Aspartame: Not For Me – Epilepsy Awareness

What is Aspartame?

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener used as a sugar substitute in some foods and beverages.

Over a billion people consume aspartame in their foods and beverages across the world, believing it to be a safe ingredient, but what they probably don’t know is that aspartame currently accounts for over 75% of all side effects complaints received by the FDA’s Adverse Reaction Monitoring System (ARMS). It is banned by health-conscious countries all over the world, especially where there is a national healthcare system in place.

Foods containing Aspartame

  • Soft Drinks – Flavored syrups for coffee, powdered soft drinks, juice and vegetable drinks, sweetened ice tea, flavored water products and protein nutritional drinks often contain aspartame
  • Candy and Gum – hard candies, chewing gum, breath mints, soft candy chews and other sweets
  • Yogurt – Yogurt made with nonfat or low-fat milk is often accompanied by no- or low-calorie artificial sweeteners such as aspartame
  • Desserts – Ice cream, frozen ice, ice cream novelties and toppings, sugar free cookies, mousse and no sugar added pies all contain aspartame
  • Condiments – Certain products such as fruit spreads, maple syrup, barbecue sauce, jams, jellies, sugar free chocolate syrup and ketchup

Aspartame Dangers & Side Effects

  • Headaches/migraines
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Numbness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Tachycardia
  • Vision problems
  • Heart palpitations
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Breathing problems
  • Vertigo
  • Memory loss

According to researchers and physicians studying the adverse effects of aspartame, these chronic illnesses can be triggered or worsened by ingesting aspartame:

  • Brain tumors
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Birth defects
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Diabetes

My entire life, I consumed soda and sugary candies just like every child probably does. Dr. Pepper, Coke, gum, you name it! As I got older into my teenage years, I began to consume Energy Drinks to stay alert and energized during class. Once graduating school, beginning college courses and working a part time job I began to double the amount of energy drinks I consumed in preparing for exams and performing to the best of my ability at work. Unaware of the danger I was putting myself in. Yes of course, I felt the side effects of the caffeine high and the caffeine crash. The searing headaches and fatigue. However, I was oblivious to the contents of what I was putting into my body. At the time, Aspartame and Sugar Substitute dangers were not important enough to make publicly known I suppose. The information was out there and health organizations warned against the consumption but it wasn’t anywhere near as prevalent as it is today. When becoming diagnosed with Epilepsy in 2008, and in doing my research about my condition, I happened upon the topic of Aspartame and Sugar Substitutes. In my infancy of learning, I quickly gave up all soda and energy drinks. Opting for water and herbal tea. I began to also consume flavored water and if I needed a pick-me-up I consumed these 5-hour energy supplements. Again, unaware that even these products contained this dangerous substance. I became vigilant to discover every product that contained this substance. Frightening to discover there are mounds of products that contain this substance. Angered that companies were aware of the dangers and felt no need to let the public in on the fact.

“Aspartame is, by Far, the Most Dangerous Substance on the Market” – Mercola.com

I came to the conclusion that, bottom line, before purchasing anything, read the labels. Become vigilant in knowing what is being put into your food and drink. Yes, now more than ever Aspartame, artificial sweeteners and dangerous substances are being talked about in the media but don’t expect companies to be entirely forthright in letting you know what they put in their products. Food and drink companies and certain health organizations have this sort of understanding if you will, that they are by law allowed to infuse a certain amount of these substances into their products so long as it meets standard guidelines. They do not need to disclose any of this information to the public. That option is purely and simply up to them. But of course, if they told the truth, they would lose consumers. It would hurt their business and that would be bad for them. In my opinion, what’s good for them can sometimes be bad for us as consumers. What’s bad for them can sometimes prove good for us as consumers as well.

Knowledge is power. Knowledge can keep you healthy and even potentially save your life. As for me, Aspartame is NOT for me.

I am a happily-ever-after wife, an Epilepsy Diagnosee, Advocate for Epilepsy Awareness (The Epilepsy Network), life lover & Christ inspired! Life is a journey and I'm loving every moment of it. Even the bumps in the road!

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