Wednesday, June 05, 2013

What is Aspartame Disease? (Part 2)

Aspartame is a very sweet chemical, responsible for a host of health problems such as obesity, diabetes, MS, epilepsy, cancer, brain disorders, migraines, ADHD, etc.
Study Links Aspartame To Fast-Paced Decline in Kidney Function
June 2, 2013 by Arjun
A study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology determined that sugar sweetened soda increases the odds for kidney function decline. You can read the entire study
here. 3,318 women participated in the study for a number of years as they consumed diet soda that contained artificial sweeteners, most notably Aspartame. Two or more diet drinks a day led to a double risk in fast-paced kidney decline. The study was conducted by scientists from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that aspartame is linked to non-Hodgkin lymphoma and leukaemia. You can read the full study here, and we also wrote an article on it that you can read here.
The dangers of aspartame, like many other things have been prominent since its inception. If one actually does the research instead of simple believing the marketing, it’s not uncommon to come to the conclusion that at the very least Aspartame provides us no benefit and has great risks attached. There are other options available, so why bother with Aspartame? Below is an excerpt from a previously posted article on Collective Evolution. Similar to fluoride in our water, it’s evident of our lack of public knowledge that we still allow a tremendous amount of harmful additives and toxins into what we choose to consume. It’s clear that aspartame should not be used in foods, and if you’re wondering why it continues to be used, you can find out below.
It all starts in the mid 1960's with a company called G.D. Searle. One of their chemists accidentally creates aspartame while trying to create a cure for stomach ulcers. Searle decides to put aspartame through a testing process which eventually leads to its approval by the FDA. Not long after, serious health effects begin to arise and G.D. Searle comes under fire for their testing practices. It is revealed that the testing process of Aspartame was among the worst the investigators had ever seen and that in fact the product was unsafe for use. Aspartame triggers the first criminal investigation of a manufacturer put into place by the FDA in 1977. By 1980 the FDA bans aspartame from use after having 3 independent scientists study the sweetener. It was determined that one main health effects was that it had a high chance of inducing brain tumours. At this point it was clear that aspartame was not fit to be used in foods and banned is where it stayed, but not for long.
Early in 1981 Searle Chairman Donald Rumsfeld (who is a former Secretary of Defense.. surprise surprise) vowed to “call in his markers,” to get it approved. January 21, 1981, the day after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration, Searle took the steps to re-apply aspartame’s approval for use by the FDA. Ronald Reagans’ new FDA commissioner Arthur Hayes Hull, Jr., appointed a 5-person Scientific Commission to review the board of inquiry’s decision. It did not take long for the panel to decide 3-2 in favor of maintaining the ban of aspartame. Hull then decided to appoint a 6th member to the board, which created a tie in the voting, 3-3. Hull then decided to personally break the tie and approve aspartame for use. Hull later left the FDA under allegations of impropriety, served briefly as Provost at New York Medical College, and then took a position with Burston-Marsteller. Burstone-Marstella is the chief public relations firm for both Monsanto and GD Searle. Since that time he has never spoken publicly about aspartame.
It is clear to this point that if anything the safety of aspartame is incredibly shaky. It has already been through a process of being banned and without the illegitimate un-banning of the product, it would not be being used today. Makes you wonder how much corruption and money was involved with names like Rumsfeld, Reagan and Hull involved so heavily. In 1985, Monsanto decides to purchase the aspartame patent from G.D. Searle. Remember that Arthur Hull now had the connection to Monsanto. Monsanto did not seem too concerned with the past challenges and ugly image aspartame had based on its past. I personally find this comical as Monsanto’s products are banned in many countries and of all companies to buy the product they seem to fit best as they are champions of producing incredibly unsafe and untested products and making sure they stay in the market place.
