To say that the quality of food that we eat today is poor is an understatement. It is a scary thought to know that unless you are growing and butchering your food you have no idea what is actually in it. There are things from hormones, genetic modifications, additives, sugars and much more. After all of the processing and additives, it is scarcely food at all. The health crises in the United States should be alarming us that a change is needed, but it seems that it is the last thing our politicians are focused on. One of the most horrible things added to many of our foods from gum to soft drinks is aspartame.
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener in many of our products. Some of the items where you can find aspartame are soft drinks, yogurt, chewing gum, powdered beverage additives such as crystal light and (most appalling of all) children’s vitamins. While the FDA has labeled this product as safe, there are links to health issues such as cancer, ADD, and ADHD and is a known neurotoxin.
The three chemicals that make up aspartame are methanol, aspartic acid, and phenylalanine, which are all known neurotoxins. While all of these chemicals can be found naturally in food, the actual makeup of them are very different. In foods, these items are bound to proteins only allowing them to be released in small amounts or are bound to pectin that mediates the effects it has on the body. When these chemicals are bound to make aspartame, the bond is weak allowing them to be affected by things such as heat, liquids, and digestion. When aspartame is digested, it breaks the bonds of these chemicals releasing them into the body in large quantities. These chemicals then have free reign to over-excite brain cells, burning them out and killing them, this is called excitotoxicity. Excitotoxicity can have a long lasting effect on the body and lead to degenerative brain diseases.
Americans are consuming numerous products that contain aspartame, so it is no surprise that it can reach toxic levels in the body rather easily. Dr. HJ Roberts has noticed in his practice that he has more and more patients that suffer from aspartame toxicity. Dr. Roberts has recognized that his patients are suffering because toxicity often shows itself through central nervous system disorders. Upon prescribing that his patients remove all aspartame from their diets he noted that all of their symptoms disappeared as well. Roberts speculates that the so-called studies that the FDA has done on aspartame are all lab studies, most of which have been using animals who are fed a fixed diet. The trials have not taken into account the possible reactions of aspartame in humans for a lengthy amount of time or the possible reactions that it may have with other foods.
To hope that this artificial sweetener will be ruled as unsafe and taken off the market is a far stretch, but I believe that it will eventually happen. In the meantime, the focus is on educating the public of its debilitating effects and help spread the word about its risks. Jennifer Morreale