Dangers of Aspartame

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It is unsafe to rely on mere facts and assumptions, especially when it comes to food and other edible stuff. Even though the Food and Drugs Administration approves it, of late, it has been proved that artificial sweeteners (like Aspartame) are not safe to consume. A lot of people use aspartame, an artificial sweetener, assuming it to be safe.

Aspartame is found in a wide range of products right from instant breakfasts, cereals, sugar free chewing gum, over the counter medicines, shake mixes, soft drinks, cocoa mixes, yogurt, and gelatin desserts and so on. But there are serious doubts as to whether aspartame is totally safe for consumption. It has toxic ingredients which can actually increase your appetite. There have been instances of adverse reactions to aspartame and even death, and this artificial sweetener really poses a serious threat to public health.Over the years, studies have revealed that aspartame can pose serious problems that may manifest immediately or rear its head gradually. There have been instances of brain damage caused by frequent use of aspartame.  High doses of the same can result in problems ranging from mild dizziness to subtle brain changes and mental retardation. Pregnant ladies consuming aspartame run the risk of having their fetus affected.

Research conducted on experimental rats which were fed on a diet of aspartame has revealed that this artificial sweetener is capable of inducing brain tumors. Even though aspartame is recommended to persons with diabetes, this in actuality leads to the precipitation of diabetes and also causes poorer diabetic control on insulin. Furthermore, use of this artificial sweetener can lead to dire complications such as retinopathy, cataracts, neuropathy and gastro paresis, and even cause convulsions.

Aspartame induces behavioral changes in people with mood disorders precipitating even seizures. Apart from seizures, there have been several instances that have been cited of low brain serotonin levels, depression and other emotional disorders linked to use of aspartame by people with mood disorders. All this truly coerces people to ponder deeply on the validity and reliability of this artificial sweetener. Once people with mood disorders stop taking aspartame, these symptoms wane and are literally non existent.

Most often, the general public does not get to know about these serious side effects to ingesting aspartame. The media does not give much importance to such incidents that highlight the drastic ill effects to using aspartame and secondly, most people do not associate the early symptoms to probable long term use of aspartame.

This instance of aspartame getting approved by FDA is a lesson in how pharmaceutical companies can deviously manipulate government agencies like the FDA and resort to fraudulent practices to get such products on to the market.

Aspartame is in actuality the technical name of the brands Naturesweet, Equal, Spoonful and Equal Measure. This artificial sweetener accounts for more than seventy five percent of adverse reactions to food additives. Aspartame can trigger off multiple sclerosis, brain tumor, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, lymphoma, mental retardation, birth defects, fibro myalgia and diabetes. This artificial sweetener is made of three chemicals- aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol.

Aspartame when ingested often travels to the brain and kills neurons by allowing too much calcium into the cells. This in turn triggers off excessive amounts of free radicals, which inevitably kills the cells. Aspartic acid, a component of aspartame is actually an amino acid. Taken in free form, this can raise blood plasma levels, which in turn can lead to a high level of neurotransmitters in the brain. The excess of aspartame in the brain precipitated more by regular ingestion of the same slowly begins to destroy neurons. A large percentage of neural cells are destroyed before any symptom of a chronic illness can even be diagnosed or detected. The risk is even more to infants, children, pregnant women and the elderly.  This is mainly because the blood brain barrier which protects the brain from toxins is never fully developed during early childhood.

These are a few of the  every day minor symptoms associated with frequent intake of aspartame -  headaches and migraines, nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, sleep problems, vision problems, anxiety attacks, depression and asthma.

Phenylalanine, another component of aspartame is also an amino acid found in the brain. People with genetic disorders are unable to metabolize phenylalanine. This can trigger off high levels of the same in the brain. Excessive levels of phenylalanine can drastically bring down serotonin levels, leading to acute depression. Long term use of aspartame can help hike the sales of serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as Prozac and other drugs which are commonly used to control schizophrenia and seizures.

Methanol, yet another chemical in aspartame is a deadly poison. This chemical poison breaks down into formic acid and formaldehyde in the body. The latter is a deadly neurotoxin.  Methanol poisoning can cause ear buzzing, headaches, nausea, gastrointestinal problems, vertigo, chills, memory lapses and acute shooting pain in limbs. A host of vision problems are also manifested through the use of aspartame.

Even though aspartame is most often promoted for weight loss, on the contrary, artificial sweeteners can disrupt the body’s ability to interpret calorie intake. The body’s ability to regulate food intake and body weight may be weakened drastically. Then it is also noted that there is a notable increase in obesity during the span that artificial sweeteners like aspartame are used.

Aspartame has been found to be manufactured using genetically modified bacteria. Of late, there is increasing awareness among the public regarding the health hazards posed by ingestion of aspartame. A lot can be done to counter and prevent aspartame poisoning. You can pass on the word about the ill effects of aspartame to everyone you know. Talk to schools and day care centers and offer to speak at parent teacher meetings. If you meet someone with a diet drink, inform them about the side effects of aspartame.

Go through your larder and return all food products that contain aspartame back to your grocer. Inform him in detail as to why you are doing so, and even urge him to stop selling such products. Most importantly, set a personal example for health and wellness. If you do have the penchant for writing, go ahead and publish articles in local newsletters at church and place of work, and in neighborhood associations.

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