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Aspartame For No One
If you are educated in the department of artificial sweeteners, you are confident in the fact that aspartame is, by far, one of the worst. Aspartame is a product that’s chemical compound is composed of two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine, and a compound of acid and alcohol, also known as the methyl ester. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Aspartic acid and phenylalanine are also found naturally in food containing proteins, including meats, grains and dairy products. Although, when these two amino acids are not accompanied by all other protein amino acids, they become neurotoxic. Methyl esters are also found naturally in many foods, such as fruits and vegetables and their juices. When aspartame is ingested, it diverts back to these amino acids and Methanol, also known as wood alcohol. Methanol forms in the body as Formaldehyde, a chemical used as an embalming agent and grouped in the same class of drugs as cyanide and arsenic. Formic Acid, the same venom in the sting of a fire ant, is produced as the body works its hardest to try and breakdown this chemical (Bempong).
Aspartame is approximately two hundred times sweeter than sugar and is used to enhance flavors while saving calories daily. Products sweetened with aspartame are used to aid in weight control and daily calorie reduction. Aspartame is found in about six thousand 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, anti-acids, and sugar-free cough drops (Aspartame Information Center). What the majority of the population fails to realize is that there is absolutely no reason to use this product. It is NOT A DIET PRODUCT!!! The Congressional record said, “It makes you crave carbohydrates and will make you FAT“. Dr. Roberts stated that when he got patients off aspartame, their average weight loss was 19 pounds per person. The formaldehyde stores in the fat cells, particularly in the hips and thighs (Emery).
The sweet poison, aspartame, that the mass population believes to be the end-all and be-all of artificial sugar, can actually cause migraine pain, sudden forgetfulness, increased abdominal cramps, and diagnosis of MS and Lupus. Many people find themselves chalking these symptoms up as common hormonal stress and anxiety. Aspartame has been studied and found to be linked to the causes of many life-threatening brain and body diseases. Aspartame is the culprit for many questionable sudden side effects and disease the human population is experiencing.
Imagine a group of people who were asked if they would ever purposely burn their brain neurons or slowly poison themselves. One hundred percent of those people, in their right mind, would confidently say they would never purposely do that to themselves, or anyone else for that matter. Now, if the same group of people were then asked if they consume one or more diet sodas daily, more than half, of that same hundred percent, would say they would not think twice about drinking a diet soda, or three. This hypothetical group of people actually answered the same question twice. Drinking diet soda regularly will, in time, burn the brain’s cells and neurons. People do not think twice about reaching for a can of diet soda or an artificial sugar packet, when really they should opt for water. As if one packet of raw sugar in a cup of coffee would totally throw a person’s caloric intake over the edge, the majority of people use double the amount they would use of real sugar in the artificial products.
Speaking as an extremely frustrated, angered, and embarrassed victim of aspartame, I have first-hand experience that a person can go from being an ultimate athlete, with optimal strength, fitness, and energy, to barely being able to walk, let alone run, having muscle spasms and convulsions, with just the use of a packet of aspartame.
For the span of a couple months, I did not feel myself. I was sick on an off for about three months before I started wondering if something was seriously wrong. When the upset stomachs and ridiculous night sweats turned into violent vomiting and daily bloating, I knew it was more than just a stress related problem. Although stress can cause some pretty nasty health problems, this did not feel like an illness. I didn’t feel like I had a virus, I honestly felt poisoned or contaminated. If I had to put a color to my feeling, it would be green. Picture a soar, green cloud circulating through your body, trapped, and looking for an exit. It was not pleasant by any stretch of the imagination.
For a couple months prior to this most recent illness, I felt a burning sensation, with a mixture of intense pressure, between my abdomen and rib cage. The pain made it hard to breath and my body would turn to almost complete stone. I convinced myself that I developed some sort of digestive problem due to all the vegetables I was eating and the lack of red meat. I tried experiments with eating different things and cutting certain things out of my diet to see if it had a better outcome. Nothing really seemed to make the pain stop.
Being a marathon athlete requires intense training for a long duration of time. When I would go on my long training runs, my stomach would build air pockets, forcing me to stop half way through, lie down on the side walk, and try to release the pain. I was extremely upset when I thought all my hard work and training was going to waste. I didn’t understand why I was losing energy on runs that, at one point, were semi easy distances.
One particular night, after a twelve mile run and a nice nutritious grilled tuna dinner, I started feeling sick. The best way I can describe the feeling is to say that the level of air pressure built up in my body was enough to immobilize me. The sourness in my stomach had spread to my arms and legs making it feel as if something died inside of me. The pressure would make bubbling noises in my body like a fish tank. Although I understand that my metabolism was in high gear from the morning run, this was not just a case of extreme hunger pain. About an hour went by before my family and I decided I needed to go to the hospital. In less than thirty seconds of that decision, I was violently convulsing. This continued through the night for about five and a half hours. After my body had nothing left, we were able to get the convulsions and vomiting under control enough for me to finally fall asleep.
