“Last year I decided to do the right thing and try to rip off a bit of the weight that has crept up on me over the years. As well as dusting off my old push bike and increasing my physical activity, I made a few dietary changes. My wife and I both have a sweet tooth, and if there’s chocolate in the house, it will get eaten, so we cut out a lot of things like that.
“After making, what I thought were positive changes, I started noticing I was getting bad headaches, and a tightness of my neck and back muscles. They started off as just something that would happen now and then, but increased to almost every night. I tried everything, and nothing worked!
“Finally, I took a step back and thought about each thing I had done differently in the last 6 months. Then it hit me! In trying to lower my sugar intake, I had swapped sugar in my tea and coffee for Equal. Could that be responsible for my headaches?
“I hit the net and feverishly started researching. I was horrified by what I saw, and found thousands of other cases like mine. So now I use a totally natural product called stevia…”
One of my colleagues told me this story about his journey to health a number of years ago, and it stuck in my memory. How many other people out there are experiencing a range of health issues but are unable to pinpoint what may be causing it? Could you be one of these people?
Are you someone who just knows that you can’t give up that sweet taste to your tea or coffee, but are concerned for your health, and your waistline at the same time? There is an alternative that could be just what you have been looking for—and it DOESN’T lie in harmful man-made sweeteners!
WE’VE BEEN LIED TO.
We’ve been fed the lie for years that aspartame, also known as artificial sweetener 951, is the most thoroughly-tested food additive ever released, and that it is completely safe for human consumption. What most people don’t know though is the secret dirty deals that were done behind closed doors to get this product on the market.
These days, a stroll down your supermarket aisles will lead you to countless products that contain aspartame: diet soft drinks, sugar-free gum (and even some gum that ALSO contains sugar!) and sugar-free lollies, sugar-free ice-cream, diet jelly and Equal are just some such products. Many people consume such products, believing they are doing a service to their health—and they would be horrified to know that the common ingredient in them all is a CHEMICAL, a MAN-MADE INGREDIENT, not something that comes from nature, like food is supposed to.
HOW THIS IS A SWEET TOXIN
Essentially, aspartame is a poison to our bodies, which can change the behaviour of the synapses in our brain, and with long-term use, even change the structure of our DNA. It has a particularly negative effect on the nervous and endocrine systems, as its prolonged consumption can cause it to accumulate in the body.
Aspartame is comprised of two components: two amino acids—phenylalanine and aspartic acid—and methyl ester. When we ingest methyl ester, our body turns it into methanol—essentially wood alcohol—which is a poison. (In fact, there have been people who have DIED of methanol poisoning from consuming excess diet drinks!)
The body, in turn, metabolises methanol into formaldehyde. That’s right, that chemical that is used for EMBALMING DEAD BODIES! All three components of aspartame are released into the bloodstream shortly after its consumption, to begin wreaking havoc on your body.
Aspartic acid is what is known as an excitotoxin: a chemical that causes brain cells to become so excited that they burn themselves out and DIE. Repeated exposure to excitotoxins can lead to impairment of brain function.
IT COULD BE SLOWLY KILLING YOU.
Aspartame has been linked with a wide range of health problems. Just a few of these include seizures, dizziness, brain tumours, spotted vision, multiple sclerosis, double vision, headaches, and fibromyalgia.
A JOURNEY BACK IN TIME.
What is it about aspartame that makes it so bad? Let’s take a little look back in time, to the ‘60’s—1965 to be precise. This was the year that aspartame was discovered, when a researcher by the name of G.D Searle was testing an ulcer drug. He accidentally licked his fingers after getting some of the substance on them, and noticed its sweet taste. He realised that it would be far more financially-profitable to market the substance as a sweetener than an ulcer drug, and championed for its approval by the FDA.
Fast forward a few years, in 1974, aspartame was approved for limited use. However, what you might not know is that it actually wasn’t until AFTER it was approved that G.D Searle and the manufacturers of aspartame supplied the FDA with their (albeit highly questionable) research on the substance.
The following year, in 1975, a pivotal study (i.e. a study conducted in order to provide evidence for the marketing approval for a substance by a group such as the FDA) was conducted on aspartame, after the initial studies were shown to be dubious (more on that later!)
