Going off-topic to discuss something that has been bothering me for a while.
Aspartame - does anyone in the general public REALLY know what this stuff is?
Short story: Aspartame is a dangerous excitotoxin. Yes, really. Aspartame ingestion causes Formaldehyde accumulation in the body. Again; yes, really.
Longer story: Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal, etc), was suddenly approved after eight years of controversy by a brand new FDA commissioner, Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr, just appointed by President Reagan (a pharmacologist who had been in office less than three months and had little background in food additives) in July 1981, overturning the vote of his own Scientific Board of Inquiry.
Aspartame is made of phenylalanine (50% by weight) and aspartic acid (39%), both ordinary amino acids, bound loosely together by methanol (wood alcohol, 11%). The readily released methanol from aspartame is within hours turned by the liver into formaldehyde and then formic acid, both potent, cumulative toxins.
I won’t go on and on and quote case study after case study, but I will include a number of links below this post that I urge people to follow and read. Just one thing to keep in mind: The independent studies are the ones that came up with the results conclusively linking aspartame to over 90 moderate to severe symptoms. The case studies done by, funded by, or associated with developing lab(s) and the FDA can’t seem to find a thing wrong with it. Curious.
My own story: when Diet Coke was first released in the 80s, I became a fan in a big way. Something I could drink all the time, and not get as big as a house?? I’m IN! In a matter of a few short years I was happily addicted to the stuff. I drank nothing else, and it got to the point where I’d have to crack one first thing in the morning to even function - much like coffee drinkers. That part was the caffeine addiction, obviously. But regardless of what aspect had me hooked, it had me.
Fast forward to college, when I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism.
Fast forward some more to after Bratling was born (and yes I drank it all through my pregnancy, with the approval of my doctor and endocrinologist both) when I was no longer able to sleep. I would lay in bed for hours before finally falling asleep, and rarely felt refreshed. Then my eyes became very dry, and I was suddenly no longer able to wear contact lenses.
Not long after this, I began to notice an alarming amount of fuzzy headedness, and memories that were once clear beginning to fade or were gone completely. Often I couldn’t remember tasks I’d done only hours before, and I wasn’t even 30 years old. I chalked it up to being stressed, and for a while didn’t put any thought into it.
The only reason I finally stopped drinking Diet Coke was because my stomach was being destroyed by the sheer amount I ingested on a daily basis. I could go through 2 cases (48 cans) in a week. I had acid reflux constantly, and sharp pain in my abdomen frequently. I suppose something that can clean the rust from a chrome bumper or dissolve metal can’t be too good for your body in large doses. Go figure.
I had tried to stop drinking it before, because I knew by that point that it was hurting me, but addiction is a monster. Going a single day without drinking any meant debilitating headaches. But I did stop, and after a week or so of sheer hell, the headaches went away. A couple of years later I was starting to remember certain things - like my daughter’s first steps - which had been “MIA” for several years, and headaches were few and far between.
It’s now been 5 years since my last Diet Coke, yet certain symptoms still plague me. After doing some further research I came across study after study regarding aspartame, and those results not only made perfect sense in my case, but made my hair stand on end.
Then there is a possibility that the aspartame I ingested during pregnancy will have long term health concerns for Bratling, who is now 13 years old. That she seems unscathed so far is a relief, but what about her future?
Bratling II (now 3 yrs old) came along after I had stopped drinking Diet Coke (the doctors had told me I’d never be able to conceive again, and just a year after I stopped drinking diet coke I actually DID…a rather huge coincidence in my opinion) so hopefully there will be less chance of anything long term for her as a result. However, I was devastated to learn that for quite some time I’ve been giving my daughter a daily dose of poison in the form of Flintstones Vitamins, of all things! I never once thought to look for aspartame in a child’s vitamin. What a betrayal of trust it is to find that Bayer would put something like aspartame in their products. They’ve certainly lost my business. And the vitamins are in the trash.
I’m still researching, and looking for natural ways to detoxify my body, and I sure hope that it will take care of the remaining symptoms. Sure would be nice to wear contacts again, and not have my legs and feet swell up. One thing I know for certain is that aspartame is something that my family will never put in their bodies again. I am now a rabid label reader.
I urge you to stop eating or drinking things with aspartame in them. If you can’t, or won’t, at the very least PLEASE don’t let your kids eat or drink anything with it. Don’t ingest it when you’re pregnant either. It just isn’t worth the risk.
As promised, here are those links, and there are hundreds more if you Google for them (they will open a new window so you don’t lose this one):