THE CURIOUS CASE OF ASPARTAME ( How the jury was muzzled…)

You’re probably aware of the dangers of consuming too much sugar and that sugar is not healthy for you. You might have been led to believe and even been convinced you’re doing the right thing, that artificial sweeteners like aspartame are safer and is healthy to consume.

Protecting your health and the health of your loved ones has never been any body’s priority other than YOU..

For now, just keep in mind that the reason you feel products containing aspartame are safe is a direct result of deliberate deception on the part of big business, marketers and government.

If you’re consuming a food or beverage created in a lab instead of by nature, you can be assured your body doesn’t recognize it. This opens the door to short-term and long-lasting health problems for you and your family.

An Accident Waiting to Happen: The Birth of Aspartame

Like an omen, aspartame was discovered in 1965 entirely by mistake. That’s right ... by mistake.

G.D. Searle chemist James M. Schlatter was at work in his laboratory developing a drug to treat peptic ulcer disease. The story goes that Schlatter accidentally spilled one of the chemicals he was using onto his finger. He licked his finger clean, and in doing so discovered the sweet taste of the aspartame he had spilled.

This inauspicious beginning heralded the birth of what has become one of the most potentially dangerous and controversial food additives in human history.

How Aspartame Got to Market in Spite of Itself

As you’re about to learn, the tale of how aspartame got to market from James’s table will read like a crime mystery; Only one snag: This is NOT fiction …This actually happened in1970s. A nexus between the pharmaceutical industry, large American corporations, and the FDA, riddled with scandal, bribes and other shady dealings lead to a final approval for the product in 1983.

Read ON… this crime thriller where the protectors turned terminators.

Initially, the FDA strongly denied the approval of aspartame products. Reasons given were sound, logical and included:

•Flawed data

•Brain tumor findings in animal studies

•Lack of studies on humans to determine longer-term effects

Timing is Everything

Aspartame studies were on the rise just after cyclamate was pulled from the U.S. market and saccharin was under serious scrutiny. The disappearance of cyclamate left a void it appeared saccharin might not be poised to fill because of FDA’s non approval..

At the time of the cyclamate ban, the “diet” market was a $1 billion dollar per year business in the U.S.alone. Manufacturers of diet products were in a mad scramble to find a substitute product …that would insure this $ 1 billion.

G.D. Searle spent tens of millions of dollars to conduct the necessary approval tests on aspartame. (Note the English….to finance the study tests for getting the necessary approval). “The graph is drawn…Bring me the points and data…”

Not surprisingly, studies funded by Searle and other groups with a financial interest in aspartame found no adverse health effects. However, independent studies delivered evidence that aspartame consumption did indeed create health problems in test subjects.

Deceptive Safety Studies

G.D. Searle provided the FDA with over 100 aspartame studies in early 1973 and additional studies in June 1974 and the FDA granted preliminary approval for the restricted use of aspartame.

The study findings submitted by Searle were immediately challenged in Aug 1974, by Dr. John Olney, a neuroscientist who was instrumental in getting monosodium glutamate removed from baby foods, and Jim Turner, an attorney and consumer advocate. Their petition prompted the FDA to initiate investigations into Searle’s lab practices.

The investigations ultimately led to concerns within the FDA about the validity of the studies submitted by Searle. Investigators uncovered substandard testing procedures and manipulated test data. In fact, what investigators found at Searle was an unprecedented incidence of bad testing procedures and inaccurate results. Final approval of aspartame was delayed.

Based on the results of these findings, in January 1977, for the first time in history, the FDA requested a criminal investigation into a food manufacturer for willfully misrepresenting results in their safety tests of a product.

In August 1977, the FDA published a report by Jerome Bressler, U.S. Attorney’s office which pointed to specific issues with Searle’s aspartame safety studies.

The Bressler Report revealed stunning examples of very bad research. :

Deceased lab animals were not immediately autopsied, some not for an entire year after death. Decomposition rendered any data from them inaccurate.

Tumors found in lab animals were reportedly cut out and thrown away.

Animals from whom tumors were removed were labeled “normal,” and obvious tumors were deemed to be “normal swelling.”

In 1979, the FDA established a Public Board of Inquiry (PBOI) to rule on safety issues with aspartame and refused approval pending further investigation into its link to brain tumors in animals.

Till now, every thing was going fine for the consumer. Approval pending…

Read ON to know what went on behind the scene……………

During the criminal investigation initiated by the FDA, the U.S. Attorney leading the investigation, Samuel Skinner was hired away to work for Searle. The investigation was subsequently abandoned until the statute of limitations expired.

