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Articles by natural health author Melanie Grimes
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Nutrasweet Linked to Leukemia and Lymphoma
(The Best Years in Life) Research has shown a connection between lymphoma, leukemia, and aspartame as far back as 2005. The FDA approved this synthetic sweetener for use in 1981. Currently used in over six thousand products, aspartame is sold under many different brand names, including NutraSweet, Equal Measure, and Spoonful. It can be found in soda, desserts, yogurt, and even in chewable vitamins.
In the first year after its approval, the FDA received over 600 consumer complaints about health issues. Migraine headaches and dizziness, insomnia, joint pain, memory loss, hives, rash, abdominal cramping, hallucinations, seizures and even deaths were reported related to aspartame consumption. The FDA contacted the Center for Disease Control who did not find any consistent issues. Recently, in the spring of 2009, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) also concluded that aspartame showed no carcinogenic potential at the allowable daily intake (ADI) of 40/mg/kg.
Over 900 studies have been published on the aspartame, including one in May 2009 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. This recent article investigated the link between formaldehyde and lymph cancer. A study in 2007 on rats showed that aspartame ingestion caused formaldehyde buildup to such a degree that the rat’s skin became yellow.
Since 1987, formaldehyde has been listed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a probable human carcinogen. Used as an embalming agent, formaldehyde has been indicated in birth defects, and in environmental allergies. It has been shown to cause both lymphoma and leukemia in lab rats and in humans. It is known that aspartame turns into formaldehyde in the body, but it has been thought that this formaldehyde was then being eliminated quickly. However, a study in 1998 demonstrated that dietary aspartame binds to tissues in protein. It was found in liver, kidney, and blood. The report suggested that the buildup of aspartame was cumulative, that is, it continues to build up without being excreted, causing more damage over time. This report concluded that “aspartame consumption may constitute a hazard because of its contribution to the formation of formaldehyde adducts.”
Based on these
findings, it is wise to avoid
aspartame and artificial sweeteners.
Even sugar is a better alternative
than the substitute. Drink regular
sodas instead of diet, or even
better, diet soft drinks can be
replaced with club soda mixed with a
few ounces of fruit juice. Use honey
or molasses to sweeten foods and for
baking. Though aspartame has
government safety approval, the
facts and the studies suggest that
avoiding aspartame is good for your
About the author:
Melanie Grimes, CHC, is a writer, award-winning screenwriter, medical journal editor, and editor of"Simillimum, Journal of the Homeopathic Association of Naturopathic Physicians." She has edited integrative medical journals for 15 years. A classically trained homeopath, she has taught homeopathy at Bastyr University, the Seattle School of Homeopathy and the American Homeopathic Medical College. She is also the author of "Dr. John Bastyr: Philosophy and Practice." She lectures internationally.
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