Part 3 of Aspartame Dangers deals with what aspartame actually does to your body. If you want to know a brief history of this chemical and a time line, please see Part 1 and Part 2. I apologise in advance if some of this post is a bit heavy going but it is a vast subject and I’ve just tried to cover the salient points. But first…
A Statement from Dr Russell Blaylock MD – Neurosurgeon
My review of the first Ramazzini Study concluded that the study was one of the best designed, comprehensive and conclusive studies done to date on the multipotent carcinogenic potential of aspartame.
This second study is even more conclusive, in that it shows a dose dependent statistically significant increase in lymphomas/leukemia in both male and female rats exposed to aspartame. These two cancers are the fastest growing cancers in people under age 30.
Also, of major concern is their finding of statistically significant increases in breast cancer in animals exposed to aspartame. With newer studies clearly indicating that toxic exposures during fetal development can dramatically increase the cancer risk of the offspring, this study takes on a very important meaning to all pregnant women consuming aspartame products. Likewise, small children are at considerable risk of the later development of these highly fatal cancers.
It should be appreciated that the doses used in these study [sic] fall within the range of doses seen in everyday users of aspartame. This study, along with the first study, should convince any reasonable scientific mind, as well as the public at large, that this product should be removed from the market.
Russell L. Blaylock, M.D.
What is aspartame
Aspartame is made up of three components, aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol or wood alcohol. Those who push this lethal adulterant say that two of the components are natural and harmless because they are amino acids. This aspartame molecule has the three components attached together, the aspartic acid and phenylalanine as a dipeptide and the methanol attached to the phenylalanine part of the molecule. (A peptide is a short chain of amino acids linked together). For those interested, see the diagram showing the makeup of aspartame. The sweetness of aspartame is the result of methyl alcohol that is bonded to the amino acid phenylalanine. If that bond is broken, the sweetness will be lost.
Aspartic acid is one of the twenty amino acids found in the human body. Along with glutamic acid and in their free form ie. when not bound to a protein, they can raise the blood plasma levels of aspartate and glutamate. Aspartate and glutamate act as neurotransmitters in the brain which allows transmission of signals from neuron to neuron. When these neurotransmitters are significantly raised, it triggers the calcium channels to open allowing excess calcium into the cells. If the calcium channel stays open, the cell will die. This is why these two amino acids are called excitotoxins as they stimulate the neural cells to death. Glutamic acid is associated with ‘monosodium glutamate’ (MSG) a food additive used to enhance taste and which needs to be avoided!
Compromising the BBB
During childhood the blood brain barrier (BBB) which is there to protect the brain from toxins and excess aspartate and glutamate, is not developed fully. It therefore cannot protect all the areas of the brain at this time. The BBB can also be compromised by disease conditions and this can allow excretion of aspartate and glutamate into the brain.
Excess amino acids
When isolated these amino acids are excitotoxins that can cause migraines, seizures, mental problems and according to research, cancer.
The excess of these excitotoxins will slowly destroy neurons and this will not be evident until a good portion of the neurons in any area of the brain are killed. This means the brain is being damaged with no symptoms showing. Not until more than 75% of the neurons have been killed will symptoms start to arise. Many conditions can be attributed to long term exposure of excitotoxins such as aspartate and glutamate and these include:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease and motor neurone disease (MND)
- Neuroendocrine disorders
- Brain lesions (dark or light spots not like normal brain tissue)
According to Dr Russell Blaylock, a board-certified neurosurgeon and author of Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills, “Excitotoxins are usually amino acids, such as glutamate and aspartate. These special amino acids cause particular brain cells to become excessively excited, to the point they will quickly die. Excitotoxins can also cause a loss of brain synapses and connecting fibers. Food-borne excitotoxins include such additives as MSG, aspartame, hydrolyzed protein and soy protein extract.”
What about phenylalanine?
Around 1 baby out of 10,000 will be born in the UK with an inherited disorder known as Phenylketonuria (PKU). People with this condition are unable to break down the amino acid phenylalanine. This then builds up in the brain and can cause brain damage.
At around 5 days old babies are offered a test to check if they have PKU as well as some other conditions. This is done by taking a few drops of blood from the heel of the baby.
If PKU is diagnosed early then the child can be treated and will invariably lead a normal healthy life. If not diagnosed PKU can damage the nervous system and the brain leading to learning difficulties. These problems can include epilepsy, tremours, eczema and behavioural problems.
Those with PKU should avoid aspartame
Suffice to say, those with this condition should avoid certain foods and any excess phenylanaline such as that containing aspartame in diet foods and drinks. If a product has aspartame in it, there should be a warning on that product.
Methyl alcohol or Methanol (wood alcohol)
Many researchers think that the methanol contained within aspartame is one of the most dangerous molecules of this deadly threesome. One of those experts has been studying aspartame for most of his professional career, especially with respect to MS (multiple sclerosis).
Prof. Woodrow Monte
Woodrow C. Monte, Professor Emeritus of Food Science and Nutrition from Arizona State University has decades of experience in the subject of food sciences and nutrition and as a researcher. He is commited to food safety and has been studying the link between artificial sweeteners and the illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, Autism and Birth Defects. Professor Monte is not affiliated to any drug companies, the FDA or any other organisation. He just wants to help those suffering from the effects of all the diseases that aspartame triggers and assimilate the information and the reasons why this toxin is so dangerous.
Prof. Monte, who also authored the book “While Science Sleeps: A Sweetener Kills”, is well-known as a world expert on the toxicities of methanol as it relates to aspartame, having studied it for the last three decades.
Methanol studies on animals
Methanol is the smallest molecule of alcohol that there is, it has just one carbon. There have been numerous studies way back, using animals to test the safety of methanol. Animals such as dogs, rabbits, ruminants, mice¹, primates², rats³, have all been tested. When testing animals to see how dangerous methanol is to them, ethanol is much more toxic to all animals than methanol is. In fact ethanol is more toxic by a factor of around 30% depending on the animal.
On the strength of these studies, back in the early 1900s, refined methanol was used to make vanilla extract and other extracts that would normally have ethanol as their base. Methanol was much cheaper than ethanol and it made stuff taste good and what’s more, there was no tax on it; ethanol was taxed even in those days. Other products were being produced such as cough syrups and medicines that were more palatable because of the methanol.
Methanol – so dangerous
It wasn’t long before doctors and carers started seeing adverse affects. People were going blind, people were dying. Doctors were writing articles giving details of the death and blindness and pleading with the food and drug industry to do something about it. They knew it was the methanol. As little as 10ml of pure methanol can destroy the optic nerve, rendering drinkers blind. This is still happening now in this modern age, so beware.
“Here is the story: there is a major biochemical problem here,” Prof. Monte says. “Methyl alcohol is known now, and has been known since 1940, to be metabolized differently by humans from every other animal.”
No cells in the human body can metabolize methanol. Whereas in the animal body, every cell can metabolize methanol. Animals have peroxisomes within their cells as do humans, every cell having around 200 of these tiny structures. When methanol enters the peroxisome of an animal, catalase within it converts it to formaldehyde and then other chemicals within that peroxisome will change the formaldehyde to formic acid, rendering it harmless. With humans, although we have the peroxisomes, for some reason, which has supposedly happened in our evolution, our peroxisomes can’t handle the methanol, the same as animal peroxisomes can.
This makes the study of animals in relation to humans hit and miss with regards to the methanol part of the aspartame molecule. This is why methanol was used way back in the early 1900s because animal studies pointed to methanol being safe. As it turned out, it was deadly to humans. It is strange that humans can tolerate ethanol better than animals and animals can tolerate methanol better than humans.
Enter the enzyme ‘alcohol dehydrogenase’ (ADH)
Parts of our body contains an enzyme known as ‘alcohol dehydrogenase’ (ADH). Prof. Monte has found 11 areas with the body where this enzyme is found. It is the only enzyme able to convert methanol into formaldehyde. ADH can be found in the lining of the vessels, especially in the brain and other sensitive areas like the female breast tissue, the kidneys, the liver, the unborn child and the optic nerves. If methanol comes across ADH and is converted into formaldehyde, then the ensuing damage can be catastrophic. As for the unborn child, the fetus develops ADH, especially in the brain. Methanol coming into contact with ADH in the brain of a fetus could have dire consequences.
DNA is found within our cells. If ADH and methanol meets with DNA, the resulting formaldehyde conversion can mess with the DNA, as Prof. Monte explains “when you produce this formaldehyde, you’re producing a methylating monster. We’ve only recently been able to understand how important methylation is to cancer and to life in general.” He goes on “methylation – when you methylate a DNA, it turns off that DNA. It keeps it from producing that protein.” As you can imagine, because the ADH is free floating as is the methanol that gets into the cell, there is no telling where and when, within that cell, the ADH may come across the methanol and convert it to formaldehyde.
