This post sort of follows on from the two-part
The second part of the article focused on the health effects of refined sugars, particularly fructose. On reading that post, a reaction of going ‘sugar-free’ would seem like a move in the right direction. Unfortunately, the opposite is true, and would be, in fact, stepping out of the frying pan and into the fire.
This article focuses on the two most widely used, Aspatame and Sucralose.
As mentioned, artificial sweeteners appear in many more foodstuffs than those classified as sugar-free.
Aspartame can be found in over 6,000 foods including:
– instant breakfasts
– breath mints
– sugar-free chewing gum
– cocoa mixes
– coffee beverages
– frozen desserts
– gelatin desserts
– juice beverages
– multivitamins (inc children’s multivitamins)
– milk drinks
– pharmaceuticals and supplements (including junior vitamins)
– shake mixes
– soft drinks
– tabletop sweeteners
– tea beverages
– instant teas and coffees
– topping mixes
– wine coolers
Aspartame is combination of chemicals, namely aspartic acid (an amino acid with excitatory effects on brain cells), methanol and phenylalanine.
When broken down by the body the phenylalanine in aspartame dissociates from the ester bond. While these amino acids are natural, they were never designed to be ingested as isolated amino acids in massive quantities, which in and of itself will cause complications.
Additionally this will also increase dopamine levels in your brain. This can lead to symptoms of depression and addiction because it distorts your serotonin/dopamine balance. Aspartame greatly lowers serotonin levels, and decreased brain serotonin has been associated with depression, anxiety, panic attacks, suicide attempts, hostility and psychopathic states, as well as hallucinations and insomnia. It can also lead to migraine headaches and brain tumors through a similar mechanism.
The aspartic acid in aspartame is a well-documented excitotoxin. Excitotoxins are usually amino acids, such as glutamate and aspartate. These special amino acids cause particular brain cells to become excessively excited, to the point that they die. Aspartic acid alters the manner of brain formation in newborn infants, permanently resulting in hyperactivity and behavioral changes in children.
Excitotoxins can also cause a loss of brain synapses and connecting fibers leading to general lead to neurodegeneration. Reported physical effects after long exposure to excitatory amino acid include Parkinson’s disease, brain lesions, neuroendocrine disorders and hypoglycemia to mention a few.
According to Professor Emeritus of Food Science and Nutrition at Arizona State University Dr. Woodrow C. Monte, every molecule of aspartame converts into a molecule of methanol when consumed. And in its dry form, aspartame is 11 percent methanol by weight.
“When humans consume low doses of methanol it is metabolized directly into formaldehyde which is a cancer producing agent of the same level of danger as asbestos and plutonium. Once methanol runs the gauntlet of first-pass metabolism, its detoxification is no longer exclusive to the liver. Methanol transports its potential to become formaldehyde past normal biological barriers in the brain and elsewhere that environmental formaldehyde itself cannot usually penetrate … [formaldehyde] can then be produced within the arteries and veins, heart, brain, lungs, breast, bone, and skin.”
This means that people who regularly consume “diet” foods and beverages laced with aspartame are taking in high amounts of a formaldehyde-producing, chemical poison that is drastically increasing their risk of developing chronic illnesses.
And if that wasn’t bad enough,
I’m afraid so, and not just any bacteria either, genetically modified E Coli! I’ll say that again; Aspartame is manufactured from the excrement of genetically modified E Coli.
The following is a 1981 patent for aspartame production,
Process for producing aspartame (Bahl, Rose, White)
1.) ‘Cloned microorganisms’ (genetically modified E. coli) are cultivated in tanks whose environments are tailored to help them thrive.
2.) The well-fed E. coli cultures defecate the proteins that contain the aspartic acid-phenylalanine amino acid segment needed to make aspartame.
3.) The proteins containing the Asp-Phe segments are ‘harvested’ (i.e. lab assistants collect the bacteria’s faeces).
4.) The faeces are then treated. This includes a process of methylation (adding an excess of the toxic alcohol, methanol, to the protected dipeptide).
It’s hard to believe such a chemical would be allowed into the food supply, but it was, and it has been wreaking silent havoc with people’s health for the past 30 years.The truth is, it should never have been released onto the market, and allowing it to remain in the food chain is seriously hurting people — no matter how many times it’s rebranded with new names. Aspartame is one product that has possibly harmed more people around the world than any other, from babies in the womb to the elderly in nursing homes.
