Is there anything wrong with ASPARTAME?
BY: DR. MELINA ROBERTS
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener used in most diet drinks, chewing gum, tabletop sweeteners, juices, yogurts and numerous products that claim to be “sugar-free”. It is one of the main sugar substitutes used by people with diabetes. It is considered a safe food additive for human consumption by Health Canada and the FDA.
Aspartame is a chemical therefore automatically the body sees it as a toxin. But the problems with aspartame goes beyond that. When aspartame is broken down it is converted into methanol and formaldehyde which is a poison and a neurotoxin, respectively. There are numerous studies that demonstrate aspartame is a safe food additive but there are also numerous studies that show negative effects of aspartame including disrupted metabolism and neurological disturbances.
One of the most concerning facts is that when aspartame is ingested, it is broken down into aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol then further broken down to formaldehyde and formic acid.
Aspartic acid is an amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. Aspartic acid is an “excitotoxin” meaning that it can stimulate the death of cells. If there is an excess of aspartic acid in the brain, it can kill certain neurons by causing an influx of calcium into the cell and this influx leads to the death of the cell.
Methanol, also known as wood alcohol, is a poison on its own. Symptoms from excess methanol in the body include headaches, ear buzzing, dizziness, nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances, weakness, vertigo, chills, memory lapses, numbness and shooting pains in the extremities, behavioural disturbances, and neuritis.
Methanol breaks down into formic acid and formaldehyde in the body. Formaldehyde on its own is a dangerous “neurotoxin” meaning it is toxic to neural cells. Formaldehyde is also a known carcinogenic, causes retinal damage, interferes with DNA replication and causes birth defects.
Common acute reactions to ingesting aspartame include headaches, migraines, nausea, abdominal pains, fatigue, sleep problems, vision problems, anxiety attacks. Long-term exposure to this substance are linked to various chronic neurological diseases including multiple sclerosis, ALS, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and brain lesions.
Aspartame is disguised under various names including NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, Equal-Measure. It is a problematic food additive and should be completely avoided in all forms.