Growing up, my mother’s house was a Mecca of natural health. She kept us away from the sodas and candy other kids were gorging themselves on. She always took the extra time to make us whole, unprocessed meals … often making bread from scratch and spending countless hours in her garden. She even cleaned with apple cider vinegar instead of chemical cleaners.
So when I went to visit recently, I was absolutely shocked at what I found in her cider-fresh kitchen.
My mom was getting her morning coffee as usual. But instead of pulling out a bottle of stevia or even organic palm sugar, she was reaching into a basket filled with little blue packets.
Of all things, she was sweetening her coffee with aspartame. My stomach dropped; I felt like Adam discovering Eve pulling fruit off the forbidden tree. There was no telling how long she had been using this chemical poison in her coffee.
I immediately became “Dr. Daughter,” and gave her a lengthy lecture full of the facts and figures you’re probably already aware of… like how aspartame leads to obesity, kills brain cells on contact, and can exacerbate multiple neurological diseases.
Now, my mom has a pleasant personality and received it all very well. Thankfully, she threw the entire basket straight into the trash.
My mom might be safe now… but what about you? And how many other people in the U.S. are using aspartame, completely unaware of the dangers?
Americans Consume Millions of Pounds of Aspartame Per Year
According to the USDA, aspartame is used in at least 6000 products nationwide, including diet drinks, chewing gum, breath mints, pudding, hot chocolate, and especially food products aimed at children. They won’t release exactly how many pounds are consumed per year, but it is in the millions.
Brand names of aspartame include Equal, Nutrasweet (owned by Monsanto), Spoonful, and Equal-Measure. It was accidentally invented by James Schlatter in 1965 … when he was testing an anti-ulcer drug.
Aspartame is 50% phenylalanine, 40% aspartic acid, and 10% methanol. It is also 200 times sweeter than sugar. These chemical ingredients explain why aspartame accounts for over 75% of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA.
The laundry list of these adverse reactions is huge, and includes:
- Neurological problems, like migraines, memory loss, dizziness, seizures, vision problems, vertigo, depression, and anxiety attacks…
- Heart problems, like tachycardia and heart palpitations…
- Weight gain, rashes, breathing difficulty, and muscle spasms…
- And over 75 more!
The Chemical Breakdown
So many people are sensitive to aspartame because of the chemicals it’s made of.
It starts with phenylalanine—an amino acid found naturally in the brain. Aspartame increases the level of phenylalanine to unnaturally high levels, causing seratonin to decrease, and increases susceptibility to seizures.(1) (That’s why you see phenylalanine labeled clearly on any food containing it.) Low levels of serotonin can cause depression.
Aspartame is 40% aspartic acid (or aspartate). Aspartate is a known “excitotoxins,” meaning it literally excites brain cells and nerves to death. Many chronic illnesses have been linked to excitotoxins, including multiple sclerosis, ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and brain lesions.
Lastly, 10% of aspartame is methanol. In the human body, methanol turns to formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a heavy duty preservative (that’s why they use it in science class for preserving dead things in glass jars). Because of that, your body can’t break it down. When ingested, it lodges deep into your cells and wreaks havoc on delicate proteins and DNA replicators.
Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, or cancer-causing agent. It can also cause intense migraine headaches and eye damage as well as birth defects. (2)
It Doesn’t Stop There…
The process used to create aspartate and phenylalanine is just appalling.
Monsanto, the company behind NutraSweet, creates aspartame from the excrement of genetically-modified bacteria. (3)
Here is an excerpt from the official patent on how aspartame is made:
“The well-fed E. coli cultures defecate the proteins that contain the aspartic acid-phenylalanine amino acid segment needed to make aspartame. . . . The proteins containing the Asp-Phe segments are ‘harvested’ (i.e. lab assistants collect the bacteria’s feces).” (4)
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want bacteria turds in my coffee!
Aspartame is quite possibly THE most dangerous sweetener being added to our food supply.
If you know someone who is constantly having health problems and enjoys too much diet soda, I give you permission to be “Dr. Daughter” (or Dr. Friend… Dr. Sister…) and let them know that aspartame may be the reason for their suffering.
Then… reclaim their Mecca of natural health and throw it in the trash.
(1) Mabson G. Epilepsy Study Incriminates Aspartame in Medications. Epileptic Foundation of Maui.
(2) Jacob S. Formaldehyde, Aspartame, and Migraines: A Possible Connection. Dermatitis. June 2008. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18627677
(3) Woolf M. World’s Top Sweetener is Made With GM Bacteria. The Independent. 20 June 1999.
(4) Process for Producing Aspartame. European Patent Application EP0036258.