Food Truth Freedom

Your food, where it comes from & what's in it

Aspartame = Equal, NutraSweet = Poison

You see the little packets on restaurant tables everywhere. Equal, NutraSweet, all eagerly grabbed for sweetening coffee, hot or iced teas by weight conscious customers or diabetics.  Little do they realize this artificial sweetener has dangerous health consequences.

Aspartame is ubiquitous in food today.  Most assume it’s only in those little packets.    Since approval by the FDA in the 1970’s, aspartame has become the number one alternative sweetener.  With the rise in diabetes, especially in children, this artificial sweetener is in everything.  You’ll find it in: anything labeled “sugar free” or “low calorie.”  It’s in (of course) diet soda, flavored water, sports drinks, yogurt, ice teas, nutritional drinks, cereals, cookies, pudding, ice cream, toppings, relish, barbecue sauce, maple syrup or  products called simply “syrup,”  juice, desserts, pastries, toothpaste, mouthwash, breath mints, chewing gum, some brands of pharmaceuticals, such as cough drops, antacids, laxatives, vitamins, children’s medicines and vitamins. This list goes on and on.

It is made from aspartic acid and phenylalanine as methyl-ester.  The manufacturer of NutraSweet says on their web site: “Aspartame is made from aspartic acid and phenylalanine, as the methyl ester. Aspartic acid and phenylalanine are building blocks of protein and are found naturally in all protein-containing foods, including meats, grains and dairy products. Methyl esters are also common in many foods such as fruits, vegetables and their juices.  The components of aspartame are found in much greater amounts in common foods than in aspartame.”

 Skull-cossbonesWhat they don’t tell you is that aspartame, although an amino acid (aspartic acid) is an “excitotoxin” meaning that they stimulate cells (excite) to the extent that they die (apoptosis), destroying neurons. In the brain this is not a good thing. What they don’t tell you is that phenyalanine, although found in proteins, when isolated, it becomes neurotoxic, interferes with anti-depressants and other drugs,

Several studies have indicated that these artificial sweeteners, through their damaging excitatory nature in the brain have caused memory loss, hormonal problems, epilepsy, grand mal seizures, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.  Monkeys used in initial testing of this artificial sweetener died of seizures. It also affects protein structure in the brain, neuronal function, direct metabolism of amino acids.  Indications are that aspartame plays havoc with emotions, which goes hand-in-hand with the excitatory nature of electrical impulses (overstimulation) in the brain.  In some people sensitive to aspartame it can cause extreme agitation.   The FDA has received  thousands of health complaints but refuses to pull aspartame from the market.

The manufacturer touts the safety of this product by adding that this was approved by the FDA and that aspartame “has been documented in more than 200 objective scientific studies. The safety of aspartame has been confirmed by regulatory authorities in more than 100 countries, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Health Canada, and the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Food, as well as by experts with the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization and World Health Organization. What they won’t admit is that all these studies, like everything else approved by the FDA, were industry-funded, therefore, one-sided.

Is in no surprise that Monsanto owns G.D. Searle, the manufacturer of NutraSweet?  They say it right on their website:  G.D. Searle was purchased by Monsanto in 1985 and it is a subsidiarity of Monsanto. Subsidiarity as defined in Webster’s dictionary means Monsanto owns G.D. Searle.  Encyclopedia Britannica definition:  merger.  Hmmm…, I guess somebody should send Monsanto a dictionary to let them know they really own Searle!

Now, I’m not a scientist or a physician, but I have certain questions about our modern diet. Given the current condition of our society – and that most people unconsciously drink soda – much of it “no-calorie,” is it any wonder that there is a rise in cancer, depression, ADHD, OCD, emotional problems, learning disabilities, acting out and the most noticeable of all:  society’s inability to slow down or focus?

The words:  ARTIFICIAL SWEETENER should be a wakeup call to everyone; a red flag to be paid attention to.  Give me good old-fashioned sugar: I’ll take my risks!

Aspartame Part 2

I’ve added this older article on SODA because so many people drink soda.  Parents, this is one thing which absolutely should not be given to children – period!  The components of soda are very unhealthy to begin with.  On top of this, aspartame is in much of the soda today. You are giving your children something which adversely affects their health, not only immediately, but over the entire course of their lives. Please READ ON:

Thankfully, soda is one habit I never acquired.  As a kid Mom gave it to us as a treat.  We couldn’t afford to drink it but had milk, juice or water instead.

Americans guzzle about 60 gallons a year per person, leading the world in soda consumption, ten times the soda consumption of Japan.  This doesn’t surprise me when I see soda being hauled out of the grocery store by the case.

Soda is empty calories, artificially flavored, colored and sweetened.  It makes you fat.  It rots your teeth.  It isn’t good for you at all but millions of families drink 3, 4 or more cans a day.   Moms wonder why their kids are attention deficit, hyperactive, have bad teeth, obese, and overeat. The culprit could be that ever-present can of soda!

High fructose corn syrup contributes to obesity, especially in children.  A recent study confirmed that children who consume soda are more like to have diabetes and be overweight than those who don’t.

High fructose corn syrup in soda has been proven to damage the liver.  Duke University reports that scarring of the liver, usually associated with alcoholism, is found in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, also known as fibrosis.   As reported in Science Daily, researches at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found  It also stimulates the hunger mechanism in the brain leading to overeating.

Sodium Benzoate, a common food preservative, is found in soda.  (read the cans!) While it can be from natural sources, more often it comes from petrochemical origins. It is formed through the oxidation of toluene, an industrial degreasing agent.  When mixed with vitamin C, it forms benzene, a carcinogen.

A noted  Microbiologist and Professor of Biotechnology at Sheffield University, Dr. Peter Piper has studied the effects of sodium benzoate. His research indicates that sodium benzoate damages DNA.  He states, “The mitochondria consumes the oxygen to give you energy and if you damage it – as happens in a number  of diseased states – then the cell starts to malfunction very seriously. And there is a whole array of diseases that are now being tied to damage to this DNA – Parkinson’s and quite a lot of neurodegenerative diseases, but above all the process of aging.”

Lower blood calcium levels are linked to soda drinking.  Soda is high in phosphates, which leaches calcium from bones.  Those who consume soda are 4 times as likely to suffer from bone fractures, especially as they age.

Dentists call soda a “chainsaw for teeth,” as it dissolves enamel.  The Naval Medical Research Institute conducted an experiment where human teeth were put into a cola drink.  After a short period the teeth began to soften and dissolve.  Additionally, tooth loss, periodontal disease and gingivitis are of particular concern, especially in soda drinkers, cites Dr. Elson M. Haas, MD.

A link to hyperactivity in children has been shown in a study by the Food Standards Agency in the UK.  ADHD incidences in children increased when they drank soda containing sodium benzoate and artificial colorings.

Soda aggravates acid reflux.  If you suffer from this condition, you’re not helping it by choosing soda over a non-carbonated beverage such as iced tea or (gasp!) good old-fashioned water!

I’m glad I don’t drink soda.  Another plus:  “Look Ma, no cavities!”

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Author: Bernice Matherson

Humanitarian, environmental and food activist, blogging on current societal issues. My blogs cover what's in our food and how it affects our health; the effects of our seemingly small actions regarding chemical and pesticide use in and around our homes and its impact on our Earth.

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