Aspartame is the common denominator for over 92 different health symptoms at the root of modern disease. A 12 ounce can of diet soda usually contains about milligrams of aspartame and a packet of the tabletop sweetener contains about 35mg. Similarly, the Institute of Medicine advised consumers to consume as little trans fat as possible, ideally less than about 2 grams a day that much might come from naturally occurring trans fat in beef and dairy products. Bakers use cysteine to reduce the mixing time for dough. Bread, caramel, soda pop, cookies, many other foods. Annatto causes hives in some people. A panel of experts set up by the European Food Safety Authority concluded in that aspartame is safe for human consumption at current levels of exposure.
The sweetener industry received a blow when a study was released in July connecting aspartame to an increased risk of heart disease and increased body mass index. Far from the small studies that are sometimes dismissed, this review included a total of almost , individuals with a median year follow-up. Of course, a few smaller cohort studies did find weight loss to be a benefit — but, as is the norm for aspartame research, those were sponsored by industries benefiting from positive outcomes.
Do aspartame-sweetened products help you lose weight? Does aspartame cause negative, sometimes dangerous side effects? Almost immediately upon consuming aspartame, it breaks down into three chemical compounds: Those first two components are amino acids. Sadly, these arguments, used widely by companies that profit from the sale of aspartame, do not hold up.
Phenylalanine is an amino acid that can be toxic in high doses but generally recognized as safe in whole food products. However, when chemically bound to other compounds, like in aspartame, phenylalanine is absorbed almost immediately into the bloodstream rather than slowly via digestion.
Just one diet soda raises the level of phenylalanine in the brain, causing serotonin levels to decrease. In at least one study, phenylalanine concentrations were higher in people with HIV, sepsis, cancer and undergoing trauma. Aspartic acid is a non-essential amino acid your body makes it without having to ingest it.
Normally, aspartic acid aspartate is important in the function of the nervous and neuroendocrine systems. Methanol is a wood alcohol that was not commonly ingested until the 20th century. Because of the way diet soda and other aspartame products are created, the amino acids they contain do not go through the normal process of enzyme breakdown and liberation, but instead absorb immediately into the bloodstream.
However, the more pressing concern comes from the methanol content in aspartame. Now, it is true that methanol is present in other food products, but in those cases, it is bound to pectin , a fiber commonly found in fruits. In aspartame, methanol is bound weakly, at that to the phenylalanine molecule. Free methanol then converts to formaldehyde, more commonly known as embalming fluid.
Both methanol and formaldehyde are carcinogens in and of themselves. Formaldehyde has the unfortunate ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, one reason it is so detrimental to the body. Eventually, the formaldehyde can also turn into diketopiperazine, another known carcinogen.
Every animal other than humans converts formaldehyde to formic acid , a harmless substance. This process in humans is called methyl alcohol syndrome. As you probably know, aspartame in diet soda and over 6, other products is still approved by the FDA after decades of research and adverse reactions. The FDA even encourages pregnant women to drink it!
One estimate created in for sufferers of aspartame symptoms calculated approximately 1. This number is complicated by the fact that many doctors do not recognize aspartame toxicity as a legitimate cause of health problems since it is supposedly a safe product for all people. As of , the list of reported symptoms submitted to the FDA included headaches, dizziness, mood problems, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea, seizures, memory loss, breathing problems, and various others.
Aspartame now owned by Ajinomoto is now being marketed under new names in order to further mislead consumers. This has occurred even after aspartame poisoning has been implicated in the development of Gulf War syndrome , a number of neurological and physical symptoms of veterans in the U. Troops were given large quantities of diet soft drinks that had often been in high-temperature conditions, suggesting they had already broken down into free methanol and formaldehyde compounds before they were consumed.
Still, we are told by agencies designed to protect us that aspartame is safe for people of all ages. Aspartame is found in over 6, individual products, making it virtually impossible to list them all here. However, I hope that understanding the impact of nutrition on your health has made you an avid label-reader. The following foods, beverages and medications commonly contain aspartame: In , anti-aspartame activist Mark Gold reviewed aspartame toxicity results and reported them to the FDA for consideration.
Gold also referred to dozens of studies reflecting the negative impacts of aspartame, including the many warnings in piloting material to discourage pilots from consuming it due to the seizures and vertigo it can induce. It seems that the dangers studied occur very differently in participants depending on who completes the study.
Of course, that particular report was released by NutraSweet. Turns out, percent of industry-funded research finds the same result: However, 92 percent of studies funded independently discover adverse effects. For decades, studies have proved the potential carcinogenic qualities of aspartame.
One reason this year study is so significant is because the rats involved in the research were allowed to die naturally rather than being sacrificed earlier in the experiment. This was to investigate the last two-thirds of the animal life span, often unaccounted for, because cancer occurs in humans most often during this portion of life. Overall, studies have discovered links between aspartame and the following cancers: The discovery of the central nervous system cancers seems to be associated with the behaviors of the two amino acids found in aspartame because they are consumed in such large amounts and not broken down in the same fashion as when ingested in other foods and their ability to cross the blood-brain barrier.
