The Danger Called Aspartame

There are now hundreds of published studies linking aspartame and artificial sweeteners to serious health consequences. For the first time, a study has even associated artificial sugar substitutes with a much higher risk of strokes.

According to the Seattle Post Intelligencer, the researchers used volunteer subjects to examine factors related to stroke and heart attacks. The participants were followed for more than nine years; 900 of them reported not drinking any diet soda, while around 160 reported drinking one or more diet sodas per day.

Diet soda consumption and salt intake, in the end, were linked to higher rates of strokes, heart attacks, and other deadly vascular events. The study suggests that diet soda is therefore NOT a good alternative for sugar-laden beverages.

The Truth About Aspartame

More studies are needed to confirm diet soda’s link to strokes. But plenty of scientific proof already shows the dangers of aspartame, which is by far the most dangerous artificial sweetener available. In fact, aspartame accounts for more than 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Aspartame is made up of phenylalanine (50 percent) and methanol or wood alcohol/poison. Each of these ingredients comes with its own health hazards. Diketopiperazine (DKP), created as a byproduct of aspartame metabolism in your body, has been implicated in brain tumor occurrence.

Acute aspartame reactions that have been reported to the FDA include headaches/migraines, abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue, vision and sleep problems, anxiety attacks, asthma/chest tightness, and depression.

Research has also implicated aspartame consumption in the occurrence of health problems such as emotional disorders, epilepsy/seizures, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease, memory loss, and even cancer.

Pregnant women are particularly risk of serious health effects when they consume diet drinks containing aspartame. In a study, it was found that pregnant women who drank:

  • Four or more diet sodas a day increase the risk of premature birth by 78 percent.
  • An average of just one diet soda per day increased their risk of going into labor before the 37th week by 38 percent.
  • No link was seen between sugar-sweetened beverages and pre-term delivery.

If you’re pregnant or planning to conceive, consider avoiding all sources of artificial sweeteners, not just aspartame.

How to Know If You’re Having an Aspartame Reaction

Most people don’t realize that they’re having an aspartame problem. So here are some practical steps to determine if you’re having an aspartame reaction:

  • Eliminate all artificial sweeteners from your diet for two weeks.
  • After two weeks of being free of artificial sweeteners, reintroduce aspartame in significant amounts, or about three servings every day. Avoid other artificial sweeteners during this time.
  • Do this for one to three days. Pay attention to how you feel, and compare it to when you weren’t consuming artificial sweeteners.
  • If you find no difference, it’s probably safe to say that you can tolerate aspartame acutely – your body shows no immediate, adverse response. But this isn’t to say that your health won’t be damaged over time.

Swear Off Soft Drinks and Sweetened Beverages for Life

To achieve optimal health and wellness, it is very critical that you eliminate all sweetened drinks from your diet, including regular and diet soda varieties. Even most commercial fruit juices are a bad choice, because most of them contain less than 10 percent of actual fruit juice (which also contains fructose and should be consumed moderately).

Stick to pure, clean drinking water for your hydration needs. If you want to add some taste to it, add a squeeze of lemon or lime.

A high-quality water filtration system can eliminate the dangers associated with tap water, such as disinfection byproducts (DBPs), fluoride, and other toxic contaminants.

Katrina Pascual is a Web copywriter who creates diet and natural health guides. She is currently writing a report on the benefits of whole house water filtration.

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