Aspartame – E951
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener used as a sugar substitute. Being a neurotoxin it is much more dangerous than the high calorie processed sugar it replaces in many dietary products including low calorie drinks such as diet coke, diet Pepsi and Pepsi max, as well as around 5,000 foods, drugs, medicines and most sugar substitutes such as NutraSweet and Canderel. It has been linked to mental retardation, microcephaly, birth defects, autism, obesity, seizures, sexual and reproductive dysfunction.
Aspartame is manufactured by the US drugs giant Searle, for 16 years the US FDA refused to approve it, Donald Rumsfeld was responsible for hiring the person who approved its use in 1981 during the Reagan administration. Call me cynical, but Donald Rumsfeld was CEO of Searle, he also is a major shareholder in the company that manufactures tamiflu. It is particularly dangerous to children, the advice would be to avoid using it as a sweetener and avoid anything that contains aspartame.
Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Many of these reactions are very serious, including seizures and death. A few of the 90 different documented symptoms listed in the report as part of aspartame dangers are:
|Muscle spasms||Weight gain||Rashes||Depression||Fatigue|
|Irritability||Tachycardia||Insomnia||Vision problems||Hearing loss|
|Heart palpitations||Breathing difficulties||Anxiety attacks||Slurred speech||Loss of taste|
|Tinnitus||Vertigo||Memory loss||Joint pain|
According to researchers and physicians studying the adverse effects of aspartame, the following chronic illnesses can be triggered or worsened by ingesting of aspartame:
|Brain tumors||Multiple sclerosis||Epilepsy||Chronic fatigue syndrome||Parkinson’s disease|
|Alzheimer’s||Mental retardation||Lymphoma||Birth defects||Fibromyalgia|
Aspartame is made up of three chemicals: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol. The book Prescription for Nutritional Healing, by James and Phyllis Balch lists aspartame under the category of “chemical poison.” As you shall see, that is exactly what it is.
What Is Aspartame Made Of?
Aspartic Acid (40 percent of Aspartame)
Dr. Russell L. Blaylock, a professor of neurosurgery at the Medical University of Mississippi, recently published a book thoroughly detailing the damage that is caused by the ingestion of excessive aspartic acid from aspartame. Blaylock makes use of almost 500 scientific references to show how excess free excitatory amino acids such as aspartic acid and glutamic acid (about 99 percent of monosodium glutamate or MSG is glutamic acid) in our food supply are causing serious chronic neurological disorders and a myriad of other acute symptoms.
How Aspartate (and Glutamate) Cause Damage
Aspartate and glutamate act as neurotransmitters in the brain by facilitating the transmission of information from neuron to neuron. Too much aspartate or glutamate in the brain kills certain neurons by allowing the influx of too much calcium into the cells. This influx triggers excessive amounts of free radicals, which kill the cells. The neural cell damage that can be caused by excessive aspartate and glutamate is why they are referred to as “excitotoxins.” They “excite” or stimulate the neural cells to death.
Aspartic acid is an amino acid. Taken in its free form (unbound to proteins), it significantly raises the blood plasma level of aspartate and glutamate. The excess aspartate and glutamate in the blood plasma shortly after ingesting aspartame or products with free glutamic acid (glutamate precursor) leads to a high level of those neurotransmitters in certain areas of the brain.
The blood brain barrier (BBB), which normally protects the brain from excess glutamate and aspartate as well as toxins, 1) is not fully developed during childhood, 2) does not fully protect all areas of the brain, 3) is damaged by numerous chronic and acute conditions, and 4) allows seepage of excess glutamate and aspartate into the brain even when intact.
The excess glutamate and aspartate slowly begin to destroy neurons. 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. A few of the many chronic illnesses that have been shown to be contributed to by long-term exposure to excitatory amino acid damage include:
|Multiple sclerosis (MS)||Parkinson’s disease|
|Alzheimer’s disease||Neuroendocrine disorders|
The risk to infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly and persons with certain chronic health problems from excitotoxins are great. Even the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), which usually understates problems and mimics the FDA party-line, recently stated in a review that glutamic acid should be avoided by women of childbearing age.
Aspartic acid from aspartame has the same deleterious effects on the body as glutamic acid isolated from it’s naturally protein-bound state, causing it to become a neurotoxin instead of a non-essential amino acid.
Aspartame in diet sodas, or aspartame in other liquid form are absorbed more quickly and have been shown to spike plasma levels of aspartic acid.
