There is a ton of information out there that will tell you that aspartame is safe. There is also a ton of information that will tell you it isn’t. The peer-reviewed research is about as split as public opinion (not so surprisingly, the industry-funded research says its safe, and the independent research says its not, but let’s not go there this time).
While you read this post, try to forget the whole aspartame debate. Forget its seedy road to FDA approval. Forget the conflicts of interest in the safety studies. But, please, never forget the monkeys (those poor little monkeys). Forget the clever marketing. Forget your waistline. Forget the conspiracy theories. Forget the fear mongering.
All that you need to know is right in front of you; in your stick of gum, your can of soda, and your cup of yogurt. Do you see it, yet? Look a little closer…
Look at that! You have bionic sight. Aspartame is made of 3 components: It is 50% phenylalanine, 40% aspartic acid and 10% methyl ester.
-An essential amino acid— It is a building block for many hormones and neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine.
-You need phenylalanine in your diet but there is a LOT of it in aspartame (it accounts for 50% of the composition). When you consume phenylalanine through aspartame, your system becomes flooded with it.
-Excess of phenylalanine= excess of hormones like epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine.
-One notable effect with this is that the ratio between norepinephrine and seratonin changes. This has a strong effect on one’s mood (can lead to depression and panic attacks) and increases one’s risk of having a seizure.
-It is a non-essential amino acid. That means that your body produces it on its own—you needn’t take it in as food.
-If aspartic acid is over-concentrated in your brain, it acts as an excitotoxin to your neurotransmitters.
-In other words, it causes your brain cells to become very excited, leading them to quickly burn out and die.
-As soon as this is swallowed it becomes methanol aka wood alcohol, which is widely known to be poisonous.
-It then further breaks down into formaldehyde, which is known to cause cancer.
-Your body doesn’t know how to get rid of formaldehyde so it stores it.
You needn’t be a research scientist to conclude that ingesting aspartame (as well as any artificial sweetener, for that matter) is probably not a good idea.
Choosing between sugary soda and diet soda is choosing the good of two evils. If you had to choose, I would choose WATER. But if you really HAD to choose, I would choose the sugary stuff. The more natural the substance, the more likely your body will be able to metabolize it properly. No calories? No point!
“Had I seen the chemical formula of this product, I would never have touched it.” -Jim Bowen MD
To learn more about aspartame, watch Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World