Thursday, October 21, 2010

Aspartame - scarier than a haunted house

If you are looking for a good scare this Halloween, look no further than the pack of gum in your desk drawer, the sugar-free food in your pantry, the diet soda in your fridge, and on and on.  Why is this stuff scary? It's scary if it contains Aspartame.

Aspartame is a sugar substitute found in many foods.

Why is it scary? It's linked to the following:

Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Many of these reactions are very serious including seizures and death.(1) A few of the 90 different documented symptoms listed in the report as being caused by aspartame include: Headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability, tachycardia, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain.

According to researchers and physicians studying the adverse effects of aspartame, the following chronic illnesses can be triggered or worsened by ingesting of aspartame:(2) Brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, parkinson's disease, alzheimer's, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia, and diabetes.
(I copied the above info from HERE). 

Don't just take my word for it, or the word of those I copied and pasted above, please do a search online.  You'll find a lot of stuff that says it's safe, you'll find a lot of stuff that says it's bad.  You be the judge on if you feel it's safe.  

Personally, I'm now watching ingredient lists for this one and shying away from foods that have it.  I knew it was in diet soda, I never drink the stuff. I recently found out it's in crystal light and sugar-free kool-aid.  Both of which I have at home and haven't touched since I realized that.  I also know pregnant woman are advised not to ingest aspartame.

I didn't realize aspartame is found in gum.  I read about that on a recent post about aspartame over at Tomus Arcanum.  I read gum and went "What? Gum? I had no idea!"  So I picked up the pack of gum on my desk and looked and sure enough it was in there.  So I looked at a different pack that I had in my desk drawer, sure enough, it's in there.   I would say "oh, it's just one piece of gum, what could it hurt?"  Then I realized that it's not uncommon for me to chew on 4-5 pieces in a day at work (that whole...sitting at the desk bored and feel like eating but not hungry issue).  That's scary.   The two gums are brands that I chew all the time too, because I like them and there are usually deals on them so I can get the gum at a decent price.   From now on, I'll be looking at ingredient lists before selecting what gum I buy.


  1. I don't think I have aspartame in over 3 years. Nice post!!

  2. For a few months, the husband and I bought a certain brand of juice because the label advertised no high corn fructose syrup. Okay. The husband liked the taste, it was so-so with me. Then one day, I read the ingredients list again. Lo and behold it listed a sugar substitute. (Can't remember which one.) So much for that juice.

  3. Sarah - wow! You are doing good. Do you chew gum? Do you recommend a brand? I was at the store over the weekend and looked at several different brands and all had aspartame in them! I suppose I could try mints, but I would miss chewing gum at work.

    Su-sieee! Mac - It's crazy what's in the food we eat isn't it? You think it's ok and then..nope..turns out to have dangers inside. I'm not 100% eating great yet, but hope to get there. I have to get through Halloween and all this candy first. lol

  4. Here I am again. I'm passing on the "One Lovely Blog" award to you 'cause you deserve it! Please come by my blog and get it any time.
    Su-sieee! Mac
    This and That. Here and There. Now, Sometimes Then.