Aspartame does NOT aid dieting
Apart from the dangers shown by many studies and the problems caused by each of aspartame’s components, using aspartame as a dietary aid is a farce. This neurotoxin actually encourages weight gain. The two amino acids phenylalanine and aspartic acid, stimulate insulin production. This is turn causes spikes in insulin which takes all the glucose from the blood, stores it as fat and leaves the body ravenous. Thus this encourages consumption of more food and the process is repeated; a vicious circle.
Apart from this, the neurotransmitter seratonin which signals a full stomach, is inhibited causing even more to be eaten. This is an ironic state of affairs with the public thinking they’re doing the healthy alternative, when in fact they are exacerbating weight gain and unhealthy weight gain to boot as well as playing Russian roulette with their health.
When ethenol meets methanol
Prof. Monte explains – “there is always ethanol in the hepatic portal vein during the day or after people eat, because there is fermentation going on in the gut. Scientists have shown that most people, not all the time, but most people have a little bit of ethanol in their bloodstream. If that’s the case then the small amount of methanol that comes from aspartame or whatever will not be metabolized in the liver, because there is just that little bit of ethanol. So what happens is – this is not good – it gets through the liver completely, the low levels of methanol, and it gets into the circulatory system.”
No ethanol means methanol can be converted
Often in the early hours, when fermentation ceases and ethanol is close to zero, the circulating methanol can come across the only enzyme that can convert it, alcohol dehydrogenase’ (ADH) and then formaldehyde can be produced. Prof. Monte hypothesizes that those that advocate that a small alcoholic drink every day could be good for you, may be onto something!
Emergency treatment for methanol poisoning
If someone was poisoned by methanol, the quick treatment would be giving ethanol because ethanol acts as a competitive inhibitor by binding and saturating alcohol hydrogenase enzymes in the liver. This blocks the binding of methanol so methanol is excreted by the kidneys without being converted to formaldehyde. This is what happened on the ‘Supervet’ program when a cat came in poisoned.
What about fruit and veggies?
Those that advocate that methanol is safe, speak of fresh fruit and vegetables that contain minute amounts of methanol. They forget to add though, that pectin within the fruit and veggie firmly binds to methanol, allowing it to be excreted because humans do not have enzymes that will break this pectin/methanol bond. That’s why fruit and veggie is harmless to us UNLESS it is spoilt or going off because that is when the pectin can disassociate from the methanol.
75% of adverse reactions is from aspartame
Aspartame accounts for over 75% of adverse reactions, which include seizures and death, reported to the FDA regarding food additives on the market today. The problem with this aspartame concoction is, if someone succumbs to certain illnesses such as Alzeimer’s, dementia, Parkinsons, breast cancer, brain tumours, autism, epilepsy, atherosclerosis etc., who’s to know how they contracted these diseases. Even if aspartame is suspected, can it be proven?
The evidence is overwhelming
All I can say to you is this. Look at the evidence and the research. If you’ve read the previous two parts of this post, the shananigans and deception of Searle and Rumsfeld is undeniable and breathtaking. Why do they need to be so deceitful if they believe in their product? We know they are trying to hide unfavourable results from their numerous studies.
You know now that there is a high possibility that this stuff is toxic so you know that there is also a possibility that you or your loved ones can contract any of the diseases associated with consuming aspartame. There is so much negative research and studies on this chemical concoction. If you leave it alone, at least that’s one area where you won’t fall ill because of this likely contaminant. Take control, make sure you and your family do not succumb to aspartame’s side effects.
Does your pilot drink diet coke or chew gum?
My next article deals with the problems pilots have whilst in flight. Are they having seizures, migraines, hypoxia and brain fog because of their consumption of diet products like diet coke and chewing gum?
- Alzheimer’s disease and methanol toxicity (part 1): chronic methanol feeding led to memory impairments and tau hyperphosphorylation in mice. J Alzheimers Dis. 2014;41(4):1117-29. doi: 10.3233/JAD-131529.
- Alzheimer’s disease and methanol toxicity (part 2): lessons from four rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) chronically fed methanol. J Alzheimers Dis. 2014;41(4):1131-47. doi: 10.3233/JAD-131532.
- Formaldehyde derived from dietary aspartame binds to tissue components in vivo.
Trocho C. et al. Life Sci. 1998;63(5):337-49.