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mustang84

The dangers of aspartame (Nutrasweet & others)

11 posts in this topic

mustang84    12

I didn't want to steer Croc's "Cooking with Croc" thread too far off topic, but I found a couple of the posts in there interesting about Nutrasweet found in diet drinks and other synthetic sugar products. I had never heard any of this info before about how bad aspartame can be for you. I did a little research and came up with some suprising results on how dangerous this artificial sweetener really is. My mom drinks a lot of diet drinks, so I'm kinda worried for her health after reading some of this.

    Aspartame was not approved until 1981, in dry foods. For over eight years the FDA refused to approve it because of the seizures and brain tumors this drug produced in lab animals. The FDA continued to refuse to approve it until President Reagan took office (a friend of Searle) and fired the FDA Commissioner who wouldn't approve it. Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes was appointed as commissioner. Even then there was so much opposition to approval that a Board of Inquiry was set up. The Board said: "Do not approve aspartame". Dr. Hayes OVERRULED his own Board of Inquiry.

    Shortly after Commissioner Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr., approved the use of aspartame in carbonated beverages, he left for a position with G.D. Searle's Public Relations firm.

    Long-Term Damage. It appears to cause slow, silent damage in those unfortunate enough to not have immediate reactions and a reason to avoid it. It may take one year, five years, 10 years, or 40 years, but it seems to cause some reversible and some irreversible changes in health over long-term use.

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).

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.

    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°degrees F (30°Degrees C).

    Much worse, on 27 June 1996, without public notice, the FDA removed all restrictions from aspartame allowing it to be used in everything, including all heated and baked goods.

Read the rest of it here

My question is, how in the heck did the FDA allow aspartame to be approved if it is known that heating it above 86 F will be damaging to one's health? Why has the public not been informed of the dangers posed by this product? Is it so Nutrasweet and other companies won't go out of business?

And why was there such a scuffle in the early 80s to get this product approved that the FDA commissioner against aspartame had to be fired and replaced with someone who would approve it? It all sounds fishy to me.

Thoughts?

Edited by mustang84

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Croc    268

Same reason that the US is not the world's leader of fuel right now. We could switch to Biodiesel (which runs on diesel engines with NO alterations) and in doing so we could end farm subsidies, become an export country, and be rich. Why don't we? Oil lobbyists...

I have yet to see a single negative for biodiesel.

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Variance    0

I have yet to see a single negative for biodiesel.

Well, some people claim the exhaust from biodiesel fueled cars smells like french fries.

If biodiesel was widely available, more people would be exposed to the "fry fumes". That would make them hungry for french fries.

They'd all go to McDonalds, Burger King, etc. to try to curb their french fry cravings but the constant exposure to the smell of fries makes them want even more.

Eventually, multitudes of people would get fat from eating so many fries and sue the fast food industry for "making them fat".

In response, the fast food industry would sue the biodiesel industry for ingiting the cravings that caused people to eat so many fries and sue them.

In anger, some of the people fattened by fast food fries would turn to violence and burn down several fast food establishments and gas stations that supply biodiesel. State police forces and the FBI would be needed to break up nationwide riots and several hundred thousands of people would be maimed or killed in an effort to restore order.

As a result, biodiesel would be banned from U.S. sale forever.

So you see, it's for the good of the nation.

:P

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RichW5    0

Same reason that the US is not the world's leader of fuel right now.  We could switch to Biodiesel (which runs on diesel engines with NO alterations) and in doing so we could end farm subsidies, become an export country, and be rich.  Why don't we?  Oil lobbyists...

I have yet to see a single negative for biodiesel.

Hate to tell you this but .........

biodiesel is made out of veggie oil (soybeans for an example) and soybeans are a "subsidized" product.

There ain't enough refineries to make biodiesel.

We would have to replace our cars and trucks with new diesel vehicles, or put new engines into our existing vehicles, thereby doubling the national debit.

People would run to an accident, where Ford police cars were rear ended, to cook their fries in the spilled biodiesel.

The French would riot!

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trinacriabob    21

What's the story with Equal and Splenda.

I am constantly wrestling with the LAST 10 pounds but as much as I am a vacuum cleaner for food, being this much over isn't that bad.

Seriously, though, I do use the above brands. They don't have warning labels. Are they dangerous too?

