History of Aspartame
For over eight years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) refused to approve aspartame. Evidence was abundant that it caused seizures, brain tumors, and sudden heart attacks in laboratory animals.
In 1981, when Reagan (a friend of the head of G.D. Searle, Inc.) took office, he fired the FDA Commissioner, who steadfastly refused to approve aspartame, and appointed Dr. Arthur H. Hayes. But there was so much opposition to its approval that a board of inquiry was set up, which demanded that aspartame not be approved either for humans or animals. Hayes overruled his own board and approved it. Shortly afterward, he resigned and accepted a position with Searle’s. A 1998 survey conducted by the Calorie Control Council reported that 144 million American adults routinely eat and drink low-calorie, sugar-free products such as desserts and artificially sweetened sodas.
PRESCRIPTION FOR DISASTER
Fully 10% of aspartame consists of methanol. Methanol is a deadly poison. It is found in wood alcohol. Methanol is gradually released in the small intestine when the methyl group of aspartame encounters the enzyme chymotrypsin (Stegink 1984, p. 143). But methanol is more readily absorbed by the body (thus becoming even more dangerous) when it is heated above 86o F. (30o C.) before being ingested. This occurs when soft drinks are left out in the sun or foods containing aspartame (such as Jello) are heated.
A temperature of 86o F. is hardly warm! Methanol breaks down into formaldehyde and formic acid in the body. Formaldehyde is a deadly neurotoxin. According to an EPA assessment, methanol “is considered a cumulative poison, due to the low rate of excretion, once it is absorbed. In the body, it is oxidized to formaldehyde and formic acid; both of which are toxic.” Full-strength formaldehyde is embalming fluid, because nothing can live in its presence. In the body, part of the formaldehyde is broken down into formic acid, which is an activator to strip epoxy and urethane coatings. Imagine what it does to your tissues!
Formic acid has been shown to slowly accumulate in various parts of the body. It inhibits oxygen metabolism. Both the brain and heart muscle need lots of oxygen. Toxic buildup in the body greatly increases when more than 7.8 mg / day of methanol is ingested. One liter (about 1 quart of aspartame-sweetened beverage) contains about 56 mg of methanol. Heavy users consume as much as 250 mg of methanol per day, or 32 times the EPA limit.
Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen; and it causes retinal damage of the eye. It interferes with DNA replication and causes birth defects. Because we lack a couple of key enzymes, humans are many times more sensitive to the toxic effects of methanol than animals. Formaldehyde is toxic to humans in even small doses. Although very small amounts of methanol occur in fruit juices, it is never alone in natural food products. Ethanol, which is an antidote to methanol toxicity in humans, is always present in fruit juices. Phenylalanine and aspartic acid constitute 90% of aspartame. When taken into the body, without other foods, they are neurotoxic. “Diet drinks” are loaded with aspartame and no food. The empty stomach increases the damage. Components of aspartame go straight to the brain, causing headaches, mental confusion, faulty balance, and seizures. Lab animals die from brain tumors.
THE 1990s History about aspartame
Desert Storm troops were given large quantities of aspartame-sweetened beverages which had been heated to high temperatures in the Saudi sun. Many of them returned home with a variety of mysterious disorders, similar to what occurs in persons chemically poisoned by formaldehyde. Other breakdown products of aspartame, such as DKP, may also have been a factor. (The troops were also ordered to swallow insecticides and take anti-poison gas pills.)
In a 1993 decision, the FDA approved aspartame as an ingredient in numerous food items which require heating. On June 27, 1996, without giving public notice, the FDA removed all restrictions from aspartame and allowed it to be used in every possible type of food, including all heated and baked goods. Be careful what you buy at the store! Do not purchase processed foods in any form.
WHICH PRODUCTS ARE THE WORST
That 1995 DHHS report listed the distribution of reactions to aspartame by product name. This is an extremely helpful list, because it lists the worst of these “sugar-free” products and gives us a glimpse of the wide variety of aspartame products on the market.
Diet soft drinks, table top sweetener, puddings, gelatins, lemonade, Kool Aid,iced tea, chewing gum, hot chocolate, frozen confections, cereal, sugar substitute tablets, breath mints, punch mix, fruit drinks, nondairy toppings, chewable multi-vitamins, dried fruit, etc.
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Aspartame: One of America’s Biggest Killers. Indeed it is.
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