Aspartame the silent killer?
I don't really know ... but I lean toward the possibility because of my own experience and a lot of data from people with like stories.
Is there a conspiricy to hide the truth?
I was introduced to aspartame before it hit the market. One of my clients was a scientist who helped develop the product and in the beginning at least he was not aware of the problems it could cause.
When cyclamates were removed from the market we were all at a loss for a replacement sweetener that tasted good. Aspartame seemed to be the solution. Of course I immediately started using Nutrasweet. After about 15 years a chiropractor gave me a page with possible side effects ... I was stunned that this one product might be the cause of my declining health. I had been to various doctors who did thousands of dollars in testing but could find nothing wrong. I immediately gave up the product and went back to plain old sugar ... it is 6 years later ... for the most part my headaches are gone ... the joint aches are better but my sciatic nerve is inflamed and the only thing the neurologist can come up with is possible exposure to some toxin in the environment. That was quite an innovative diagnosis I thought since most doctors have to have a physical reason or none. The outcome was I have to just live with it ... so I do.
Hopefully with time this will wear out or off.
In the meantime all any of us can do is spread the word and hope others will listen ... the consumer is the only one who will eventually put a stop by refusing to purchase the product. Aspartame is to big a business for it to be willingly given up and the powers that be certainly are not going to cut off their money kickback supply to stop it ... and the public trusts that the government would not allow a harmful product to be produced and sold to the public.
It looks like sugar, tastes like sugar (so I'm told), even feels like sugar. But it has virtually no calories, doesn't rot your teeth and, unlike saccharin, has not been proven to cause cancer. The advertisements say it's as "natural" as a glass of milk and a banana I always say if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
NutraSweet, the trade name for the sweetener aspartame, was developed by the B. D. Searle pharmaceutical company and is now consumed by more than 100 million persons in the United States several times daily. Searle's $100 million per year advertising campaign, the largest ever for a food ingredient, is clearly paying for itself and a whole lot more. During 1986, aspartame grossed more than $750 million for the pharmaceutical company.
Food manufacturers have switched from sugar to aspartame in unprecedented numbers. This food additive, marketed as a food, is now found in over 1200 products, including everything from baked goods and breakfast cereals to children'a vitamins, laxatives and drugs. In fact, it's hard to find a packaged product that doesn't contain aspartame. But nowhere is the artificial sweetener more visible than in cans of diet soft drinks.
With the introduction of NutraSweet, consumers began drinking as much as six times more diet drinks. In 1985, 800 million pounds of aspartame soft drinks were consumed. That translates to 5.8 pounds per person, a figure which has probably doubled by now. Sales of diet sodas grew five times faster in 1988 than those of regular sodas, with two million American households switching.
Why are so many people drinking so many aspartame-sweetened drinks? Partly because tap water is unhealthy, but mainly because sugars are addictive and because aspartame creates an increased thirst.
NutraSweet is a synthetic chemical additive. It is not a "natural" product derived from banana plants or cows as implied by TV commercials. Rather, it is a man-made substance composed of three ingredients which are natural, but are never found together in nature in such a combination.
It is composed of two amino acids, phenylalanine and aspartic acid, as well as methyl alcohol, also known an methanol.
During the early 1970s Searle submitted the results of more than 100 tests which persuaded the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) that aspartame was safe. However, during the FDA's approval deliberations, several scientists, more notably Dr. Richard Wurtman, a professor of neuroendocrinology at MIT, raised serious questions about the sweetener's safety. As a result, the agency created a public board of inquiry to audit the Searle tests. The board, headed by Walls Nauta, a professor of psychology and brain science at MIT, recommended against approving NutraSweet.
In recommending against approval, the board said Searle's studies were scientifically deficient and did not demonstrate reasonable safety.
NutraSweet in the Body
After entering the body, the components of aspartame are rapidly released into the blood stream. Methanol, a deadly metabolic poison, is apparently the first to be separated.
Rarely found in its free form, methyl alcohol is usually derived or produced from other substances. It can cause serious tissue damage, including blindness, and even death. One of the reasons methanol is so toxic is became the body lacks the necessary enzymes to detoxify it. Its rate of elimination is five times slower than a similar amount of ethyl alcohol, as found in whiskey, beer and wine. For aspartame to be eliminated at all, the body must first convert it to formaldehyde, then to formic acid and ultimately to carbon dioxide.
One 12 ounce can of most aspartame-sweetened soft drinks contains about 10 mg of methanol. The amount of methanol ingested by heavy consumers of NutraSweet could easily exceed 100 mg daily, 13 times the limit recommended by the EPA
The NutraSweet ingredient phenylalanine, is known to be toxic to the brain in large doses. The amino acid can cause mental retardation and seizures in people with phenylketonuria (PKU), a genetic disorder. But their numbers are relatively small (about I in 15,000) and most are careful to avoid phenylalanine. The problem, according to Dr. Wurtman, is the rest of us.
An estimated two percent of the U.S. population, or about 4.5 million people, have one of the two genes necessary for PKU. They do not develop the disease, but may be sensitive to phenylalanine. Unfortunately, there is no test for the one gene condition.
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The Dorway ... This website is pretty comprehensive on information at hand to date.
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