New Study: FDA-Approved Levels of Aspartame Distort Brain Function, Kill Brain Cells

Nutritional Anarchy

As reported before, aspartame has been shown time and again in studies (the ones not commissioned by the industry) to be bad for you.

Now yet another new study, this one published in the journal Redox Biology, has concluded what lots of other research over the past decades has repeatedly shown — aspartame, the popular sweetener in over 6,000 grocery store items, including everything from soup mixes to carbonated beverages to chewing gum — can essentially program your brain cells to kill themselves.

Key study findings include:
  • Aspartame administration alters the functional activity in the brain by elevating the antioxidant levels.
  • Chronic aspartame consumption altered the neuronal function and neurodegeneration in brain.
  • Observed changes may be due to the methanol or its metabolite.
  • Long-term FDA approved daily acceptable intake (40 mg/kg bwt) aspartame administration distorted the brain function and generated apoptosis in brain regions.
Apoptosis is defined as, “the process of programmed cell death in multicellular organisms. Biochemical events lead to characteristic cell changes and death.”
So even at the FDA acceptable levels, consuming this chemical is just not good for you, no matter what the mega food corporations and their lobbies say.
Aspartame (otherwise known by its brand names NutraSweet and Equal) is one of the most widely used artificial sweeteners in foods today. It breaks down into three components: 50 percent phenylalanine, 40 percent aspartic acid, and 10 percent methanol (yummy). It comes from genetically modified (GM) E. coli bacteria, and by “comes from”, I mean aspartame is GM bacteria poop (super yummy). Aspartic acid is an excitotoxin, methanol is the wood alcohol used in antifreeze, and too much of the amino acid phenylalanine in the brain can decrease serotonin levels over time, leading to chemical imbalances that can actually induce mood disorders and depression.
Dr. Mercola has noted that aspartame actually accounts for over 75 percent of adverse food additive reactions reported to the FDA, including:
“Headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability, tachycardia, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain.”
In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) even lists aspartame as a “chemical with substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity” on its database of developmental neurotoxicants.
It’s the methanol released during aspartame’s metabolism, in this particular case, which these researchers say is helping to generate free radicals that lead to cell damage and death:
This study provides a scientific evidence to conclude that aspartame is toxic to the body system and particularly in brain it increase the free radicals and triggers the apoptosis. Aspartame consumption in a long-term basis may affect the brain. It may be due to its metabolite methanol Aspartame may act as a chemical stressor as indicated by the corticosteroid level. (source)
But I guess we should just keep on consuming it, right?
When I typed “FDA Aspartame” into Google’s search engine to get the FDA’s official take on how safe and wonderful this chemical is for everyone to eat all the time, ironically, the first thing that popped up was a file on the FDA.gov website about aspartame’s toxicity that lists off at least 50 horrible side effects people have experienced from eating and drinking this stuff.
The document, Docket # 02P-0317 Recall Aspartame as a Neurotoxic Drug: File #4: Reported Aspartame Toxicity Reactions by Mark Gold of the Aspartame Toxicity Information Center, also notes that the FDA admittedly stopped recording aspartame toxicity reactions back in 1995, so its figures on exactly who is being negatively affected by aspartame and how aren’t just sketchy, they’re apparently nonexistent:
 The FDA and NutraSweet have claimed that the number of reported adverse reactions have declined substantially since the mid-1980s (Pauli 1995, Butchko 1994). In addition, the FDA recently claimed that the number of reported toxicity reactions for 1995 was only 11 (WSJ 1996)! It is important to realize that during the mid-1970s the FDA was investigating wrong-doings of the aspartame manufacturer and stated the facts exactly as they found them:
 ”[The manufacturer] lied and they didn’t submit the real nature of their observations because had they done that it is more than likely that a great number of these studies would have been rejected simply for adequacy. What Searle did, they took great pains to camouflage these shortcomings of the study. As I say filter and just present to the FDA what they wished the FDA to know and they did other terrible things for instance animals would develop tumors while they were under study. Well they would remove these tumors from the animals.” [FDA Toxicologist and Task Force member, Dr. Andrian Gross (Wilson 1985)]
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, a number of key government and FDA officials left their jobs to work with companies related to the aspartame industry (GAO 1986). This included key FDA officials such as the head of the FDA Bureau of Foods becoming a Vice President of the National Drink Association and the FDA Commissioner becoming a high-paid consultant for the manufacturer’s PR firm, Burston Marsteller (Gordon 1987). After this period of time, there was no scientific evidence and no amount of serious toxicity reports that could get the FDA to seriously consider funding independent, properly-conducted (e.g., chronic exposure) research. That appearance of the FDA being under the total control of the manufacturer, Monsanto, continues to this day.
I include these comments about the FDA to demonstrate why no independent scientist familiar with the aspartame issue takes statements from the FDA such as “11 reported reactions in 1995″ seriously.  There are many people, including myself who have received that many toxicity reaction reports in a single day during 1995. The reality is that independent organizations have noted that aspartame toxicity reaction reports given to them have *increased* every year since the late 1980s (Stoddard 1995).  It is also important to note that in mid-1995, the FDA admited that it had stopped recording aspartame toxicity reactions (Food 1995).  That may have something to do with why the numbers that the FDA reported to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ 1996) were so small! (source)
Why does aspartame continue to be approved and allowed in food after food after drink after gum after food?
That might be a good question for our current FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods, Michael Taylor, who used to be Vice President of Public Policy and a lawyer for Monsanto. He might have some special insight, considering that Monsanto purchased G.D. Searle, the chemical company that held the patent to aspartame, back in 1985.
MonsantoGovVenn

Aspartame has been Renamed and is Now Being Marketed as a Natural Sweetener

Health Freedom Alliance, Nov. 13, 2011

Artificial sweeteners especially aspartame has gotten a bad rap over the years, most likely due to studies showing they cause cancer. But not to worry Ajinomoto the company that makes Aspartame has changed the name to AminoSweet. It has the same toxic ingredients but a nice new sounding name.

