Aspartame or Sugar: You Decide

March 3, 2012 |

Artificial sweetenersQuick fix syndrome. Americans, like people in other developed countries, commonly tend to overeat and then get obese and sick miserably (see America’s Health Rankings). What is even worse is that instead of quickly to cut our meals and start exercising we are looking for an easy solution, like “magic pill” or some effortless dodge which would allow for an immediate fix in a day or two without changing a thing in our lifestyle. It’s time to grow up, kids! There are no quick solutions. Of course, to satisfy this childish demand, the market is always quick to offer endless false solutions promising quick “guaranteed” success. This, I believe, is one of the reasons why Americans are so badly hooked up on diet soda. The other reason is: diet soda is addictive.

Are you a soda addict? I used to know a co-worker who commonly drunk 5-6 cans of diet coke a day. Every other day or two some strange purple spots of rashes popped up on his forehead or cheeks. After months of internal struggle between my feelings of privacy borders and desire to help, I dared to ask him: Man, don’t you think that your sudden rashes may have something to do with your chronic aspartame intake? He told me that he had never heard anything about aspartame (read: Donald Rumsfeld and the Strange History of Aspartame) and that he had chosen diet coke years ago simply to lower sugar in his fears of the weight gain. After we have discussed aspartame controversy issues he had abstained from diet coke for a day, but guess what, on the day after cans of diet coke were back on his desk. He admitted that he was so addicted to diet coke that he couldn’t concentrate at work without drinking it. Poor boy! Any chemical dependence (alcohol or drug) is a form of slavery but even addiction to seemingly “innocent” diet soda is no less dangerous especially because of intake of aspartame or other sugar substitutes (read: A Role for Sweet Taste Calorie Predictive Relations in Energy Regulation).

NutraSweetis is Equal to Aspartame. Equal is a brand of artificial sweetener containing aspartame, dextrose and maltodextrin. It is marketed as a tabletop sweetener by Merisant, a global corporation which also used to own the well-known NutraSweet brand when it was a subsidiary of Monsanto and which has headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, Switzerland, Mexico, and Australia.   The NutraSweet Company makes and sells NutraSweet, their trademarked brand name for the artificial sweetener aspartame, and Neotame.

Between The Two Evils? No, the evil is one. Here is a reasonable viewpoint of the problem published by Mike Geary, Certified Nutrition Specialist (Do Artificial Sweeteners Make You Fat? Natural Alternatives Including Stevia) :

“I’m sure you already know the problems with sugar or high fructose corn syrup sweetened products. The excess empty calories, blood sugar spike, and resulting insulin surge this creates in your body not only promotes fat gain, but also stimulates your appetite further, making things even worse.

On the other hand, artificial sweeteners save you calories, but there’s growing evidence that they can increase your appetite for sweets and other carbohydrates causing you to eat more later in the day anyway. Therefore, you don’t really save any calories at all. Also, studies have shown that artificial sweeteners can stimulate high insulin levels in your body too, which again can promote fat storage.

Of course, despite all of the health issues potentially associated with artificial sweeteners, the companies that sell the products will continue to claim that they are fully safe. Don’t believe them! The bottom line is that the body was not designed to deal with foreign substances like artificial sweeteners.

However I always stress that sugar is human natural macronutrient which you must eat to stay healthy, whereas artificial sweeteners are complete strangers to the human nature. So sugar is NOT the evil, but you make it your enemy by eating up mountains of sweets and ice creams. Just stop doing so!

Recent warnings about aspartame

2011: Aspartame (APM) Induces Cancers (this is PDF file; you need Adobe Reader to see it)

CONCLUSIONS: The present study demonstrates for the first time that APM administered in feed to Swiss mice at doses of 32,000, 16,000, 8,000, 2,000, or 0 ppm, starting the dietary exposure on day 12 of gestation and lasting until death, induces significant dose-related increases of hepatocellular carcinomas (P_0.01) and of alveolar/bronchiolar carcinomas (P<0.05) in males. On the basis of these results, together with previous carcinogenicity bioassays conducted on rats in our laboratories, APM should be considered a multiple site, trans-species carcinogenic agent. A re-evaluation of the current regulations on APM remains, in our opinion, urgent.

2010: Intake of artificially sweetened soft drinks and risk of preterm delivery: a prospective cohort study in 59,334 Danish pregnant women (watch VIDEO or read the abstract).

