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As public awareness about the dangers of sugar has increased, many people now use artificial sweeteners to satisfy their sweet tooth. By far the most popular artificial sweetener found in restaurants, groceries, supermarkets and in our own kitchens and on our dining tables is aspartame. It is marketed under trade names like NutraSweet, Equal or AminoSweet.

In fact, you can hardly buy a stick of gum or a box of candy without being offered a dose of aspartame. Even worse, without carefully reading the label, you would not even suspect that a product contains aspartame. On most restaurant tables right alongside the packets of white sugar (unhealthy in their own right) are pretty pink and blue packets of the chemical aspartame, a well-known poison technically called an excitotoxin.

Have you had your excitotoxins today? Advertisements for aspartame portray it as a healthy alternative to sugar. This makes aspartame even more dangerous to consumers who are ignorant of the artificial sweetener's dangerous side effects. Sadly, because of this deception, many health-conscious people regularly use aspartame-sweetened products.

ASPARTAME

Aspartame is a synthetic chemical composed of two amino acids, phenylalanine and aspartic acid bonded with methyl alcohol. Methyl alcohol breaks down in the body to formic acid (the poison in ants sting) and formaldehyde (embalming fluid). Each time you drink a diet soft drink or chew sugarless gum containing aspartame, you are feeding your body with unhealthy doses of these substances.

The amino acids can go directly to the brain and alter the function of your nervous system. Your brain naturally uses phenylalanine, but aspartame consumption exposes your brain to excessively high phenylalanine concentrations. Research has shown that elevated brain phenylalanine levels increase the risk of seizures. The other chemicals - methyl alcohol, formic acid and formaldehyde - are also extremely toxic substances. By the way MSG, another excitotoxin, acts in synergy with aspartame to worsen the damage they both cause.

Reactions and Side Effects of Aspartame

As far back as the 1980s, the US Department of Health and Human Services received over 10,000 complaints regarding adverse reactions to aspartame. However, the enormous power of vested economic interests contrived to 'prove' that aspartame was perfectly safe. One expert, Dr Janet Starr Hull, listed the following as only some of the common side effects of aspartame use:

Nervous system: epileptic seizures, headaches, migraine, severe dizziness, unsteadiness, memory loss, drowsiness and sleepiness, numbness of the limbs, slurring of speech, hyperactivity, restless legs, facial pain, tremors, attention-deficit disorder and brain tumours.

Eyes/Ears: blindness, blurring or decreased vision, bright flashes, and decreased night vision, pain in the eyes, bulges in eyes, ringing or buzzing sounds, hearing loss.

Psychological/Psychiatric: depression, irritability, aggression, anxiety, personality changes, insomnia, phobias.

Chest: palpitations, shortness of breath, high blood pressure.

Intestinal: nausea, diarrhoea, abdominal pain.

Allergies: wheezing, asthma, itching, skin rash.

Aspartame and diabetes: Aspartame is particularly dangerous to diabetics who unfortunately have been encouraged to use this sweetener. Aspartame can precipitate diabetes, worsens blood sugar control, may cause diabetics to have seizures and interact badly with insulin. Aspartame aggregates diabetic retinopathy, damages the optic nerve and promotes blindness. The free methyl alcohol it produces causes neuropathy and increases the risk of diabetics losing limbs.

Aspartame for weight loss: Instead of a healthy dietary programme and exercise, people concerned with weight loss may resort to sugar-free foods sweetened with aspartame to reduce their calorie consumption. Unfortunately, aspartame is often associated with increased sugar cravings, overeating and weight gain!

Items that contain Aspartame

Aspartame is everywhere. Monsanto, its major manufacturer, has made a huge fortune from this chemical. Here is a short list of common foods that often contain it:

Diet soft drinks, instant breakfasts, breath freshener mints, cereals, sugar-free chewing gum and candy, cocoa, instant teas and coffees, frozen desserts, gelatin desserts, diet juice beverages, vegetable drinks, jams and jellies, sugar-free ketchup, sugar-free cookies and cakes, laxatives, milk drinks, pharmaceutical drugs and supplements and children's vitamins, sugar-free shake mixes, tabletop sweeteners, topping mixes, wine coolers, yoghurt.