Since then, aspartame has been under a lot of attack by scientists, doctors, chemists and consumers about it’s safety and neurotoxic properties. Piles of comprehensive studies have been completed that show aspartame is a cause for over 90 serious health problems such as cancer, leukemia, headaches, seizures, fibromyalgia, and epilepsy just to name a few. We have written several articles discussing various affects of aspartame.
Dairy industry wants to add Aspartame to milk
11 April 2013
The dairy industry is asking the Food and Drug Administration to allow it to add artificial sweeteners to some milk and dairy products. But it does not want to advertise ”reduced calories” in a prominent place on the label of the product.
The idea has been in the making for almost four years, but it is sparking national uproar this week
because the FDA is looking for the public’s input on the issue.
In an effort to reduce childhood obesity and boost milk sales, the International Diary Association (IDEA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) have petitioned the FDA to change the definition of Milk and 17 other dairy products, including sour cream, yogurt and half and half. The change, would allow the dairy industry to add aspartame and other artificial sweeteners to those products without including prominent labels for consumers.
“I think that is just horrible,” said Aileen Taketa of San Diego. “Something like that needs to be right on the front label so we know what is in the food we are consuming.”
“There’s a lot of stuff in our foods that they don’t tell us about,” said Richard Mazon of San Diego. “I don’t see what the big deal is.”
Artificial sweeteners would still have to be listed under the ingredients on the product.
The trade associations stress that the intention is not to add artificial sweeteners to all milk, it is mainly interested in adding it to flavored milks.
The petition states: “Studies have shown that school-age children are more likely to consume flavored milk over regular milk, so if the downward trend in milk consumption in schools is to be reversed, there needs to be better options available for lower-calorie flavored milk.”
But adding artificial sweetener in kids drinks is a hot button issue for many families.
“To me aspartame is poisonous,” said Kim Stead, a San Diego mother. “Adding that to help with Obesity is not the answer.”
Mazon believes adding artificial sweeteners to milk could help childhood obesity.
“If it’s gonna cut down on having chubby kids running around then I think it will be better,” Mazon said.
The FDA will accept online comments from the public about this issue until May 21, 2013.
Aspartame: The Real Story
by Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D.
Sugar is bad for you, right? It has calories and makes you fat. Therefore, anything that tastes sweet and doesn't have calories is preferable, because it won't make you fat. Right? That is the thinking that supports the widespread use of artificial sweeteners. Millions of people guzzle soft drinks sweetened with aspartame, the compound sold under the trade names Nutrasweet and Equal. This ingredient is found in all kinds of diet foods, in toothpaste, and sprinkled out of small packets into coffee and tea. It is sold worldwide. It is also associated with thousands of reports of adverse effects. Most of the information that follows was taken from the Aspartame Consumer Safety Network Fact Sheet, written by Lendon Smith, MD, former Network Physician at NBC-TV and well-known author and pediatrician.
Aspartame (the technical name is L-aspartyl-L-phenylalanyl-methyl-ester) is considered to be about 200 times sweeter than sugar. It is virtually calorie free. When ingested and metabolized, it breaks down into three substances:
phenylalanine (50%), one of the amino acids needed for the production of neurotransmitters essential to brain function. While this sounds OK, it is not: people with PKU (phenylketonuria) are missing the enzymes to break down this amino acid and may end up with an excess that causes brain damage. For susceptible people, phenylalanine will be neurotoxic and might cause seizures.
aspartic acid (40%), which can cause brain damage in fetuses
methanol (10%), an alcohol wich turns into formaldehyde, a known toxic substance used, among other things, as embalming fluid.

