Health Basics: What is Aspartame?

Sunday, December 04, 2011 by: S. D. Wells
Tags: aspartame, sweetener, side effects

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(NaturalNews) Over a billion people consume aspartame in their foods and beverages across the world, believing it to be a safe ingredient, but what they probably don't know is that aspartame currently accounts for over 75% of all side effects complaints received by the FDA's Adverse Reaction Monitoring System (ARMS) for the past 4 years. It is banned by health-conscious countries all over the world, especially where there is a national healthcare system in place.

Aspartame is best known by the brand names NutraSweet, Equal, Sweet One and Spoonful. Aspartame is a synthetic chemical combination which is comprised of approximately 50% phenylalanine, 40% aspartic acid, and 10% methanol. Aspartame is found in thousands of foods, drinks, candy, gum, vitamins, health supplements and even pharmaceuticals. (

Each of the three ingredients in Aspartame poses its own dangers and each is well documented as causing a long list of side effects and dangerous health conditions. Watch for the ingredient Acesulfame Potassium, which is just another name for Aspartame.

Phenylalanine: Even a single use of Aspartame raises the blood phenylalanine levels. High blood phenylalanine can be concentrated in parts of the brain and is especially dangerous for infants and fetuses. Because it is metabolized much more efficiently by rodents than humans, testing and research on rats alone is not sufficient enough to denounce the dangers of Aspartame for human consumption. Excessive levels of phenylalanine in the brain cause serotonin levels to decrease, leading to emotional disorders like depression.

Aspartic Acid: Aspartic acid is considered an excito-toxin, which means it over stimulates certain neurons in the body until they die. Much like nitrates and MSG, aspartic acid can cause amino acid imbalances in the body and result in the interruption of normal neurotransmitter metabolism of the brain. (

Methanol becomes Formaldehyde (Embalming fluid): The most prominent danger of Aspartame is that when ingested, the methanol (wood alcohol) is distributed throughout the body, including the brain, muscle, fat and nervous tissues, and is then metabolized to form formaldehyde, which enters cells and binds to proteins and genetic material (DNA). Methanol is a dangerous neurotoxin and a known carcinogen, which causes retinal damage in the eye, interferes with DNA processes, and can cause birth defects. (

The EPA's recommended limit of consumption of Methanol is 7.8 milligrams per day, but a one liter bottle of an Aspartame-sweetened beverage contains over 50 mg of methanol. Heavy users of Aspartame-containing products consume as much as 250 mg of methanol daily, which is over 30 times the EPA limit.

Suspiciously similar to the symptoms of Fibromyalgia and Multiple Sclerosis, Aspartame's long list includes dizziness, headaches, behavioral changes, hallucinations, depression, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rashes, fatigue, irritability, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain. Also, many illnesses can be worsened by ingesting Aspartame, including chronic fatigue syndrome, brain tumors, epilepsy, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, mental retardation, and especially diabetes.

Birth defects: According to Dr. Louis Elsas, Pediatrician Professor of Genetics at Emory University, Phenylalanine can concentrate in the placenta, causing mental retardation of a fetus. Also, formaldehyde in the blood stream of a pregnant woman can cause her immune system to target the fetal tissue as a foreign substance and destroy it, the result being a miscarriage. This can happen before she even knows she is pregnant. (

Aspartame is known to cause weight gain

Products labeled Diet, Light or Zero most likely contain at least one of the major synthetic sweeteners, and Aspartame is used more widely than the three carcinogenic S's: Sucralose, Sorbitol and Saccharin. Nearly all diet sodas, gum and most candy (not chocolate - yet) are loaded with Aspartame. ( Some chewing gum brands contain only synthetic sugars, which are acid creating. The body in turn creates fat cells to store that extra acid, and this is why many people who consistently eat Aspartame will ironically put on weight.

Natural sugar-free alternatives: Xylitol and the Brazilian Stevia leaf (Not Truvia) are natural and do not cause side effects or nerve damage; however, truly effective weight loss starts with organic vegetables and cardio exercise. To be safe, simply avoid all "diet foods" and moderate sugar intake. (

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