FoodFacts.com has long been of the opinion that artificial sweeteners can’t be good for our health. Artificial ingredients are generally pretty bad. They do nothing for our bodies nutritionally and many have disturbing health effects. Aspartame is one of those ingredients that we caution against.
While the FDA considers aspartame to be safe (except for those with phenylketonuria), it’s been linked to side effects such as headaches, rashes, fatigue, irritability, heart palpitations, dizziness, insomnia and seizures. Birth defects and cancers have been associated with the use of aspartame, but the National Cancer Institute has refuted any links between aspartame consumption and cancer.
A new study coming out of the University of Life Sciences in Poland reports that aspartame can be metabolized into three different molecules: phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol. All of these can be toxic.
Methanol metabolites can cause central nervous system depression, vision problems and other disorders that can lead to coma.
The study points out that aspartic acid in high concentrations is a toxin that causes hyperexcitability of neurons and is a precursor of glutamic acid.
Phenylalanine can block the transport of important amino acids to the brain which can lower the levels of dopamine and serotonin, important for both mood and sleep.
In addition, the study seems to link aspartame with cancer because its metabolites can cause cancers in the central nervous system.
There have been a variety of conflicting study results on aspartame. Some have determined that it is safe and others have linked it to a variety of side effects and conditions. Interestingly, of the 166 previous studies on the artificial sweetener, the 74 that were funded by the aspartame industry found no safety issues. 90 percent of the other 92 independent studies found serious health concerned linked to the use of aspartame.
FoodFacts.com urges our community to avoid the consumption of aspartame. While none of the research is conclusive, aspartame has been linked to an increased risk for heart disease, cardiac arrest, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. It may be linked with cancer and can have adverse neurological effects. That’s a pretty long list of possibilities linked to one artificial sweetener. Overall, it’s just not worth it. As always, FoodFacts.com encourages everyone to rely on real food ingredients. While nothing in excess is a healthy idea, using actual sugar in moderation is the best choice available when looking for a sweetener. We know what it is, we understand what it does and it doesn’t metabolize into the toxic substances that aspartame has been identified with. Let’s stay educated and aware about everything we consume.