And if you or your child happens to be allergic to Aspartame, well don’t take it personally it’s just business. Despite the evidence gained over the years showing that aspartame is a dangerous toxin, it has remained on the global market . In continues to gain approval for use in new types of food despite evidence showing that it causes neurological brain damage, cancerous tumors, and endocrine disruption, among other things. Most consumers are oblivious to the fact that Aspartame was invented as a drug but upon discovery of its’ sweet taste was magically transformed from a drug to a food additive. HFA wants to warn our readers to beware of a wolf dressed up in sheep’s clothing or in this case Aspartame dressed up as Aminosweet. Over 25 years ago, aspartame was first introduced into the European food supply. Today, it is an everyday component of most diet beverages, sugar-free desserts, and chewing gums in countries worldwide. But the tides have been turning as the general public is waking up to the truth about artificial sweeteners like aspartame and the harm they cause to health. The latest aspartame marketing scheme is a desperate effort to indoctrinate the public into accepting the chemical sweetener as natural and safe, despite evidence to the contrary.

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EFSA review dismisses artificial sweetener critics

Beverage Daily, Mar. 1, 2011

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reviewed two studies published last year: a carcinogenicity study in mice from the Ramazzini Institute (Soffritti et al., 2010) and an epidemiological study linking artificially-sweetened soft drinks to premature birth (Halldorsson et al., 2010).

Following a review conducted with the co-operation of the French food safety agency Anses, EFSA concluded that the studies “do not give reason to reconsider previous safety assessments of aspartame or of other sweeteners currently authorised in the European Union.”

EFSA said incidence of these tumours reported in the study fall within the historical control range. In addition, hepatic tumours in mice are not regarded by toxicologists as being relevant for human risk assessment when induced from substances like aspartame that do not damage DNA.

EFSA is requesting the complete data set from the Ramazzini Institute and said that as it stands it therefore cannot comment fully on the validity of the study, its statistical approach or results.

Full story
Many studies with dubious funding sources (Anjinamoto, Searle, Merisont, etc.) will attest to the safety of aspartame. Non-industry funded studies may be found at this link: http://sweetremedy.tv/?page_id=1190 -Ed.

Why You’d Be Crazy to Consume Aspartame

Natural Bias, Nov. 23, 2009

Aspartame has been reported to have upwards of 100 side effects, many of which are neurological or related to impaired nervous system function. Aspartame usage has even been associated with the diagnosis of serious conditions such as multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, lupus, brain tumors, and even death. Under the NutraSweet label, aspartame is sold in more than 100 countries, is found in more than 6,000 products, and is consumed by more than 250 million people which includes more than two thirds of the American population. The fact that aspartame has significantly compromised the lives of many people is very real and its use is a serious risk that lacks any reasonable justification whatsoever, especially when natural alternatives exist that are much safer.

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USDA Certified Organic’s Dirty Little Secret: Neotame

Farm Wars, Jan.22, 2011

Just when we thought that buying “Organic” was safe, we run headlong into the deliberate poisoning of our organic food supply by the FDA in collusion with none other than the folks who brought us Aspartame. NutraSweet, a former Monsanto asset, has developed a new and improved version of this neurotoxin called Neotame.

Neotame has similar structure to aspartame — except that, from it’s structure, appears to be even more toxic than aspartame. This potential increase in toxicity will make up for the fact that less will be used in diet drinks. Like aspartame, some of the concerns include gradual neurotoxic and immunotoxic damage from the combination of the formaldehyde metabolite (which is toxic at extremely low doses) and the excitotoxic amino acid. (Holisticmed.com)
But surely, this product would be labeled! NOT SO!!! For this little gem, no labeling required. And it is even included in USDA Certified Organic food. Full story

GMOs in Food

FoodConsumer, Dec. 10, 2010

Currently Commercialized GM Crops in the
U.S.: Number in parentheses represents the estimated percentage that is genetically modified. Soy (91%) Cotton (71%) Canola (88%) Corn (85%) Sugar Beets (90%) Hawaiian papaya (more than 50%) Alfalfa (at Supreme Court), Zucchini and Yellow Squash (small amount) Tobacco (Quest® brand)

Other Sources of GMOs:
• Dairy products from cows injected with the GM hormone rbGH
• Food additives, enzymes, flavorings, and processing agents, including the
sweetener aspartame (NutraSweet®) and rennet used to make hard cheeses
• Meat, eggs, and dairy products from animals that have eaten GM feed
• Honey and bee pollen that may have GM sources of pollen
• Contamination or pollination caused by GM seeds or pollen
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