Aspartame Damages The Brain at Any Dose


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Did you know that Aspartame has been proven to cause brain damage by leaving traces of Methanol in the blood? It makes you wonder why Aspartame has been approved as “safe” and is found in thousands of food products. Currently more than 90 countries have given the artificial sweetener the “OK” to be used in foods.

“Multiple Sclerosis is often misdiagnosed, and that it could be aspartame poisoning” 

Given that Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than sugar, manufacturers are able to produce their sweet foods and market them as “low calorie” so they can market and appeal to millions of people on “diets.” There is no doubt that the less sugar you have in your diet, the better. But replacing sugar with aspartame is not the solution, and in fact is likely to be even worse for your health.

In my personal experience, Aspartame has always made my head feel very odd when I consumed it. Headaches, light headedness and overall nausea, are all symptoms I personally feel from consuming Aspartame. But that isn’t even the bad part when you look at what all of the research is suggesting. So I question, and everyone should be asking the same: With all of the research about Aspartame and its dangerous effects, even in small quantities, why is it still approved by the FDA and other health agencies as being safe for human consumption? There are better solutions available and with less danger and side effects.

What is this lovely substance (Aspartame) made of?

An Aspartame molecule is essentially made up of 3 different substances. 90% of it is made of two natural amino acids, 1 being aspartic acid and the other being phenylalanine. The other 10% of the molecule is made up of a methyl ester bond (includes Methanol). The methanol is released from the aspartame within hours of consumption and begins traveling through the body via the blood. Once the methyl ester bond is broken, it liberates methyl alcohol or methanol (wood alcohol). The big problem with methanol is that it easily passes into your blood-brain barrier and once there, is converted into formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is what is causing the brain damage. While animals are able to detoxify methanol in the body, humans do not have this capability. It doesn’t really take a rocket scientist to realize that accumulating formaldehyde in the brain is not a good thing.

What’s the deal with Methanol?

As mentioned above, Methanol is the key issue here as it is what converts into formaldehyde. While it is often believed that formic acid is the issue with Aspartame, it is actually formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a serious neurotoxin and carcinogen. According to the EPA, Methanol is considered a cumulative poison which means is accumulates in the body and very little is excreted each time it is consumed.

Methanol is a toxin that destroys the myelin tissue in your body, which is the insulating material around your nerves that allows nerve signals to travel properly. Once injured, one can have what are called demyelinating symptoms that are commonly seen in diseases like MS and also migraines that can include bizarre and inconsistent visual field disruptions.

But it must be safe in small doses!

While having NO methanol in the body makes most sense, the EPA has accepted that a limit of consumption of 7.8 mg/day is still OK. Why we accept even small amounts of toxic stuff in our body is beyond me, but some feel we can still consume this stuff in small doses. According to Woodrow Monte, Ph.D, R.D., director of the Food Science and Nutrition Laboratory at Arizona State University:

“When diet sodas and soft drinks, sweetened with aspartame, are used to replace fluid loss during exercise and physical exertion in hot climates, the intake of methanol can exceed 250 mg/day or 32 times the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limit of consumption for this cumulative toxin.”

Further, he states that due to the lack of a couple of key enzymes, humans are many times more sensitive to the toxic effects of methanol than animals. Therefore, tests of aspartame or methanol on animals do not accurately reflect the danger for humans.

“There are no human or mammalian studies to evaluate the possible mutagenic, teratogenic, or carcinogenic effects of chronic administration of methyl alcohol,” he said.

How can you know you are getting too much Methanol? You may experience headaches, ear buzzing, dizziness, nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances, weakness, vertigo, chills, memory lapses, numbness and shooting pains in the extremities, behavioral disturbances, and neuritis. Another very well known sign of methanol poisoning is vision problems.

Adding to the problem, one of the amino acids in aspartame, aspartic acid is capable of crossing your blood-brain barrier. There it attacks your brain cells, creating a form of cellular overstimulation called excitotoxicity, which can lead to cell death.

