Aspartame & Disease – Could a Simple Sweetener Be Causing You Pain and Suffering?
Having a serious illness is bad enough, but learning that aspartame can be the cause of diseases like lupus, MS, fibromyalgia and cancer is downright bewildering. In this article, we will look at the claims against artificial sweeteners and claims that they cause serious illness.
Let’s start with what exactly aspartame is, common symptoms and diseases said to be associated with its use, the relationship between aspartame and diet, and sweet, healthy alternatives.
What is aspartame?
Aspartame is a sugar substitute discovered in 1965. It’s 200 times sweeter than natural sugar and is marketed as a product to aid us in our never-ending quest to be slim.
The chemical composition of aspartame
Aspartame contains 50% phenylalanine. According to Grolier’s Encyclopedia of 1976, “Cancer cannot live without phenylalanine.”
Many aspartame advocates claim that phenylalanine is an amino acid and is safe. However, this is true when amino acids work in the right context and proportion to all other substances in the body. In this case, one amino acid predominates (as with normal aspartame consumption) and the result is that the “seizure threshold in the body is lowered”.
Another 40% of aspartame is aspartic acid. This has been linked to the development of lesions in the brains of mice and other laboratory animals, leading to 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 drug).
When aspartame reaches 85 degrees (or higher), it breaks down into the above components. Since our average body temperature is 98.6 degrees, it takes about 10 minutes after ingestion for its toxic conversion to begin.
aspartame and disease
Many people believe that methanol toxicity produces symptoms similar to many dangerous diseases (see below) and have been misdiagnosed due to aspartame reactions.
dr Janet Hull, a nutritionist, says: “As a nutritionist, over ninety percent of my clients experience some form of aspartame-related health problem: weight gain, hair loss, serious medical conditions, eating disorders, mental disorders and fatigue. After cessation of use, health has returned to normal for some, Dr Hull claims “Eight out of ten of my clients have health symptoms that go away when they stop using aspartame.”
Aspartame side effects indicate your genetic individuality and physical weakness. It is important to realize what side effects (if any) aspartame will cause you. Side effects can occur immediately, develop gradually or be acute reactions.
If you are a frequent aspartame user, consuming large amounts of diet soda, sweetened coffee, or foods regularly made with this product, it may be worth considering changing your diet.
However, due to the amount of food that now contains aspartame, it’s important to also become an avid food label reader. NutraSweet, Equal, and Spoonful are common brand names for aspartame to look out for, in addition to “low calorie” and “diet” products.
Keep in mind that while many of the diseases associated with aspartame are not necessarily fatal, methanol toxicity is.
Aspartame has been linked to cause or mimic the following diseases:
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Chronic Fatigue
- Post Polio Syndrome
- Lyme disease
- Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Basedow’s disease
- Meniere’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
Aspartame and Diet – How Effective is it?
Although aspartame is marketed as a helpful weight-loss product, it can actually cause people to gain weight, according to the American Cancer Society. Why? This is because aspartame users often experience cravings for carbohydrates and sugar, which then lead to overeating.
In addition to this increased craving, the chemically altered sodium (salt) is believed to be stored in fat cells in the hips and thighs. Not exactly what dieters are looking for!
Common symptoms said to be associated with aspartame:
Some other side effects that may be associated with aspartame use that you should look out for include:
- Headache migraine
- loss of balance
- memory loss
- anxiety and panic attacks
- mood swings
- hard of hearing
- Speech problems (slurred speech)
- joint pain
- Muscle aches
- chest pain
- menstrual complications
If you are an avid aspartame user and have noticed any of the above issues or symptoms, it may help to eliminate aspartame from your diet and work with a health professional to see if any of your symptoms show improvement.
Since many doctors do not consider this product to be hazardous to health, it may prove beneficial to work with an alternative health professional, such as a naturopath, to determine if aspartame is a causative factor in your symptoms.
Here’s a list of common foods to look out for that may contain aspartame:
Jell-Os and Puddings, Frozen Food, Iced Tea, Crystal Light, Kool Aid, Cereal, Baked Goods, Hot Chocolate, Dried Fruit, Chewing Gum, Multivitamins (for kids and adults), Chewable Aspirin,… and these are just a few for starters.
Remember that there are thousands of foods made with this product in our grocery stores. So take a few minutes and start keeping track of the foods you may want to avoid if you’re looking to eliminate this chemical from your diet, and note any health changes or benefits.
Some sweet solutions to aspartame
If you want to sweeten your food, some of the most common healthy alternatives are: black molasses, stevia, honey, evaporated cane juice, fruit juice, rice syrup, small amounts of licorice root, and barley malt.
In addition to these articles, there are also several good resources for additional products that you can easily access.
When in doubt…see how YOU feel
I am not a doctor or a licensed health professional. However, having cured a so-called “terminal” disease (lupus) myself, I believe that we all have a personal responsibility for our own health and cannot rely on doctors alone. Even within the medical community, it’s common to see conflicting information about what we should and shouldn’t do when it comes to our health and what’s safe.
There is currently a strong movement demanding natural, healthy alternatives to food, treatment of diseases and lifestyle options that challenge the often inefficient and ineffective methods of the medical and pharmaceutical approach.
I hope you take it upon yourself to consider your own “aspartame” health test and see if you see any improvement in any condition or unwanted physical symptoms you may be experiencing in your own life. What matters most are “results” that can impact the future of your health.
Thanks to Stacey Becker