Aspartame is one of the world’s most popular artificial sweeteners. This artificial sweetener was introduced 30 years ago and was aggressively pushed into the industry, despite the numerous warnings from scientists on the dangerous and adverse effects of the sweetener. Many people are still not familiar how this sweetener is made and how it affects our health.
Below you can see 5 horrifying facts about aspartame.
1) Aspartame is converted by the body into formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical.
It is composed of three unique compounds which mean it is a synergistically toxic chemical, meaning the sum of its individual parts is exponentially more toxic than each one by itself. And yet even in isolation, the three main constituents found in aspartame — aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol — are idiosyncratically toxic in their own right.
Free methanol, in particular, is highly toxic, converting first into formaldehyde and then into formic acid upon consumption. Unlike the methanol found in alcoholic beverages and various fruits and vegetables, the methanol produced by aspartame is not accompanied by ethanol, which acts as a protector against methanol poisoning. By itself, methanol embalms living tissues and damages DNA, and can cause leukemia, lymphoma and other forms of cancer.
Artificial sweeteners are nowadays viewed as a safe alternative to sugar, which has been associated by many people as a cause of weight gain and metabolic disorders like diabetes. But studies are showing that chemicals like aspartame are even more damaging, as they stimulate weight gain in ways unrelated to caloric intake.
A Recent study found that compared to sucrose, aspartame is worse in terms of stimulating weight gain. Similar research found that aspartame changes the body’s natural production of hormones, increasing both appetite and sugar cravings.
3) Reagan-appointed FDA commissioner helped get aspartame approved despite evidence showing its toxicity.
This sweetener was an accidental discovery made by scientists that were working on the development of an ulcer drug. Further research discovered that the chemical had a sweet taste and was later presented to FDA for commercial approval.
However, the earliest safety studies found that it caused grand mal seizures and death in monkeys, findings that were withheld from the FDA. Even with many documented proofs for dangerous effects, the sweetener got approved and ended on the market.
4) Aspartame is made from the feces of genetically modified E. coli bacteria.
Another disturbing fact about this sweetener is that it was produced from feces of genetically modified E. coli bacteria. Similar to the fermentation process, E. coli are modified with special genes that cause them to produce unnaturally high levels of a special enzyme that, as a byproduct, produces the phenylalanine needed for aspartame production.
5) Aspartame crosses the blood-brain barrier, potentially causing permanent brain damage.
Aspartame consists of roughly 40% aspartic acid, a free-form amino acid that can cross the blood-brain barrier. When excess amounts of this compound enter the body, brain cells are bombarded with an excess of calcium. The result is neural cell damage and even cell death, which can further lead to serious and permanent brain damage.
In extreme cases, exposure to aspartic acid can cause neurological conditions like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease, and is also implicated in causing diseases like multiple sclerosis and dementia. It is also linked to Endocrine disorders and imbalanced or inadequate hormone production.