CONCLUSIONS: Daily intake of artificially sweetened soft drinks may increase the risk of preterm delivery. Further studies are needed to reject or confirm these findings.

2008: Carcinogenicity of Aspartame: Soffritti Responds

CONCLUSIONS: I find it unfortunate that some scientists have such a low tolerance for original, independent scientific research; however, I welcome continued discussion and more importantly, additional long-term experimental studies on aspartame and other artificial sweeteners. We at the ERF stand behind our results, and we remain convinced that a review of the current regulations governing the use of aspartame is necessary to better protect public health.

2007: Life-Span Exposure to Low Doses of Aspartame Beginning during Prenatal Life Increases Cancer Effects in Rats

CONCLUSIONS: he results of this study, our second long-term carcinogenicity bioassay on APM, not only confirm but also reinforce our first experimental demonstration (Belpoggi et al. 2006; Soffritti et al. 2005, 2006) of APM’s multipotental carcinogenicity at a dose level close to the human ADI. Furthermore, the study demonstrates that when life-span exposure to APM begins during fetal life, its carcinogenic effects are increased. On the basis of the present findings, we believe that a review of the current regulations governing the use of aspartame cannot be delayed. This review is particularly urgent with regard to aspartame-containing beverages, which are heavily consumed by children.

2005: First Experimental Demonstration of the Multipotential Carcinogenic Effects of Aspartame Administered in the Feed to Sprague-Dawley Rats

CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that APM is a multi-potential carcinogenic compound whose carcinogenic effects are evident even at a daily dose of 20 mg/kg bw, much less than the current ADI for humans in Europe (40 mg/kg bw) and in the United States (50 mg/kg bw).The results of carcinogenicity bioassays in rodents are consistent predictors of human cancer risks (Huff 1999; Rall 1995; Tomatis et al. 1989). The results of our study therefore call for an urgent reexamination of the present guidelines on the use and consumption of APM. The decision to use experimental data to protect public health is important because the time span of widespread APM use is still too brief to have produced solid epidemiologic data. Moreover, it is unlikely that sufficient epidemiologic data will be available in the near future, given the difficulty of finding a control group that has not been exposed to this widely diffused compound.

You decide. Mainstream media choir orchestrated by the industry and their lobbyist cronies in Washington normally sounds like this: “Calm down slaves, eat our Artificial Sweeteners, eat our Artificial Colorants. Their harmfulness for you is yet to be proven!” Hah-hah-hah… But my laughter is bitter.

My question always was: Why not the other way around? Why not to allow to the market only those chemicals which are already proven to be harmless for people? Takes too long? Costs too much and big profits are slipping away? Yes, give them your money right now, drink their stuff now, and then later will see what it does to you and your kids…

Yes, most of the disturbing results on biological disruptions caused by aspartame and other synthetic sweeteners were obtained in laboratory animal studies. So how can we know if those warning signs are applicable to humans? Well, we cannot so far. But if we carelessly agree to keep taking part in the nationwide artificial sweetener experiment, we and our children will find it out in a decade or two, if survive. So you decide if you want to volunteer and pay (!) your money for this “clinical” in humans. I and my family prefer to stay out of this crap. You decide who to believe: the industry, the officials, the science or your human nature, for the God’s sake and for the sake of your loved ones.


More reading:

Wikipedia: Sugar substitute; Mayo Clinic, Artificial sweeteners: Understanding these and other sugar substitutes; Artificial Sweeteners; National Cancer Institute: Artificial sweeteners and Cancer; National Cancer Institute: Aspartame and Cancer: Questions and Answers; WebMed: Are Artificial Sweeteners Safe?

Tags: , , ,

Category: Candy and snacks, Food and Risk, Soft drinks, Zero calories

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. DyeDiet DyeDiet says:

    From recent article published on MSN ( Ironically, there’s a lot of evidence that suggest using artificial sweeteners, which have zero calories, is just as bad for your waistline as using regular, high-calorie sugar. For instance, research from the University of Texas found that mice fed the artificial sweetener aspartame had higher blood sugar levels (which can cause you to overeat) than mice on an aspartame-free diet. Not only are they bad for your health, scientists have detected artificial sweeteners in treated wastewater, posing unknown risks to fish and other marine life. Plus, as Rodale says, “They’re unnatural, nonorganic, taste horrible, and lead to all sorts of bad health consequences, false expectations, and short-term strategic thinking.”