sweeteners fall into two categories. The bulk sweeteners, such as mannitol,
sorbitol, xylitol and hydrogenated glucose syrup, have approximately
the same calorific value as sugar and replace it in many processed foods,
but they are not so readily absorbed. The sugar alcohols, hydrogenated
glucose syrup and xylitol, actually help to prevent tooth decay. However,
any of these bulk sweeteners can cause diarrhoea if consumed in quantity.
Intense sweeteners, such as aspartame, acesulfame K and saccharin, provide
virtually no calories and are mainly used in diet products.
It is these intense sweeteners that have produced worrying adverse reactions
and are cause for concern.
Aspartame sugar substitutes cause worrying symptoms from memory loss
to brain tumours. But despite US FDA approval as a ‘safe’
additive, aspartame is one of the most dangerous substances ever to
be foisted upon an unsuspecting public.
Aspartame is an intense sweetener, approximately
200 times sweeter than sugar. It has been used throughout the world
in soft drinks and other low-cal or sugar free foods since 1974. It
was first approved for use in the UK in 1982. It is known by the name
NutraSweet, aspartame or E951.
Despite being widely used 75% of the
adverse reactions to food additives that were reported to the US Food
and Drugs Administration have been concerning aspartame. These reactions
have included: headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, muscle
spasm, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability, tachycardia,
vision problems, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, vertigo, tinitus,
memory loss and joint pain.
It is also believed that certain chronic
illnesses can be triggered or worsened by ingesting aspartame. For example
brain tumours, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease,
Alzheimer’s, birth defects, diabetes and ME.
Aspartame is made up of three chemicals:
Aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol.
Aspartic acid - 40% of aspartame.
Too much of this amino acid can raise the blood plasma levels of aspartate,
which in turn can then enter the brain and slowly destroy neurons. Up
to 75% of these neurons can be damaged before any clinical symptoms
are noticed. In certain individuals the risk is greater due to areas
of the brain not being fully protected by natural barriers (for example
during childhood or minor brain damage by other acute conditions).
Phenylalanine – 50% of aspartame
This is an amino acid normally found in the brain. People with a certain
genetic disorder (PKU) cannot breakdown this amino acid and high levels
in the brain are lethal. It has been shown that ingesting aspartame
can lead to excess levels of phenylalanine in the brain even in people
who do not have PKU. This can be especially dangerous for infants and
Methanol (wood alcohol) – 10% of aspartame
This is a deadly poison that has caused the deaths of many alcoholics.
The methanol is gradually released in the small intestine when the aspartame
encounters the enzyme chymotrypsin. This absorption is increased when
the aspartame is heated above 30°C, and the body breaks down the
methanol into formic acid and formaldehyde. US troops during Desert
Storm were treated to vast quantities of aspartame-sweetened drinks
that were then heated in the Saudi sunshine. These same troops are now
suffering from illnesses similar to formaldehyde poisoning.
DKP is a by-product of aspartame breakdown. It is formed in liquid aspartame-containing
products during prolonged storage. DKP, when nitrosated in the gut,
produces a compound which is similar to N-nitrosourea, a powerful brain
tumour causing chemical.
Birth Defects - Dr Diana Dow Edwards was funded by Monsanto (owners
of NutraSweet) to study possible birth defects caused by the ingestion
of aspartame. After preliminary data showed damaging information, funding
for the study was cut off.
Brain Cancer – in a two-year study, 12 out of 320 rats fed on
aspartame, along with their normal diet, developed brain tumours, whilst
none of the control group developed them. Dr Adrian Gross, an FDA toxicologist,
testified to US Congress that aspartame was the cause of brain tumours,
but the FDA dismissed his research as flawed. Since aspartame was passed
as safe for consumption, the incidence of brain tumours in the over
65-age group, has increased by 67% (1973 – 1990).
Diabetes – According to research by HJ Roberts, a diabetes specialist
and a member of the American Diabetes Association, aspartame:
· leads to the precipitation of clinical diabetes
· causes poorer diabetic control in diabetics on insulin or oral
· leads to the aggravation of other complications such as retinopathy,
cataracts, neuropathy and gastroparesis
· causes convulsions (insulin reactions)
It was noted that there was ‘dramatic improvement of such features
after avoiding aspartame and the prompt recurrence when the patient
resumed aspartame products’.
Emotional Disorders – a recent study by Dr RG Walton showed a
large increase in serious symptoms shown by people taking aspartame.
Epilepsy – American aviation publications have issued warnings
against the consumption of NutraSweet following pilots reporting grand
mal seizures. This was confirmed by a 1969 study by Dr H Waisman after
5 out of 7 infant primates suffered grand mal seizures during aspartame
The Food Standards Agency in Britain
has said that; ‘an adult would have to consume 14 cans of a sugar
free drink every day before reaching the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI)
and assuming that the sweetener was used at the maximum permitted level,
before there would be an appreciable health risk’.
UK Food Standards Agency has undertaken surveys of sweetener ingestion
by diabetics (large scale customers of sugar free products) and considers
them to be under the limit for safe consumption.