By William Mac
This Week in Time
April 11, 2008
Most people know that sodas are bad for health, but sodas aren’t THAT bad, right? If they were incredibly bad for us, then companies wouldn’t be able to sell the product. Besides, what does a company have to gain when the bulk of its clientèle croak? According to Dr. Betty Martini and a number of other doctors throughout the world, we as consumers should stop being so trusting of our token higher ups (corporations, FDA, CDC), especially when the dangerous neurotoxin Aspartame is included within hundreds of thousands of products that we guzzle down our gullets every day.
Dr. Betty Martini, a quintessential southern woman heading up the worldwide organization Mission Possible says that soda, and more especially the additive aspartame is not only bad for people — it’s downright suicidal.
So effective has Dr. Betty Martini’s war on Aspartame become, that companies churning out products such as Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi have had to clamor over the years just to combat her endless onslaught of truth. The entire industry has had to invest in boots so they can commence shaking in them because of this tough little Georgia chick kickin’ up a fuss about such an arbitrary issue as health. Go figure.
What is Aspartame And The Dangers Associated With It?
Aspartame is comprised of 40 percent aspartic acid, 50 percent phenylalanine and 10 percent methanol. In addition, metabolites of aspartame are as follows: formaldehyde, formic acid and diketopiperazine. Now, those are some awfully big words. So, let’s break down these big words into non-chemist lingo.
- Aspartic Acid
Aspartic acid occurs naturally within the body. It acts as a neurotransmitter, which basically means that it’s the rails upon which information in our brains travel from point A to point B with.
The problem is that excess aspartic acid – an amino acid – creates too many rails (neurotransmitters) in certain areas of the brain. This effectively lends to a helluva pile-up, if not a devastating crash, the casualties of which are the neurons themselves. This aspartic acid, or “excitotoxin”, gets our brain traffic so hopped up that they crash and die. Sounds like a disaster movie…in the brain.
Over time, these excessive amounts of aspartic acid can begin destroying neurons all together. There are significant numbers within the global population that consume aspartame and eventually develop a variety of symptomologies that are commonly diagnosed as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Lou Gehrig’s disease. Those that continue on without being diagnosed typically experience memory loss, sexual dysfunction, blindness, heart irregularities, headaches, and loss of hearing, seizures, blood sugar anomalies, irritability and varying degrees of dementia.
The demographics most susceptible to these excitotoxic-induced neuron anomalies are infants and developing children, pregnant women, the elderly and the chronically ill – basically a large group of people already guzzling down diet drinks with aspartame added.
This is another big word, but once the effects are understood, the word becomes synonymous with “Don’t”.
Phenylalanine is yet another amino acid produced naturally by the body. However, just like aspartic acid, it can cause an unhealthy unbalance in the brain when artificially increased. Not only that, but phenylalanine can cross the blood brain barrier (BBB) and cause serotonin to heavily decrease. Decreased serotonin is why people are put on anti-depressants such as Prozac and Cymbalta.
Aspartame, being made up in part of phenylalanine, can cause emotional disorders. In fact, elevated levels of this particular amino acid have been seen in the blood of the brains of human subjects that chronically use aspartame. Dr. Louis Elsas once demonstrated to Congress that such levels are dangerous to fetuses and infants.
A neurosurgeon named Russell Blaylock also brought to light earlier studies indicating that concentrations of phenylalanine accumulate in the hypothalamus, medulla oblongata and corpus stranium areas of the brain. Yet, even earlier, science has determined indefinitely that this particular amino acid, in excess, can cause schizophrenia or increase susceptibility to seizures.
One could even theorize that phenylalanine in aspartame could be contributing to increased sales of Prozac and other psychotropic drugs, not to mention a number of very rich psychiatrists.
Methanol is perhaps one of the worst aspects of the concoction that is aspartame. It is a well-known neurotoxin, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes as a “cumulative” poison and that it “is oxidized to formaldehyde and formic acid; both of these metabolites are toxic.”
When I was a child, around seven years old, I remember hearing from a friend of mine that it was unwise to keep diet coke out in the heat. He said it would make the drink itself cancerous. This would make sense considering the fact that when aspartame is heated above 86 degrees F, it metabolizes the methanol much faster. Yet, even so, in 1993, the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) approved the use of aspartame in a wide variety of food items (dry food items) that would always be heated above 86 degrees F.
Common symptoms of methanol poisoning are as follows: headaches, tinnitus, dizziness, nausea, digestive disturbances, weakness, vertigo, chills, vision problems, retinal damage and blindness, memory lapses, numbness and shooting pains in the extremities, behavioral problems and neuritis.
Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and can cause retinal damage, interfere with DNA replication and causes birth defects. And, as has already been solidified, formaldehyde is what aspartame transforms into once ingested by the body.
- Diketopiperazine (DKP)
Another byproduct of aspartame metabolism, besides formaldehyde, is DKP, which has been associated with the formation of brain tumors. DKP has been found to form in aspartame included in beverages during prolonged storage, particularly above 86 degrees F. In fact, it has been heavily associated with Gulf Illness – a cluster of chronic/fatal symptoms that have affected nearly 250,000 Gulf War I veterans – due to the fact that so many of the troops drank copious amounts of aspartame-sweetened sodas that had been stored for extended periods in the hot Arabian sun.
Aspartame — A Worthy Warning
The three main ingredients found in aspartame are themselves problematic. They break down into substances that are already known to be toxic and foreign to the human body.