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thegriffon    5

Equal is another brand of aspartame. Although controversial and the subject of numerous "conspiracy" theories, there are no proven risks with aspartame, but there are some credible studies which imply there might be cancer risks (nothing definitve yet). The "methanol" problem is purely junk science. Aspartame is an artificial isomer of a natural protein. The known risks are those associated with the natural protein, hence the warning for phenylketonurics. The protein breaks down into aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol when digested, but the amount of methanol is negligible and should be safely metabolised. As with most artificka sweeteners it is much sweeter than sucrose, so only a tiny fraction of the "sweetener" is actuall aspartame. When heated it straightens out and loses its sweetness, which is why Splenda is preferred for baking.

Splenda is a brand name for sweeteners made with sucralose, a natural isomer of sucrose, which is also called "left-handed sugar" or L-sucrose (i.e. it is a mirror image of the standard "right-handed" isomer). 99% of natual cane sugar is sucrose, the rest is sucralose. The human body uses specific enzymes to metabolise sucrose, but these enzymes don't work for the left-handed version, hence sucralose is not digested. Most forms of Splenda also contain other sugars for bulk in tablet or granular form—lactose, croscarmellose, isomaltose etc.

Most so-called "conspiracies" can be explained much more easily by somone screwing up, which happens far more often.

Edited by thegriffon

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Croc    268

Hate to tell you this but .........

biodiesel is made out of veggie oil (soybeans for an example) and soybeans are a "subsidized" product.

There ain't enough refineries to make biodiesel.

We would have to replace our cars and trucks with new diesel vehicles, or put new engines into our existing vehicles, thereby doubling the national debit.

People would run to an accident, where Ford police cars were rear ended, to cook their fries in the spilled biodiesel.

The French would riot!

But the soybeans wouldn't need to be subsidized when the demand for fuel is there and the US becomes the global biodiesel leader.

As for sending the country into greater debt by changing existing engines to diesel...uhh...what would happen going to hydrogen or something else? New vehicles would be diesel and gasoline would be available at stations but gradually phased out as demand diminishes.

Seriously, though, I do use the above brands.  They don't have warning labels.  Are they dangerous too?

I wouldn't use them. Wanna lose weight? Only one way: eat more efficiently and exercise more frequently, emphasizing glute and calf exercises and aerobic activity. If you want to use ephedra I can say it helps speed things up a little, but read up on it so you know that too much isn't a good thing.

Splenda is a brand name for sweeteners made with sucralose, a natural isomer of sucrose, which is also called "left-handed sugar" or L-sucrose (i.e. it is a mirror image of the standard "right-handed" isomer). 99% of natual cane sugar is sucrose, the rest is sucralose. The human body uses specific enzymes to metabolise sucrose, but these enzymes don't work for the left-handed version, hence sucralose is not digested. Most forms of Splenda also contain other sugars for bulk in tablet or granular form—lactose, croscarmellose, isomaltose etc.

I'd like a source for this information. I have read numerous sources citing Splenda's non-natural origins and how "sucralose" is a misnomer.

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thegriffon    5

Sucralose is artificially created from sucrose, since there isn't enough occuring naturally. "Natural" doesn't mean it's safe—plenty of natual compounds are unsafe, one driver for creating artificial substitutes such as aspirin—and the fact that it is a mirror-image of sucrose may mean it has other effects beside the greater sweetness and the inability of the body to digest it. However sources alkleging Splenda isn't natual and claiming sucralose is a misnomer are based largely on paranoia and pre-concieved ideas of the danger of any artifical sweetener, regardless of the facts or the nature of the product. There is a lot of this, fueled by conspiracy theorists and sensationalist media who don't let the truth get in the way of a good story (like "unintended acceleration", exploding pickups, and anything that might stop morning sickness).

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thegriffon    5

visit

mercola

and search for articles on aspartame and splenda.  you likely won't sleep well after you read those.  still, i have my diet cokes everyday.

this is NASTY stuff.

Well according to that site you shouldn't have coke in any form, or any grains (sorry my colon demands planty of whole grains). This has the same neuroses as conspiracy-theory sites.

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balthazar    1,882

Many people have problems with grains because of candida (yeast overgrowth) and a great many more don't realize they even have it.

Chemical-based synthetics are never the equal to organic whole foods or even nautral-based components. Frankly, I am uneasy with the mere idea of ingesting a substance where a prime component is "OK" because it is not readily absorbed by the body.

A lot of the 'data' on artifical sweeteners reads very much like the rose-colored-glasses assurances of the tobacco industry ('there's no proof cigarettes cause cancer').

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