Aspartame Controversy

white-sugar

We all know the fact that too much sugar is bad . Especially for diabetics. Sugar increases insulin levels, which inhibits the release of growth hormones and depresses our immune system. It also has high calorie content. Excess calories is store in our body as fat.  Excess fat also brings danger.

Sugar is found in almost everything we eat.  From rice, bread, fruits, chocolates, ice cream, salads and more. Our undisciplined eating habits make us consume a lot of sugar.

Health consciousness lead to the discovery of Aspartame.  It is a low calorie sweetener substiute for sugar.  It is the methyl ester of the dipeptide of the natural amino acids L-aspartic acid and L-phenylalanine. Known brands are Nutrasweet and Equal. Almost all of sugar applications can be substituted with aspartame. Coke Zero uses aspartame as sweetener.

I hope aspartame is the safe substitute for sugar. But here are some side effects

Eye
blindness in one or both eyes
decreased vision and/or other eye problems such as: blurring, bright flashes, squiggly lines, tunnel vision, decreased night vision
pain in one or both eyes
decreased tears
trouble with contact lenses
bulging eyes

Ear
tinnitus – ringing or buzzing sound
severe intolerance of noise
marked hearing impairment

Neurologic
epileptic seizures
headaches, migraines and (some severe)
dizziness, unsteadiness, both
confusion, memory loss, both
severe drowsiness and sleepiness
paresthesia or numbness of the limbs
severe slurring of speech
severe hyperactivity and restless legs
atypical facial pain
severe tremors

Psychological/Psychiatric
severe depression
irritability
aggression
anxiety
personality changes
insomnia
phobias

Chest
palpitations, tachycardia
shortness of breath
recent high blood pressure

Gastrointestinal
nausea
diarrhea, sometimes with blood in stools
abdominal pain
pain when swallowing

Skin and Allergies
itching without a rash
lip and mouth reactions
hives
aggravated respiratory allergies such as asthma

Endocrine and Metabolic
loss of control of diabetes
menstrual changes
marked thinning or loss of hair
marked weight loss
gradual weight gain
aggravated low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
severe PMS

Other
frequency of voiding and burning during urination
excessive thirst, fluid retention, leg swelling, and bloating
increased susceptibility to infection

Additional Symptoms of Aspartame Toxicity include the most critical symptoms of all
death
irreversible brain damage
birth defects, including mental retardation
peptic ulcers
aspartame addiction and increased craving for sweets
hyperactivity in children
severe depression
aggressive behavior
suicidal tendencies

Aspartame may trigger, mimic, or cause the following illnesses:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Epstein-Barr
Post-Polio Syndrome
Lyme Disease
Grave’s Disease
Meniere’s Disease
Alzheimer’s Disease
ALS
Epilepsy
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
EMS
Hypothyroidism
Mercury sensitivity from Amalgam fillings
Fibromyalgia
Lupus
non-Hodgkins
Lymphoma
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

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Wait ! Do not jump into conclusions yet. There are contradicting claims!

Aspartame Tastes Like Sugar

Studies conducted with taste-test panels show that many believe aspartame’s taste is very similar to the taste of sugar.

Aspartame Enhances and Extends Flavors

Aspartame has the ability to intensify and extend fruit flavors, such as cherry and orange, in foods and beverages. For example, aspartame makes chewing gum taste sweet up to four times longer than sugar-sweetened gum.

Aspartame Does Not Promote Tooth Decay

The American Dental Association has noted it “welcomes the development and FDA approval of new artificial sweeteners that are shown to be safe and non-contributory to tooth decay. . . . Aspartame is an FDA-approved, safe sweetening agent and flavor enhancer that can be substituted for sugar in the diet.”

Aspartame is Helpful for Individuals with Diabetes

Aspartame offers people with diabetes greater variety and flexibility in budgeting their total carbohydrate intake and allows them to satisfy their taste for sweets without affecting blood sugar, which helps them to comply with a healthful meal plan. In addition, consuming products with aspartame can result in fewer calories, which helps people with diabetes manage their weight.

Scientific Studies Show Aspartame is Beneficial in Weight Control

With nearly two out of three Americans classified as overweight or obese, taking steps to assure appropriate calorie intake is important for many people. Because products with aspartame are lower in calories than their sugar-sweetened counterparts, using products with aspartame together with regular physical activity can help with weight management.

Aspartame Can Be Part of a Healthful Diet

Aspartame can reduce or replace the sugar and calories in foods and beverages while maintaining great taste. Thus, aspartame offers one simple step to help people move closer to achieving a more healthful diet.

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Are you confused ? There are many information on the net about aspartame. More googling makes me more confused. Can someone tell me the truth?

white-sugar

Is Phenylalanine Good For You ?

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I bought juice drink to satisfy my thirsts . Just like before. I always check what are written on the labels. I read the term “Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalanine”. I was curious about it but never managed to check what it is. I threw the empty juice package and continue walking way home.

A few days after. My wife asked me to drive her to the hospital to get her “operating room records” ( she has just given birth ) and the results of our baby’s new born screening. Thanks God!, new born screening results normal. Nothing to worry about.  One thing got my attention . The term “Phenylketunuria” . It sounds like Phenylketunurics than was written on juice label I drank before.   That incidence powered me to do some research.

“Phenylketonurics” is the term used to refer to people that have the metabolic disorder Phenylketonuria, or PKU for short. While “phenylketonuria” is a genetic metabolic disorder that results when the PKU gene is inherited from both parents. People with PKU cannot metabolize phenylalanine.  It builds up in  blood in the form of an acid called phenylpyruvic acid. High levels of phenylpyruvic acid damage the brain and can cause an array of side effects such as mental retardation; the loss of pigmentation in the skin,hair and eyes ;a “mousy” or musty odor; muscle aches and pains and in extreme cases; even seizures.

Is Phenylalanine really harmful? Definitely not! It is only harmful to those who have PKU. In fact its one of the essential amino acids, present in many common proteins -meats, dairy products, eggs, nuts, legumes and as well as hemoglobin. It is used in medicine and nutrition and as one of the two amino acids making up aspartame. This explains why the juice I drank earlier is phenylketonuric, it contains aspartame. Package foods with aspartame has a warning sign so serve as a guide to us.

Lessons learned . Let your baby undergo New Born Screening and always read the product label. Better late than never but early is the best!

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