Your blood-brain barrier, which normally protects your brain from excess aspartate, as well as toxins, is not able to adequately protect you against the effects of aspartame consumption because it:

  • Is not fully developed during childhood
  • Does not fully protect all areas of the brain
  • Is damaged by numerous chronic and acute conditions
  • Allows seepage of excess aspartate into the brain even when intact

That excess aspartate slowly begins to destroy neurons, and the large majority (75 percent or more) of neural cells in a particular area of the brain are killed before any clinical symptoms of a chronic illness are noticed. Then, when they do occur, they may or may not be associated with aspartame consumption, even though examples of chronic illnesses that are made worse by long-term exposure to excitatory amino acid damage include: Multiple sclerosis (MS), ALS, hormonal problems, memory loss, epilepsy, hearing loss, Alzheimers, dementia, brain lesions, and Neuroendocrine disorders.

It can be easy for us to make the argument that this stuff is OK in small doses, and it hasn’t killed us yet so it can’t be that bad. But it almost seems there is something more to it why we use this reasoning. Are we just addicted to these substances? Afraid to admit we have been poisoning ourselves? Unable to accept that the FDA and health agencies have lied to us? Like to brush these truths off as conspiracies? No matter what the reason is, there comes a point where we must see what is staring us in the face and start looking at how we can begin making new choices. Returning to something that is healthier and more in line with our bodies. We are really damaging ourselves here and becoming quite numb to life. It is susbstances like Aspartame and Fluoride that are causing these issues and the difference it makes to avoid these substances is monumental for our quality of life and consciousness.

Update: One thing I really wanted to add to this article is geared towards really looking at ourselves when it comes to not just aspartame but food, beverage, cosmetics, etc. We all at some point consumed or used products that are not all that great for our bodies. Most of the everyday products we use contain very toxic chemicals, it’s just that we spend a lot of time seeing ad’s about them, using them and looking at the nice labels that look all happy so we don’t realize how bad this stuff really is for us. You may want to check THIS ARTICLE out for more info. The question I want to raise here is, why is it that when information is presented about chemicals and toxic products do we get in a rage about the information and want to justify the continuation of its use in our bodies, on our bodies and on the planet? Even if something like Aspartame was only half as bad as it really is, why would we even want that? Why is the connection we have to our bodies so lost that we want to subject it to toxins, carcinogens, chemicals and other products that 1. are not remotely natural and 2. are not something that should be near our bodies to begin with. It just seems as though the bigger issue here is that we have become very disconnected from not only our bodies but the planet as well. It has become about convenience, money, temporary happiness, filling emotional voids and staying stagnant. When this info is presented all of those buttons get pushed at once and next thing we know we are defending the use of something that should have never been brought into existence in the first place. To look at it further, even the amount of sugar and type of sugar we use in the products we use aspartame in as an alternative, is terrible as well. Any product that currently contains aspartame shouldn’t be consumed by humans to begin with. What is wrong with fruit? Vegetables? Nuts? Seeds? Why do we always need these artificially flavored and chemically enhanced products that are terrible for our health? Aspartame or no aspartame, the real thing to observe here is our disconnection from our bodies, life and the planet.

Sources: http://www.uabmedicine.org/news/Food+%28sugar+substitutes%29

http://www.mpwhi.com/aspartame_methanol_and_public_health.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22385158

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  6. Bill Knight said what I was going to say, as for Stevia as a sweetener and being approved by the FDA: “FDA has not permitted the use of whole-leaf Stevia or crude Stevia extracts because these substances have not been approved for use as a food additive. FDA does not consider their use in food to be GRAS in light of reports in the literature that raise concerns about the use of these substances. Among these concerns are control of blood sugar and effects on the reproductive, cardiovascular, and renal systems. Food additives and GRAS affirmation petition or pre-petition submissions for the use of such substances that FDA has received in the past have not contained the data and information necessary to establish the safe use of these substances as ingredients in food.”

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  8. Bill Knight

    Of the major claims frequently leveled against Aspartame the first is “When the temperature of this sweetener exceeds 86° F, the wood alcohol in ASPARTAME converts to formaldehyde and then to formic acid, which in turn causes metabolic acidosis.” The second most common is “that aspartic acid and phenylalanine are neurotoxic without the other amino acids found in proteins.”

    First and foremost this “deadly” conversion is one known to most first year biology students: Aspartame is hydrolyzed in the digestive tract into methanol, phenylalanine and aspartic acid. The methanol is then metabolized first to formaldehyde and then to formate – not formic acid. Formate, also known as methanoate, is the simplest carboxylate anion, HCO2−. Formate is oxidized in the body by the enzyme formate dehydrogenase to Carbon Dioxide.

