I've been meaning to do this, but had forgotten about it (imagine that!). I had a friend whose wife had MS symptoms and none of her physicians could diagnose her. It turned out that aspartame, a sweetner that is often added to diet drinks, was responsible for her symptoms ! Aspartame apparently has been banned in Europe in children's products.
Anyhow, so here's my new poll question :
How many people here are drinking DIET sodas ?
http://www.sweetpoison.com/articles/0706/aspartame_symptoms_submit.html --- Aspartame Symptoms Submitted to the FDA
I'm not sure now which diet drinks are still using aspartame, but if you drink diet soda... I would seriously start checking.
He told me that one of his wife co-workers was reading an article about the dangers of aspartame. So his wife had decided to stop drinking diet soda. After a couple of weeks... all of her symptoms had disappeared.
I heard about aspertame being responsible for MS long ago. I have also heard that it can cause seizers and this came true in our own family. My husband began having seizuers right after aspertame came out and we went on a nutra-sweet kick. We quickly kicked it out of our lives.
But my husband's neice drinks diet cokes like crazy and she has MS. I've told her that there is a link, but she has continued her trend.
Obviously, not everyone who consumes aspertame has MS or seizures, but I really think that it affects many other things as well. I got a cup of koolade and touched it to my lips and my whole body felt weird. I didn't even swallow any.
PlatletGal, you don't need to convince me the dangers of aspertame. I walk a WIDE circle around the stuff.
The Aspartame Myth is put out by homeopathic doctors. There are no, zero, zilch, credible studies to show a connection between aspartame and MS. In fact, rather than believing what a homeopathic doctor tells you about aspartame, please visit the Multiple Sclerosis web sites and you will see that those web sites debunk that myth. The MS society has never found any connection between aspartame and MS and trust me, they are the ones who want to know, so if there were a connection, you would know about it from them. I really despise doctors who use unsubstantiated scare tactics to boost their own careers. If you haven't noticed yet, most homeopathic doctors also sell their own medicines. Conflict of interest? I think so. If you don't have anything, how in the world will they sell you their products? This is one of the reasons conventional medicine has pharmacies that are not under the control of doctors. Seriously sit down and ask yourself how many foods or drinks you have tried that made your body feel weird. I can think of several and most of them actually contain sugar not aspartame. Cream makes me feel weird and makes everything come out in less than 20 minutes. Tylenol gives me a funny smell in my nose.
You will need to convince me of the dangers of aspartame as I have yet to see a credible study to prove to me that it causes all of the symptoms the homeopaths claim. It has been in use for gee, I think over 30 years now. Why do we not all have MS? How many people do you know that also drink products with aspartame but seem to have no problems at all? I know several who do and do not have a thing wrong with them. It's easier to blame a substance sometimes for what might actually be genetic. There are too many people who won't accept that many things are passed down through our DNA. It doesn't mean you did anything wrong. It happens and everyone has something going on. I'm all for facing the facts and getting rid of the lies. When I see a study that proves this claim to me, I will back down, but for now I will stick to the facts.
Can you tell me why aspartame is banned in all children's products in Europe, but this isn't the case in the United States ? And can you tell me why New Mexican created a bill to ban aspartame in 2007 ?
I used to be a regular diet soda drinker. My work offered free soda so I figured I'd "cash in" on it. I was drinking 5-6 diet soda's a day. I have since stopped and switched to minimal regular soda or water.
I started getting odd symptoms about 4 months ago and am going from Dr to Dr trying to figure out what's going on. I had a brain MRI done and they found two tiny areas of "increased activity". 2 Neuro's said it's not MS but I have heard from friends & read online that aspartame alone can cause nervous system lesions to appear.
There is no direct link made anywhere, but I feel affects everyone differently. One person may be able to tolerate it more and not get adverse side effects, while the person next to them may be very intolerant to the chemical and their body reacts differently. For me, my negative symptoms as well as others around me that were heavy into artificial sweeteners were enough to convince me that they are not a good thing.
Not that aspartame does not give me a wicked headache but the European Food Safety Authority has found that the studies finding that the product causes all sorts of things does not hold up. Their website and the FDA's website for their positions.
I used to drink diet coke by the gallon! I then saw a study on a documentary on television which said that the artificial sweetner regardless of what it is,phenylalanine, changes chemically into formeldahyde in our bodies wreaking havoc on our bodies. It also explained that the body actually also goes into a response where it is trying to break down the artificial sweetener and you can actually retain fat! So as soon as I gave it up I noticed my weight went down.