In March 1977, Donald Rumsfeld was hired as the CEO of Searle -- yes, the same Rumsfeld that was the Secretary of Defense in the Bush administration. He brought with him additional political clout by appointing several of his D.C. associates to top management positions.

In January 1981, Rumsfeld proclaimed he would get aspartame approved within one year. Rumsfeld was part of newly elected President Ronald Reagan’s transition team.

Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes, the new FDA Commissioner appointed an internal panel to review the 1979 decision by the Public Board of Inquiry that did not give ‘Thumbs UP’ for aspartame.

Three of the five members of this panel advised against approval of aspartame, citing on the record that Searle’s safety study tests were flawed. Hayes then appointed a sixth member to the panel who tied the vote three-three. Dr. Hayes then cast the deciding vote in favor of approval. (Lesson: Appoint even numbered panel, your vote counts, in case…)

Hayes, an official with no background on the subject of food additives, claimed aspartame was safe for proposed use, and had undergone more testing and scientific scrutiny than most additives on the market. Shortly after approving this drug he resigned from the FDA panel and was hired by the manufacturer of aspartame for a position in which he was paid several hundred thousand dollars per year.

So, to cut a long story short, despite unresolved safety issues, aspartame was approved for use in soft drinks in 1983.

Less than a year later, the FDA had recorded 600 consumer complaints of headaches, dizziness and other health-related reactions from aspartame consumption.

The unprecedented number of complaints caused the FDA to call in the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). The CDC concluded adverse reactions to aspartame were occurring in “unusually sensitive” individuals, but there was not enough evidence to prove existence of wide-spread health problems attributable to its consumption.

{A Post script from one of the latest articles: Nearly 20 years ago, the government's own General Accounting Office (GAO) wrote: "GAO found that 102 of the 198 drugs (or 51.5%) approved by FDA between 1976 and 1985... had serious post-approval risks...the serious post-approval risks...[included] heart failure, myocardial infarction, anaphylaxis, respiratory depression and arrest, seizures, kidney and liver failure, severe blood disorders, birth defects and foetal toxicity, and blindness."

That terrible record continues into the 21st century (Vioxx is just one example that springs immediately to mind)….}

Let us continue the Aspartame story…You have read how the murder took place. Read on.;To know about the murder weapon and the victim or shall we say.. victims……

What is Aspartame, Exactly?

Aspartame goes by the brand names NutraSweet and Equal. It is one of the first generation of artificial sweeteners and is 180 times as sweet as sugar.

At the end of 2008, aspartame was found in over 6,000 products including: soft drinks, chewing gum, confections, dessert mixes, puddings, yogurt, table top sweeteners, sugar free cough drops and gelatins.

Products containing aspartame were sold in over 100 countries and consumed by over 250 million people worldwide.

The scientific name for aspartame is 1-aspartyl 1 phenylalanine methyl ester. It has three components:

1.phenylalanine which makes up 50 percent of the chemical by weight

2.aspartic acid -- 40 percent

3.methanol (wood alcohol) -- 10 percent

How Aspartame Acts Inside Your Body

The first two of the above are amino acids that are combined in an ester bond. You normally consume these two amino acids in the foods you eat. These amino acids, normally present in separate form in foods, are harmless when consumed as part of natural unprocessed foods..Your body initially breaks down the ester link between the two amino acids to turn them into free amino acids.

However when they are chemically manipulated and consumed out of the normal ratios to other amino acids, they can cause problems The neurotoxic effects of these chemicals in their “free form” can result in immediate health consequences such as headaches, mental confusion, dizziness and seizures. The high concentration of these chemicals in the form of aspartame floods your central nervous system and can cause excessive firing of brain neurons. Cell death is also possible.

Your body doesn’t recognize phenylalanine and aspartic acid in their free form, but your system will try to manage them through metabolization. Whenever your body tries to process an unrecognizable substance, the stage is set for health problems.

A Formaldehyde Cocktail

Ultimately, aspartame gets fully absorbed in our body. Ten percent of what is absorbed is the breakdown product methanol (wood alcohol). It’s the breakdown products they turn into along the way -- either during transport, on the store shelf, or during the metabolization process which is the killer weapon.

Methanol can spontaneously break down to formaldehyde, also a toxin, which can accumulate in your cells and result in severe health consequences.

Methanol is found naturally in some of the foods you eat; however, it is never bound to amino acids in nature, as it is as an ingredient in aspartame. In nature, for example, methanol is bound to pectin. Pectin is a fiber which allows the methanol to pass through your body without being metabolized and converted to formaldehyde.

Since methanol in aspartame has no natural binder, nearly all of it turns into formaldehyde in your body. Formaldehyde (which is used in, among other things, paint remover and embalming fluid) is a poison several thousand times more potent than ethyl alcohol. The end waste product of formaldehyde is formate which can cause metabolic acidosis, which is excessive acidity in your blood. Metabolic acidosis can cause methanol poisoning and can result in blindness, fatal kidney damage, multiple organ system failure, and death. You can also be prone to anxiety attacks, depression, headaches, seizures, tremors nervousness, sweating, feelings of fear, and heart palpitations. It’s not much of a stretch to be concerned consumption of high doses of this chemical during pregnancy could result in birth defects.

The EPA has determined formaldehyde causes cancer in humans. Specifically, it is known to increase your risk of breast or prostate cancer. Incidents of both types of cancer have been on the rise at a pace closely associated with the expanding use of aspartame throughout the world.

The second largest component of aspartame, aspartic acid, in very high doses, can cause brain damage. Keep in mind aspartame is completely metabolized by the human body, and its byproducts can create a serious risk to your health. Neurological damage can occur from long-term aspartame use.

Your blood brain barrier (BBB) is a system of capillary structures that prevent toxins from entering your brain. If you have diabetes, hypertension or are a smoker, your BBB may be compromised and you might experience a heightened reaction to aspartame.

Debilitating, Life-Threatening Conditions Linked to Aspartame

Aspartame has been implicated in a number of diseases, and there is special concern among doctors and scientists regarding the role aspartame plays in migraine headaches, epilepsy and neuropsychiatric disorders.

Aspartame has been identified as a definitive causative factor in the following serious health concerns: ( I will shorten the list here…)Migraine Headaches, Seizures, Depression, Visual Changes and Brain Cancer.

Aspartame and Weight Gain

Would it surprise you to learn aspartame may cause you to gain weight? It’s true -- products marketed as “reduced calorie,” “sugar-free,” and “diet” can actually sabotage your weight control efforts. The two main ingredients of aspartame, phenylalanine and aspartic acid, stimulate the release of insulin and leptin -- hormones which instruct your body to store fat. Recently very similar result has been seen with the use of sucralose or ‘Splenda’.

You can read more about aspartame and other artificial sweeteners in a comprehensive book, ‘Sweet Deception’, There have been more reports to the FDA for aspartame reactions than for all other food additives combined. And, there are over 900 published studies on the health hazards of aspartame. You can find a list in the National Library Medicine Index. There are also some 10,000 documented reports of adverse reactions to aspartame, including death.

Neotame: The “New and Improved” Aspartame

Please lookout for this modified version of aspartame, as it likely carries similar health risks to the original. Neotame is chemically related to aspartame, but has greater heat stability and is 72 times sweeter.

So, the story goes ON… for the Gen-Next who start by asking “which sweeteners are safe?.....”

Come on..my dear readers..Break this Cycle:

To optimize your diet begin to eat the kinds of foods your body requires. When you are eating right for your nutritional type, your sweet cravings will disappear.

AVOID ALL DIRECT & 'HIDDEN' artificial sweeteners from your diet.

...

...

{Slowly, I will stop taking coffee, but till such time I will use dextrose. At least my body KNOWS it for eons of TIME……..}.Though, I do not recommend you to follow me!

13 Replies

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  • In connection with the use of Aspartame, I thought I should mention a case I personally knew. A lady who used to work with the same organisation as myself (about 15 years ago) always carried Equal (aspartame) tablets in her bag and used it whenever she had tea or coffee. The end result was she died of brain tumor.

  • Sir,

    Are you asking me ?

    kkmmss

  • Thanks for your query. I had a visit to my doctor at St. Stephen's H0spital, Delhi last week and showed him my BG readinds over several weeks in May and June. I told him about the reduction in the intake of carbs, but I did not tell him that I had reduced my insulin dose by 30% and Metformin dose by 25%. AFTER ANALYSING THE READINGS HE TOLD ME TO REDUCE INSULIN BY 40% AND METFORMIN BY 50%! Isn't it great? I shall get an Hb A1c done next week.

  • Sir,

    I wish you take the best medicine soon.......& GET WELL.

    ..

    ...

    ..

    ..

    That is

    "NO MEDICINE"

    Go ahead, I am trying to follow you...

