Aspartame is an artificial, non-saccharide sweetener used as a sugar substitute in many foods and beverages. It has invariably become the most notorious food additive in the world today. This little known additive is used in 6,000 consumer foods and beverages sold worldwide, including diet sodas and other soft drinks, instant breakfasts, breath mints, cereals, sugar-free chewing gum, cocoa mixes, frozen desserts, gelatin desserts, juices, laxatives, chewable vitamins supplements, milk drinks, pharmaceutical drugs and supplements, shake mixes, table top sweeteners, teas, instant coffees, topping mixes, wine coolers and yogurt. With all controversies, facts and health scares we need to think over again on what influences this chemical has on our health.
This chemical additive has been in the market since past 30 years and its demand has been growing more than ever in many common food stuffs. The major health concerns sited are:
- Brain cancer,
- Neurological symptoms including headaches, depressed and anxious mood, seizures, memory loss, hallucinations, and dizziness
- Visual changes
- Weakness and fatigue
- Joint pain
- Sleep disorders
- Weight gain
- Abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting
- Rashes and hives
The truth is, aspartame should never have been released into the market, and allowing it to remain on the market is really a serious public health issue—no matter how many times it gets rebranded with splashy new names, like Neotame and AminoSweet.
Aspartame has been the subject of a great deal of research over the past several decades. But much of this research has been seriously flawed due to major conflict of interest—funded by those interested in promoting aspartame at any cost.
The link between Aspartame and cancer was researched in the early 2000s, by Italian cancer researcher
Dr. Morando Soffritti, head of the European Ramazzini Foundation of Oncology and Environmental Sciences. This
foundation is a well-respected, independent, non-profit institution that has been dedicated to cancer prevention for
more than 35 years.
The studies concluded that in Soffrittis own words explained:
After being fed the “human equivalent” of four to five bottles of diet soda per day, to the rats developed it developed
high rates of lymphomas, leukaemia’s and other cancers. At the highest dose, 25 percent of the female rats developed lymphomas and leukaemia’s, compared with just 8.7 percent of the control group.. As with rats, when your body breaks down methanol, the result is formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen.
Aspartame is made with genetically modified bacteria—E. coli. The GM bacteria is used in the process of making aspartame in many US factories—and they insist it is completely safe.
According to an article in The Independent:
“Aspartame is made by combining phenylalanine, which is naturally produced by bacteria, with another amino acid.
Monsanto has genetically engineered the bacteria to make them produce more phenylalanine. Scientists fear that other unknown compounds, which may end up in food, are produced by the genetic engineering process.”
Aspartame is composed of two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine. All products containing aspartame must be labeled with the information “contains phenylalanine” (which is dangerous if you suffer from the metabolic illness phenylketonuria). But additives that are manufactured with the aid of GMOs do NOT require labeling as such, provided the additive contains no actual microorganisms.So, indirectly speaking two of the greatest health hazards of our times—edible carcinogens and GM foods have their presence in Aspartame.
How can we be safe from this potential health hazard
Knowing about so many health risks the best strategy is to avoid purchasing any aspartame products. You can carefully read the list of ingredients on processed foods and see if aspartame is there and avoid it. Additionally also we can avoid the branded labels of aspartame such as:
There is no track of how much research and reports have been done on Aspartame but the volume of data available
is quite alarming for us to reconsider the option of ceaselessly using these artificial foods in our lives. The best
option is to switch to more organic alternatives in life rather than risking our health for momentary comforts.