrigleys chewing gum, Uncle Ben’s LightCooking Sauces, Some flavours of Walkers Crisps, Canderel, Silver Spoon Sweetness and Light,Silver Spoon Light Granulated Sugar,Cadburys Highlights, Options Hot Chocolate Drink.
I could go on but I would suggest you start checking your labels in the supermarket!