WHAT IF YOU HAVE USED ASPARTAME?

The most important thing is to stop exposure to the toxin. Avoiding even small amounts, since once sensitised to aspartame even minute amounts can produce toxicity. Develop the habit to read carefully the ingredients list of everything you put in your mouth. Be particularly wary of 'sugar-free' or 'sugarless' foods and drinks.

I recommend the herb stevia as a sweetener. Known in South America as the 'sweet herb', stevia has been used for over four hundred years without ill effect. It's twenty times sweeter than sugar, so a small portion goes a long way, and it is available in groceries and health-food stores.

Once you clean up your diet, your body's detoxification system, particularly the liver, goes into action. You can greatly enhance the body's ability to detoxify by the use of specific supplements.

Herbs: Indole-3 carbinol, a natural detoxifying substance found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels' sprouts and cauliflower. Milk Thistle (silymarin), a herb shown to substantially enhance liver detoxification. Curcumin - an extract taken from turmeric and found in curry - is another extremely powerful antioxidant that enhances detoxification.

Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamins C, B complex, E, magnesium and selenium all support the detoxification process.

Remember, "You are what you eat. Don't dig your grave with your teeth".

You may email Dr Tony Vendryes at tonyvendryes@gmail.com or listen to 'An Ounce of Prevention' on POWER 106FM on Fridays at 8 p.m. His new book 'An Ounce of Prevention, Especially for Women' is available locally and on the Internet.

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Comment by evolution on August 10, 2011 at 12:54am

Another one is monosodium glutamate (MSG) which is mostly commonly used in Chinese food.

This is another deadly poison that causes cancer, when ordering takeout from a Chinese restaurant asked them not to base this (MSG) in your food. It gives the food a very evenly salted taste and sometimes causes you to craved Chinese because of its addicted properties.

Comment by Clare. on August 10, 2011 at 12:20am
Bombahdrop...Check out the label on your Trident gum (cinnamon or other) you will still see in bold letters 'PHENYLALANINE' as an ingredient!
Comment by Bombahdrop on August 9, 2011 at 11:34pm
Yeah it is good news finally a break from The depressing Gay news lolz
Comment by mi_amor on August 9, 2011 at 11:32pm
This is good information and we all should take heed.
Comment by BK on August 9, 2011 at 11:19pm
BOUT Time. Share this on your emails & facebooks. I get headaches from this to. I READ EVERY GODAMN LABEL. Aspartame is actually the WASTE of the E-coli organism. And then you wonder why the FDA approved this crap, or any other pharma products that has killed people. It's because They want you to die, they want you sick, you are the industry's revenue source. EAT NATURAL!!!. Anything created in a lab will be harmful to you because they have no incentive to cure people.
Comment by dij dol on August 9, 2011 at 10:38pm
@Clarice, yo I thought it was just me. As soon as it hits my mouth I spit it out. It givesof this nasty taste
Comment by Bombahdrop on August 9, 2011 at 10:32pm
I rarely chew gum but when i do my choice is cinnomon trident or any gum with cinnomon because i saw an article that said that cinnomon set offs something in the tastebudd i forgot the name but anyway it definetly kills bad breath because of the cinnomon but don't trust the sugar free ones at all
Comment by Clare. on August 9, 2011 at 10:24pm
Thanks for posting this important information. The slightest taste of this sweetener gives me a sick reaction with an instant headache. I stay far away from these artificial (FAKE) man-made or manipulated substance. Please add "PHENYLALANINE" to the mix. It is found in almost ALL chewing gum. It is listed in large BOLD LETTERS on the package of chewing gum (WARNING). "Wrigley's", (Doublemint/Spearmint etc)..finally jumped on the band wagon and added it to their gum. I am very disappointed by their decision. The only gum without this cancer causing agent is Chiclets gum (having little 'natural' sugar).  SWEETENERS ARE KNOWN CANCER CAUSERS!!  LISTEN TO YOUR BODY;  IT HATES THESE POISONS!!
Comment by Bombahdrop on August 9, 2011 at 10:08pm
I use brown too when i dont have domino white he he he lolz
Comment by dij dol on August 9, 2011 at 10:06pm
Brown sugar

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