This allows their excitotoxicity to take full effect. Cancer incidence seems to increase when animals are exposed to aspartame in the womb, underlining the importance for pregnant mothers never to consume aspartame. Formaldehyde a metabolite of free methanol is associated with the development of breast, stomach, intestinal, lymphoma and leukemia cancers. Although doctors often recommend replacing sugary drinks with diet versions for diabetics, aspartame seems to have the opposite effect than hoped.
In fact, in this study of over 6, individuals of varying ethnicity between 45—84 years old, the risk of diabetes was 67 percent higher for people who consumed diet soda daily versus those who did not.
It seems, in many cases, that aspartame intake can also aggravate diabetes symptoms , such as diabetic retinopathy and diabetic neuropathy. An animal study in December suggests a connection between an interaction between aspartic acid found in aspartame and glucose management. This, again, is exacerbated by the way this amino acid passes the blood-brain barrier. Researchers also discovered behavioral deficits in the subjects. As I just mentioned, aspartame intake is associated with metabolic syndrome.
The Northern Manhattan Study , focused on the study of stroke and pertinent risk factors, found a significant increased risk of heart events — even when controlling the study for those with various related diseases — in people who drink diet soft drinks each day.
The same link was not discovered for those drinking regular soda. Like the carcinogenic risks of aspartame, the heart disease risks also seem to rise when individuals are exposed to it in the womb.
People exposed prenatally to aspartame eat more sweet foods in adulthood, are obese, and more often have high blood sugar, high LDL cholesterol and high triglycerides.
Since many of the major complaints about aspartame are neurologic in nature, particular attention has been given to the way it affects the brain and neurological system. He attributes these effects to the way the compounds in aspartame overstimulate neurons. This correlates with a animal study that found chronic aspartame consumption to be related to a distortion of neuronal function and an uptick in brain cell death in certain regions of the brain.
For those who also consume MSG monosodium glutamate , another controversial food additive , these cognitive problems may be even more pronounced. MSG and aspartame exposure drastically drops dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain and cause oxidative stress that can damage brain cells. This impact is most significant in cases of long-term aspartame consumption and is associated with memory loss and more in animal studies.
One of the first studies on the subject of aspartame in the brain was conducted by John Olney, the founder of the field of neuroscience known as excitotoxicity, in His publication found that infant mice exposed to aspartame developed brain damage, even when given relatively low doses. There has also been at least one finding published in Neurology that aspartame intake exacerbated the number of EEG spike waves in children suffering absence seizures.
Closely related to its impact on neurological decline, aspartame may also be closely tied to the development of certain mental disorders, especially depression. Ingesting aspartame could potentially lead to a decline in learning and emotional function. Drinking diet beverages has been linked to depression more than once, including in one study of almost , participants over 10 years. Researchers found that those who drink more than four cans or cups of diet soda each day were between 30 percent and 38 percent more likely to develop depression, while coffee drinkers were 10 percent less likely to be diagnosed with depression.
A famous study was conducted in to discover a correlation between mood disorders and aspartame in those with or without depression diagnoses.
Before it could be completed, the Institutional Review Board had to halt the study because the participants who had a history of depression experienced such severe negative reactions that it led the department to discourage anyone with history of mood problems from ingesting aspartame because of their suggested high sensitivity to it. Over 6 million people in the U. The causes and cure are still unknown, but one small study examined fibromyalgia patients who had been struggling for years to find effective treatments.
The study found that eliminating aspartame and MSG two of the most common dietary excitotoxins resulted in a complete or nearly complete resolution of all symptoms within a few months. The symptoms returned upon ingestion of either substance. Now, the question is: There are a few suggested reasons aspartame does not lead to weight loss. For one, consuming non-nutritive sweeteners sweet substances that do not have calories does nothing for the sweet addiction they address.
Instead, they actually trigger your brain to desire more sweet foods. Aspartame, however, does the opposite — it encourages cravings and sweets dependence, all without the caloric feedback you need to control your intake. This, in turn, results in eating more non-nutritious foods and drinks. A experiment actually postulated that drinking diet beverages influences psychological processes that might cause a person to increase overall caloric intake.
In a newer side of aspartame research, three U. They found that drinking caffeinated soft drinks, particularly diet drinks, was associated with early development of menstrual cycles. Why does this matter? Because the long-term risks of early puberty include breast cancer, HPV, heart disease, diabetes and all-cause mortality.
By now, I hope you are convinced that aspartame is dangerous, particularly for pregnant mothers. One more reason to avoid this sweetener is because it has been linked to the development of autism in children. In the journal Medical Hypotheses , researchers discussed a study in which women who had been exposed to dietary methanol found in aspartame were significantly more likely to give birth to children who developed autism.
Neuropsychiatric side effects have also been reported with higher doses of aspartame, although these are yet to be confirmed in controlled clinical trials. Chronic use of aspartame may be more likely to trigger headaches. The FDA has documented seizures, and there is evidence they may be associated with aspartame use, although definitive evidence is lacking.
The study reported that even when intake exceeds typical dietary levels, neither dietary sucrose sugar nor aspartame affects children's behavior or cognitive function.
Committee on Drugs Pediatrics ;99; Accessed March 30, Effects of diets high in sucrose or aspartame on the behavior and cognitive performance of children. N Engl J Med. Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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