In 1976, the FDA released a 500-page report, demonstrating the manipulation that had taken place during the initial study designed to prove aspartame’s safety. This report led to a review in congress, and in 1977, the FDA council recommended that a grand jury be set up in order to investigate G.D Searle for fraud regarding the manipulation and falsification of data on aspartame and other products.
SWEET MONEY DEALS
As so often happens, however, money spoke. The statute of limitations on the charges ran out, deals were done, and the lawsuit was dropped. The FDA employees who should have helped to prosecute Searle were bribed with promises of great jobs if they let him go free. Seven such FDA employees who helped the substance to gain approval were subsequently given jobs in one of the industries that makes use of aspartame, such as the soft drink or chewing gum industry.
Four years later, in 1980, the Public Board of Inquiry voted for the rejection of aspartame’s use until further studies were conducted which disproved its link with brain tumours.
However, in 1981, only one day after Ronald Raegan was sworn in as president, G.D Searle reapplied for aspartame’s approval. During the approval process, three of the five FDA scientists who had previously examined the link between aspartame and brain tumours, were against its use. After a new panel member, in favour of aspartame’s approval, was found by the panel lawyer, the head of the FDA, Arthur Hull Heyes, overruled the Public Board of Enquiry, and approved the use of aspartame in dry foods.
DISEASES INCREASE AFTER APPROVAL AND RELEASE ON THE MARKET.
1983 was the year aspartame was released for use in carbonated drinks in the USA. Funnily enough, in the 6 months after its release, the brain tumour rate amongst Americans increased by 10%, diabetes by 30%, and lymphoma by 60%. By 1988, 80% of all voluntary food complaints submitted to the FDA were relating to aspartame. Yes, that’s a staggering EIGHT OUT OF TEN complaints that the Food and Drug Administration received being about this artificial sweetener! So why was its continued use allowed?
In order to give its approval legitimacy, as well as to help downplay the accusations of fraud leveled at G.D Searle, he and aspartame’s manufacturers knew that aspartame had to be approved in a country outside the USA. However, if the truth behind it was known, there would be no chance of this happening.
In an effort to achieve its approval outside the USA, Searle conducted a secret deal with Professor Paul Turner of the Regulatory Agency (England’s answer to the FDA) in England. This caused a big uproar in parliament and was all over the news, however, the order was never rescinded.
So let’s get this straight: aspartame was approved for use in England with NO STUDIES! They relied solely on those presented to the FDA, which were highly flawed. And this is exactly what other countries did when, one by one, they approved the substance’s use too, without doing any studies of their own.
WHAT HAVE THEY GOT TO HIDE?
One look at the wheeling and dealing that went on to get aspartame approved explains to us why this product has been allowed to be labelled ‘safe’ for human consumption, despite the extensive evidence that indicates otherwise.
In a bid to win the public’s confidence, the creators of aspartame told the world that they were so sure of the substance’s safety that they would provide samples of aspartame to any legitimate researcher who wanted to study it for themselves.
However, when scientists wanted to do a double blind study to do just this, their request was refused, and they were told that their study was ‘unnecessary’! This begs the question, if the researchers were so convinced of the product’s safety, what did they have to hide? Why not let everybody come to the same conclusion themselves?
THE SCIENCE DOESN’T LIE!
In order to get approval from the FDA for aspartame, animal studies were conducted. When the submission was made, there were several questions about its validity, and the fact that aspartame use in animals led to tumour growth. An investigation into the study was consequently conducted by the Bureau of Foods, which is the precursor to the FDA.
The results of the investigation were horrific: autopsies on the animals that died after being fed aspartame were conducted over a year after those animals’ deaths occurred, by which time their tissue had broken down to the extent that the tumours that had grown could not be differentiated between healthy cells, and therefore went unreported.
It was discovered that in some cases those who conducted the experiment had cut out the tumours from the animals and thrown them away, and claimed that the animals were in good health; animals with clearly tumourous tissues were reported as being healthy, and an enlarged lymph node, which was later found by the Bureau of Foods to be cancerous, was also reported as normal. In summary, there was a concerted attempt made by the creators of aspartame to cover up their horrifying findings in order to get approval for their product, regardless of the toll it would take on consumers’ health.