Early studies in the 1970's found that aspartic acid causes holes in the brains of mice. (I find this an interesting bit of information, in the light of current concerns with "spongiform encephalopathy," or mad cow disease, and Creuzfeld-Jacob disease, in all of which the brain becomes sponge-like with holes in it). Monkeys fed aspartame died or had grand mal seizures; however, these studies were not submitted to the FDA when approval for aspartame was requested. The request was approved by then FDA commissioner Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr., in 1981, after he overruled the Public Board of Inquiry's recommendation to ban this artificial sweetener. Two months before quitting the post, Hayes approved the use of aspartame in soft drinks, even though the National Soft Drink Association had warned the FDA that aspartame was breaking down in warm climates.
From the early ‘80's, consumer complaints began pouring into the FDA related to aspartame use. Among the symptoms reported are the following:
hearing loss
numbness and tingling of extremities
blurred vision
eye problems
memory loss
slurred speech
mild to suicidal depression
personality changes
violent episodes
mood changes
anxiety attacks
heart arrhythmia
edema or swelling
gastrointestinal disorders
skin lesions
muscle cramps
joint pains
menstrual irregularities
chest pain
increased appetite
Artificial sweeteners can increase appetite because as the sweet taste hits the mouth, a message is passed on to the body that carbohydrates are coming in; then the pancreas swings into action and sends insulin into the bloodstream. As there are no actual carbohydrates, the insulin lowers the blood sugar and appetite increases. In this manner, artificial sweeteners can contribute to hypoglycemia.
Scientific studies show mixed results; some find no increase effects on hyperactivity with aspartame, others find that individuals with mood disorders do react with headaches or increased number and severity of depressive symptoms. "Anecdotal reports" are simply people telling what happened to them; while the scientific community does not accept these as valid, sensible human beings might at least pay attention. Where there's smoke there's fire.
In addition to the above symptoms, aspartame use can mimic a number of autoimmune diseases. Betty Martini, founder of Mission Possible, an organization dedicated to spread information about problems with aspartame, found that methanol toxicity causes metabolic acidosis and mimics multiple sclerosis (MS). She lists the following symptoms as "aspartame disease": fibromyalgia, spasms, shooting pains, joint pains, depression, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, blurred vision, and memory loss. In addition to MS, aspartame may also either mimic or trigger the following illnesses:
chronic fatigue syndrome
post-polio syndrome
lyme disease
Meuniere disease
Alzheimer disease
Fortunately, most of these symptoms are reversible, and disappear once aspartame is discontinued.
This noxious substance, so ubiquitous in our commercial food supply, should be recalled by the FDA and retested as a drug. As it is not classified as a drug, the manufacturers are not obligated to monitor its adverse effects! Senator Howard Metzenbaum had written a bill warning pregnant women, infants and children against ingesting aspartame, on the suspicion of its relationship to seizures, changes in brain chemistry, and adverse neurological and behavioral symptoms; as is to be expected, the bill got killed. What I found really interesting is that the US Air Force has formally warned all pilots to refrain from consuming aspartame-sweetened diet drinks, as they found them linked to grand mal seizures, vertigo, heart disease, and suicidal depressions. Aspartame interferes with the production of the calming neurotransmitter serotonin. Isn't it really interesting that sales of the antidepressant Prozac, which encourages the production of serotonin, have gone through the roof in the last few years?
For further information, you can contact the following two organizations:
Aspartame Consumer Safety Network; Mary Nash Stoddard, Founder. P.O. Box 780634 - Dallas, TX 75378; tel. 214-352-4268. E-mail: Stoddard's book The Deadly Deception can be ordered by calling 1-800-969-6050.
Mission Possible International
9270 River Club Parkway
Duluth, Ga. 30097
770 242-2599 Voice
770 242-2596 FAX