Toxicity Effects of Aspartame Use
Selection of adverse effects from short-term and/or long-term use:
seizures and convulsions
migraines and severe headaches (trigger or tause from chronic intake)
memory loss (common toxicity effects)
slurring of speech
numbness or tingling of extremities
panic attacks (common aspartame toxicity reaction)
marked personality changes
rapid heart beat, tachycardia (another frequent reaction)
hypertension (high blood pressure)
nausea or vomitting
hives / urticaria
other allergic reactions
blood sugar control problems (e.g., hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia)
menstrual cramps and other menstraul problems or changes
impotency and sexual problems
hair loss / baldness or thinning of hair
burning urination & other urination problems
excessive thirst or excessive hunger
bloating, edema (fluid retention)
Aspartame Disease Mimmicks Symptoms or Worsens the Following Diseases
multiple sclerosis (MS)
multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS)
diabetes and diabetic Complications
chronic fatigue syndrome
lymphoma (including primary lymphoma of the brain)
attention deficit disorder (ADD and ADHD)
depression and other psychological disorders
Over 90 different symptoms, which many physicians refer to as “aspartame disease”, have been documented by the US FDA’s Adverse Reaction Monitoring System (ARMS) as a result of Aspartame consumption, over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives, with Inflammatory Bowel Disease being recently added to the list. It is banned by health-conscious countries all over the world, especially where there is a national healthcare system in place.
According to a study done in the United States in 2008 on a sample of 18,000 people consuming one or more artificially sweetened, “diet” drinks per day increased their risk of acquiring metabolic disorders by 30 to 40 percent.
A study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Nephrology in San Diego found that adult women who drink at least two diet sodas a day experience a 30 percent drop in kidney function over the course of a decade. Findings indicate that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose are the culprits in the rapid degeneration of glomerular filtration rates in the kidneys of those consuming excessive amounts of artificially-sweetened diet sodas.
Researchers from the University of Texas Health Center San Antonio reported in a study that, as a group, 70 percent of those who drank diet soft drinks gained weight as opposed to those who did not. Moreover, those who drank 2 or more diet sodas regularly experienced an increase in their waist circumference by 500 percent more than those who did not drink them.
Yet another experiment indicated aspartame is a multipotential carcinogenic agent, even at a daily dose of 20 mg/kg b.w. (milligrams per kilograms per body weight), much less than the current ADI (Average Daily Intake) for humans in Europe (40 mg/kg b.w.) and in the United States (50 mg/kg b.w.).
According to Dr. Betty Martini, aspartame is an “addictive, exitoneurotic, carcinogenic, genetically engineered drug and adjuvant that damages the mitochondria.”
Dr. Janet Hall, another famous advocate against aspartame, states that all artificial sweeteners create an artificial need for more sweetness. She goes on to add that forced sweetness, being a class of altered food, is a trap that cause people to become addicted to sweeter tasting food with no nutritional value.
This article (linked to for brevity) describes in clear detail the effect that deceiving the body with artificial sweeteners has on the body’s self-regulating mechanisms, which can lead to food cravings and overeating.
With all the above, which is at best a brief overview, why, one might ask, do regulatory bodies allow it into the foods supply of their countries?
The European Food Safety Authority concludes that the artificial sweetener is safe for human consumption at current acceptable daily intake levels. The Acceptable Daily Intake, or ADI, is an estimate of the amount of an additive that could be routinely consumed every day over a lifetime with no appreciable health risk. In the case of aspartame, the ADI is set at 40 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. This is equivalent to 2800 milligrams for an average British adult. For an average 3-year-old child the amount is of the order of 600 milligrams.
Following their review of the evidence in animal and human studies, the EFSA’s ANS Panel concluded that the current Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of 40 mg/kg of body weight per day is “protective for the general population,” with the exception of people suffering from PKU, who have to avoid phenylalanine.
Regarding evidence that aspartame causes cancer by damaging genes – for instance the study published in 2005 that found that aspartame causes cancer in rats at levels approved for humans – the panel ruled out this risk. It also concluded that the food additive does not harm the brain or nervous system, or affect behaviour or mental function in adults and children.
With the mountain of peer reviewed research that proves beyond doubt the harmful nature of aspartame, why the EFSA would approve it is open to speculation. A closer look at another regulatory body, the US Food & Drug Agency, might provide some idea.
The bottom line is that the FDA totally ignores the toxicity, carcinogenicity and neurodegenerative disabilities caused by aspartame, primarily because it has been co-opted by the very corporations it was set up to regulate.
