In dry foodsNutrasweet, the brand name for Aspartame, was not approved until 1981. For over eight years the FDA refused to approve it because of the seizures and brain tumors this drug produced in lab animals. The FDA continued to refuse to approve it until President Reagan took office (a friend of Searle) and fired the FDA Commissioner who wouldn’t approve it. Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes was appointed as commissioner. Even then there was so much opposition to approval that a Board of Inquiry was set up. The Board said: “Do not approve aspartame”. Dr. Hayes OVERRULED his own Board of Inquiry. Shortly after Commissioner Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr., approved the use of aspartame in carbonated beverages, he left for a position with G.D. Searle’s Public Relations firm.
THE BAD, BAD, AND THE UGLY!
by Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN
ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS SIDE EFFECTS IN HUMANS
Methanol (or wood alcohol) is a deadly poison and makes up 10% of aspartame. Some people may remember methanol as the poison that has caused some “skid row” alcoholics to end up blind or dead. Methanol is gradually released in the small intestine when the methyl group of aspartame encounters the enzyme chymotrypsin.
To make matters worse, methanol is then broken down into formic acid and formaldehyde in the body. Formaldehyde is a deadly neurotoxin. It’s the same stuff used to preserve dead bodies.
An Evironmental Protection Agency (EPA) of methanol states that methanol “is considered a cumulative poison due to the low rate of excretion once it is absorbed. In the body, methanol is oxidized to formaldehyde and formic acid; both of these metabolites are toxic.”
The EPA recommends a limit of consumption of 7.8 mg/day.
But why would ANY level of poison consumption be safe?
To give you some perspective, a one-liter bottle of Diet Coke contains about 56 mg of methanol. Heavy users of aspartame-containing products consume as much as 250 mg of methanol daily or 32 times the EPA limit!
Keep that in mind the next time you drink a Diet Coke or opt for NutraSweet.
Symptoms from methanol poisoning include headaches, ear buzzing, dizziness, nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances, weakness, vertigo, chills, memory lapses, numbness and shooting pains in the extremities, behavioral disturbances, and neuritis. The most well known problems from methanol poisoning are vision problems including misty vision, progressive contraction of visual fields, blurring of vision, retinal damage, and blindness.
Formaldehyde, on its own, is a known carcinogen, causes retinal damage, interferes with DNA replication and causes birth defects.
Sounds good to me. Sign me up for more.
Considering these dangers, why doesn’t the FDA or FTC step and shut down the use of these poisons in our food supply?
Well, it’s partly due to monetary reasons – artificial sweetener are HUGE business.
Another reason is that no scientist in their right mind would subject human beings to ingesting these poisons just to see what happens.
In fact, we humans lack a couple of key methanol-related enzymes, making more sensitive to the toxic effects of methanol than animals. Therefore, tests of aspartame or methanol on animals do not accurately reflect the danger for humans.
As pointed out by Dr. Woodrow C. Monte, director of the food science and nutrition laboratory at Arizona State University, “There are no human or mammalian studies to evaluate the possible mutagenic, teratogenic or carcinogenic effects of chronic administration of methyl alcohol.”
This is how sick and twisted our food supply has become…
Dr. Monte was so concerned about the safety issues of methanol (and aspartame) that he filed suit with the FDA requesting a hearing to address these issues. He asked the FDA to…
“Slow down on this soft drink issue long enough to answer some of the important questions. It’s not fair that you are leaving the full burden of proof on the few of us who are concerned and have such limited resources. You must remember that you are the American public’s last defense. Once you allow usage (of aspartame) there is literally nothing I or my colleagues can do to reverse the course. Aspartame will then join saccharin, the sulfiting agents, and God knows how many other questionable compounds enjoined to insult the human constitution with governmental approval.”
Shortly thereafter, the Commissioner of the FDA, Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr., approved the use of aspartame in carbonated beverages, he then left for a position with G.D. Searle’s public relations firm.
Aspartame also becomes more dangerous inside the human body when it has previously been heated about 86 degrees F. In spite of this reality, an “unconscionable” act was passed in 1993 by the FDA approving aspartame as an ingredient in numerous food items that would ALWAYS be heated to above 86 degree F (30 degree C)!
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but this information is critical for you to understand. It’s just one more reason why proper education is so important to your health. By knowing this information you should hopefully feel a sense of disgust with how big business has no interest in your health – not in the slightest.
You need to be in control of your health and the only way to do that is by educating yourself.
But just before we finish, there’s still one more nasty byproduct of aspartame that you need to know about, especially if the above 3 have failed to convince you.
DKP is a byproduct of aspartame metabolism, which has been implicated in the occurrence of brain tumors, uterine polyps, and elevated blood cholesterol.
G.D. Searle conducted animal experiments on the safety of DKP. The FDA found numerous experimental errors occurred, including “clerical errors, mixed-up animals, animals not getting drugs they were supposed to get, pathological specimens lost because of improper handling,” and many other errors. These sloppy laboratory procedures may explain why both the test and control animals had sixteen times more brain tumors than would be expected in experiments of this length.
In an ironic twist, shortly after these experimental errors were discovered, the FDA used guidelines recommended by G.D. Searle to develop the industry-wide FDA standards for good laboratory practices.
ARE THERE ANY SAFE ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS?
The short answer is NO. As with any food item produced by man, the goal is usually to cut corners and maximize profits. Health is of little concern to most food conglomerates, especially considering that the big wigs at the top are so disconnected from what their “products” are doing to the health of millions of people
There are sweeteners on the market like splenda and acesulfame K but once again, they have many deleterious effects in the human body.
Your best bet is to avoid them at all costs. If I’m at Starbucks and have the choice between raw brown sugar or NutraSweet (or Sweet n Low), I’ll take the sugar any day of the week.
As a general rule of thumb, choose natural whenever possible.
Listen, if you need to sweetener your coffee, tea, or anything else you should first look at parting ways with this habit. Drinking coffee is bad enough, let alone adding sugar to it. If you must have a cup of coffee, drink it black.
But if sweeteners are a must, here’s a list of what I would recommend. However, bear in mind that each of these can be better or worse depending on how they are processed:
Xylitol – naturally derived from the fiber within plant foods. Surprisingly, it actually helps fight cavities.
Stevia – derived from a natural plant in the sunflower family, it is 300 times sweeter than sugar. I’ve used this but I’m not too fond of its lingering after taste.
Raw honey – has many beneficial health properties but can range in glycemic index from low to high depending on the variety. It is usually harder to find but well worth using in small amounts.
Pure Maple Syrup – this sweet sap-derived sweetener is loaded antioxidants but comes with a higher glycemic index. I use maple syrup immediately post-workout (in a smoothie) as this is the only time your body can properly deal with high glycemic simple sugars.
Of these 4 sweeteners, I prefer the latter 2 simply because they usually involve the least amount of processing. However, they DO carry a higher degree of sweetness, glycemic load, and thus calories.
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