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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dr. Anthony Vandreyes on Dangers of Aspartame

 article by Dr. Anthony Vandreyes [based on Aspartame Consumer Safety Network research]:

The most popular artificial sweetener found in our groceries, supermarkets, kitchens and restaurants and on our very dining tables is aspartame. It is marketed under trade names like NutraSweet or Equal.
 

In fact, you can't buy a stick of gum or a box of mints without being offered a dose of aspartame, and without reading the label like a hawk, you wouldn't know because it's not always obvious that a product contains aspartame. On most restaurant tables, right alongside the packets of white sugar, which is unhealthy in its own right, are pink and blue packets of NutraSweet and Equal, both of which contain known poisons called excitotoxins. Would you like some excitotoxins today?

Aspartame is a synthetic chemical composed of the amino acids phenylalanine and aspartic acid bonded with methyl alcohol. Methyl alcohol breaks down in the body to formic acid (the poison in ants' sting) and formaldehyde (embalming fluid). Each time you drink a 
diet soft drink or chew sugarless gum containing aspartame, you are feeding unhealthy doses of these substances into your system.

Alternating nervous system 

The amino acids can go directly to the brain and alter the function of your nervous system. Your brain naturally contains phenylalanine, but phenylalanine in high concentrations is very unhealthy. Aspartame consumption provides phenylalanine in excess to your brain. Researchers know that a rise in brain phenylalanine levels ultimately increases the risk of seizures. The other chemicals mentioned above are also very toxic. They are all excitotoxins.

Poor control of 
diabetes, menstrual changes, thinning or loss of hair, poor weight control, low blood sugar, severe PMS.

Instead of a healthy dietary programme and exercise, people concerned with weight loss may use sugar-free foods sweetened with aspartame to reduce their calorie consumption. Unfortunately, aspartame is often associated with sugar cravings, overeating and weight gain!

Advertisements for aspartame portray it as a 'healthy' alternative to sugar. Such advertising makes aspartame even more dangerous to consumers who are ignorant of the artificial sweetener's potential side effects. Because of this deceptive advertising, people concerned about their health regularly use aspartame-sweetened products.

Some items that often contain aspartame:

Aspartame is everywhere. Monsanto, its main manufacturer, has made a fortune from this chemical. Here is a list of common foods that often contain it:

Diet soft drinks, instant breakfasts, breath mints, cereals, sugar-free chewing gum, cocoa and coffee beverages, frozen desserts, gelatin desserts, juice beverages,
laxatives, multivitamins, milk drinks, pharmaceuticals and supplements, no-sugar shake mixes, tabletop sweeteners, tea beverages, instant teas and coffees, topping mixes, wine coolers, yoghurt, children's vitamins.

Recommendations 

Develop the habit to read carefully the ingredients list of everything you put in your mouth.

Be particularly careful of 'sugar-free,' 'fat-free' or 'sugarless' foods and beverages, especially diet soft drinks.

The newest of the artificial sweeteners is Splenda (sucralose). I do not feel that we have enough experience with Splenda to be totally confident of its safety although, "so far, so good".

I recommend the herb stevia as a sweetener to my patients. Known in South America as the 'sweet herb', stevia has been used for more than 400 years without ill effect. Stevia has been enormously popular in Japan, now rivalling NutraSweet, Equal and Sweet'N Low. It's 20 times sweeter than sugar, so a small portion of stevia goes a long way.

Aspartame Studies in Food Chem Toxicol. 2007 Jun 16


Food Chem Toxicol. 2007 Jun 16;  
The effect of aspartame metabolites on the suckling rat
frontal cortex acetylcholinesterase. An in vitro study.

Simintzi I,

Schulpis KH,

Angelogianni P,

Liapi C,

Tsakiris S.

Department of Experimental Physiology, Medical School,

University of Athens,

P.O. Box 65257, GR 15401 Athens, Greece.


Aspartame (ASP) consumption is suggested to be implicated with

muscarinic dysfunction.


The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of ASP

and its metabolites

on acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity

in rat frontal cortex and pure enzyme.


Rat frontal cortex homogenate or pure enzyme AChE

(eel E. Electricus) were incubated with ASP and each of ASP components,

phenylalanine (Phe), aspartic acid (asp), and methanol (MeOH)

for 1h at 37 degrees C.