The history of Aspartame.
How Aspartame was approved is a lesson in how chemical and pharmaceutical companies can manipulate government agencies such as the FDA, “bribe” organizations such as the American Dietetic Association, and flood the scientific community with flawed and fraudulent industry-sponsored studies funded by the makers of Aspartame.
Original approval of aspartame by the FDA involved questionable studies that were later investigated by the drug enforcement division of the Bureau of Foods. Prior to the approval of aspartame, the FDA sent two specialised teams to G.D. Searle and found a 95% level of misdirected testing; concealed tests, collusion between corporate and their company-funded research; inappropriate antemortum issues; withholding of material facts; alterations of records: lying to investigators, lost records, no records; falsification of reports, bribery, poor test methodology or design…et al. The FDA ignored both these reports and the slew of adverse event data that surfaced following aspartame’s approval.
In 1985, Monsanto purchased G.D. Searle, the chemical company that held the patent to aspartame, the active ingredient in NutraSweet. Monsanto was apparently untroubled by aspartame’s clouded past, including the report of a 1980 FDA Board of Inquiry, comprised of three independent scientists, which confirmed that it “might induce brain tumors.” The FDA had previously banned aspartame based on this finding.
Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president January 21, 1981. Rumsfeld, while still CEO at Searle, was part of Reagan’s transition team. This team hand-picked Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr. to be the new FDA commissioner. Dr. Hayes, a pharmacologist, had no previous experience with food additives before being appointed director of the FDA.
On January 21, 1981, the day after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration, Reagan issued an executive order eliminating the FDA commissioners’ authority to take action and Searle re-applied to the FDA for approval to use aspartame in food sweetener. Hayes, Reagan’s new FDA commissioner, appointed a 5-person Scientific Commission to review the board of inquiry’s decision. It soon became clear that the panel would uphold the ban by a 3-2 decision. So Hayes installed a sixth member on the commission, and the vote became deadlocked. He then personally broke the tie in aspartame’s favour.
One of Hayes’ first official acts as FDA chief was to approve the use of aspartame as an artificial sweetener in dry goods on July 18, 1981. In order to accomplish this feat, Hayes had to overlook the scuttled grand jury investigation of Searle, overcome the Bressler Report, ignore the PBOI’s recommendations and pretend aspartame did not chronically sicken and kill thousands of lab animals. Hayes left his post at the FDA in November, 1983, amid accusations that he was accepting corporate gifts for political favours. Just before leaving office in scandal, Hayes approved the use of aspartame in beverages. After Hayes left the FDA under allegations of impropriety, he served briefly as Provost at New York Medical College, and then took a position as a high-paid senior medical advisor with Burson-Marsteller, the chief public relations firm for both Monsanto and GD Searle. Since that time he has never spoken publicly about aspartame.
When Searle was absorbed by Monsanto in 1985, Donald Rumsfeld reportedly received a $12 million bonus. Also, while at Searle, Rumsfeld was awarded Outstanding CEO in the Pharmaceutical Industry from the Wall Street Transcript (1980) and Financial World (1981).Former White House Chief of Staff Rumsfeld owed a debt of gratitude to former White House confidante and friend Donald Kendal, Pepsi’s chairman. The Pepsi announcement and aggressive marketing (millions of gumballs, a red and white swirl, tough contracts) made NutraSweet known in every home.
It is important to realise that this type of revolving-door activity has been going on for decades. The Townsend Letter for Doctors (11/92) reported on a study revealing that 37 of 49 top FDA officials who left the FDA took positions with companies they had regulated. They also reported that over 150 FDA officials owned stock in drug companies they were assigned to manage.
In addition to the FDA Commissioner and two US Attorneys leaving to take positions with companies connected with G.D. Searle, four other FDA officials connected with the approval of Aspartame took positions connected with the NutraSweet industry between 1979 and 1982 including the Deputy FDA Commissioner, the Special Assistant to the FDA Commissioner, the Associate Director of the Bureau of Foods and Toxicology and the Attorney involved with the Public Board of Inquiry.
Many organisations and universities receive large sums of money from companies connected to the NutraSweet Association, a group of companies promoting the use of Aspartame . In January 1993, the American Dietetic Association received a US$75,000 grant from the NutraSweet Company. The American Dietetic Association has stated that the NutraSweet Company writes their “Facts” sheets.
