The number of products that contain the artificial sweetener known as aspartame is astounding. Once primarily found in diet sodas, diet desserts, and other low-calorie treats, it is now found in most foods, including items that appear to be normal “full calorie” foods.
But despite the FDA’s approval of aspartame, this “sweetener” has a very checkered past. In fact, 85 percent of all the complaints registered with the FDA are complaints about adverse reactions to aspartame. There are even five deaths attributed to aspartame listed among those complaints.
Terrifying Study Results
A two-year study conducted by aspartame’s manufacturer showed that 12 of the 320 rats given a standard diet along with aspartame developed brain tumors. Meanwhile, of the rats that were fed a control diet, there were no tumors found.
Looking at the 12 rats with tumors, 5 of those rats were actually fed a low dosage of aspartame.
In 1981 a statistician from the FDA said that he found the brain tumor data on aspartame so “worrisome” that he could not recommend FDA approval of NutraSweet (a brand name for aspartame). An FDA toxicologist who testified in front of the U.S. Congress on aspartame said that it was capable of producing brain tumors.
During the 1970s it was uncovered that aspartame’s manufacturer falsified studies in multiple ways, including listing animals who died as having survived, and cutting tumors out of test animals and returning the animals to the study. Therefore the true brain tumor data was, in all likelihood, far worse than the terrible study results that were released.
Symptoms/Reactions That May Result From Aspartame Use
There are a wide range of reported adverse reactions or symptoms experienced as a result of aspartame use. The list below is just a small sampling of reported reactions.
- Birth defects
- Brain damage in sensitive individuals (such as a fetus)
- Subtle brain changes
- Brain tumors
- Emotional disorders
- Glucose intolerance or diabetes
- Memory loss
- Vision problems
- Worsened diabetic control
- Worsened hypoglycemia for diabetics
- Convulsions in diabetics
- Intensified mood disorders
- Behavioral changes
- Low brain levels of serotonin
In addition to these reactions, aspartame symptoms can also mimic diseases like lupus, fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis. It can increase hunger as well, leading to potential weight gain.
Warnings To Pilots
The effects of aspartame are cumulative, and worsen over time. This has concerned those in the aviation industry so much that twenty articles have been written in top aviation magazines, warning of the danger of pilots ingesting aspartame before flying, especially in regard to the possibility of the pilots developing vertigo or seizures during flight.
There was even a hotline established for pilots who had acute reactions to aspartame. More than 600 pilots reporting symptoms, including grand mal seizures experienced in the cockpit. One can only hope the pilot of your flight isn’t drinking a diet soda.
Conflict Of Interest
How did such a questionable product make it through the supposedly rigorous FDA approval process? One could only speculate, but since many high level FDA officials end up taking cushy jobs with companies connected to aspartame’s manufacturer, it does look suspicious. This includes an FDA commissioner, two U.S. Attorneys, and four other FDA officials originally part of the approval.
If these FDA officials are the ones protecting the American people from potentially dangerous foods and substances, then in light of the tampered-with study data and the serious side effects of aspartame, it certainly calls to mind the expression of “the fox guarding the hen house.”