Aspartame: A Sweet Poison?

By on August 7, 2014
Aspartame, is a common artificial sweetener, known also as Equal or NutraSweet. It is created when amino acids aspartic acid and phenylalanine are combined. These are natural amino acids found in food. Aspartame has been used in numerous foods and beverages because it offers more sweetness than sugar, and requires less to reach the same right of sweetness, making it a low-calorie sweetener.

Over the past few years there have been rumors online, in magazines and just around conversation that aspartame causes numerous health problems (such as cancer).

Documented Reactions

There have been some documented reactions to aspartame exposure. Some of the common reactions/symptoms of aspartame toxicity include, but are not limited to:

• Headaches
• Migraines
• Dizziness
• Seizures
• Nausea/Vomiting
• Muscle Spasms
• Rashes
• Weight Gain
• Slurred Speech
• Loss of Taste
• Breaking Difficulty
• Anxiety/Depression
• Fatigue

Some chronic illnesses have been claimed to be caused by aspartame exposure. Some chronic illnesses that have been reported include:

• Brain Tumors
• Epilepsy
• Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
• Parkinson’s Disease
• Alzheimer’s
• Mental Retardation
• Diabetes
• Birth Defects
• Lymphoma
• Multiple Sclerosis

What About Cancer?

There have been numerous claims that aspartame causes cancer. But recent research hasn’t been so definitive. Several studies (both animal and human-based) could not provide clear evidence that aspartame exposure causes cancer. They have, however, concluded that high doses of aspartame may cause a blood-related cancer, but the FDA has already called these claims into question because of a lack of pertinent data.

Where Do You Find Aspartame?

Aspartame has been used since the 1980’s and is now in thousands of different products. It is commonly found as a table sweetener at restaurants, used to sweeten prepared drinks (like teas and diet sodas), and used in recipes that do not use enough heat to break down traditional sugar. Also, some medications may use aspartame as a natural sweetener to make the medications tolerable.

Aspartame exposure occurs when aspartame is broken down into phenylalanine. Some individuals are unable to break down phenylalanine; therefore, it can build up in their system and cause toxicity. But, this disorder is rare (known as phenylketonuria).

Should You Limit Your Exposure

As of today, there have been no official reports from the FDA that aspartame is dangerous. Studies that have been published have not been verified by the FDA; therefore, manufacturers are still allowed to use aspartame in their products. However, the FDA does require manufacturers to write a phenylketonurics warning on products if they contain aspartame.

Readers: Do you eat/drink products with aspartame? What are your thoughts?

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One Comment

  1. Jackie Lynch

    October 8, 2014 at 9:29 am

    I have cut back on my artificial sweetnêrs. I read an articulate similar to the information published here. I am down from every day to seldom

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