Betty Martini, Founder.
Yahoo forum:
To sweeten your food without white sugar and without artificial sweeteners, stick to the real thing: fruit both fresh and dry, juices, maple syrup, grain malts. Yes, they do have calories like normal food does, but they will not fool and confuse your body, and won't put you at risk for autoimmune or neurological disorders.
If you really like drinking sweet fizzy drinks, here is a simple recipe:

Apple Mint Fizz
1/3 cup unfiltered apple juice
1/3 cup cold mint tea
1/3 cup seltzer water
Mix and enjoy at room temperature or over ice,
with a slice of lemon if you like. You can make all kinds
of variations on this recipe with juices, teas, and seltzer water.

Aspartame Associated with Increased Risk of Blood Cancers in Long-Term Human Study By Dr. Mercola
November 07, 2012
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener used in diet soda and over 6,000 other sugar-free or "diet" products. New research linking aspartame to cancer in some individuals has sparked a flurry of commentary, including an "apology" from Brigham and Women's Hospital, a Harvard University teaching facility, for promoting the results.
I first found out about the study when ABC News contacted me and requested that I provide them with a comprehensive analysis of this 40-page study within an hour. Fortunately, I have extensively reviewed this topic and was able to provide their requested review.
Funding was provided by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
The Harvard hospital originally sent out a press release with the headline: "The truth isn't sweet when it comes to artificial sweeteners." Alas, just half an hour before the release of the study, the hospital suddenly got cold feet, issuing the following statement:
"Upon review of the findings, the consensus of our scientific leaders is that the data is weak, and that BWH Media Relations was premature in the promotion of this work. We apologize for the time you have invested in this story."
According to Erin McDonough, senior vice president of communication and public affairs, this was "the first time something like this had ever happened in her 25 years of working in media relations."
NBC News stated:
"Not all science deserves publicity. Some is not done well. Some comes to equivocal conclusions and serves solely to alert other researchers of the need for further study. The research... about a potential cancer from aspartame falls squarely in that second category. If such a study does get attention, it can often increase the confusion and anger that many people feel about science in general – and the study of possible risks and benefits of our diet, in particular."
None of this surprises me. After all, can you imagine the liability the food and beverage industries, not to mention virtually every public health agency in the US, would face were there convincing evidence that aspartame is carcinogenic? They simply cannot afford such evidence to be accepted.
But make no mistake about it, this study is of great importance because it's the most comprehensive and longest human study — spanning 22 years — that has ever looked at aspartame toxicity. The study evaluates the effect between aspartame intake and cancer, and they found a clear association between aspartame consumption and non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and leukemia.

Ignoring First Long-Term Human Study Would Be a MAJOR Mistake
This is the first large-scale observational human study to report an association between aspartame consumption and blood cancers. The long-term nature of this study is really crucial because one of the primary tricks companies use to hide the toxicity of their products is short-term tests.
As the study mentions, the longest study prior to this one was only four and half months, far too short to reveal any toxicity from chronic exposure. Unfortunately, because there are so many of these short-term trials, they get away with saying that aspartame is one of the most studied food additives ever made and no health concerns have ever been discovered. The beverage industry was quick to respond to the study saying aspartame has been "deemed safe for decades by the world's leading toxicologists."
Well, they simply didn't look long enough! But the average person does not realize that all those industry-funded studies were so pathetically short, and the media doesn't inform them of this fact either. Hence, people are easily misled.
A number of animal studies have clearly documented the association between aspartame and cancer, as the study points out. But what most researchers do not appreciate is that humans are the only animals that do NOT have the protective mechanism to compensate for methanol toxicity. So evaluating methanol toxicity in animals is a flawed model for testing human toxicity.
This is due to alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH). In humans, methanol is allowed to be transported in the body to susceptible tissues where this enzyme, ADH, then converts it to formaldehyde, which damages protein and DNA that lead to the increased risk of cancer and autoimmune disease.
Interestingly, the previous AARP Diet and Health Study, which did not find an association with aspartame and cancer, used fruit juice as the control. Most are unaware that canned or bottled fruit juice is loaded with methanol that dissociates from the pectin over time and can actually cause similar problems as aspartame. This does not occur in freshly consumed fruits and vegetables, only ones that are bottled or canned. Hence no major difference could be discerned between the aspartame and the control group.
Why Was Aspartame More Toxic in Men than Women?
The health statistics for nearly 48,000 men and over 77,000 women over the age of 20 were reviewed for the featured study. They found that men who consumed more than one diet soda per day had an increased risk of developing multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Interestingly enough, this association was not found in women.
Leukemia was associated with diet soda intake in both sexes.
One hypothesis for the difference between the sexes is that men have a higher activity of the enzyme ADH, as I mentioned earlier, which metabolizes methanol and converts it to formaldehyde. More formaldehyde circulating in your blood would naturally have more opportunity to cause greater damage.
While the findings from this study add credible evidence that consuming aspartame over a long period of time can pose significant health risks, it also demonstrates that our understanding of the precise mechanism of harm is still lacking and needs to be investigated further, as it's unclear why the women in this study didn't experience the same increased rates of cancer.
It's possible that there is some hormonally mediated protection against the adverse effects of aspartame in women, in addition to men having higher ADH activity, but the study was not designed to answer that question.
All in all however, I believe the study offers significant supporting evidence of the danger that "diet" drinks and foods pose. Many have indeed been injured by aspartame — there are more adverse reports to the FDA on aspartame than all other food additives combined. It's also widely known how massive industry and government collusion at the FDA was ultimately responsible for its approval after it failed to be approved for many years.
Although the authors' summary conclusion mentions they do not rule out the possibility of chance for this association, it's worth noting that this is because they could not offer a conclusive explanation for the difference between the sexes.
I carefully reviewed this study in its entirety, and found it to be extremely well executed. While the mechanism responsible for the difference between the sexes for certain cancers need to be studied further, a biological mechanism for cancer from aspartame does exist, which I'll review in a moment. Furthermore, it was the reviewers of the study that pushed back during the editing process, insisting that it should be made clear that chance was a plausible explanation for the findings.
Lead researcher Eva Schernhammer, MD, DrPH stated in the original press release (which has since been removed):

