Aspartame - A Neurotoxin

Aspartame is an artificially made substance consisting of two bacteria cultured amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine combined with free form methanol. The resulting chemical compound, 50 percent phenylalanine, 40 percent aspartic acid, and 10 percent methanol is two hundred times sweeter than natural sugar. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and are never found in isolation in the food we eat except when broken down chemically and re-introduced as an additive.

Aspartame is found in most soft drinks, many baked foods and anything that says ‘no added sugar’, ‘sugar free’ or ‘diet’. NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful are just brand names for aspartame. Don’t for a minute suppose that drinking diet soda’s will lead to weight loss. This man-made sweetener interferes with brain chemistry and will actually increase food cravings resulting in weight gain.

Aspartame is hydrolized when it reaches the gastrointestinal tract. That means it breaks down into the constituent parts as described earlier; methanol and the two amino acids, phenylalanine and aspartic acid. One of the things phenylalanine is very good at is blocking serotonin levels in the brain and the digestive tract. The body produces serotonin from the amino acid tryptophan found in carbohydrates and the desire to eat is switched off as soon as an adequate level serotonin is reached. But with a constant supply of phenylalanine from aspartame blocking the production of serotonin, the right levels are never reached and we keep on craving carbohydrates.

Researchers at Purdue University, Carolina, found that rats gained on average 20 percent more weight with artificial sweetener than with natural sugar. They could not say why but believed “… the artificial sweetener somehow interrupts the body's ability to regulate or register the amount of calories it has consumed resulting in carbohydrate cravings and/or reduced metabolism.”


Serotonin is a very important neurotransmitter and besides appetite control, is involved in a big way in mood regulation. Depression is on the increase worldwide and to combat this the pharmaceuticals have come up with a series of drugs called SSRI’s, or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. Neurotransmitters work in circular fashion – they are released – hit the receptor – then deactivate in readiness to be released again, in very rapid succession. Essentially what SSRI’s do is prevent the deactivation, or reuptake, of serotonin, breaking the chain of events and resulting, theoretically anyway, in more serotonin for mood elevation. So on the one hand we are consuming vast amounts of an isolated amino acid in our food that specifically blocks the production of serotonin and on the other we are swallowing pills that claim to retain more serotonin in the brain. Presumably it makes sense to someone, but not this writer I confess.


Once aspartame is ingested the methanol is released and converted to formaldehyde and then formic acid. Numerous tests show methanol breaks down into formaldahyde in vivo in laboratory rats. Formaldehyde is a deadly neurotoxin, is a known carcinogen, causes retinal damage, interferes with DNA replication and causes birth defects. In natural foods such as fruit and alcoholic beverages methanol is always found together with ethanol which neutralizes the toxicity.

Chronic, low-level exposure to methanol has been seen to cause heart disease and pancreatic inflammation; everything from weight gain to seizures, strokes to liver and kidney failure to anti social behaviour, depression and hair loss. In fact there are over 90 known incapacitating conditions, far too numerous to be listed here, attributed to regular ingestion of aspartame. You should be aware aspartame is a neurotoxin and an excitotoxin. Which is to say it will 'excite' neural cell activity to the point where brain cells will self destruct and you may experience memory loss, anxiety, dementia and even blindness. Studies with aspartame in France relating to calcium depletion, have found it to trigger acute bone mineral release.

Aspartame has a very murky pedigree and was ‘bullied’ into the food chain by Donald Rumsfeld as CEO of GD Searle while Reagan was president, despite killing several monkeys during trials and initial refusal by the FDA to sanction it for use in food. As soon as it was (mysteriously) approved by the FDA the rest of the world followed on without any further safety trials and it can now be found in over 6000 food products. (See the Fox News video below). One can quite truthfully say this sweetener is not fit for human consumption and should be removed from food products yet it is routinely found in diet foods, soft drinks, all chewing gum, pharmaceutical drugs and a range of vitamin products.

Aspartame poisoning undoubtedly affects many people but is commonly misdiagnosed because it mainly affects the brain and the symptoms resemble many serious neurological diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, lupus and Alzheimer’s. The list of complaints, including death, relating to aspartame use is startling to say the least and it is the most frequently reported food additive for adverse reactions.


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