Like cell phones, aspartame has never been fully evaluated for its long term impact on public health. Aspartame is an artificial sweetener used in more than 6,000 products worldwide, ranging from dental floss to childhood medications to regularly consumed foods such as so-called “diet” sodas. Many companies are now removing this chemical from products due to consumer demand and concerns. However, it is still found in many diet sodas, beverages, “light” yogurts, sugar-free desserts, gums and pharmaceuticals, and its presence is not always labeled. It is in “Equal” and the blue sweetener packets at your favorite coffee shop.
This artificial sweetener is made from the waste products from human excrement and are genetically modified E. coli bacteria. It has never been proven safe and its consumption results in your body’s exposure to known toxic substances such as formaldehyde and methanol. Aspartame is composed of about 40 percent aspartic acid, a free-form amino acid that has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. Aspartame is not only linked to cancer but also impacts our nervous system and imbalances in hormones and metabolism.
Center for Public Integrity: The Misinformation Industry: Food safety scientists have ties to Big Tobacco
10/2014 Scientists once again question the safety of aspartame: Artificial sweeteners found in diet soda and yoghurt, which are consumed by millions daily, can raise the blood sugar level instead of reducing it, according to a new study published by the scientific journal Nature.
RESEARCH ON ASPARTAME AND DIET SODA
Yang, Gain weight by “going diet?” Artificial sweeteners and the neurobiology of sugar cravings, Yale J Biol Med. 2010 Jun; 83(2): 101–108.
Fernanda de Matos Feijó et al., Saccharin and aspartame, compared with sucrose, induce greater weight gain in adult Wistar rats, at similar total caloric intake levels, Appetite, Volume 60, 1 January 2013, Pages 203–207
Sharon et al., Diet Soda Intake Is Associated with Long-Term Increases in Waist Circumference in a Biethnic Cohort of Older Adults: The San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging, J Am Geriatr Soc 63:708–715, 2015.
Schernhammer ES, Bertrand KA, Birmann BM, Sampson L, Willett WC, Feskanich D. Consumption of artificial sweetener- and sugar-containing soda and risk of lymphoma and leukemia in men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Dec;96(6):1419-28. Epub 2012 Oct 24. Erratum in: Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Aug;98(2):512.
Soffritti M, Belpoggi F, Tibaldi E, et al. Life-span exposure to low doses of aspartame beginning during prenatal life increases cancer effects in rats. Environ Health Perspect. 2007;115:1293-1297.
Olney JW. Farber NB, Spitznagel E, Robins LN. Increasing brain cancer rates: is there a link to aspartame? J Neuropathol Experimental Neurol. 1996:55:1115-1123.
J. Roberts, MD, FACP, FCCP, Aspartame Disease: A Possible Cause for Concomitant Graves’ Disease and Pulmonary Hypertension, Tex Heart Inst J. 2004; 31(1): 105.
DEVRA DAVIS PUBLISHED SCIENCE ON ASPARTAME
Davis DL, Ganter L, Weinkle J., Aspartame and incidence of brain malignancies, Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, May 2008 17; 1295
Huff J, Jacobson MF, Davis DL., The limits of two-year bioassay exposure regimens for identifying chemical carcinogens., Environ Health Perspect. 2008 Nov;116(11):1439-42. doi:
Letter to U.S. FDA commissioner. Questions about the safety of the artificial sweetener aspartame., Abdo KM, Camargo CA Jr, Davis D, Egilman D, Epstein SS, Froines J, Hattis D, Hooper K, Huff J, Infante PF, Jacobson MF, Teitelbaum DT, Tickner JA., Int J Occup Environ Health. 2007 Oct-Dec;13(4):449-50. No abstract available.
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA): Opinion of the Scientific Committee on aspartame
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA): Output of the public consultations on the draft opinion on aspartame
Phenylalanine is produced whenever aspartame is consumed. Phenylketonuria is a rare genetic disorder in which the body can’t break down phenylalanine, an amino acid found in many foods and aspartame. Phenylalanine buildup in the blood can prevent other essential chemicals (like amino acids) from getting to the brain. Unless phenylalanine intake is severely limited, children with PKU suffer from abnormal brain development.
PKU is usually detected in babies by a routine blood test shortly after birth. People with PKU must follow a phenylalanine-restricted diet. It’s important that people with PKU limit their intake of aspartame. That is why any product containing aspartame has the warning “Phenylketonurics: contains phenylalanine.”
- Ear Symptoms. Tinnitus or buzzing in the ear is a common symptom of aspartame poisoning. Intolerance to noises and notable hearing loss can also occur.
- Eye Symptoms. Aspartame can cause decreased vision, particularly night vision, blurring, tunnel vision and eye pain. People will also note decreased tears, trouble wearing contact lenses and even bulging eyes.
- Chest Symptoms. Breathlessness, elevated blood pressure and skipped or racing heartbeat are all symptoms of aspartame toxicity.
- Gastrointestinal Symptoms. People often experience an upset stomach, diarrhea (possibly bloody), abdominal pain and painful swallowing when using aspartame as a sweetener.
- Skin and Allergies. Hives and intense itching, lip or mouth swelling and worsening of asthma all can occur due to aspartame.
Diabetes control and increased weight are side effects of aspartame use. Others report hair loss, menstrual irregularity and severe premenstrual syndrome. Some may note marked weight loss and problems with low blood sugar.
Aspartame can cause or trigger the following neurologic conditions: memory loss, confusion, migraine, dizziness and unsteadiness, seizures, sever speech slurring, and chronic fatigue syndrome.