Nutrasweet, Aspartame and Equal

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Nutrasweet (aka: Aspartame, Equal, AminoSweet, Canderel)

Did you know….Statistics and Facts about Nutrasweet (aka: Aspartame, Equal, AminoSweet, Canderel)

  • The FDA has received more complaints about adverse reactions to aspartame (Nutrasweet) than any other food ingredient in the agency’s history.
  • There are over 90 registered side effects to Nutrasweet.
  • Aspartame (Nutrasweet) is the combination of two amino acids (phenylalanine and aspartic acid) and methanol.
  • Nutrasweet products are especially dangerous when heated.
  • Did you know some toothpastes even have Nutrasweet in them?

Nutrasweet is NOT a NATURAL sweetener. Anyone trying feed you this line is deceiving you!

Aspartame is the combination of two amino acids (phenylalanine and aspartic acid) and methanol. Methanol is broken down into formaldehyde (a known carcinogen), formic acid (a poison excreted by ants and scorpions) and diketopiperazine (DKP, which causes brain tumors). This methanol production is hastened with heat. Hmm. wonder about the Gulf War Syndrome where pallets of pop sat in temperatures of 120 degrees for weeks and was consumed quite readily by all our troops. Methanol AND the off gassing of the plastic bottles—what a combination, huh? Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than sugar, seems to stimulate the appetite.

Who Should Avoid Nutrasweet? 

  • Aspartame (Nutrasweet) should be avoided by people with phenylketonuria (PKU). People with PKU lack the enzyme needed to convert phenylalanine into tyrosine, another amino acid. So, high concentrations of phenylalanine accumulate and can cause brain damage.
  • People with iron deficiencies and kidney disease may also have a problem breaking phenylalanine down. This seems to be validated in my practice. Many people test low in tyrosine. I wonder if they are balancing and correcting for the aspartame in their diets.
  • Depressed people: Most of these people suffer from various forms of depression. I usually send them home on tyrosine-rich foods such as sesame seeds, halvah, or tahini.
  • Children especially need to avoid Nutrasweet: We learned in veterinary school that aspartame should never be given to children under the age of 5 as their blood brain barriers are not fully developed. The aspartame molecule is quite large and normally does not pass through this barrier in older adults, but in children, DKP, a breakdown product of aspartame can cause brain tumors and paranoia. Personally, if I want an occasional soda, I drink full-sugared. I think it’s safer.
  • People with eye problems: Retinal degeneration is caused from the methyl alcohol produced when the amino acid breaks down. Retinal damage is attributed to methyl alcohol (wood alcohol) which is released when the aspartame is broken down or heated. Methanol is specifically toxic to the optic nerve. Remember those stories of prohibition when people were becoming blind who bootlegged whiskey that contained methanol? Methanol can also cause brain swelling, inflammation of the pancreas and of the heart muscle. Hmm, now diabetics already have problems with their eyes and memories. Seems like this would only make it worse.
  • Obese people: Studies show people actually eat more food when using artificial sweeteners. One study done with aspartame-sweetened and sucrose-sweetened soft drinks on food intake and appetite ratings showed that calorie intake was actually lower when subjects were drinking the sucrose-sweetened rinks prior to eating. The Congressional records state that a Dr. Roberts found that the formaldehyde seems to store in the hips and thighs area. How he figured this out, I don’t know. Seems like I see lots of women with heavy hips and thighs. Does the formaldehyde glom onto the fat cells or it is transported there because of estrogen influence, and does this occur more in women? I don’t have those answers. However, when Dr. Roberts got his patients off aspartame, they lost and average of 19 pounds over a 12-month period.
  • Migraine sufferers: I have noticed that the migraines associated with allergens (including Nutrasweet) can occur up to 36 hours after ingesting the offending substance.
  • People with neurological diseases: New studies coming out are linking Nutrasweet (aspartame) side effects to diseases looking like multiple sclerosis and other neurological diseases. It’s your choice. Will you gamble with your health and the health of your family?

Oh let’s face it. Who would want to have any of these problems if they knew they could prevent it! 