That whole night, my mother stayed up searching for some sort of answer or explanation. The way these intense sicknesses kept happening at the drop of a dime was the most bizarre and upsetting thing to describe. We explored the ideas of Crohn’s Disease, acid indigestion, Gastrointestinal complications, MS, Lupus, anxiety and stress related illnesses, stomach ulcers, inflammation of the intestines, and gastro esophageal reflux disease. Nothing seemed to fit all the symptoms correctly.
After discussing these symptoms with my doctor, thinking about my food intake, and doing some experimental testing, we finally discovered the problem. The blood tests showed that within twelve hours of ingesting a food or beverage that contained aspartame, I was becoming violently ill. As if the shocking news of this discovery did not impact my thoughts of ever using aspartame sweetened products again, my doctor’s follow up words were enough to scare me silly.
Walking out of the office, ready to flush my body of these toxins and start with a new idea of healthy, my doctor sees me to the door and leaves me with, “You were lucky.” Hearing words like that from a doctor was not only enough to stop myself from ever consuming this product again, but to also make sure it was removed from the market. Not everyone may be as lucky as I was.
Aspartame is ingested by the majority of people, without their knowledge. A word written in miniature font, at the end of an ingredients column, although in asterisks, that reads “*aspartame,*” may seem like warning enough, but based on the harm it causes to the human body, even an all capitalized, bold-faced alert, on the front of the package saying, “contains aspartame and could be fatal” would not be nearly enough. Children, adults, doctors, athletes, and people of all walks of life are either consciously or unconsciously consuming aspartame and it is affecting everyone negatively. Aspartame should be among other chemicals that the public has been educated about or have been banned for human safety.
Every day, whether I was aware of it or not, I was ingesting the equivalent of 57 Splenda packets. Now you are probably thinking, “This girl is crazy,” but it wasn’t just the small Splenda packet itself that threw me over the edge. Aspartame was in almost everything I was eating. I would start my day off with breakfast cereal and light yogurt, and continue down the same path the rest of the day drinking low-calorie sports drinks, taking a multi-vitamin and immune booster, and adding spray salad dressing and spray butter to my dinner foods. I frequently suffered after dinner stomach pain so I would take anti-acid medicine in attempt to stop the pain in my abdomen. When the pain continued and began to feel worse my mom checked the ingredients of the medicine. Maalox Max, the acid and bloating reducer I was taking, contains aspartame and sucralose which, in return, causes metabolic acidosis and gaseous bloating. All the foods that I was led to believe were helpful in contributing to a healthier lifestyle were throwing me into a downward spiraling tailspin.
Running the amount of at least eight miles each day and sixty miles weekly, consuming this chemical was a huge mistake. The way my body was reacting was a giant, blinking signal that it was craving real sugar on an extremely high level. By eating the low calorie foods and no sugar added products I was actually throwing my metabolism into overdrive. I was consuming negative calories instead of replenishing the ones that I had lost. Depriving me of this nutrition was essentially the worst thing I could have done.
Aspartame is a chemical that triggers an irregular heart rhythm, and interacts with the cardio respiratory system. It builds up gas pressure in the body resulting in chest and rib congestion. This toxic chemical damages the cardiac conduction system and can be the cause of sudden death in many athletes. According to Dr. James Bowen, a neurologist from Seattle Washington, “it is not just hitting athlete’s hearts but their hypothalamus and neuroendocrine system as well. Aspartame consumption exacerbates the damages to the cardiac conduction system” (Bowen Aspartame=Death). It’s obvious that the media has no idea what this chemical actually does to the human body, or they may be just choosing to ignore it, but the way they promote foods and sports drinks with less sugar and ZERO calories is completely unethical. Honestly, a food with zero calories is unheard of. The main point of eating is to restore calories lost throughout the day and replenish the body with actual substance.
Athletes perform extremely high amounts of training, requiring their body to work like a machine. It will burn exactly what it is given. It is important for athletes to feed their bodies the best fuel in order to get the best out of their performances. The way the media has promoted diet food and drinks to athletes is not only appalling, but it is very misconceiving. The commercials for low-calorie sports drinks are insulting to a true athlete’s training. These low-cal sports drinks cannot be advertised to work the way they promise if they are loaded with sucralose and aspartame. According to a Gatorade commercial promoting their low-calorie sports drink, the advertisement reads, “Half the calories, all the G” (The During). This particular sports drink is advertised to have only twenty calories and half the sugar. Now imagine giving a brand new Porsche really cheap gas and expecting it to drive extremely well. The Porsche would not even make it down the street. The same goes for an athlete that is fueling with a sports drink that has only twenty calories and a gastronomical amount of toxic chemicals. The result would be half the performance and quite the exhaustion. These commercials are contradictory if they promote half the calorie/energy, but all the performance.