I have Hashimoto's disease and had Hurthle Cell Adenoma in my thyroid. They keep telling me I must have had high exposure to radiationwhen I was young to have that type of cancer...but I never did. I can not say for certainty it was the diet drinks, but who knows!
I never post to these things, but I feel inspired. So, here I go:
Just as weesy68 said, different folks respond differently to different things. Also, many people have varying degrees of conditions and responses. Although I don't know much about PKU, I figure that as is the case with most conditions, some people can have it all out and perhaps some people wouldn't even be diagnosed with it, but still might not have all of the capability to break down phenylalanine as others. Just as I am a little bit allergic to my 6 cats and my dad and sisters are crazy allergic to them; Most people aren't allergic to cloves, but I get plague face from them. Most people aren't allergic to chili peppers, but my sister goes all anaphylactic if she eats them.
In case folks haven't noticed, the EU bans a lot of things. They are all against genetically modified foods and all that. There is no solid proof that those are bad, but the EU tends to ban things just to be on the safe side. So, most likely the ban there on aspartame could just be that… they could be banning it because they don't know for sure if it is safe or not. So, to be safe, and because there really isn't any good reason to have aspartame in kids stuff, it would only make sense for them to ban it. Does anybody know of a reason to not have sugar in kids stuff? I think that kids need to have sugar to a certain extent. I would agree with not having it in kid’s products not only because there is no reason for it, but also because it is often unknown, when kids are little, if they might have PKU. And if they do have it, and they consume aspartame, it would cause brain damage and other problems.
I have a sleep disorder (not caused by aspartame) and because of that, I tend to chug down diet dew like there is no tomorrow. Either that or I could fall on my face walking from room to room. I could also take extra Provigil and extra Aderrall, but that would be expensive and is a bit of overkill when I could just drink diet dew. I could drink regular dew, but then I would weigh far too much and/or end up being diabetic.
As for the headaches... once upon a time, when I was first switching over to diet soda from regular soda (because I was gaining a lot of weight) I also got headaches. But then, after awhile, I realized that there were 2 factors at play there. Not only was I adding aspartame to my system, but I was also reducing my sugar intake. I had been used to just drinking soda and then not thinking of adding in a snack during that time because I was sucking down sugar in my soda. But then after I switched to diet soda, being used to not eating snacks because of being used to drinking soda, I still didn't eat any snacks and it turned out that my headaches were the result of low blood sugar. I found that out after getting it through my thick head that once I ate something my headache went away. I'm also not saying that this is the case for everyone, but it is worth some experimentation for those folks who get headaches from drinking diet soda. If you usually drink a soda when you want a snack and then you switch to the kind without sugar; try having a snack when that headache first starts to kick in and see if it doesn't stop it. If it doesn't stop the headache, then it is possible that you are sensitive to aspartame. If it does, then it isn't the aspartame that is the culprit. My mother likes to read stuff in health mags and the accent sections of newpapers, etc and is always telling me that my joint problems are the result of aspartame, She especially liked to say that when my "former" rheumatologist said that my problems were fibromyalgia (regardless of what MRIs said). But here is a poser I would like to pose, and that is. If fibromyalgia is very common in folks with other autoimmune disorders, does that mean that folks with autoimmune problems drink more aspartame than the general population or does it mean that autoimmune disorders cause aspartame to be developed in people, or does it mean that people with autoimmune disorders are not as able as others to tolerate aspartame?
As for the theory about peoples bodies trying to break down aspartame and, as a result, not breaking down fat; thereby keeping them from losing weight or making them gain weight... I return to my headache theory. Perhaps their bodies aren't actually trying to break down the aspartame and ignoring actual sugars. Perhaps instead, their blood sugar levels are not kept where they were prior to switching to diet soda and so they are unconsciously consuming more food that probably has more calories in it than the soda would have had in it. So after drinking diet soda, they still have their hankering for sugar and so they accompany their calorie free soda with 300 calories of chips or a 280 calorie snicker bar. :)
So, in summary, until there are hard core scientifically designed controlled long term studies on humans that can be reproduced and validated many times and take into consideration all possible contributing factors... nobody can really say for sure if aspartame is detrimental to the general population. Until then, folks will just have to decide for themselves whether they are sensitive to the substance or not. But, as I presented with my past situation regarding it, just because you drink a diet soda instead of a regular one and you feel bad for awhile as a result, you have to be scientific about your own sensitivity to it too.
