To be completely honest, I have never had a physical reason to ‘diet.’ I believe that ‘diets‘ do not work anyway because they are a quick fix to what can be a lifelong issue. People should not ‘diet‘ they should all together change their diet (the way that they eat all the time). That being said, I want to share some very scary facts with you. Why? Because I care. And sadly it’s quite apparent that the people who should care do not. So once again, here I am to blow the whistle on another very serious health issue.
Aspartame has been the subject of much controversy in recent times. It is a synthetic chemical comprised of 50 percent phenylalanine, 40 percent aspartic acid and 10 percent methanol. Phenylalanine is a chemical that, when found in excess in the brain, can cause mental retardation or death. Aspartic acid is a chemical which evokes a chain of events in brain chemistry resulting in over-stimulation of nerve cells to the point of cell death. And methanol is wood alcohol, which was the poison that most remember causing blindness and/or death in some Skid Row alcoholics.
Aspartame is unstable under certain conditions, including temperatures exceeding 86 degrees. This makes the substance unsuitable for baking and difficult to store properly, certainly a crucial factor for soft drinks. And isn’t human body temperature 98.6 degrees? Last time I checked…
Approved Despite Objections
The FDA first approved aspartame in 1974, but the approval was revoked due to concerns about the incidence of brain tumors in lab animals. After a change in administration in 1981, President Reagan appointed a new FDA director, and the substance was approved as a food additive, despite objections from the FDA’s own scientists and toxicologists. Shortly after, the FDA director who approved the chemical took a job at the advertising firm representing the drug company that discovered aspartame. Nevertheless, in 1983 it was approved for use in soft drink formulas. This too was accompanied by much protest from within the FDA.
Despite these frightening facts about instability in high heat, in 1993 aspartame was approved as an ingredient in numerous food items that would always be heated to or above 86 degrees Fahrenheit. In 1985 over 400,000 tons of aspartame were used, averaging 5.8 pounds per person. It is an ingredient in over 9,000 items being consumed by more than 100 million people in the United States.
In a two-year study conducted by the manufacturer of aspartame, 12 of the 350 rats fed a normal diet and aspartame developed brain tumors, while none of the control group developed tumors. An FDA toxicologist testified before the U.S. Congress that aspartame was capable of producing brain tumors. This made it illegal under the Delaney Amendment (which prevents cancer-causing substances from entering our food supply) for the FDA to set an allowable daily intake at any level. In the mid-1970s it was discovered that the manufacturer of aspartame falsified studies in their favor by removing tumors from test rats and documenting rats as survivors of the study when the rats had actually died. This means the brain tumor information was likely much worse than stated above.
Maybe a coincidence, maybe not, but the incidence of brain tumors rose for all age groups by 10 percent between 1973 and 1990, and for those over 65 years in particular, it rose 67 percent.
Aspartame has been shown to cause birth defects, brain tumors and seizures and to contribute to diabetes and emotional disorders. We encounter aspartame in so many food and beverage products: chewing gum, diet soft drinks, children’s vitamins and other drugs and supplements, yogurt and cereals. They’ve even added aspartame to Pedialyte, the electrolyte beverage some people give their infants when they have diarrhea. There is such a lack of mainstream information indicating the dangers of this product that most people don’t even know of the risks involved.
Why is this an issue a chiropractor would write about? Subluxations (spinal interference to nervous system function) are caused by physical, emotional and CHEMICAL stresses, and aspartame is definitely a chemical stress to the body. That’s not to say that as long as you get adjusted, you can continue to drink your diet pop. Ideally, once you realize the consequences of any unhealthy behavior, you’ll make modifications in your lifestyle to try to stay healthy. That means AVOID aspartame and get regular chiropractic adjustments to create and maintain a healthy nervous system.
©1999 Claudia Daude, DC
So what products contain this lethal substance?
Aspartame is found in about 6000 products around the world, including carbonated soft drinks, powdered soft drinks, chewing gum, confections, gelatins, dessert mixes, puddings and fillings, frozen desserts, yogurt, tabletop sweeteners, and some pharmaceuticals such as vitamins and sugar-free cough drops.