What is aspartame? What do you know about it? Maybe not too much? There have been decades of debate about this product with results calling it completely harmless and other studies citing aspartame as one of the most toxic artificial food items on the market.
In this page, we'll bring some light to that question of "What is aspartame?" We'll list some of the products containing aspartame. We'll give you another list of possible dangers of this artificial additive. And we'll include a short video that ties much of this page together.
We'll also highlight the deceptive, (illegal?) path taken by aspartame manufacturers to get this cash machine on to the market.
It's an artificial sweetener found in many products. You may know it better as NutraSweet, Spoonful or Sweet One. It is used in place of sugar in many food items including gum and diet soda. In the next section, we'll give you a longer list of items containing this sweetener.
One doctor's direct explanation is "Aspartame is made up of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. The latter has been synthetically altered to carry a methyl group, which is responsible for aspartame’s sweet taste. The phenylalanine methyl bond, called methyl ester, allows the methyl group on the phenylalanine to easily break off and form methanol."
He continues, "In fruits and vegetables, methanol is bonded to a fiber called pectin that allows it to be safely passed through your digestive tract. However, in aspartame, methanol is not bonded into anything that can help eliminate it from your body.
Once inside your body, the methanol is converted by alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) enzyme into formaldehyde, which can wreak havoc on your DNA and sensitive proteins. All animals, except humans, possess the ability to break down methanol into formic acid."
There are roughly 6000 products containing aspartame. Many are included in the category of diet items or "sugar-free" options. Just below is a short list of some products containing aspartame.
* Instant breakfasts * Pharmaceuticals, (including over-the counter drugs)
* Breath mints * Shake mixes
* Cereals * Soft drinks
* Sugar-free gum * Artificial sweeteners
* Coffee drinks * Instant tea and coffee
* Juice drinks * Topping mixes
* Laxatives * Wine coolers
* Some multi vitamins * Yogurt
* Dairy products
The milk industry is seeking a way to hide it's own usage of these
sweeteners. They are asking the FDA to approve label changes that will
allow them to list these ingredients as "milk."
This is the same industry touting it's natural health benefits and how it "does a body good." Here is their argument in a nutshell.
* School age kids like sweet things better than non-sweet
* They will drink more milk if it is sweeter
* They might not drink anything labeled low fat
And here is one of their attempts at justifying this request to hide ingredients from labeling:
"Consumers can more easily identify the overall nutritional value of milk products that are flavored with non-nutritive sweeteners if the labels do not include such claims."
The FDA already allows milk producers to hide the fact that they add sugar and high fructose corn syrup to their products. Now they want to add another layer of deceit.
This plan is all about profits. Nothing else. As we learned from Dr. David Kessler's book, "The End Of Overeating," the food industry will go to any lengths to hook us on products that fatten their bottom line. Health benefits aren't factored into the equation. With an increase in the public awareness that leads to better understanding of labels, dairy milk sales are slumping.
The industry has dropped their claim of calcium benefits because they
are behind in that category. There are behind because of a better
option. At the end of this page I'll give you that better choice.
Part of the controversy surrounded the process of approval by the FDA. A producer of aspartame, G.D. Searle was accused of providing false safety data to the FDA. Eventually U.S. Attorney Sam Skinner was asked to open a grand jury investigation into the allegations of dishonesty.
However the United States attorney withdrew from the case because he was considering a job offer. He did take this new position. It was with the law office of none other than G.D. Searle. This caused the case to sit around until the statute of limitations expired.
The FDA commissioner in 1981, Arthur Hayes approved usage in dry foods. The howls of protest continued and in 1983 Mr. Hayes left the FDA for a job with a public relations firm as a medical adviser. Coincidentally, this firm was also used by none other than G.D. Searle.
The video in the block just below this paragraph sheds more light on this backroom dealing and also backs up the information that will follow about some dangers. What is aspartame? We know it is an end result of collusion between corporations and influence peddlers in Washington D.C. But is it also a health risk?
There are already independent tests indicating possible links from longer term aspartame consumption to brain tumors, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis, just to name a few.
The list of potential dangers of aspartame is both sobering and frightening. While the FDA and other government agencies continue to stand behind the artificial sweetener, too many independent studies are showing reasons for concern.
Here is a quote from Dr. Joseph Mercola. "A study funded by Monsanto to study possible birth defects caused by consuming aspartame was cut off after preliminary data showed damaging information about aspartame." This is hardly surprising given the dubious track record of the Monsanto conspiracy in the areas of honesty and concern for human health over corporate profits.
The U.S. Air Force and Navy both published extensive warning bulletins about this artificial sweetener. In this link you'll find their answer to "What is aspartame?" They consider it a danger to not only their pilots, but also back up the threat of birth defects.
A leading diabetes expert's research indicates the following list of aspartame dangers:
* Leads to the onset of clinical diabetes
* Leads to insulin resistance
* Causes convulsions
* "Leads to the aggravation of diabetic complications such as retinopathy, cataracts, neuropathy and gastroparesis"
Other possible dangers of aspartame include:
* Emotional disorders
* Brain cancer
* Weight gain
But I am certain of a slower health risk. That would be a danger of too much consumption. Sweeteners of all kinds cause us to crave more sweeteners. Sugar addiction is caused by consuming too much sugar. It signals our brain to seek more opportunities to get more sugar. It is the same with any artificial sweetener.
Almond milk benefits are clearly superior to dairy milk. Can you imagine the added health possibilities if unsweetened almond milk replaced dairy milk in our school lunchrooms? Even more important would be replacing dairy milk in our own homes. It starts there first.
Here is a chart that will show you why almond milk nutrition levels are so much better than dairy milk.
An interesting final twist to the Searle story is who eventually bought the company. Here is the news of that sale from the Chicago Tribune. Near the end of the column you'll see reports,even back then of possible health risks. Also, please note the name of the man very responsible for bringing this company into the stable of it's new owner.
It's also quite a coincidence that the corporation that stands for secrecy in ingredient content and fights against accurate labeling is the owner of an aspartame production company.
Pepsi was following the lead of other companies in dropping aspartame from it's product line. They weren't doing us any favors however. Sugar addiction is also a major health hazard.
Diet soda with aspartame is big business. Pepsi has decided it doesn't want to lose any of that cash, so aspartame is coming back into those cans of disease incubators.
As is the case in all matters of health, well being and personal responsibility, we must be our own best advocate. What is aspartame? We'd be well-advised to know the answer to that question. The real answer, not the one shoveled out by the corporate spin machines.
By being vocal, we can force positive change. Waiting for government intervention equals wasted time. There is too much corporate palm-greasing to bring about much action there. But our voices and our choices will bring about change.
Everyday we hear news about false research being used to rush products to market. Everyday we read about supposed government regulatory agencies looking the other way, while reaching back for a payoff.
If we don't stand for something, we'll fall for anything.