Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Artificial Sweeteners and Your Health

SAN FRANCISCO - JUNE 19:  A package of Nestle ...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful and Equal Measure are all brand names for aspartame,  one of the popularly used artificial sweeteners used by weight conscious folks. It was first approved for usage in foods in 1981. A few years later, in 1985, Americans used 800 million pounds of Aspartame, with an average intake of 5.8 pounds per person. That is a lot of artificial sweetener.

But what exactly is aspartame, and should we be concerned about using it?

What is Aspartame?

Aspartame is made up of three chemicals: aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol. (Dr. Mercola, "Aspartame: What you don't know can hurt you" http://www.mercola.com/) Methanol breaks down in the body to formaldehyde. Remember, formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. It is also highly neurotoxic and is responsible for symptoms such as headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, depression fatigue, tachycardia, slurred speech and memory loss.

Questionable FDA approvals

The effect of politics, and new product FDA approval makes one wonder about the entire testing and approval process.

In Dr. Mercola's article, "Aspartame:what you don't know could hurt you" Dr. Mercola cites disturbing information from Russell L. Blaylock's book, "The taste that kills" regarding irregularities in the testing process for aspartame.

In 1975 the drug enforcement division of the Bureau of Foods investigated the G. D. Searle company as part of an investigation of "apparent irregularities in data collection and reporting practices." The director of the FDA at that time stated that they found "sloppy" laboratory techniques and "clerical errors, mixed-up animals, animals not getting the drugs they were supposed to get, pathological specimens lost because of improper handling, and a variety of other errors, (which) even if innocent, all conspire to obscure positive findings and produce falsely negative results.

Is the FDA more concerned about consumer safety or pleasing manufacturing companies and pharmaceutical companies? Hmm, sounds, at the very least, that we do have some reasons to be concerned.

Until the facts are all in, it might be safer to bypass this sweetener.

For more information on artificial sweeteners please visit: http://www.sherelynne.blogspot.com/

Sources:
(Dr. Mercola, "Aspartame: What you don't know can hurt you" http://www.mercola.com/
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