Diseases thought to be caused by Aspartame, Nutrasweet and Equal?

  • Alzheimer’s disease (Accelerates)
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Blindness
  • Brain damage in fetuses
  • Brain tumors
  • Cramps
  • Death (Occasionally)
  • Extreme dizziness
  • Fibromyalgia signs
  • Gulf War Syndrome- burning tongue
  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Hives
  • Immune dysfunction mimicking lupus
  • Insomnia
  • Joint pains
  • Memory loss
  • Migraine headaches
  • Mood changes
  • Multiple Sclerosis signs
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Neurological disorders
  • Numbness
  • Obesity
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Paranoia (esp. in kids <5 yrs)
  • PKU seizures (phenylketonuria)
  • Rage and violence
  • Retinal deterioration
  • Seizures—caused by PKU
  • Shooting pains
  • Skin lesions
  • Spasms
  • Throat swelling
  • Tinnitus
  • Vertigo
  • Vision changes
  • Vomiting

So, where is Nutrasweet (aspartame) hiding?

There are over 5000 products containing aspartame as of 1995, the time the World Environmental Conference and the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation met about aspartame and neurological symptoms. As a matter of fact, as of 1994, 6,888 cases of adverse reactions had been reported to the FDA and included 75% of all non-drug complaints.

Some Foods Containing Aspartame, Nutrasweet or Equal:

  • Baked goods
  • Breath mints
  • Cereals
  • Cocoa mixes
  • Coffee beverages
  • Frozen desserts
  • Gelatin desserts
  • Instant breakfasts
  • Instant teas and coffees
  • Juice beverages
  • Laxatives
  • Low fat diet food items
  • Low-sugar diet food items
  • Milk drinks
  • Multivitamins
  • Nonprescription pharmaceuticals
  • Shake mixes
  • Soft drinks
  • Sugar-free chewing gum
  • Tabletop sweeteners
  • Tea beverages
  • Tooth paste
  • Topping mixes
  • Wine coolers
  • Yogurt

Stories about Nutrasweet (Aspartame):

I once met the son of a couple that used to work in the aspartame lab developing the Nutrasweet product. He was telling us that his parents were let go for voicing their opinions. The company wanted to push the product through to marketing before the tests on its safety had been completed. He told us that his parents had pointed out that, if licensed, there should be a warning on the label never to use the product in things that would be heated because it was dangerous.

A Note on Sugar Substitutes And Sugar-Blocking Herbs:

Both Stevia and Splenda seem to be a much safer sugar substitutes. Shasta is putting Splenda in their diet sodas now, so if you drink diet sodas, switch to this brand. Stevia is many times sweeter than sugar. The herb grows well as an annual in most of the United States. The leaves can be harvested, dried and ground then used to sprinkle on foods. I find that stevia does have a bit of a strange aftertaste, but it is good for liver disorders and seems to have other positive medicinal properties.

Gymnema sylvestre– Gymnema is a sugar-blocking herb. It acts on sugar receptor sites in the small intestine preventing sugar from being absorbed. I guess this could be considered in the same category as Chitosan, which blocks fat from being absorbed into the intestines. Gymnema is a woody climbing plant grown in the tropical forests of central and southern India. It has been used in India for the treatment of diabetes for over 2000 years.

Gymnema comes in powder form, tincture, or tea form and can block up to 50% of the sugar going into the system. The use of Gymnema for adult-onset diabetes takes a while to help the body produce more insulin and work on those insulin resistance challenges. The suggested dose is 400mg per day used for up to 24 months. It cannot be used in the place of insulin. Work with a naturopath for best results. Take with GTF Chromium for best results. Studies have shown Gymnema also can lower cholesterol and triglycerides.

Note: Just as a rule of thumb for choosing herbs and supplements. The more symptoms and diseases you have that match with what the herb or supplement does, the better chance you have of being helped by that herb or supplement. Falling for supplements because you have read the literature and are convinced it will help with prevention? Well, that’s not a very good way to choose to incorporate a supplement into your program as far as I am concerned.

Helpful Links and References on Aspertame (Nutrasweet):