What is Aspartame and Where Did it Come From?
Aspartame, the artificial sweetener, is one of the most dangerous food additive available on the market today. Its list of adverse side effects continues to grow as more information and research comes to light. However, as that list continues to grow, so does the Canadian consumption of this harmful chemical. In this article we will discuss where Aspartame comes from, why its so popular, and its harmful side effects.
Aspartame was discovered by accident by scientist James M. Schlatter in 1965. As Schlatter was researching an anti-ulcer drug, he licked his finger to get a better grip, and the sweetness he tasted was aspartame. Aspartame is made up of two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine. When aspartame is eaten, it’s broken down into these amino acids and a small amount of methanol in your body. All these components are naturally found in several foods, including fruits, vegetables, meats and eggs.
It might, however, come as a surprise that over 75 percent of adverse reactions to food as reported to the American FDA are aspartame-related. With over 90 documented symptoms associated with aspartame use, it kind of makes you wonder what isn’t going to happen when you chug that diet soda or eat a “diabetic” chocolate bar laced with this sweet poison? Some of the associated symptoms include (but are not limited to):
- Memory Loss
- Anxiety Attacks
- Heart Palpitations
- Slurred Speech
- Breathing Difficulties
- Weight Gain
Is it Safe?
Yes, aspartame is safe to consume. It’s one of eight low and no-calorie sweeteners permitted by the FDA for use in the US food supply. All eight have been rigorously tested and reviewed. Leading global health authorities such as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), FAO/WHO Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and Health Canada have found low and no-calorie sweeteners to be safe. The FDA approved aspartame for use in foods in 1981.
What’s the Bottom Line on Aspartame?
All foods can have a place in our diets, and low- and no- calorie sweeteners are no different. In addition, aspartame is one of many safe options that can be included in broader weight reduction or weight maintenance plans. What’s most important is to build a healthy eating style and support it with other healthy habits that are sustainable and tailored to your health and lifestyle needs.