Over seventy-five percent of the adverse reactions to food additives that are reported to the FDA is due to ASPARTAME. You may not realize it, but aspartame is in more products than you realize. It’s very common in sugar-free and diet drinks, artificial sweeteners and other food.
There are about ninety different symptoms that have been documented from the use of aspartame and here is a list of the most common ones: headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, weight gain, depression, muscle spasms, fatigue, tachycardia, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, joint pain, memory loss, vertigo, tinnitus, slurred speech.
Meanwhile researchers and physicians that study the adverse effects of aspartame have attributed it to triggering or worsening chronic illnesses such as: brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia and diabetes.
Let’s take a look at the three components of aspartame to understand why this food additive is so dangerous to us. The three chemicals that make up aspartame is 40% aspartic acid, 50% Phenylalanine, and 10% methanol.
Aspartic acid is an amino acid and acts as neurotransmitters in the brain. It promotes the transmission of information from neuron to neuron. Too much aspartate in the brain kills certain neurons by allowing too much calcium into the cells. This triggers an enormous amount of free radicals which in turn kill the cells.
The blood brain barrier that protects the brain from toxins does not protect all areas of the brain and is not fully developed in childhood. It is damaged by numerous chronic and acute conditions and allows the drainage of excess aspartate into the brain when intact. This is how aspartate is able to slowly destroy the neurons.
Did you know that seventy-five 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? Here is a short list of chronic illnesses that have been proven to be contributed to long-term exposure to excitatory amino acids: MS, ALS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, neuroendocrine disorders, AIDS, Epilepsy, Hypoglycemia, hormonal problems, dementia, memory loss, brain lesions and more.
Phenylalanine is also an amino acid. It has been shown that ingesting aspartame especially with carbohydrates leads to excessive levels of phenylalanine in the brain even in people who do not have PKU. Those who do have PKU can receive dangerous or even lethal levels of phenylalanine. PKU is a genetic disorder when a person is unable to metabolize phenylalanine.
Excessive levels of phenylalanine also decrease serotonin in the brain which leads to emotional disorders such as depression or even schizophrenia and seizures.
Methanol also known as wood alcohol is a deadly poison. It is gradually released into the small intestine when the methyl group of aspartame encounters the enzyme chymotrypsin.
Free methanol is created from aspartame when it’s heated above 86 degrees F. This would happen when a product containing aspartame is heated or improperly stored such as Jello. When methanol breaks down in the body it forms formaldehyde which is a deadly neurotoxin. It is also a known carcinogen that causes retinal damage and birth defects.
There are several symptoms from methanol poisoning such as: headaches, ear buzzing, dizziness, nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances, weakness, vertigo, chills, 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.
Unfortunately, the FDA still approves aspartame in over six thousand products that we put into our bodies daily. However, I would like to point out that aspartame poisoning was implicated in the development of the Gulf War syndrome. There were several neurological and physical symptoms of veterans from both the U.S.A. and the U.K. during the Gulf War. This occurred when the troops were given large amounts of diet soft drinks that had been in high temperatures. By the time they were consumed, free methanol and formaldehyde had already been broken down into the drinks.
Here is a small list of products that still contain aspartame today and it is very important that you check the labels before purchasing them: Diet soda, sugar-free and low-calorie cereals, mints, condiments, ice cream, yogurts and appetite control supplements. Fruit juices, flavored water and coffee, meal replacement snacks and shakes. Natural fiber laxatives, sports drinks powder supplements and much more.
If there is one thing I have learned over the years is that we must be accountable for ourselves when it comes to our health. We cannot depend on the FDA or any other agency to protect us against chemicals in are food or non-food products. To learn more on aspartame you can read the following references: