Aspartame and what the ''experts say''

Here's a link from the FSA about aspartame in foods:

food.gov.uk/safereating/che...

And here's another take on it:

aspartame.mercola.com/

We recently had a member asking about titinitus and according to this aspartame is listed as one of the causes.

It interests me how the ''experts'' can have such differing views so I'd chaeck the links out and make up your own minds.

I'm a great believer in us the consumer being aware of what we really eat and do not like these over processed foods and make no bones about that.

Jerry

18 Replies

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  • I couldn't agree more Tony! It is mind boggling the different advice that is out there for coeliacs. In Europe now you can be diagnosed as Coeliac on blood tests and my endocrinologist told me to refuse to have the biopsy as the ingestion of gluten would be too dangerous for me. But according to many coeliac official sites I am not diagnosed as positive for coeliac although my blood tests and the endo confirm other wise.

    I see every kind of diet advised from one full of gluten free processed foods to ones with no dairy, gluten, soya, any grains and no sugars. People who are new to this must be thoroughly confused by all the conflicting advice out there.

    Even worse is the advice given generally to take iodine supplements or to insist on natural thyroid hormone rather than the type prescribed by your GP or endocrinologist. In some circumstances this could be dangerous advice.

  • I soon discovered that my calci-chew vitamin D tablets were aggravating me when I bloated like I was 6 months pregnant after eating them. They contained: aspartame, sorbitol, manitol, & a suspicious lemon flavouring. I can no longer drink diet cola (not that I ever liked fizzy drinks), nor tolerate artificial sugars any more. Which I consider a benefit as they're not good for you anyway.

  • Who on earth would want to eat aspartame .. if you need to have something sweet for goodness sake have the real thing. I often use honey. It helps to protect against chest infections ..

    I have never understood anyone willing putting any form of chemical into their body. How can your body even begin to break down an artificial chemical? Everything in your body is desiged for breaking down natural things. I remember being told many years ago that chewing gum is made from the same chemical as underlay that goes beneath carpets who would chew underlay?

    How could anyone feel wonderfully well if they willingly eat chemicals - it's bad enough trying to avoid them without knowingly putting them into your stomach, intestines and bloodstream which will lead to every organ of your body!

  • Every sympathy with you.

    I discovered something called Propolis a few years ago and has transformed my winters! Any good homeopathic shop will sell it, you get it in liquid form or pill. I get it in liquid for as I always end up with a sore throat and is great for hitting the spot! Doesn't taste at all nice but it's a small price to pay!

  • Hi Lynxcat totally agree

  • Whilst I would agree that we should not pump bodies full of chemicals, there has been a lot written about aspartame, much of which is not correct. I've read similar articles then did some research and looked at more scientific than the "Daily Mail" style reporting and discovered that some of these web articles are a bit sensationalist.

    The impact of these articles, particularly in the States - has led to people only consuming sugary pop - arguably considerably more damaging (hence why diabetes is an increasing problem there).

    Aspartame is not fault free, but is very, very widely used - probably one of the most widely used additives - hundreds of millions of people consume it daily and the number of reported side effects are very low.

    So best advice like all things is do everything in moderation - a little probably won't cause your eyeballs to fall out! :-)

  • Lol... Think we have all had to develop this 'warped' sense of humour to cope with all the conflicting advice we receive about managing our own health & the ripple effect it has on causing new or the worsening of existing conditions. It was only after I had asked about the long term effects of the high usage of oral steroids, that I'd needed to bring asthma back under control. That 'some one' thought it would be a good idea to organise a bone density X-ray. Another time, when chatting to one of the Chest clinic nurses, I found out that there was an increased risk of heavier periods due to steroid use. I'd asked on a number of occasions-before & after the CD was diagnosed. If there was a link between the fact that whenever there was a drop in my Hb & Ferritin count, the asthma reared it's ugly head. After which I'd end up with an increase in dosage of steroids...& then I'd have the problems with 'flooding', gross I know, but all part of what was happening to me! So for a long time I was stuck on this loop of thing triggering another, which in turn triggered the 1st problem. It took 'me' looking into the symptoms of severe anaemia. To realise that the probable cause of the breathlessness was the anaemia which in turn triggered the asthma attacks. Doh! That & the fact that it seemed my immune system was stuffed & someone only had to sneeze near me & I'd end up with yet another chest infection. Sorry I'm winging. But so sick of having to do the 'Drs' job for them... Grr! ; D

  • I know that there has been much written about the use of aspartame. I find it incredulous that you mention the US though as they are a very insular country that on the whole knows little of what happens outside their own state let alone in the rest of the world. They would hardly therefore really be concerned with what they put in their mouths. There are many diseases and ailments that are increasing and forming that were never there in the fifties and sixties. It would be sensible to therefore consider that at least some of these problems were due to something that had been added into the every day diet of ordinary people since that time. Aspartame is an obvious candidate and instead of teaching the body to enjoy less sweet items of food it encourages the yearning of ever increasing sweeter items. That in itself is not sensible.

    You may have well read all that you want to about aspartame .. if not .. then here is yet another site that lists some of the health issues linked with its consumption: healthychoices.co.uk/aspart...

  • I'm not saying that aspartame does not affect some people, of course it can just like any food additive.

    What I *am* saying is that you need to get balance when seeking information. There is a lot of unscientific material floating around on the Internet, particularly around aspartame. If you read some of it, the language is so dramatic you would never go near it. I've seen similar articles on coffee, MSG, caffeine, etc

    However aspartame is widely used by hundreds of millions of people daily - probably one of the most widely used and studied food additives and the vast majority of people have no side effects. Some do and will and they are right to avoid it.

    See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspar... for both sides of the argument.

    From there there are links to studies from bodies such as MIT who have researched this and found no adverse effects overall.

    The reason I mention the States is the irony that in avoiding artificial sweeteners they are pumping their bodies full of sugar-filled drinks and causing a massive increase in the occurrence of diabetes, arguably far more damaging than if they had been consuming aspartame!

  • I would never use Wikipedia as a source of medical argument. It would appear that most studies that are in favour of aspartame and show little or no detrimental effects are not independent and therefore are probably best ruled out. As yet I have to find one truly independent study that concludes that there are no health problems with aspartame consumption.

    aspartame.ca/page_a13.html

    rense.com/general81/ukk.htm

    The risk therefore is too great to consider taking and people should be encouraged to drink more water and wean themselves off sweet food and drink.

  • Its a personal choice. But the articles you link to are examples for me of those to be careful with. Rense.com particularly - most of the impressive-sounding links are dead and have you seen the homepage?

    I do, however respect and understand your decision to avoid aspartame.

  • I gave up reading articles on Aspartame a long time ago after being told my inability to breathe, focus properly accompanied by an extreme almost "out of body" experience in my brain accompanied by severe heart palpitations were figments of my imagination - it took a fair while to work out what the cause was - but most definitely aspartame.

    It's not helped by the fact that some UK airlines and hotels now only stock slimline drinks so I really have to be on my guard as even a tiny amount ingested (a single moutful) can kick off a very frigthening attack which has seen me land up in A&E on more than one occasion.

    Off to read the articles now if I dare

  • Well, here's what I think.

    We are all very individual fine tuned machines, I think that the simple key is find out what works for you. What suits you will probably not suit the next person, even if it seems they are suffering in the same way.

    I've learnt over the years that my body over reacts to some foods and some additives. One of them being aspartame, after my first child I suffered from 3 weeks out of 4 with chronic migraines. Now they are a one off. Needless to say I no longer have aspartame!

    That is all the scientific advice I need.

  • On my original comment, I meant to add the following piece of information. 10% of aspartame, it is alleged, is made up of Methanol (wood alcohol poison). This apparently breaks down into formaldehyde, diketopiperazine and formic acid. These chemicals have a link with tumours and polyps.

    I have found a site that explains what aspartame is made up of and how when it is broken down it affects the body. Remember also the amount of strain that is put onto the body as it tries to break down something artificial. If a person is trying to lead a normal healthy life and is striving to feel as well as possible, it makes no sense at all to inflict extra problems into the digestive system.

    healthychoices.co.uk/aspart...

  • A gripe we've had is that the gp likes to prescribe Calcichew D3 forte Chewable Lemon Tablets which contain both sorbitol and aspartame. What do you guys take for Vit D supplement that avoids these two unwanted ingredients?

  • I take cod liver oil capsules and sometimes Healthspan ones. Their ingredients are listed as follows: Maltodextrin, Cellulose, Natural Source Vitamin D3, Coating (Hypromellose, Clycerin - of vegetable origin Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide), Silica, Stearic Acid - of Vegetable origin, Magnesium Stearate - of vegetable origin. Here's the link: healthspan.co.uk/vitamin-d/ (these are tiny tablets that you swallow - not the chewable variety)

  • Hi Irene, I take ''high strength Cod liver oil and fish oil'' and thats with vit's A,D and E. It's not very expensive. It does have an allergy warning on it: ''contains fish!'' It contains 5 micro grams of vit D. 10 micro g's of vit E and 800 micro g's of vit A which's the RDA for each. I don't really need supplements and only started taking these last winter after reading about vit D on here

    Fiona said about mannitol in some supplements, well thats also used as a laxative and can be derived from wheat! great ehh just what a coeliac needs.

    Jerry

  • Hi Tony in higher doses it can act a a laxative. And it is a polyol derived from glucose or fructose. It's used in diabeteic foods so I didn't mean to put you off it,

    polyol.org/fap/fap_mannitol...

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