    This completely natural process is part of the bodies natural digestive process. Guess what? Even those who consume nothing but all natural, completely organic foods are producing methanol in their bodies which must be metabolized by this exact same methodology. Far more methanol is produced in the body by the consumption of citrus fruits and juices, and tomatoes and tomato juice than from the consumption of even large quantities of Aspartame. Moreover, for those who drink alcohol, the consumption of ethanol produces even higher levels of methanol which must be metabolized by this same process.

    The methanol produced by the metabolization of Aspartame is exactly the same as from these other sources, and in the quantities consumed from Aspartame, is readily and naturally metabolized via the bodies one-carbon biochemical cycle (via the enzyme formate dehydrogenase) to entirely innocuous and natural bodily components.

    The claim that the two amino acids produced in the metabolization of Aspartame, phenylalanine and aspartic acid, have neurotoxic effects is -surprisingly- true. But only for a very small subset of individuals, and at high enough doses.

    Phenylalanine is an amino acid used to make proteins and brain chemicals including dopamine, adrenaline and thyroid hormones. Since our bodies cannot manufacture phenylalanine, we must obtain it in food. Phenylalanine is found in most foods that contain protein, such as Fish, Meats, Eggs, Poultry, Legumes and Nuts.

    A rare metabolic disorder called phenylketonuria, or PKU, occurs in people who cannot metabolize phenylalanine and can lead to irreversible mental retardation. People with PKU must eat a diet that avoids phenylalanine. So yes, those unfortunate individuals in this small subgroup must avoid products containing Aspertame. But they must first drastically limit their consumption of Fish, Meats, Poultry, Eggs, Legumes and Nuts – Because normal portions of these natural foods contain significantly more phenylalanine than a can of diet soda sweetened with Aspartame.

    The L-isomer of aspartic acid is one of the 20 proteinogenic amino acids, i.e., the building blocks of proteins. Aspartic acid is not an essential amino acid, which means that it can be synthesized from other amino acids in the body. Aspartic acid is also found in animal sources such as wild game, luncheon meats and sausage. It can also be obtained from vegetable sources such as sprouting seeds, oat flakes, avocado, and asparagus.

    The levels of aspartic acid created by the digestion of even large amounts of aspartame are hundreds of times less than those levels responsible for causing adverse effects on the brain of animals and/or man. No adverse effects have ever been detected at the levels resulting from the consumption Aspartame. Because a substance can be harmful in large quantities does not mean that it is also harmful in small quantities! Such a claim is like saying that water is poisonous because drinking too much of it can cause hyponatremia.

    Summing this up, none of the claims made as to the adverse effects of Aspartame has ever been substantiated. It’s chemical structure is efficiently metabolized by the body. The claims that the byproducts of it’s metabolization are harmful is ludicrous; all of its components are naturally present in our diet, and at much higher levels that could be produced by the consumption of large amounts of Aspartame.

    • Al

      Thank you for putting this writer in his place. Go back to your day job buddy and stop trying to play doctor. You are as bad as Dr. Oz putting this pile of dung in people’s heads. Most people who read this are not going to check the science and will believe it blindly. You sir are a shame to your profession.

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  10. Use Stevia or Xylitol instead. You don’t need poison sweeteners that poison your brain and body. Get smart before this stuff dumbs you down permanently!

  11. And yet, the FDA will not approve Stevia as a food additive. Makes no sense to me.

  12. bdish07

    Did you know there is trace amounts of formaldehyde, benzene, styrene, and a 1000 other natural chemicals found in a simple cup of “organic” coffee? do you realize that everyone eats “disastrous” chemicals everyday in wholesome foods? They are still trace amounts, and are yet somehow not harmful…hmm…scary to think about, but that’s naturally found in life. Besides, the human body contains several chemicals that should never be consumed, but yet it sits in our stomachs, and other cells…think about it scientifically before making simple associations that can NEVER prove the cause and effect of these problems. I can get a headache from simple dehydration, same with muscle cramps, vertigo, dizziness, etc. Same goes for consuming too much water. I think its a simple nocebo effect. Unless a doctor can definitively state that it is straight up just the aspartame, then there is reason for concern, but I really wouldn’t worry about it too much.

    • audrieau

      It is in Australia

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  15. can i reverse the damage by eating selective foods can i repair the damage lease advise i have ms and drank diet sodas and used sweetners a lot should i avoid bananas or any other foods!

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