Aspartame was originally developed as an alternative non-calorie sweetener for diabetics and individuals looking for a sugar substitute to assist in losing weight. Known under the commercial names of Equal, NutraSweet and Spoonful, aspartame can now be found in diet sodas, gum, sugar-free cookies and all kinds of other foods. However, while it has been a boon to food-makers, it has significant negative side effects that call into question whether it is really a safe sugar substitute.
What are Excitotoxins and Why is it Important to Know About Them?
Dr. Russell Blaylock, neurosurgeon, is a leading authority on excitotoxins and their neurological effects. In an interview discussed on the website NaturalNews, he outlines precisely why aspartame is a dangerous chemical and should be avoided. According to Blaylock, excitotoxins are chemicals that function as transmitters and allow neurons to communicate with each other. They naturally occur in the body in low amounts. However, any increase in excitotoxins can actually result in over-excitation of neurons, resulting in cell degeneration and death. Aspartame contains three excitotoxins – aspartic acid, methanol and phenylalanine, making it extremely toxic to the neurological system. In fact, the level of methanol alone is seven times higher than the EPA allows for environmental exposure. Aspartic acid in high amounts is known to contribute to behavior problems and the development of hyperactivity in children. Phenylalanine is known to change developing fetal brains and contribute to the development of seizure disorders.
Aspartame-Related Health Problems and FDA Complaints
Foods that contain aspartame are consumed by more than 250 million people around the world. It is contained in more than 6,000 food products. In fact, more complaints are filed with the FDA regarding negative side effects from consuming aspartame than any other food additive. Here is just a very short list of the known possible side effects from consuming aspartame products:
• Kidney Function Decline
• Increased Body Weight
• Increased Hunger
• Increased Risk of Premature Babies
This is only a small sampling of the health dangers associated with consuming aspartame, yet it remains legal in the United States. If you are experiencing health problems and consume foods that contain aspartame, consider no longer eating those foods and visit your doctor to rule out any serious health problems related to the food additive. Instead of eating foods with aspartame, try eating whole foods without additives. Also, consider other sugar substitutes, such as agave, honey or stevia for sweeteners.
– The Alternative Daily