BTW, something that is yummy, satisfying, and has slightly fewer calories than a sugared soda is (for me at least) a fruit cup... preferably a mandarin oranges in jello fruit cup. :)
I don't know whether or not aspartame can cause any health issues, but personally I try to ingest "healthy" things to help my system. The environment we live in is bombarding us with chemicals and we cannot get away from it, but I try to help my body as much as I can.
If you think it might harm you, be weary. If it works for you, then go for it. All our bodies react differently and only you know your body best.
I will say this, remember what they used to tell us, "In a nationwide study, most doctors prefer Camels cigarettes."
I too have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, but if you will read about it, you will note that it is considered to be highly genetic and those people with any sort of autoimmune disorder are more likely to have other autoimmune disorders. Before turning to food products for answers (except for the obvious ones such as nicotine), one of the best things you could do is to go back over your genealogy when studying your own health issues.
Before Aspartame was invented my ancestors still had these same symptoms and problems that current family members have in relation to Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. Not too odd considering that Nutrasweet was first put into a very few products in 1974. The earliest case they believe of multiple sclerosis occurred in the 14th century in Holland. The first case actually diagnosed was in 1849 way before aspartame. The difference now is that doctors have been able to put a name to things that they were not able to back then. If you really want insight into the cause of diseases read your family history. Get as much as you possibly can and you will be surprised how much of what you experience now is what your great great great great grandmother or grandfather also experienced. If you're lucky, you will find hints in your family records that explain some of the things that have been going on with you that might lead you to a diagnosis. You can even read their death certificates. They are easy to find.
Most of what I have heard here posted as evidence are stories that were posted or shown on TV that did not constitute a credible study nor were they written by scientists and medical experts in multiple sclerosis or the other autoimmune disorders. Accurate, credible studies require many criteria. They are very particular about who they allow in these studies because they do want them to be as accurate as possible. For example, if a participant has several members with multiple sclerosis, but he is unaffected, it is unlikely they would want him in the study considering he has such a strong family history of it and would not be a good representation of most people.
This is the exact reason why homeopathic doctors have not yet been given the credibility by the medical community that they desire. They refuse to produce credible studies to show that their diagnoses and treatments have gone through vigorous inspection and study.
There are some things in homeopathic medicine that do work, but let me enlighten you as to the fact that most medicines considered homeopathic are simply the same thing you will get in a prescription medication but in a lower concentration. This means for most of these medicines, you would need to take quite a bit more of the homeopathic medicine to achieve the same result as you would with conventional medications, and they can be fatal due to the fact that there is no regulation on how much a person can take. In some cases, you will get relief with these lower doses. I have used homeopathic medicines myself and have no problem using those that I feel have brought about a result.
It is necessary to debunk the myths that are put out by irresponsible homeopaths. I think we would all be better served if both homeopaths and conventional medicine would come together as they both have much to offer, but for now it is conventional medicine that produces the reliable studies and facts to base those studies on. If there is one thing we should be proactive in doing, it should be in checking the facts before you make a conclusion.
I think you will find that the danger of aspartame is as dangerous as table salt. Don't forget that drinking too much water can kill you, as was the case with a little girl whose parents decided to punish her by making her drink water. Quoting the FDA, (which unfortunately most homeopaths do not trust in the first place) but nonetheless for those who are interested:
"The Aspartame Controversy
"While questions about saccharin may persist, the safety of another artificial sweetener, aspartame, is clear cut, say FDA officials. FDA calls aspartame, sold under trade names such as NutraSweet and Equal, one of the most thoroughly tested and studied food additives the agency has ever approved. The agency says the more than 100 toxicological and clinical studies it has reviewed confirm that aspartame is safe for the general population.
This message would not necessarily be apparent to consumers surfing the Internet, especially those who use Web-based search engines to find information about sugar substitutes or artificial sweeteners. Websites with screaming headlines and well-written text attempt to link aspartame consumption to systemic lupus, multiple sclerosis, vision problems, headaches, fatigue, and even Alzheimer's disease. One report distributed nationally over e-mail systems claims that aspartame-sweetened soft drinks delivered to military personnel during the Persian Gulf War may have prompted Gulf War syndrome.
"No way, says FDA, along with many other health organizations such as the American Medical Association. David Hattan, Ph.D., acting director of FDA's division of health effects evaluation, says there is no credible evidence, to support, for example, a link between aspartame and multiple sclerosis or systemic lupus. Some Internet reports claim that patients suffering from both conditions went into remission after discontinuing aspartame use. "Both of these disorders are subject to spontaneous remissions and exacerbation," says Hattan. So it is entirely possible that when patients stopped using aspartame they might also coincidentally have had remission of their symptoms.
