What Is Aspartame and How Can It Affect Me?
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that was discovered in the middle 1960s. It was not approved for use until 1981 and until 1996 the FDA would not approve it for use in all food products due to the many side effects and other medical problems that studies linked it to.
Studies have linked aspartame with brain lesions and tumors as well as lymphoma. Reports to the FDA have shown a possibility of over 90 different side effects from using aspartame. Some of these side effects include headaches, nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, hives and dizziness. Some of the more severe side effects include vision problems, memory loss, sleep problems, difficulty breathing, change in heart rate and even seizures and convulsions.
Why does aspartame cause these types of problems in our bodies? Aspartame is broken down into three different components once it enters the body and all three of these substances can affect the body in an alarming way.
One of the components from aspartame is aspartic acid. It is a type of neurotoxin or excitotoxin that can damage your nerve and brain cells. There are many different types of diseases known to affect the brain and nerves. By using aspartame you take the risk of developing one of these chronic diseases.
Another component of aspartame is methanol. When methanol enters the body it coverts to formaldehyde. Most of us know that formaldehyde is an embalming fluid and the thought of putting that in our bodies is rather scary. Scientists are still working to see what levels of methanol can actually cause injury to the body. There is much debate on whether the amount of methanol from aspartame is enough to be a concern although it has been proven that low amounts of methanol and formaldehyde can be toxic to the human body.
The third substance in aspartame is called phenylalanine. This is an amino acid and is generally considered safe for most people. If you suffer from phenylketonuira, a rare genetic disease, this could be very dangerous to ingest. Pregnant women have been advised not to us aspartame because the levels of phenylalanine from the sweetener could cause brain and nerve damage to their unborn child.
If you are using an artificial sweetener such as Nutrasweet or Equal and are experiencing any of the side effects mentioned above it may be wise to stop. The many studies and people who have encounter these symptoms are proof that aspartame can be linked to many different illnesses. Many who have had these symptoms and stopped their use of aspartame have felt better in a matter of a few days. If you’re worried or concerned about your use of aspartame why not discontinue using it and see if it helps you too.