Even though the FDA has approved aspartame for use in any product, it has simultaneously released a report of the following 92 aspartame-related health problems/symptoms:
- Abdominal Pain
- Anxiety attacks
- Asthmatic reactions
- Edema (fluid retention)
- Blood sugar control problems (Hypoglycemia or Hyperglycemia)
- Brain cancer (pre-approval studies in animals)
- Breathing difficulties
- Burning eyes or throat
- Burning urination
- Can’t think straight
- Chest pains
- Chronic cough
- Chronic fatigue
- Excessive thirst or hunger
- Feel unreal
- Flushing of face
- Hair loss (baldness) or thinning of hair
- Hearing loss
- Heart palpitations
- Hives (Urticaria)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Impotency and sexual problems
- Inability to concentrate
- Infection susceptibility
- Joint pains
- “Like thinking in a fog”
- Marked personality changes
- Memory loss
- Menstrual problems or changes
- Migraines and Severe Headaches (trigger or cause from chronic intake)
- Muscle spasms
- Nausea or vomiting
- Numbness or tingling of extremities
- Other allergic-like reactions
- Panic attacks
- Poor memory
- Rapid heart beat
- Seizures and convulsions
- Slurring of speech
- Swallowing pain
- Vision loss
- Weight gain
The FDA also released a list of diseases that aspartame complications may mimic or worsen. They are as follows:
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS)
- Diabetes and Diabetic complications
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Birth defects
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Lyme Disease
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Panic Disorder
- Depression and other psychological disorders
Where is Aspartame?
Aspartame can be found on the ingredients list in the following products:
- Soft drinks
- Over-the-counter drugs and prescription drugs (very common and listed under “inactive ingredients)
- Vitamin and herb supplements
- Instant breakfasts
- Breath Mints
- Sugar-free chewing gum
- Cocoa mixes
- Coffee beverages
- Gelatin desserts
- Frozen desserts
- Juice beverages
- Milk drinks
- Shake mixes
- Tabletop sweeteners
- Tea beverages
- Instant teas and coffees
- Topping mixes
- Wine Coolers
Sweeteners to Use:
- Barley Malt
- Evaporated Cane Juice
- Fruit Juice
- Rice Syrup
- Maple Syrup
- Licorice Root (small amounts)
- Fructooligosaccharides (FOS)
- Vegetable Glycerin
History of Aspartame
After reading and taking in the above information, I found myself wondering in horror as to why such a substance would be approved as an additive in anything, nonetheless legal to be made in any back-country Meth lab. Dr. Betty Martini shared my discomfort and began explaining to me the history of Aspartame both verbally and via a myriad of documents. Just as aspartame’s dangers are shocking, its history is even more so.
It all begins with Aspartame being disapproved by the FDA and congress. It goes like this:
By 1976, the G.D. Searle company’s campaign to achieve the approval of aspartame was entangled in controversy – not good for them. Having to trudge through the thick mud of countless objections to aspartame approval formally filed by consumer advocate attorney Jim Turner and neuroscientist John Olney, MD, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided to launch a hefty investigation into Searle’s laboratory practices, and rightly so. Aspartame, after all, is less of an additive and more of an illegal street narcotic – of course, that’s my humble opinion.
The FDA eventually determined that the aspartame developer’s testing procedures (Searle) were more than below par for the course. The conclusion on behalf of the FDA was that the testing produced inaccurate results due to manipulated data. In the 1976 report, investigators stated they “…had never seen anything as bad as Searle’s testing.”
Due to the FDA’s scathing report, a grand jury investigation was prompted; U.S. Attorney Samuel Skinner headed it.
In a dirty, treasonous double-cross, most likely fueled by bribery, six months later, Skinner left the U.S. attorney’s office to take a position at Searle’s law firm Sidley & Austin.
By March 1977, Searle had hired former Illinois congressman and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld as its CEO – yeah, THAT Donald Rumsfeld.
By December 1977, the statute of limitations had run out on the grand jury investigation and charges against Searle were literally dropped dead by the U.S. attorney’s office.
Even though there was so much opposition to aspartame approval being dished up by independent scientific studies, Rumsfeld’s political leverage popped the top on what would soon be a worldwide poison epidemic.
On July 15, 1981, in one of the very first official acts as FDA commissioner under the Reagan administration, Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes Jr., approved aspartame for use in dry food products with savvy Searle CEO help from Rumsfeld. Basically, this was an overruling of the board of inquiry.
No wonder Dr. Betty Martini mockingly refers to the FDA as “Fatal Drugs Allowed”.
The Good Doctor — About Dr. Betty Martini
Dr. Betty Martini, who has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Humanities for her work around the world, is the founder and director of Mission Possible World Health International. This worldwide non-profit volunteer organization was founded in 1993 and now boasts members in every state in the United States as well as 37 countries around the world. She has been a reoccurring guest on many nationally syndicated radio talk shows, including Alex Jones. She has also been interviewed at length in a number of documentary films covering the dangers of aspartame such Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World (shown below). Publications around the globe have written articles about her and her work as well as her impact in the medical industry.
Note: replaced video Jun 22, 2013
Sweet Misery – A Poisoned World
Cinedigm on Mar 4, 2011
Sweet Misery is a close examination into what many in the medical community have voiced over the last few decades on the safety of Aspartame sweetener. Is there a connection with Aspartame and illnesses? Did the government (including Donald Rumsfeld) push the approval of the sweetener and suppress key data? This film delves into the FDA’s process and the various reports of health risks associated with the widely used sweetener.
Aspartame: Sweet Misery A Poisoned World