In a subsequent study, the manufacturers of aspartame fed monkeys aspartame combined with milk, which usually has the effect of slowing down the absorption of chemicals. In spite of this, out of the seven monkeys used in the study, one died and five experienced grand mal seizures. Rather than presenting this damning study to the FDA, they REDESIGNED the study in order to manipulate the results and make them more favourable.
Also of significance was a double blind study that was conducted on a number of people who had a history of mood disorders. One of these was a PHD psychologist. Several days into the study, he experienced a sudden bleeding in one of his eyes and a detached retina. Additionally, a nurse participating in the study also experienced an eye bleed.
With such a string of devastating consequences, you would think that aspartame would never be approved. However, the substance was released as a GRAS product (generally recognised as safe). As such, bad reactions to it do not have to be reported to the FDA. Therefore, its true destruction may have been grossly underreported.
When it gets down to it, the only studies that looked upon the substance with favour were those that were SPONSORED or PAID by its manufacturers and stakeholders, such as diet soft drink companies. These studies were designed in such a way that the results could be set up ahead of time, and the experimental procedure manipulated to achieve the desired outcome.
COULD YOU BE MORE AT RISK OF ASPARTAME’S DEADLY EFFECTS?
The capillaries that carry blood to the brain and spinal cord tissue have the ability to allow certain substances in, and keep other substances out. Since the brain is such an important organ in the functioning of the body, this is a very important mechanism.
However, a number of things can cause a break-down of the blood-brain barrier, allowing some substances first to enter the bloodstream, and then the brain. Some such causes include age, and certain illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, as well as a number of other auto-immune diseases.
For people who fall into this category, consuming aspartame can have even more deadly effects than it would for the general population, as it goes STRAIGHT TO THE BRAIN. Even for people with a properly-functioning blood-brain barrier, aspartame can seep through and enter the brain if large amounts are consumed over a long period of time, leading to serious damage to the brain.
BUT IT MAKES ME THIN, RIGHT?
We are constantly told that sugar is nasty and evil, and leads to a whole range of health problems. While this is largely true, and we SHOULD try to limit our intake, it is at least a natural product. Sure, most sugar these days is highly refined, but nonetheless, it started off as a plant.
Aspartame, however, did not. Aspartame is a mixture of several different CHEMICALS. It is a MAN-MADE substance. As such, it causes far more health problems than sugar ever will, and, according to recent studies, DOESN’T even successfully do the one thing its creators promoted it as doing—HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT!
When we eat foods high in sugar, our bodies register that they must contain a high number of calories, and regulates the metabolism accordingly. However, when an artificial sweetener such as aspartame is consumed, our bodies become confused, and their ability to count the calories is messed around.
As a result, after we consume aspartame, we are more likely to eat more, and therefore GAIN WEIGHT! Our brains are tricked into thinking that we are going to be consuming high numbers of calories, and when these never come, our metabolism gets confused and experiences difficulty with appetite regulation, resulting in us putting on MORE WEIGHT than if we had just eaten sugar in the first place!
DON’T BE DUPED
Very few, if any other substances approved for human consumption have had as dark and deceptive a history as that of aspartame. After learning about it, one of the best moves we can make for our health is to make the decision, here and now, not to purchase or consume products containing the substance. While it may mean paying a little more attention to food labels, the benefits it has for our health are priceless.
The great thing is that this doesn’t mean sugar is the only alternative! Natural low-calorie sweeteners are currently experiencing a huge surge in popularity, which has resulted in them being more readily-available. Stevia is one such product which, like sugar, comes from nature, the way our food is supposed to.
A recent stroll along the aisles of the supermarkeet left me pleasanty surprised. I found that, while there are still plenty of products with aspartame in them, a number of products that I know used to contain it no longer do. This is good and bad: bad in that, in some cases, the aspartame has simply been replaced with an alternative artificial sweetener that is also bad for your health, and good that a number of products are making use of stevia as their sweetener.