"The sex difference we observed deserves consideration. There are many possible explanations in this, one being chance, however these differences could be related to a yet-to-be-discovered risk factor for lymphoma and leukemia, which are associated with soda consumption in men, but not women." Methyl Alcohol — The Root of the Problem with Aspartame
Aspartame is primarily made up of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. The phenylalanine has been synthetically modified to carry a methyl group, which provides the majority of the sweetness. That phenylalanine methyl bond, called a methyl ester, is very weak, which allows the methyl group on the phenylalanine to easily break off and form methanol. This is in sharp contrast to naturally-occurring methanol found in certain fruits and vegetables, where it is firmly bonded to pectin, allowing the methanol to be safely passed through your digestive tract.
If the methyl alcohol is broken off from the phenylalanine, as easily happens when drinks sweetened with it are exposed to higher temperatures, it no longer tastes sweet. This is precisely what happened to most of the diet soda sent to the Middle East for US troops. They received non-sweet sodas that were loaded with dangerous levels of methanol, which can be toxic when it's in this already broken down state.
Methanol acts as a Trojan horse; it's carried into susceptible tissues in your body, like your brain and bone marrow, where the ADH enzyme converts it into formaldehyde, which wreaks havoc with sensitive proteins and DNA. All other animals, on the other hand, have a protective mechanism that allows methanol to be broken down into harmless formic acid...
According to aspartame expert Dr. Woodrow Monte, there's a major biochemical problem with methanol in humans, because of the difference in how it's metabolized, compared to all other animals. This is why toxicology testing on animals is a flawed model. It doesn't fully apply to humans.
Both animals and humans have small structures called peroxisomes in each cell. There are a couple of hundred in every cell of your body, which are designed to detoxify a variety of chemicals. Peroxisome contains catalase, which help detoxify methanol. Other chemicals in the peroxisome convert the formaldehyde to formic acid, which is harmless, but this last step occurs only in animals.
When methanol enters the peroxisome of every animal except humans, it gets into that mechanism. Humans do have the same number of peroxisomes in comparable cells as animals, but human peroxisomes cannot convert the toxic formaldehyde into harmless formic acid.
So again, to recap: In humans, the methyl alcohol travels through your blood vessels into sensitive areas, such as your brain, that are loaded with alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), which converts methanol to formaldehyde, and since there's no catalase present, the formaldehyde is free to cause enormous damage in your tissues.

Saccharin and Aspartame Cause Greater Weight Gain than Sugar
In related news, a study published on October 19 in the journal Appetite, found that compared with sucrose (regular table sugar), saccharin and aspartame caused greater weight gain in adult rats, and this weight gain was unrelated to caloric intake. The underlying mechanism was not determined.
However, a number of studies have already shown that consuming artificial sweeteners breaks the connection between a sweet sensation and a high-calorie food, thereby changing your body's ability to regulate intake naturally. In a similar 2008 study, rats that ate yogurt sweetened with an artificial sweetener consumed more calories, gained more weight, and put on more body fat than rats that ate yogurt sweetened with sugar. Other studies, too, have shown that eating artificial sweeteners might hinder your body's ability to estimate calorie intake, thus boosting your inclination to overindulge.
The fact that aspartame is NOT a dieter's best friend has been known by scientists for some time. The problem is this news has not received the necessary traction in the media...
For example, a study from 1986, which included nearly 80,000 women, found that those who used artificial sweeteners were significantly more likely than non-users to gain weight over time, regardless of initial weight. According to the authors, the results "were not explicable by differences in food consumption patterns," and concluded that:
" The data do not support the hypothesis that long-term artificial sweetener use either helps weight loss or prevents weight gain."