Many other “independent” organisations and researchers receive large sums of money from the manufacturers of Aspartame . The American Diabetes Association has received a large amount of money from Nutrasweet, including money to run a cooking school in Chicago (presumably to teach diabetics how to use Nutrasweet in their cooking).
There’s a mountain of data available, some of it linked to below, but I’m sure you get the gist.
Perhaps Dr Betty Martin’s comment sums it up most succinctly, “Aspartame is a Pandora’s box of chameleon-like toxins and tumor agents that have 92 FDA acknowledged ways to ruin your life, death being one of them.”
Moving on then…
If you were told to ingest a biologically alien synthetic chemical whose presence on this planet did not predate 1976, and whose structure is only a few atoms away from the deadly pesticide DDT, and you knew that not only were there no long term human safety studies performed on it, but that it had been already proven in tests to have following adverse health effects:
· Shrunken thymus glands (up to 40% shrinkage)
· Enlarged liver and kidneys.
· Abnormal histopathological changes in spleen and thymus
· Increased cecal weight
· Reduced growth rate
· DNA Damage
· Adverse changes to gastrointestinal bacteria
· Abnormal Pelvic Mineralisation
· Decreased red blood cell count
· Hyperplasia of the pelvis
· Aborted pregnancy (Maternal & Fetal Toxicity)
· Decreased fetal body weights and placental weights
· Bowel inflammation/Crohn’s Disease
- · Increase glycosylation of hemoglobin (HbA1c) for diabetics
…would you still consume it? Of course not! And yet, millions of Americans (including children!) are doing exactly that by consuming Splenda. (Links to abstracts for studies that have shown some of the above can be found here)
Despite the intended insinuation, sucralose is not a form of sucrose (cane sugar). Sucralose/Splenda is produced through artificially substituting three hydroxyl groups (hydrogen + oxygen) with three chlorine atoms in the sugar (sucrose) molecule. Natural sugar is a hydrocarbon built around 12 carbon atoms. When transformed into Splenda it becomes a chlorocarbon, in the same family as deadly pesticides like DDT, insecticides, biocides, disinfectants like Chlorox Bleach, and WWI poison gas like dichlorourea.
The makers of sucralose/Splenda argue that this “remarkably stable” chemical passes unchanged into the urine and feces, when in fact, up to 11% to 27% is absorbed into the body. In fact, the varying degrees to which sucralose is absorbed is used as a marker for gut and intestinal permeability to determine certain disease states. Once absorbed, some portion of this chlorocarbon accumulates in the body (between 1.6% to 12.2%). What effects will these accumulated chemicals have? According to James Bowen, M.D:
“Any chlorocarbons not directly excreted from the body intact can cause immense damage to the processes of human metabolism and, eventually, our internal organs. The liver is a detoxification organ which deals with ingested poisons. Chlorocarbons damage the hepatocytes, the liver’s metabolic cells, and destroy them. In test animals Splenda produced swollen livers, as do all chlorocarbon poisons, and also calcified the kidneys of test animals in toxicity studies.”
Two articles citing the most compelling research are The Bitter Truth about Splenda and Splenda (Sucralose) Found to have Diabetes Promoting Effects. The former refers to its xenobiotic nature, i.e. its metabolically foreign chemical properties, and provides evidence that when the sensation of sweetness is disassociated from ‘food,’ i.e. a source of calories or nutrition, it is either unrecognizable by the body, or disrupts the body neuroendocrine system in an adverse manner.
The latter article focuses on the potential sucralose has to promote diabetic and /or pre-diabetic disease processes within the human body. The results delineated in the study point to just a single dose of sucralose resulting in increases in blood sugar concentration, increases in insulin levels and decreases in insulin sensitivity, all of which are possible pre-cursors to diabetes.
There is also the issue of sucrose producing cancer-causing dioxins and dioxin-like compounds when heated as in cooking, which its manufacturer actively encourages it to be used for. A number of reports from independent laboratories show that sucralose undergoes thermal degradation when heated and produces highly toxic chlorinated compounds.
Hopefully I don’t need to spend anymore time explaining how it is that such a toxic chemical with documented adverse effects could be approved for public consumption.
Links have been provided throughout and below to additional and supplementary data. These are provided as stand-alone data and as starting points for individual research.
It’s a oft-used axiom here in the Centre of the Psyclone, but time and again, it’s shown to be true:
Knowledge is Power –
Your Ignorance is Their Bliss
References and additional data