It never ceases to amaze me that so many people will use the artificial sweetener, aspartame. Mind you most people will not realise the danger I would guess…it’s also in SO many products consumed daily by MANY people and they don’t know the potential problems associated with this product…
Aspartame, more commonly known as NutraSweet or Equal, is one of the most toxic substances being consumed today. The artificial sweetener, currently used in over 4,000 products worldwide, entertains a sordid past and has been one of the most tested and debated food additives in the history of the FDA. While the manufacturer maintains that aspartame is not a danger to your health, the scientific studies don’t necessarily agree.
The Ingredients of Aspartame
Aspartate is a neurotransmitter in the brain, facilitating information from one neuron to another. Too much aspartate allows an influx of calcium into the brain cells, triggering an excessive amount of free radicals which kill the cells. Aspartate is referred to as an “excitotoxin” because of the nerve cell damage that it causes. Many chronic illnesses have been attributed to long term excitotoxin exposure, including multiple sclerosis, ALS, memory loss, hormonal problems, hearing loss, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, hypoglycemia, dementia, brain lesions and neuroendocrine disorders.
Phenylalanine is an amino acid normally found in the brain. Human testing has shown phenylalanine levels in the blood are increased significantly in those who chronically use aspartame. Excessive levels of phenylalanine in the brain can cause the levels of serotonin to decrease, which can lead to depression, schizophrenia and make one more susceptible to seizures.
By far, the most controversial ingredient in aspartame is methanol (aka wood alcohol). An EPA assessment of methanol states that it is “considered a cumulative poison due to the low rate of excretion once it is absorbed. In the body, methanol is oxidated to formaldehyde and formic acid; both of these metabolites are toxic.” This oxidation occurs when methanol reaches 86 degrees F (30 degrees C).
A product broken down from aspartate is a known carcinogen and causes retinal damage, birth defects and interferes with DNA replications. The EPA recommends a consumption limit of 7.8 mg/day. A 1 Liter aspartame sweetened beverage contains about 56 mg of methanol, seven times the EPA limit. The most common maladies related to methanol poisoning are vision problems including misty vision, progressive contraction of visual fields, blurring of vision, obscuration of vision, retinal damage and blindness.
Aspartame’s Dangers, Side Effects and FDA Approval Explained – Mercola (Opens in a New Window.)