"It is true, says Hattan, that aspartame ingestion results in the production of methanol, formaldehyde and formate--substances that could be considered toxic at high doses. But the levels formed are modest, and substances such as methanol are found in higher amounts in common food products such as citrus juices and tomatoes."
There you have it! My advice is to avoid citrus juices and tomatoes now. We're all gonna die from tomatoes and citrus juices!!! Run for the hills! I can tell you one thing for sure, my stomach is far more sensitive to citrus juices than it is to aspartame.
For those with irritable bowel syndrome, you might want to study some of the studies done in the United Kingdom regarding water as a possible problem in irritable bowel syndrome. Another interesting study showing that even things that are supposed to be good for us can cause problems.
I think when we figure out how our DNA works, the genetics of it all, we are going to be surprised as to how many different things can affect our bodies, including some of those things we consider to be healthy for us, but for the most part it's going to come down to our DNA.
Artificial sweeteners linked to brain tumors
A book called Aspartame Disease by H.J. Roberts, M.D.
The only acceptable solution is to ban it from the food chain. Dr. Roberts doesn't waste any time listing some powerful reasons for you to avoid this neurotoxin.
FDA in-house scientists, consultants for the General Accounting Office (one of the few trustworthy bureaus in the U.S. government), and a public board of inquiry all urged that aspartame not be approved for human consumption. Yet despite clear evidence that this neurotoxin induced brain tumors in experimental animals, the FDA head at the time ignored the facts that were right in front of his face and approved the chemical for public consumption.
Did you know it's against the law to expose people to a drug found to induce cancer in experimental animals? (It's called the "Delaney Clause.") Doing so amounts to genocide and treason, both of which, as I understand it, are illegal.
The FDA stamped it with their coveted GRAS clearance. In case you're not familiar with the acronym, it means "generally regarded as safe.
Now, when a complaint comes in about a neurological disease or other serious reaction that appears to be aspartame-induced, the FDA blows it off as anecdotal and not worthy of further comment.
All of the food giants use the inexpensive imposter in huge quantities in their products.
66 percent of adults and 40 percent of children consume products containing this toxin. (This statistic is from 2000, so I'm sure these percentages are higher by now - especially considering Bill Clinton's Diet Coke push in our public schools.)
Neurological disease is on the rise Roberts think so. In the book, he lists hundreds of diseases he believes can be traced back to aspartame - and he explains the basis for his arguments.
A toxin like aspartame goes to many different types of cells, but it seems to have a particular liking for the cells of the central and peripheral nervous systems. That means that the damage from aspartame can show up anywhere the nerves are - which, of course, is anywhere in the body. And because it attacks your body at the cellular level, it can cause any number of diseases. The collection of signs and symptoms will vary, but the diseases will still come back to one root cause - aspartame.
The use of aspartame is as detrimental to your health as fluoride, chlorine, and soybean products. It's not easy to avoid, either. Aspartame is in hundreds of different colas, desserts, candies, and other junk foods. The only way to avoid it is to shop the supermarket periphery for your food - the meat and fish, dairy, and fresh fruits and vegetables. There are also many fine foods from Europe and the far East that come in cans and jars that don't contain the poisonous sugar substitute - tuna, meat and fish pates, muscles, clams - you get the idea. Yes, a lot of these foods are expensive, but let me tell you, your food is NOT the place to cut budget costs. It'll just drive your healthcare costs up in the future.
Consider using a sweetener that doesn't contain aspartame - like Stevia, cyclamate, or lo-han.
Aspartame irritates my bladder, so I avoid it. Several years ago I just switched to water as my beverage of choice; my bladder is much less irritable.
I prefer to eat more natural foods, whole grains, fruits, vegetables. I love chocolate; my friends wonder why I'm not a diabetic. Sugar doesn't cause diabetes; there is apparently a lot of information out there about what does cause it. I still try to limit my sugar intake, and balance it with fiber and some protein.
I've heard bad stuff about aspartame for years; tried to get my mom to stop drinking cases of diet pop. She died from complicatons of congestive heart failure. She was having a lot of issues with losing control of her bladder, had been for years. It may have been the pop; who knows.
I just know I've come to prefer the taste of pure, filtered water; my friends drink whatever they prefer, from Venti Lattes to Scotch on the rocks. Everything has "evidence" pro and con, lots of evidence, be it anecdotal or scientific. I trust people to know what their bodies can handle.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.