AChE was measured spectrophotometrically.


The results showed that incubation of rat tissue or pure enzyme

with the sum of ASP metabolites,

as reported to be found in the CSF

after 150 or 200mg/kg ASP consumption,

inhibited frontal cortex and pure AChE about -11% to -29% (p<0.001).


Asp, Phe or MeOH concentrations

related to their CSF levels after ingestion of abuse or toxic ASP doses,

when separately incubated with frontal cortex or pure AChE,

resulted in a significant decrease of the enzyme activities.


In conclusion:

ASP compounds may directly and/or indirectly act

on the frontal cortex AChE.


High or toxic doses of the sweetener

remarkably decreased the enzyme activity.


If this in vitro finding comes into human reality,

it may be suggested that cholinergic symptoms

are related to the consumption of the above ASP doses.

PMID: 17673349

second study by expert Greek team of neurotoxicity in infant rats

by aspartame (or its parts, methanol, phenylalanine, aspartic acid),

KH Schulpis et al, Toxicology 2007.05.18


Toxicology. 2007 May 18; [Epub ahead of print]

l-Cysteine and glutathione restore the reduction of rat hippocampal Na(+),

K(+)-ATPase activity induced by aspartame metabolites.

Simintzi I,

Schulpis KH,

Angelogianni P,

Liapi C,

Tsakiris S.

Department of Experimental Physiology,

Medical School, Athens University,

P.O. Box 65257, GR-15401 Athens, Greece.


Studies have implicated aspartame (ASP) ingestion in neurological problems.


The aim of this study was to evaluate hippocampal Na(+),K(+)-ATPase

and Mg(2+)-ATPase activities

after incubation with ASP or each of ASP metabolites,

phenylalanine (Phe), methanol (MeOH) and aspartic acid (asp) separately.


Suckling rat hippocampal homogenates or pure Na(+),K(+)-ATPase

were incubated with ASP metabolites.


Na(+),K(+)-ATPase and Mg(2+)-ATPase activities

were measured spectrophotometrically.


Incubation of hippocampal or pure Na(+),K(+)-ATPase with ASP concentrations

(expected in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF))

after ASP consumption of 34, 150 or 200 mg/kg

resulted in hippocampal enzyme activity reduction of 26%, 50% or 59%,

respectively, whereas pure enzyme was remarkably stimulated.


Moreover, incubation with hippocampal homogenate

of each one of the corresponding in the CSF ASP metabolites

related to the intake of common, high/abuse doses of the sweetener,

inhibited Na(+),K(+)-ATPase, while pure enzyme was activated.


Hippocampal Mg(2+)-ATPase remained unaltered.


Addition of l-cysteine (cys) or reduced glutathione (GSH)

in ASP mixtures, related with high/toxic doses of the sweetener,

completely or partially restored the inactivated membrane

Na(+),K(+)-ATPase,

whereas the activated pure enzyme activity returned to normal.


CSF concentrations of ASP metabolites

related to common, abuse/toxic doses of the additive

significantly reduced rat hippocampal Na(+),K(+)-ATPase activity,

whereas pure enzyme was activated.


Cys or GSH completely or partially restored both enzyme activities.

PMID: 17602817


Kleopatra H. Schulpis, MD, PhD. Institute of Child Health,

Aghia Sophia Children's Hospital, GR-11527 Athens (Greece)

expert Greek group finds aspartame (or its parts, methanol,

phenylalanine, aspartic acid) harm infant rat brain enzyme activity,

KH Schulpis et al, Pharmacol. Res. 2007.05.13


Pharmacol Res. 2007 May 13; [Epub ahead of print]

The effect of aspartame on acetylcholinesterase activity in

hippocampal homogenates of suckling rats.

Simintzi I,

Schulpis KH,

Angelogianni P,

Liapi C,

Tsakiris S.

Department of Experimental Physiology,

Medical School, University of Athens,

P.O. Box 65257, GR-15401 Athens, Greece.


BACKGROUND:

Neurological disturbances have been implicated

with aspartame (ASP)consumption,

and the cholinergic system

with acetylcholinesterase (AChE) seems actively involved.


AIM:

To evaluate the effect of ASP and its metabolites

on rat hippocampal AChE activity.


