By John Mericle M.D.
It's really hard to believe that something could be worse than the intense sugar loads from high fructose corn syrup and sucrose. But, Aspartame (Equal, Nutrasweet, Equal Measure, Spoonful, Canderal) is even more dangerous to your health.
Aspartame, was first discovered in 1965 when Searle chemist Jim Schlatter, who was developing this drug for another purpose, accidentally licked some from his finger and found it to be sweet tasting. The ingredients in aspartame are phenylalanine(50%), aspartic acid (40%) and methyl alcohol(10%).
Aspartame Approved by the FDA in January 1981
Even after about eight years of steadfast refusal by the FDA to approve this dangerous drug for human consumption, Searle tried one more time, the day after the inauguration of the President in 1981. The previous commissioner of the FDA had been "removed" and a new one installed. Despite an FDA agency investigation into this "approval by political triage," the drug has not been removed from the market and the investigation was, in essence, abandoned.
Why get embalmed before it is absolutely necessary?
Methyl alcohol, also known as "wood" alcohol breaks down in the body to formaldehyde and DKP (diketopiperazine). Formaldehyde, as many of you probably already know, is embalming solution and highly toxic to the central nervous system. Why get embalmed before it is absolutely necessary? Methyl alcohol causes blindness and if the dose is large enough, it can cause liver and kidney failure. DKP is a known carcinogen and causes brain tumors. According to the National Cancer Institute there has been a 10% increase in primary brain tumors since 1985. There has also been an increase in brain tumors in children whose mothers consumed aspartame throughout pregnancy.
Phenylalanine and Aspartic Acid
These are both amino acids that are normally supplied by the foods that we eat. However, when they are isolated and supplied in very high concentrations, they are toxic to the central nervous system causing headache, mental confusion and memory loss, balance problems and seizures. These ingredients have been classified as excitotoxins.
Excitotoxin damage usually takes weeks to months to years to become clinically apparent. Excitotoxins are also strong generators of free radicals thus accelerating aging of most organ systems, significantly the vascular system, immune system compromise inducing cancer and the musculo-skeletal system resulting in arthritis. Joint pain is one of the chief complaints of those with aspartame poisoning.
The Blood-Brain Barrier
Aspartame is especially dangerous to those who already have disease, the unborn and those less than one year old. Diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking and aging compromise the blood-brain barrier. This barrier in the fetus and neonate is not well developed. These groups are especially sensitive to the damaging effects of aspartame since the barrier that would keep the excitotoxins out of the brain is either compromised or not developed yet. No wonder birth defects are also associated with Aspartame.
Formaldehyde (besides embalming)
It is known that formaldehyde accumulates in the areas of the brain that correspond to the neurodegenerative symptoms of Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig's disease. Aspartame has also been shown to cause seizures in susceptible people, even with no prior history.
Aspartame and Pilots
When I was a Flight Surgeon in the Air Force we were always concerned about any alcohol ingestion 24 hours before flying. Now, pilots have to be concerned about aspartame ingestion before flying, since it can induce vertigo / disorientation and seizures. If you are flying commercial, hope that your pilot isn't drinking diet soda.
During the years of prohibition there were many cases of blindness due to consumption of methyl alcohol, since ethanol (the typical alcohol of most drinks, beers etc) was banned. Today we have an ophthalmologist in West Palm Beach, Florida Dr. H.J. Roberts, who has treated hundreds of aspartame victims. One quarter of his patients have experienced blindness. According to Dr. Roberts "optic nerve swelling, retinal degeneration and visual impairment, that is associated with heavy aspartame use, is identical to the pathology observed in recorded cases of methanol toxicity from drinking wood alcohol throughout the days of prohibition." This gets especially problematic since the American Diabetic Association still recommends aspartame. What is frequently misdiagnosed as diabetic retinopathy is often aspartame retinopathy.
Below is a partial list of other diseases that aspartame toxicity can mimic or worsen. The list currently totals about 92 symptoms and diseases.
Lou Gehrig's disease
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Obesity ... yes, aspartame can actually cause weight gain.
Phenylketonuria is a rare inherited (genetically recessive) metabolic disease that can result in mental retardation and other neurological problems if treatment is not started in the first few weeks of life. The defect is either complete or partial absence of the enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase that metabolizes phenylalanine to tyrosine. In view of the fact that aspartame is 50% phenylalanine, it is an absolute contra-indication for anyone with PKU. Carriers for the trait are also at risk for problems with aspartame. There are over 100 different genetic mutations with enzyme activities from zero to normal. For more information on aspartame and phenylketonuria follow the link below:
Michael J. Fox, Aspartame and Parkinson's Disease (or) "Diet Pepsi Rots Your Brain"
Michael J. Fox developed Parkinson's at age 30. He was at one time a spokesman for Diet Pepsi and was known to be addicted to Diet Pepsi. Follow the link below for more on this:
To see a very interesting movie about "political triage" and the eventual "approval" of aspartame by the FDA follow the link below:
For more on the dangers of aspartame follow the links below:
Today's Health Tip
Avoid aspartame completely. If you must drink sodas, you are better off to drink the non-diet variety. It is much easier to lose a few pounds of fat, than be treated for a brain tumor, Parkinson's disease or blindness.
Read labels very carefully. Aspartame is in, at last count, over 7000 foods, beverages including beer, sports nutrition drinks and bars and even vitamins.
If you are going to drink diet sodas, make sure to keep them cool, as the breakdown of aspartame (which proceeds unchecked even still in the can) is temperature and age dependant. The higher the ambient (storage) temperature, the more methyl alcohol and formaldehyde will be present in your soda. Also, the older the can of aspartame laden diet soda, the more methyl alcohol and formaldehyde will be present in the can.