The exact mechanism of acute reactions to excess free glutamate and aspartate is currently being debated. As reported to the FDA, those reactions include:
|Headaches/migraines||Fatigue (blocks sufficient glucose entry into brain)||Anxiety attacks|
|Abdominal pains||Vision problems||Asthma/chest tightness|
One common complaint of persons suffering from the effect of aspartame is memory loss. Ironically, in 1987, G.D. Searle, the manufacturer of aspartame, undertook a search for a drug to combat memory loss caused by excitatory amino acid damage. Blaylock is one of many scientists and physicians who are concerned about excitatory amino acid damage caused by ingestion of aspartame and MSG.
A few of the many experts who have spoken out against the damage being caused by aspartate and glutamate include Adrienne Samuels, Ph.D., an experimental psychologist specializing in research design. Another is Olney, a professor in the department of psychiatry, School of Medicine, Washington University, a neuroscientist and researcher, and one of the world’s foremost authorities on excitotoxins. (He informed Searle in 1971 that aspartic acid caused holes in the brains of mice.)
Phenylalanine (50 percent of aspartame)
Phenylalanine is an amino acid normally found in the brain. Persons with the genetic disorder phenylketonuria (PKU) cannot metabolize phenylalanine. This leads to dangerously high levels of phenylalanine in the brain (sometimes lethal). It has been shown that ingesting aspartame, especially along with carbohydrates, can lead to excess levels of phenylalanine in the brain even in persons who do not have PKU.
This is not just a theory, as many people who have eaten large amounts of aspartame over a long period of time and do not have PKU have been shown to have excessive levels of phenylalanine in the blood. Excessive levels of phenylalanine in the brain can cause the levels of serotonin in the brain to decrease, leading to emotional disorders such as depression. It was shown in human testing that phenylalanine levels of the blood were increased significantly in human subjects who chronically used aspartame.
Even a single use of aspartame raised the blood phenylalanine levels. In his testimony before the U.S. Congress, Dr. Louis J. Elsas showed that high blood phenylalanine can be concentrated in parts of the brain and is especially dangerous for infants and fetuses. He also showed that phenylalanine is metabolized much more efficiently by rodents than by humans.
One account of a case of extremely high phenylalanine levels caused by aspartame was recently published by the Wednesday Journal in an article titled “An Aspartame Nightmare.” John Cook began drinking six to eight diet drinks every day. His symptoms started out as memory loss and frequent headaches. He began to crave more aspartame-sweetened drinks. His condition deteriorated so much that he experienced wide mood swings and violent rages. Even though he did not suffer from PKU, a blood test revealed a phenylalanine level of 80 mg/dl. He also showed abnormal brain function and brain damage. After he kicked his aspartame habit, his symptoms improved dramatically.
As Blaylock points out in his book, early studies measuring phenylalanine buildup in the brain were flawed. Investigators who measured specific brain regions and not the average throughout the brain notice significant rises in phenylalanine levels. Specifically the hypothalamus, medulla oblongata, and corpus striatum areas of the brain had the largest increases in phenylalanine. Blaylock goes on to point out that excessive buildup of phenylalanine in the brain can cause schizophrenia or make one more susceptible to seizures.
Therefore, long-term, excessive use of aspartame may provide a boost to sales of serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as Prozac and drugs to control schizophrenia and seizures.
Methanol a.k.a wood alcohol (10 percent of aspartame)
Methanol/wood alcohol is a deadly poison. Some people may remember methanol as the poison that has caused some “skid row” alcoholics to end up blind or dead. Methanol is gradually released in the small intestine when the methyl group of aspartame encounters the enzyme chymotrypsin.
The absorption of methanol into the body is sped up considerably when free methanol is ingested. Free methanol is created from aspartame when it is heated to above 86 Fahrenheit (30 Centigrade). This would occur when aspartame-containing product is improperly stored or when it is heated (e.g. as part of a “food” product such as Jello).
Methanol breaks down into formaldehyde in the body. Formaldehyde is a deadly neurotoxin. An EPA assessment of methanol states that methanol “is considered a cumulative poison due to the low rate of excretion once it is absorbed. In the body, methanol is oxidized to formaldehyde.” They recommend a limit of consumption of 7.8 mg/day. A one-liter (approx. 1 quart) aspartame-sweetened beverage contains about 56 mg of methanol. Heavy users of aspartame-containing products consume as much as 250 mg of methanol daily or 32 times the EPA limit.
Symptoms from methanol poisoning include headaches, ear buzzing, dizziness, nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances, weakness, vertigo, chills, memory lapses, numbness and shooting pains in the extremities, behavioral disturbances, and neuritis. The most well known problems from methanol poisoning are vision problems including misty vision, progressive contraction of visual fields, blurring of vision, obscuration of vision, retinal damage, and blindness. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, causes retinal damage, interferes with DNA replication and causes birth defects.
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. As pointed out by Dr. Woodrow C. Monte, director of the food science and nutrition laboratory at Arizona State University: “There are no human or mammalian studies to evaluate the possible mutagenic, teratogenic or carcinogenic effects of chronic administration of methyl alcohol.”
