The Aspartame mission

17 07 2011

I’m sitting in class one day & popped one of these Ice Breakers every once in a while.  A few minutes after eating one, I realize that I feel thirstier.  After debating with 2 colleagues about the significance of sugar substitutes, … I looked on the box. Lo & behold on the ingredients list: Aspartame

I am quoting this doctor because it keeps it short and simple:

“Diet sodas don’t just weaken our bones, they are linked to kidney dysfunction and promote obesity and other common medical problems.”

– Dr. Joel Furhman et al

For once, I am actually thrilled some doctor spent the time to search and read through many journal articles to prove a point. What is Evidence-based medicine? Evidence-based medicine aims at bringing scientific method, meta-analysis, and systemic reviews and applying these to clinical medicine. There are a handful of doctors out there objecting to this sugar substitute.

I agree with a lot of you who are arguing that Aspartame is proven safe by FDA standards. However, FDA can say that sugar is safe to consume too.  So what’s the argument here? Too much of anything is bad for you!

When I was a little kid, I was under the impression that sugar substitutes were made for Diabetics & those who couldn’t use real sugar. Why people are turning to sugar substitutes as a weight loss regimen is beyond me. All you really have to do is cut back on your food intake and still enjoy the foods you like in moderate amounts. What ever happened to natural weight loss regimen and exercising?

What can Aspartame do to you?

  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • migraines 
  • Osteoporosis. Dark sodas (even Diet ones) can cause osteoporosis.
    How? the phosphoric acid in the soda causes an imbalance in our body resulting in calcium excretion (removal) instead of absorption (retention). The caffeine in the sodas is also a diuretic, leeching calcium from our bones.  Some people are chugging down 1/2 liter of this stuff daily!


  • kidney problems
  • seizures
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • and I don’t want to go there but there’s controversy of nerve problems e.g. visual problems & even brain tumors b/c supposedly Aspartame has breakdown products that are excitotoxic or neurotoxic.   Breakdown products: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, diketopiperazine, methanol,  and further breakdown include formaldehyde and formic acid
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Has anyone looked into how this product affects kids with Autism? I bet you haven’t even thought about that.

Other sites to checkout:


The controversy.

Does anyone know the story behind how Aspartame was approved? For a while Japan had banned aspartame as well.  Reasons for us to think twice about using chemical substitutes. From wiki & other sources:

“Aspartame was discovered in 1965 by James M. Schlatter, a chemist working for G.D. Searle & Company. Schlatter had synthesized aspartame in the course of producing an antiulcer drug candidate. ”

Alexander Schmidt said NO for over 8 years. Aspartame was not approved by previous FDA commissioner, Alexander Schmidt, because researches showed that it might “induce brain tumors” in rats.

New FDA commissioner came on board and approved Aspartame, then got kicked off or quit, joined the company that made the product and marketed it as NutraSweet.

On January 21, 1981, the day after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration, Searle re-applied to the FDA for approval to use aspartame in food sweetener, and Reagan’s new FDA commissioner, Dr. Arthur Hayes Hull, Jr., appointed a 5-person Scientific Commission to review the board of inquiry’s decision.

It soon became clear that the panel would uphold the ban by a 3-2 decision, but Hull then installed a sixth member on the commission, and the vote became deadlocked. He then personally broke the tie in aspartame’s favor. Hull later left the FDA under allegations of impropriety, served briefly as Provost at New York Medical College, and then took a position with Burston-Marsteller, the chief public relations firm for both Monsanto and GD Searle. Since that time he has never spoken publicly about aspartame. “