“Despite approval by the federal Food and Drug Administration as a sweetener, Aspartame continues to be the focus of serious health concerns raised by many people.”
What is Aspartame?
A very sweet substance used as an artificial sweetener. Aspartame is a synthetic chemical composed of the amino acids phenylalanine and aspartic acid.
Aspartame is the generic name for “NutraSweet”, which is owned by Monsanto Corp. FDA okayed Aspartame for limited food use in the early l980s. In June 1996, FDA sanctioned use of Aspartame in thousands of food products. Aspartame consists of three components: 50% phenylalanine (a chemical which transmits impulses in the human brain), 40% aspartic acid and 10% methanol (wood alcohol-a poison).
What Foods Contain Aspartame?
These food products listed below contain the ingredient Aspartame
- Breath Mints
- Chewing Gum
- Coffee Creamers
- Flavored Water
- Frozen Ice
- Frozen Ice Cream
- Fruit Spreads
- Gelatin, Sugar Free
- Hard Candies
- Ice Cream Toppings
- Ice Cream, Sugar Free
- Iced Tea, Powder
- Iced Tea, Ready To Drink
- Instant Cocoa Mix
- Jams and Jellies
- Juice Blends
- Juice Drinks
- Maple Syrups
- Diet Sodas
- Nutritional Bars
- Powdered Soft Drinks
- Protein Nutritional Drinks
- Sugar Free Cookies
- Table Top Sweeteners
- Vegetable Drinks
- Yogurt, Drinkable
- Yogurt, Fat Free
- Yogurt, Sugar Free
How Aspartame Harms Health
Each time you drink a diet soda or chew sugarless gum, you are feeding unhealthy doses of the amino acids contained in Aspartame into your system, according to Dr. James Howenstine in A Physicians Guide to Natural Health Products that Work. These amino acids can bypass the blood-brain barrier, allowing them both to directly alter your neurological function. The human brain naturally contains phenylalanine, but phenylalanine in its solitary form without its companion amino acids isn’t normally a part of the human diet. Debra Lynn Dadd, author of Home Safe Home, believes this is where the health problems brought on by aspartame begin. Consuming Aspartame provides phenylalanine in excess of your brain’s normal level. According to James A. May in Miracle of Stevia, this state of excess phenylalanine lowers the seizure threshold, thereby making convulsions more likely.
Researchers know that a rise in brain phenylalanine levels ultimately increases the risk of seizures. This is true even for those without a history of non-aspartame induced seizures, such as the Air Force pilot who testified in the 1987 hearing. However, researchers are still debating the exact role of increased brain phenylalanine levels in inducing seizures. Even though many researchers believe that increased brain phenylalanine levels have a direct cause for seizures and convulsions, Dr. Blaylock writes in Excitotoxins that it is “more likely … the direct excitatory effect of the aspartate itself. Phenylalanine may act to potentiate this irritability.” Regardless of the approach, the combined neurological effects of excess phenylalanine and aspartic acid make aspartame a very dangerous ingredient.
Rules Of Thumb
- Always read your ingredient labels before you purchase food products.
- If you aren’t sure if a product contains Aspartame, don’t be afraid to ask.
- If foods contain the words “Sugar Free” you can almost be certain the food product will contain the ingredient Aspartame or another artificial sweetener.
- Speak with your doctor/neurologist about your concerns regarding Aspartame.
- Avoid foods containing the ingredient Aspartame if you believe you are experiencing an increase in seizure activity.
See A Difference!
If you haven’t taken notice of the ingredients in the foods that you buy when you visit the grocery store, why not make a point to start reading the labels and be on the lookout for the word Aspartame. Perhaps, take a break from foods containing Aspartame if you don’t already and log any progress you might notice after a week, two weeks, even a month!
Questions For The Reader
- What are your thoughts on the ingredient Aspartame?
- Do you experience an increase in seizure activity when consuming foods containing the ingredient Aspartame?
- Have you ever stopped eating/drinking foods containing the ingredient Aspartame?
- Did you notice a decrease in seizure activity when cutting back on eating drinking foods containing the ingredient Aspartame?
- Would you give up eating/drinking foods containing the ingredient Aspartame?