He was so concerned about the unresolved safety issues that he filed suit with the FDA requesting a hearing to address these issues. He asked the FDA to:
“…[S]low down on this soft drink issue long enough to answer some of the important questions. It’s not fair that you are leaving the full burden of proof on the few of us who are concerned and have such limited resources. You must remember that you are the American public’s last defense. Once you allow usage (of aspartame) there is literally nothing I or my colleagues can do to reverse the course. Aspartame will then join saccharin, the sulfiting agents, and God knows how many other questionable compounds enjoined to insult the human constitution with governmental approval.”
Shortly thereafter, the Commissioner of the FDA, Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr., approved the use of aspartame in carbonated beverage. He then left for a position with G.D. Searle’s public relations firm.
It has been pointed out that some fruit juices and alcoholic beverages contain small amounts of methanol. It is important to remember, however, that methanol never appears alone. In every case, ethanol is present, usually in much higher amounts. Ethanol is an antidote for methanol toxicity in humans. The troops of Desert Storm were “treated” to large amounts of aspartame-sweetened beverages, which had been heated to over 86 degrees F in the Saudi Arabian sun. Many of them returned home with numerous disorders similar to what has been seen in persons who have been chemically poisoned by formaldehyde. The free methanol in the beverages may have been a contributing factor in these illnesses. Other breakdown products of aspartame such as DKP (discussed below) may also have been a factor.
In a 1993 act that can only be described as “unconscionable,” the FDA approved aspartame as an ingredient in numerous food items that would always be heated to above 86 degree F (30 degree C).
DKP is a byproduct of aspartame metabolism. DKP has been implicated in the occurrence of brain tumors. Olney noticed that DKP, when nitrosated in the gut, produced a compound that was similar to N-nitrosourea, a powerful brain tumor causing chemical. Some authors have said that DKP is produced after aspartame ingestion. I am not sure if that is correct. It is definitely true that DKP is formed in liquid aspartame-containing products during prolonged storage.
G.D. Searle conducted animal experiments on the safety of DKP. The FDA found numerous experimental errors occurred, including “clerical errors, mixed-up animals, animals not getting drugs they were supposed to get, pathological specimens lost because of improper handling,” and many other errors. These sloppy laboratory procedures may explain why both the test and control animals had 16 times more brain tumors than would be expected in experiments of this length.
In an ironic twist, shortly after these experimental errors were discovered, the FDA used guidelines recommended by G.D. Searle to develop the industry-wide FDA standards for good laboratory practices.
DKP has also been implicated as a cause of uterine polyps and changes in blood cholesterol by FDA Toxicologist Dr. Jacqueline Verrett in her testimony before the U.S. Senate.
In terms of element toxicity, fluorine is more toxic than lead and less toxic than arsenic, so petty bad then. In most Countries it is illegal to allow fluorine to enter rivers, streams, lakes or the sea, but in some countries, unbelievably it can be added to drinking water. In WW II the Nazi’s discovered that if they fluoridated the water given to prisoners in concentration camps it made the prisoners more compliant and submissive to control. There is a direct correlation between fluoridation and increase in certain cancers, including osteosarcoma, and possibly most shocking of all it causes tooth decay through dental fluorosis. The main source of fluoride is sodium fluoride as a by-product of aluminium manufacture, and is also the main ingredient in rat and cockroach poisons and the anti-depressant drug Prozac (fluoxetine).
Charles Eliot Perkins, a prominent US industrial chemist, after WW II wrote
“The real reason behind water fluoridation is not to benefit children’s teeth. The real purpose behind water fluoridation is to reduce the resistance of the masses to domination and control and loss of liberty. Repeated doses of infinitesimal amounts of fluorine will in time gradually reduce the individual’s power to resist domination by slowly poisoning and narcotizing this area of brain tissue, and make him submissive to the will of those who wish to govern him”
Studies based upon the U.S. Vital Statistics for fluoridated versus non-fluoridated U.S. cities indicate a significant (greater than 99% confidence level) increase in cancer death rates occurring within the first two years of artificial fluoridation. The nine organ sites affected and their increase above the normal are:
Mouth, 15%; Oesophagus, 48%; Stomach, 22%; Large Intestine, 31%; Rectum, 51%; Kidney, 10%; Bladder and other urinary organs 22%; other organs specifically female: Breast 15%; Ovary and Fallopian Tube, 15%.
Patients having cancers of these organ sites should be advised that they should not continue to drink or cook with fluoridated city water but should substitute bottled spring water or distilled water.