Another more recent study with the telling title of Gain Weight by "Going Diet?" Artificial Sweeteners and the Neurobiology of Sugar Cravings, published in 2010, found that epidemiologic data suggest artificially sweetened foods and beverages do not reduce weight. Quite the contrary:
"Several large scale prospective cohort studies found positive correlation between artificial sweetener use and weight gain. The San Antonio Heart Study examined 3,682 adults over a seven- to eight-year period in the 1980s.
When matched for initial body mass index (BMI), gender, ethnicity, and diet, drinkers of artificially sweetened beverages consistently had higher BMIs at the follow-up, with dose dependence on the amount of consumption... Saccharin use was also associated with eight-year weight gain in 31,940 women from the Nurses' Health Study conducted in the 1970s.
Similar observations have been reported in children.
A two-year prospective study involving 166 school children found that increased diet soda consumption was associated with higher BMI Z-scores at follow-up, indicating weight gain. The Growing Up Today Study, involving 11,654 children aged 9 to 14 also reported positive association between diet soda and weight gain for boys. For each daily serving of diet beverage, BMI increased by 0.16 kg/m2... A cross-sectional study looking at 3,111 children and youth found diet soda drinkers had significantly elevated BMI."

Are Your Health Problems Related to Artificial Sweeteners?
Many people belatedly realize they've been suffering reactions to one artificial sweetener or another. If you suspect an artificial sweetener might be to blame for a symptom you're having, a good way to help you weed out the culprit is to do an elimination challenge. It's easy to do, but you must read the ingredient labels for everything you put in your mouth to make sure you're avoiding ALL artificial sweeteners. To determine if you're having a reaction to artificial sweeteners, take the following steps: Eliminate all artificial sweeteners from your diet for two weeks.
After two weeks of being artificial sweetener-free, reintroduce your artificial sweetener of choice in a significant quantity (about three servings daily). Avoid other artificial sweeteners during this period.
Do this for one to three days and notice how you feel, especially as compared to when you were consuming no artificial sweeteners.
If you don't notice a difference in how you feel after re-introducing your primary artificial sweetener for a few days, it's a safe bet you're able to tolerate it acutely, meaning your body doesn't have an immediate, adverse response. However, this doesn't mean your health won't be damaged in the long run.
If you've been consuming more than one type of artificial sweetener, you can repeat steps 2 through 4 with the next one on your list.
Let me make it abundantly clear that even though you may not show immediate signs of any noticeable reaction after consuming artificial sweeteners, please don't make the mistake of telling yourself "they must be OK for me". I strongly urge you to avoid them at all costs. They are toxic to all humans and will not help you in any way, shape, or form.
Also, if you do experience side effects from aspartame, please report it to the FDA (if you live in the United States) without delay. It's easy to make a report — just go to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator page, find the phone number for your state, and make a call reporting your reaction. There's no telling just how many reports they might need to receive before taking another look at aspartame's safety and reconsidering their stance. But I CAN tell you, the more reports they get, the more likely that is to happen. So if you suspect you have experienced an adverse reaction from aspartame (or any other drug or food additive), please take a moment to make this important call.
Are there ANY Safe and Healthy Alternatives to Sugar?
The best strategy is to lower your use of sugar and eat right for your nutritional type and make sure you have enough high quality fats. Once your body has the proper fuel, your sweet cravings will radically diminish and you will be satisfied without them. If you still have cravings it is a strong suggestion you need to further refine your attempt to identify the right fuel for your body. My free Nutritional Plan can help you do this in a step by step fashion.
If you need a sweetener you could use stevia or Lo Han, both of which are safe natural sweeteners. Remember, if you struggle with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or extra weight, then you have insulin sensitivity issues and would benefit from avoiding ALL sweeteners.
If you're having trouble weaning yourself off soda, try Turbo Tapping. Turbo Tapping is a clever use of the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), specifically designed to resolve many aspects of an addiction in a concentrated period of time.
Also See:
What is Aspartame Disease?
(Part 1)
30 September 2012