Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The End Of A Love Affair

Now this one I kind of struggled with. I love Diet Coke! I started drinking diet drinks back in college to help ward off that “freshman 10. Back then all we had was Tab, Fresca, and Diet Pepsi -all sweetened with saccharin. It was awful! It was hard to drink too much because it tasted so bad! In 1977, it was reported that saccharin caused bladder tumors in male rats. The FDA proposed a ban but Congress intervened and allowed the saccharin to remain on the market with a warning on its label suggesting use of this product may cause cancer. Naturally sales declined as consumers refused to buy products with this ingredient.  Remarkably, Aspartame (NutraSweet, Ammnio Sweet and Neotame) was waiting in the wings and was approved for use as an artificial sweetener in 1981. The approval was not without controversy however, Aspartame was rumored to cause brain tumors in lab animals and the FDA had found numerous problems with laboratory studies submitted by J.D. Searle (a Monsanto Company) and launched an extensive investigation. Allegations of fraud and gross misconduct by J.D. Searle derailed the approval for over 5 years. It was only on appointment of Dr. Arthur Hall Hayes as President Regan’s FDA Commissioner that Aspartame was approved over the objections of 2 separate FDA panels! He left the FDA a little over two years later to accept a job with Burston Marsteller, the P.R. firm for J.D. Searle. Guess who the President of J.D. Searle was at the time all of these shenanigans were going on?  Believe it or not, Donald Rumsfeld. http://mercola.fileburst.com/PDF/SweetDeceptionAspartameChapter[2].pdf

Check out this video excerpt from 60 Minutes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kn5slnNB8h0
Now I will have to admit, I had heard the rumblings about issues with NutraSweet but since I really liked the stuff and it seemed to be ok with the FDA, I chose to stick my head in the sand. It was not until my nutritionist, Pam suggested that I watch the video "Sweet Misery" that I realized how many people have suffered as a result of this product. Now I feel compelled to warn others. My love affair with Diet Coke and NutraSweet is over!!  Watch for yourself: http://www.freedocumentaries.org/teatro.php?filmID=244&lan=en&size=medium
The following excerpt is from “Sweet Deception” by Dr. Joseph Mercola, M.D.
Why Else Might You Want to Avoid Aspartame?

If a risk of brain tumors isn’t enough to sway you, you may be interested to know that aspartame is 40 percent aspartic acid. When aspartame is consumed at a daily rate of 20 mg, it significantly raises your blood level of aspartate, which leads to a high level of those neurotransmitters in certain areas of your brain, where they slowly begin to destroy neurons. FYI- a 12 0z can of diet soda contains 180 mg!

But you likely would not notice the symptoms until 75 percent or more of your neurons are already gone. Then, chronic illnesses such as the following, which may be caused by long-term exposure to excitatory amino acid damage, may occur:
• Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease
• Memory and hearing loss
• Hormonal problems
• Epilepsy
• Brain lesions
• Neuroendocrine disorders

And there’s more. Aspartame is 50 percent phenylalanine. Excessive levels of phenylalanine in your brain can cause the levels of serotonin in your brain to decrease, leading to emotional disorders such as depression. It can also cause schizophrenia or make you more susceptible to seizures. Aspartame has also been shown to rapidly stimulate the release of insulin and leptin; two hormones that are intricately involved with satiety and fat storage. Insulin and leptin are also the primary hormones that regulate your metabolism. Aspartame interferes with the brain's natural ability to regulate high caloric intake and causes subjects to gain weight.

As for the other 10 percent, well that’s methanol, also known as wood alcohol. Not only is methanol on its
own a poison, but it breaks down into formic acid and formaldehyde -- a deadly neurotoxin -- in your body. Methanol poisoning can lead to a variety of symptoms such as:
• Vision problems
• Headaches, ear buzzing, dizziness
• Nausea and gastrointestinal disturbances
• Weakness, numbness and shooting pains in your extremities
• Behavioral disturbances
• Memory lapses

Aspartame can be found in the following products:
• Diet sodas, juice drinks, and flavored waters
• Chewing gum
• Table-top sweeteners
• Diet and diabetic foods
• Breakfast cereals, such as Fiber One
• Fiber supplements, such as orange flavored Metamucil
• Jams
• Sweets
• Certain vitamins (including children’s) as well as prescription and over the-counter drugs such as Alka Seltzer Plus, and some Tylenol medications

Other Sources: "Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills" by Dr. Russell Blaylock, M.D., Dr. Janet Starr Hull

Annette's bottom line: As consumers, we cannot count on the FDA to protect us and must educate ourselves about what substances we put our our bodies. While it would appear that we are powerless against these big corporations with their powerful political alliances and deceptive, dangerous products, we can vote with our pocketbooks! Simply don't buy products that are filled with additives. Your dollars speak louder than words!

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