The element mercury is incredibly toxic, but used in an ‘amalgam’ in some tooth fillings, and as a “preservative” in some vaccinations! (Vaccinations will be covered later). Toxic effects include damage to the brain, kidney, and lungs. Mercury poisoning can result in several diseases, including acrodynia (pink disease), Hunter-Russell syndrome, and Minamata disease. Symptoms typically include sensory impairment (vision, hearing, speech), disturbed sensation and a lack of coordination. The type and degree of symptoms exhibited depend upon the individual toxin, the dose, and the method and duration of exposure. Mercury is also used in fluorescent lamps and the new low-energy lamps the EU are forcing upon us to replace harmless incandescent lamps – having more efficient (less bright) lamps is more important than public health apparently.
For years, healthy eaters have been warned about the dangers of saturated fats. But now, there’s a new enemy on the horizon: trans fats. Recent research has found that these new fats make you pile on weight around the abdomen, even if you’re on a diet. This abdominal fat is dangerous because it pumps out chemicals that are linked to the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Trans fats have other negative effects, they have been shown not only to raise LDL (bad cholesterol) in the blood but also to lower HDL (good cholesterol). They increase blood levels of two other compounds linked to clogged arteries: a fat-protein particle called lipoprotein, and triglycerides, another type of fat. Trans fats are also thought to inflame and stiffen arteries.
Some experts believe that trans fats are more damaging than saturated fats, and the Consumers’ Association has suggested cutting consumption of these fats could reduce UK heart disease deaths by 25 per cent a year. Some trans fats occur naturally and are found in small amounts in meat and dairy products. But it is not these that are a cause for concern. The problem trans fats are the artificial ones found in a wide variety of processed foods. These artificial trans fats are formed during a food process called hydrogenation, which turns liquid oil into solid fat. The result is hydrogenated vegetable oil, or hydrogenated fat. This is used in biscuits, cakes, pastry, margarine and processed foods to ensure they have a long shelf life and don’t melt too easily.
Ingestion of glutamic acid (MSG) is known to produce a variety of adverse reactions in some people. These reactions, although seemingly dissimilar, are no more diverse than reactions found as side effects of certain neurological drugs.
We do not know why some people experience reactions and others do not. We do not know whether MSG “causes” the condition underlying the reaction, or whether the underlying condition is simply aggravated by the ingestion of MSG.
The reactions listed below are sometimes caused or exacerbated by MSG.
• Burning sensation
• Facial pressure or tightness
• Chest pain
• Rapid heartbeat
• Difficulty breathing for asthmatics
Livestock Growth Hormone
In 2005, 32.5 million cattle were slaughtered to provide beef for US consumers. Scientists believe about two-thirds of American cattle raised for slaughter today are injected with hormones to make them grow faster and America’s dairy cows are given a genetically-engineered hormone called rBGH to increase milk production. These measures mean higher profits for the beef and dairy industries, but what does it mean for consumers? Although the USDA and FDA claim these hormones are safe, there is growing concern that hormone residues in meat and milk might be harmful to human health and the environment.
According to the European Union’s Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures Relating to Public Health, the use of six natural and artificial growth hormones in beef production poses a potential risk to human health. These six hormones include three which are naturally occurring – Oestradiol, Progesterone and Testosterone – and three which are synthetic – Zeranol, Trenbolone, and Melengestrol.
The Committee also questioned whether hormone residues in the meat of “growth enhanced” animals can disrupt human hormone balance, causing developmental problems, interfering with the reproductive system, and even leading to the development of breast, prostate or colon cancer.
Children, pregnant women and the unborn are thought to be most susceptible to these negative health effects.
Hormone residues in beef have been implicated in the early onset of puberty in girls, which could put them at greater risk of developing breast and other forms of cancer.
Antibiotics in Livestock
Antibiotics are vital medicines used for the treatment of bacterial infections in both humans and animals. The emergence of antibiotic resistance as a serious problem in human medicine has prompted concerns about the public health implications of antibiotic use in agriculture. Antibiotics have been used for over 40 years in farm animals for 3 main purposes:
• Therapy, to treat an identified illness
• Prophylaxis, to prevent illness in advance
• Performance enhancement, to increase feed conversion, growth rate or yield.
The use of antibiotics as growth promoters has been prohibited in the EU since January 1, 2006. Antibiotics had been added in low doses to the feed of farm animals for decades worldwide because they improved the growth rate and efficiency of conversion of feed into carcass meat in pigs, poultry and cattle. Their use increased average daily growth and food conversion ratios by 3 per cent to 11 per cent depending on species. The ban was the final step in the phasing out of antibiotics used for non-medicinal purposes in the EU and antibiotics are now only allowed to be added to animal feed for veterinary purposes. Antibiotics are still used widely as feed additives for growth promotion in many countries outside the EU, possibly countries we import meat from?