It is up to each athlete to know how much they generally burn in order to replace the lost and maintain the required amount for survival. When an athlete’s body reaches for fuel that is not there, the body is forced to take it from something that is there. Go figure. Athletes usually have lower fat content because of the amount of fat they burn during workouts and performances. When aspartame is consumed in an essentially fat-free body, it really has nowhere to hide. It is out in the open just waiting to spread its poison. It counteracts with an athlete’s system by forming a metabolic acidosis and produces a burning sensation. Metabolic acidosis results from an extremely high metabolism mixed with too much acid in the body. Aspartame essentially only burns the body’s insides. People need real nutrition, not chemically enhanced powders used to increase sweetness and flavor. Due to the lack of real sugar and extremely low calorie count, these foods have no business being mistaken for substantial fuel and nutrition.
According to Dr. Bowen, diet sports drinks do not only put the athlete’s performance in danger, but, their lives as well. The combination of vigorous exercise and aspartame use is not a safe mixture for athletes. Charles Fleming, one of Florida State’s collegiate athletes, was found dead after hydrating with large amounts of diet Gatorade. Dr. Bowen, neurologist, found that an excessive intake of aspartame leads to “the formation and release of toxic amounts of methanol in the body” (Bowen A Fatal Combination).
Aspartame poisons the body through more than one vessel. Drinking a sports drink that is contaminated with Aspartame and then participating in extreme exertion in athletic activities will deteriorate the condition of the heart and the cardiac conduction system. The process by which the methanol alcohol transforms to formaldehyde-formic acid from using aspartame is a final blow to the heart and its conduction system. Though the heart is pumping fiercely during athletics, it’s not the athletics that are the problem. Sudden death has risen from a rare occurrence, to one of the most common causes of death in the United States since the marketing of aspartame in diet sports drinks to increase athletic performance and burn fat (Bowen).
The shock from strenuous athletics in combination with the consumption of aspartame will result in cerebral edema, cardiac congestion, water intoxication, pulmonary edema, and severe potassium wasting (Bowen). This condition will greatly increases the risk of cardiac irregularity and the death of the athlete. This combination is increasingly dangerous as the athletics become more intense. Sports drink commercials promote the ability of their sports drink to deliver what the athlete needs, but in actuality, they are replacing what the athlete really needs with a killer substance. Athletes recharge with these diet sports drinks in order to improve their game. The truth is, some of them will not even be lucky enough to continue playing their game if they stay unaware of what is actually in their magic recharger. Aspartame poisoning has been fatal to many athletes. A well-trained athlete is immune to extreme cardiovascular activities and has progressively overloaded his/her intensity in attempt to perform with confidence at the healthiest level. “Mere extreme athletic exertion, does not, in and of itself, prove to be deadly” (Bowen).
Healthy living means putting thought into altering the daily diet. No person can be aware of everything that goes into their body, but the knowledge of the ingredients, preparation, cleanliness, and food origination can increase a person’s chances of maintaining and improving their health. With the availability of aspartame on the market and it’s incredibly deceiving promotion for the reduction of sugar content and calories, people are led to believe that this sugar substitute is the better alternative to actual sugar. The human body is not designed to understand and adapt to a chemically enhanced excuse for sugar. It will take it and attempt to process it in the system, and burn it as actual food. When the body realizes aspartame carries no actual energy or calories, it is immediately converted from the small packet of Splenda to a dangerous and life altering threat to the human body and brain. There should be no argument about the decrease of aspartame use in products and it should be more clearly brought to people’s attention. It is unfairly being consumed because products containing this chemical are so minimally marked.
Aspartame has been linked to many harmful illnesses and fatal diseases. The Food and Drug Administration continues to leave the general public in ignorance of exactly how dangerous this chemical is. People remain unaware of what they are consuming and fall into the go-lucky promotions of the many food additives on the market. If the product is not just completely erased from the shelves, there should be at least the demand for a visibly evident warning that aspartame is included in a product’s ingredients. This should be increased through the years as the human death rate continues to be linked to the consumption of this chemical. If a product is allowed to contain aspartame, the public should be aware about the side effects that will follow. Speaking for the wellness of human society, people are beginning to lose trust in the food and drug administration’s health safety policy because of their allowance of this dangerous additive for human consumption.