The Health Guru

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Aspartame: The Sweet Poison

Posted on | July 2, 2010 | 3 Comments

aspartameI was recently asked about negative / zero calorie foods.  Is it possible for Coke Zero/Light, Pepsi Light to consist of “0″ calories?

And my answer is – Yes this is possible – with the use of an artificial sweetener.  That means an ingredient added to a food product that tastes sweet but contains little to no sugar.

This is one of the main ways weight management products can keep the calories low in food and drinks. Infact just about all products that claim to be DIET or SUGAR FREE have an artificial sweetener it in such as diet drinks, yoghurts, gums, breath mints and some other sweets.  This is used by those trying to manage their weight, lose weight and is very important for anyone with Diabetes who cannot take real sugar.

But this comes at cost.  What people don’t know is that most artificial sweeteners (not all of them) contain very harmful chemicals that cause serious health risks.

One of the most common (and the most harmful) artificial sweeteners is Aspartame.

What is Aspartame?

Aspartame is a non-carbohydrate, no-calorie sugar substitute and it is known under the E number (additive code) E951. It is used in a very small amount because aspartame is about 200 times sweeter than sugar. It is used to replace real sugar and to cut calories in food, which aids weight loss.

Aspartame consists of 3 components: Phenylalanine, Aspartic acid and Methanol.


Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid needed from growth.  However, there is a genetic disorder phenylketonuria (PKU) which cannot metabolize phenylalanine. The high levels of phenylalanine in the brain cause a decrease in serotonin (a hormone that transmits nerve signals) that leads to emotional disorders such as depression.

Aspartic Acids:

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 (neurotransmitters). This excess kills certain brain neurons by allowing too much calcium influx into the cells and free radical damage kills the cells.

Methanol aka Wood Poison

Methanol is oxidized to form formic acid and formaldehyde in the body, and both of these metabolites are toxic.

Formaldehyde – A deadly neurotoxin, is a known carcinogen, causes retinal damage, interferes with DNA replication and causes birth defects.

Due to the low rate of excretion once methanol is absorbed, It might cause methanol poisoning. Some symptoms include dizziness, nausea, chills and behavioral disturbances. The more common issues from methanol poisoning are vision problems such as misty vision, retinal damage and even blindness

Today, Aspartame is consumed by over 200 million people around the world and is found in more than 6000 products.  

Soft drinks

Diet Coca Cola (all varieties), Coca Cola Zero (all varieties), Diet Pepsi (all varieties), Pepsi Max , Dr Pepper, Sprite Zero, Minute Maid Lemonade, Fanta Zero Schweppes Slimline Drinks (all varieties), Crystal light.

Aspartame and its effects on rats:  Researchers from the Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP).  administered aspartame to Sprague-Dawley rats by adding it to a standard diet. They began studying the rats at 8 weeks of age and continued until the spontaneous death of each rat.

Treatment groups received feed that contained concentrations of aspartame at dosages simulating human daily intakes of 5,000, 2,500, 500, 100, 20, and 4 mg/kg body weight. Groups consisted of 100 males and 100 females at each of the three highest dosages and 150 males and 150 females at all lower dosages and controls. 

The experiment ended after the death of the last animal at 159 weeks. At spontaneous death, each animal underwent examination for microscopic changes in all organs and tissues, buy meds online without prescription a process different from the aspartame studies conducted 30 years ago and one that was designed to allow aspartame to fully express any carcinogenic potential. 

The treated animals showed extensive evidence of malignant cancers including lymphomas, leukemias, and tumors at multiple organ sites in both males and females. The authors speculate the increase in lymphomas and leukemias may be related to one of the metabolites in aspartame, namely methanol, which is metabolized in both rats and humans to formaldehyde. Both methanol and formaldehyde have shown links to lymphomas and leukemias in other long-term experiments by the same authors.

So what you can do:

  • Avoid taking products that contain ASPARTAME or 951 in the ingredients.
  • Choose water / black tea instead of sweet drinks / sodas
  • Choose better artificial sweeteners that don’t have such harmful side effects such as SUCRALOSE and Stevia

Remember – Knowledge is power!!

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3 Responses to “Aspartame: The Sweet Poison”

  1. Stay Away From Carbonated Beverages!
    July 2nd, 2010 @ 9:09 pm

    [...] Aspartame: The Sweet Poison : The Health Guru [...]

  2. Shuyi000
    July 3rd, 2010 @ 12:54 am

    Thanks for the info… really appreciate it.

    Note to self: “Never ever touch drinks that contain artificial sweetener…!!”

  3. Health Guru
    July 3rd, 2010 @ 12:21 pm

    Hi – glad you enjoyed the article! As mentioned – there are some artificial sweeteners – SUCRALOSE and STEVIA which are much safer to use. I’ll provide more information on both in later blog posts so stay tuned! But please definitely avoid Aspartame (951) wherever possible.

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