Let's get serious today and talk about the artificial sweetener, aspartame. Aspartame will make you sick and fat. You shouldn't eat or drink it, especially if you have diabetes or other autoimmune diseases like Parkinson's or multiple sclerosis, or if you are prone to migraines, or if you have a child on the spectrum .
First, I'd like to say that this is not a scientific blog. I am not a scientist. I am just a mother of a lot of kids, who happens to have a keen interest in food additives and what I'm feeding my children. I came to have this interest because one of my daughters is especially sensitive to food additives, and as I researched how I could avoid them, I became more and more interested in how they affect your overall health and well-being.
To really explain why aspartame is bad for you, you really have to understand what sort of food additive aspartame is. Aspartame is an excitotoxin. Excitotoxins are neurotransmitters that cause excitability and rapid firing of neurons in the brain, followed by massive brain cell die-offs. You can click on the link I provided to read the scientific reason this happens.
But in layman's terms, they cause your brain cells to die. Do I need to be killing off perfectly good brain cells on purpose? I'm fairly certain I've lost a record number giving birth to four kids in a 16 month period. Also, do I need to be killing off brain cells in my children? No, I think not.
The most common excitotoxin is MSG, or monosodium glutamate. MSG is found in almost all processed food. You almost can't buy ANYTHING that's processed that doesn't contain a form of MSG. MSG is marketed under many many different names. Here are the most common names:
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)
Hydrolyzed Plant Protein (HPP)
Autolyzed Plant Protein
Yeast food or nutrient
Vegetable Protein Extract
Before 1969, baby food was actually loaded with MSG. It wasn't until a neuroscientist named John Olney proved that MSG caused brain lesions in infant rats that congress banned the use of MSG in baby food. The damage was already done however. Dr. Olney has published studies indicating that early exposure to MSG causes visceral fat accumulation and a preference for sweet tasting food and carbohydrates which causes obesity. But it's out of baby food now, right? So we don't have to worry anymore, right?
Wrong. The minute you start feeding your children table food that's processed, they begin eating vast quantities of it. Children are most susceptible to MSG damage before the age of three. It doesn't surprise me in the least that some parents with children on the spectrum start seeing regression in their children's behavior at around 18 months.
Dr. Olney has also spent the last 25 years trying to prove that aspartame has the same effect on the brain, as it contains 40 percent aspartic acid and is an excitotoxin just like MSG. He strongly oppossed the approval of aspartame by the FDA.
So why is aspartame on the market at all when the FDA advisors strongly advised against ever allowing it in beverages or food? Click on this time line to read how aspartame was discovered and brought to market. It's fascinating and if you really think that the FDA is here to protect us from drugs or food that could hurt us, then you are very naive. The FDA commissioner is appointed by the President and the drugs and foods that are ultimately on the market are a direct result of political paybacks and political connections.
Guess what evil corporate giant owned the patent on aspartame? Guess! Why MONSANTO of course! Is there a question? What don't they have a patent on?
But if you aren't a link clicker, essentially aspartame was discovered by accident in 1965 by a doctor who was working on an ulcer drug. From 1967 until 1981, the company J.D. Searle who owned the patent at the time, tried unsuccessfully to get aspartame approved for use in food. Guess who the CEO of J.D. Searle was back then? Donald Rumsfeld. When Ronald Reagan was elected President in 1981, he brought Donald Rumsfeld aboard and old Rumsfeld immediately had Reagan appoint one of his old cronies as the Commisioner of the FDA.
The new Commissioner immediately turned around and approved NutraSweet against the FDA doctors advice and the recommendation of the Public Board Of Inquiry.
Wow! That's a freaking big surprise!!!!!
But aspartame still wasn't approved for use in liquids. Why? Because when liquid aspartame is heated to more than 85 degrees, it turns into formaldahyde. In 1983, the National Soft Drink Association strongly opposed the addition of aspartame in carbonated beverages because they knew how unstable it was. However, saccharin was being taken off the market. They needed something else and they needed it quickly!
Because it's really all about money and power, not safety. As soon as everyone realizes that, then you understand how things really work. In 1983, aspartame was approved for use in soft drinks.
One third of the aspartame molecule is methanol, a wood alcohol. If you have diabetes, the last thing you should be putting into your system is alcohol. Yet diabetics are one of the biggest users of aspartame. If you read the book by neurosurgeon, Robert Blaylock, Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, his decades of research indicates that aspartame actually causes the progression of diabetes and retinopathy of diabetes. The last thing you should be eating if you are diabetic is aspartame.
Have you ever known someone addicted to diet pop? That happens because of the methanol in the aspartame. Read this if you are a diet soda addict.
Aspartame makes you fat too. After the die-off in your brain from the excitotoxin overload, you will crave carbohydrates. If you want to lose weight, quit drinking diet pop. Pre-packaged diet foods are loaded with sometimes as many as 4 or 5 different forms of MSG. Excitotoxins are even worse when they are consumed together. If you are washing down your Lean Cuisine with a Diet Pepsi, you are at the most risk for neurological damage and unhealthy weight gain specifically in your abdomen.
If you have a child with ADHD, you absolutely do NOT want to be giving that child anything with excitotoxins in it.
I've become especially concerned with the evidence of brain tumors that Dr. Blaylock and Dr Olney are attributing to the use of aspartame. I was drinking a lot of diet soda when I got pregnant with Austin. Something caused him to develop a brain tumor. Was it just bad luck? I guess I'll never know.
And finally, if you have an extra 1.5 hours watch this documentary, Sweet Misery - A Poisoned World.
So what am I doing to keep excitotoxins out of our house? I avoid diet sodas. I avoid mainstream soups, salad dressings, dips, spices, and "flavored" products, like crackers or chips. In other words, if I were to buy chips I wouldn't get "barbecue" flavored. I would just buy regular chips, which would be less likely to have several forms of MSG in it. We never buy anything sugar-free. We eat good old-fashioned sugar here. We only eat out occasionally since restaurant food is loaded with MSG.
You know, I just want to feed my kids real food without giving them brain damage. That's all I'm really trying to do here. But the brain damaging food tastes so damn good, doesn't it?