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Aspartame and phenylalanine, the extreme danger in your diet drink


Aspartame is a word we are all familiar with. We know it is in diet drinks, diet food and artificial sweeteners, but do we know what it is capable of? I didn’t until I researched this subject and I will never have a diet drink again. If you are allowing your children to have these drinks beware, you are probably risking their health. Aspartame is found in over 6,000 food and beverages, wow (in a bad way). To find out if aspartame is in the food or drink you are buying you will have to read the label.

Aspartame is made up of phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol. When these ingredients are broken down in the body they can produce harmful effects, in particular to those suffering from the genetic disorder phenylketonuria (PKU), infants, children, pregnant women and persons with certain chronic health problems including mental disorders, anxiety, diabetes and those taking certain medicines.

Numerous studies in rats over the years have concluded that it may cause brain tumours, leukaemia and other cancers.

Aspartame damages our health by significantly elevating glutamate and aspartate levels in the blood plasma which, in turn, infiltrates the blood brain barrier (there to protect our brains from toxins) and kills certain neurons by allowing too much calcium into the cells, causing brain damage. Numerous studies in rats over the years have concluded that it may cause brain tumours, leukaemia and other cancers and people have reported side effects from aspartame which include; nausea, dizziness, seizures, impaired brain function, headaches/migraines, fatigue, anxiety attacks, depression and asthma. Those with phenylketonuria are most at danger with the most serious side effect being death.

The even scarier thing about the tests on rats is that rats metabolise phenylalanine better than humans. It has been shown that excessive levels of phenylalanine in the brain can cause levels of serotonin to decrease, leading to emotional disorders such as depression. There have been many scientific studies which prove how dangerous this product is, however there are studies that say it is safe. So who do we believe? Well, look at who is doing the study as most of the studies that say aspartame is safe are funded by companies which sell products with aspartame.

There are many websites that tell us aspartame is safe, one I found was the Aspartame Information Centre which is run by the Calorie Control Centre, a representative for the low calorie food and beverage industry (they don’t sound very impartial do they). They state on their site that ‘a serve of no fat milk provides about 6 times more phenylalanine and 13 times more aspartic acid compared to the equivalent amount of low calorie diet beverage sweetened 100% by aspartame.” What they fail to say is that the amino acid phenylalanine, when combined with proteins as it is in nature, is not harmful to us. It is when this substance is isolated, as it is in diet products, that it becomes toxic.

The other toxic result from imbibing aspartame is one relating to the methanol ingredient. Methanol is actually a deadly poison which breaks down into formic acid and formaldehyde in the body. For those of us who aren’t sure, formaldehyde is a deadly neurotoxin and methanol is also considered a cumulative poison.

I don’t like scaremongering but it seems to me that this is a very important issue. I can’t believe these chemicals are approved for human consumption. There is a very interesting history into the approval of this product by the FDA in America with some of the people who originally approved the product ending up employed by one of the largest producers of aspartame, but that is another story. So, I’m going to take my health and that of my family’s into my own hands and ban aspartame and I’m hoping you do the same.

Other nasty facts about Aspartame:

  • Pregnant women and infants should specially avoid Aspartame as one out of 20,000 babies is born without the ability to metabolize phenylalanine, one of the two amino acids in Aspartame. It affects endocrine responses, i.e., elevated cortisol and prolactin, and differential responses between males and females. 
  • Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Many of these reactions are very serious including seizures and death.
  • A few of the 90 different documented symptoms listed in the report as being caused by aspartame include: Headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability, tachycardia, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain.
  • According to researchers and physicians studying the adverse effects of aspartame, the following chronic illnesses can be triggered or worsened by ingesting of aspartame: Brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, parkinson's disease, alzheimer's, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia, and diabetes.
  • One common complaint of persons suffering from the effect of aspartame is memory loss.

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Dionne Lister was born and raised in Sydney and apart from some minor overseas travel hasn’t moved anywhere else. She met her husband through surfing however has had no time for that lately because of her two young children, kindly bestowed upon her by said husband.

She is sensible and works to earn money, however loves writing in her spare time and wishes, as most creative people do, that she could earn her living from such a past-time. Dionne hopes her articles are informative and entertaining and would love some adoring fan-mail ;-)

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    Trish says:

    In Australia, most children's vitamin and mineral tablets contain Aspartame. Just about all chewable adult calcium supplements contain it too. This is just the tip of the iceberg I know, but it's easy to miss other ingredients in the search for the supplement you need.

    29th February 2012 . 11 years ago
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    Lynn says:

    Cool blog!

    25th February 2012 . 12 years ago
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    Meenebind says:

    I like the valuable information you provide in your articles. I'll bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently. I'm quite sure I'll learn many new stuff right here!

    21st December 2011 . 12 years ago
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    Magda says:

    Last one to ultiize this is a rotten egg!

    9th November 2011 . 12 years ago