  • As a diabetic patient I've been using aspartame for a long time. It's advertised and marketed as a safe alternative to sugar the calorific value of which is very high. Weight conscious people and those who're on diet are consuming it. Diabetic patients use it regularly. These shocking revelations about its ill effects on human beings and animals hits us as a thunderbolt.. Impunity with which the multinational pharmaceutical companies have manipulated the authorities is shocking to say the least. It's high time the authorities have taken action on these erring companies.

  • You have mentioned an often overlooked fact .....

    " Advertised and marketed ...."

    If I have snake oil and a few millions to market that through banners, chat shows, print and e -media through 'discussions 'in a panel, ( They will all be paid by me..), In a few years time I would have made MY MONEY

    This will continue as long as " PATIENTS ARE CUSTOMERS"

    Health care? .... What is that word? Is it "Inglish?"

    Authorities?.... What is that?... What are we talking.?

    YOUR HEALTH IS YOUR CONCERN.....

    I would like to narrate two instances which happened with me last week.

    During discussions I told one of my friends about Aspartame, His response was " Oh! I take only a small quantity with tea and coffee. All other foods I purchase sugar free items"

    Another was while taking meals: When I told my friend, he can stop wheat because of so many’ bla .. bla .. etc’, his comment was " Any way I am taking diabetes tablets".

    The problem with some of us is that we do not WANT to UNDERSTAND.... The first thing I left when I started reading about Life style and nutrition is NOT sugar but the sense of “ I KNOW ALL” . Then it was easy to leave SUGAR.

    Another reaction I got on last Sunday was" I will eat nicely up to 40 years {He is now 35 yrs old; }. Afterwards we will see all these.”

    My dear friends, Nothing adverse happens on the flick of a button. If it happens it is called an electrical switch. Otherwise you have normally have a lead time of 15 to 20 years before the body starts with ' angry bird ' reactions. A strong faulty foundation would have been set already for a very weak building.

    THERE IS NO MAGIC BULLET... CHOOSE GOOD LIFE STYLE AND NUTRITION ........

    DO NOT TAKE SUGAR- FREE ....... BECOME MEDICINE - FREE.................

    MAKE YOUR CHOICE... .CHOOSE HEALTH

    ..

    "Advertised and marketed"... Next time you are watching TV commercials look out for these........ and count them.. Fingers may not be enough for counting...

  • Yes, I think you are partly right.

    The only grouse I have against snake oil merchants apart from their marketing strategies, is that they should give details reg the snale , how it was extracted what are the constituents and the benefits with scientific citations to back up the claims.

    LEAVE IT TO THE READER TO TAKE INFORMED DECISIONS...

    Readers are NOT Muffs.

    Dont tell the listener "Occasional to Intermittent rain, in isolated spots with some chances of being heavy at times"

    Show him the latest satellite imagery, He will understand , Maybe he will not understand on the first day but on the fifth day he will know whether to carry umbrella or NOT. ( This of course does not apply ro thunder storms and flash floods for which doppler radar is the ONLY solution...)

    That IS the job of scientists.... Nobody doubts their talent...or intelligence.

    Same thing for doctors.

    Take your informed decisions for your life style and nutrition. Leave the doctors for bigger things... No body doubts the marvels of science of medice....

  • the above comment requires medial scutiny so far the intake of aspartime I hope that the death of aspartime consuming lady might be due to another cause .As such a detailed discussion is required to come to a definite conclusion . A viewer should not be kept in allusion or dilemma .A serios effort in rightful direction may also be communicated tomy email :- shamimruby@gmail.com SHAMIM AHMAD

  • The main market of this chemical is in soft drinks and use by DIABETIC. Especially foe waist line trim for ladies with an add by SIMRAN in Tamil TV.Very good forward. Thanks for awakening. Even a little of direct sugar is not harmful for us compared to the ill effects of ASPHALTIM.

  • THANKS ror information

  • Thank you for the good and detailed information given about Asperthane. Indeed it is very informative, we will be cautious about consuming artificial sugars in future.

  • DOWN THE MEMORY LANE:PALM JAGGERY IN VERY LIMITED QUANTITY IS LESS HARMFUL THAN ALL ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS.ONES OWN EXPERIENCE ALONE IS TRUE FOR THEMSELVES..PALM JAGGERY IS WIDELY AVAILABLE IN TAMILNADU ONLY.NEXT CHOICE IS CHEMICALFREE JAGGERY..ANY QTY MORE THAN 5GMS PER DAY NEEDS EVALUATION..KAILADIYER.

  • Very good and detailed information to all our members. Thanks to kkmmss.

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