METHODS:

Hippocampal homogenate or pure enzyme AChE (eel E. electricus) was

incubated with the sum or each of ASP components, phenylalanine (Phe),

aspartic acid (asp) and methanol (MeOH) for 1 h at 37 degrees C.


AChE activity was measured spectrophotometrically.


RESULTS:

Incubation of rat tissue or pure enzyme with the sum of ASP

metabolites in concentrations in CSF

(the concentrations were calculated according to the CSF/plasma

concentration ratios)

following 150 or 200 mgkg(-1) of ASP consumption,

resulted in significant enzyme activity reductions of 25 and 31%

for hippocampal AChE and 11% (p<0.01) and 19% for pure enzyme,

respectively.


Aspartic acid concentrations of 0.42 or 0.56 mM

significantly reduced the enzyme activities by 13 and 20%

for hippocampal AChE and 15 and 18% for pure enzyme, respectively.


Phe concentrations of 0.042 or 0.083mM decreased the enzyme activity

by 12% (p<0.01) and 20% (p<0.001) for hippocampal AChE

and 15 and 18% (p<0.001) for pure enzyme, respectively.


Methanol concentrations of 0.60 or 0.80 mM remarkably inhibited

hippocampal AChE by about 18 and 22%

and pure enzyme by about 14 and 20%, respectively.


CONCLUSIONS:

Low concentrations of ASP components

had no effect on hippocampal and pure AChE activity,

whereas high or toxic concentrations

remarkably decreased both enzyme activities.


Muscarinic symptoms may be related

to the latter concentrations of ASP metabolites.

PMID: 17580119


Kleopatra H. Schulpis, MD, PhD. Institute of Child Health,

Aghia Sophia Children's Hospital, GR-11527 Athens (Greece)


Metab Brain Dis. 2006 Mar; 21(1): 21-8. Epub 2006 May 6.

The effect of in vitro homocystinuria on the suckling rat hippocampal

acetylcholinesterase.

Schulpis KH,

Kalimeris K,

Bakogiannis C,

Tsakiris T,

Tsakiris S.

Inborn Errors of Metabolism Department,

Institute of Child Health Research Center,

Aghia Sophia Children's Hospital, Athens, Greece.


Homocystinuria is due to enzymatic deficiencies

resulting in elevated blood levels of homocysteine (Hcy),

homocystine (Hci),

and/or methionine (Met)

and the clinical presentation of mental retardation, seizures, and

cardiovascular disease.


Since these symptoms may be closely implicated with

acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity,

we aimed to investigate whether this metabolic disorder affects the

hippocampal AChE activity

in 21 days suckling Wistar rat hippocampus.


Various concentrations of Hcy, Hci (0.05-0.5 mM), or Met (0.05-2 mM)


as well as Mixture A (Mix A) (0.3 mM (Hcy)+0.2 mM (Hci)+1.0 mM (Met) =

in vitro cystathionine beta-synthase deficiency homocystinuria),


Mix B1 (Hcy 0.3 mM + Hci 0.2 mM = in vitro severe

methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency homocystinuria)


or Mix B2 (Hcy 0.1 mM+Hci 0.05 mM = in vitro mild

methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency homocystinuria)


were preincubated with homogenized hippocampii or with eel

Electrophorus electricus pure AChE.


AChE was evaluated spectrophotometrically.


Hcy or Met stimulated hippocampal AChE by 50% (p < 0.001)

at low concentrations of the amino acids (up to 0.3-0.5 mM),

whereas Hci inhibited the enzyme by 40% (p < 0.001).


Mix A, Mix B1, or Mix B2 activated hippocampal AChE

by 40, 30, (p < 0.001), and 12% (p < 0.01), respectively.


In contrast, the S-containing amino acids, Mix A, Mix B1, Mix B2

failed to affect the pure AChE activity.


CONCLUSIONS:

a) The presence of -SH group in Hcy and Met

may result in hippocampal AChE stimulation

and the redox isomer Hci in the inhibition of the enzyme,

probably by producing free radicals,


and b) The SH-amino acids seem to affect

the hippocampal enzyme indirectly,

possibly by lipid(s)-protein modifications(s)

and Hci by inducing oxidative stress,

since no effect was observed on pure AChE activity.

PMID: 16773467

all three aspartame metabolites harm human erythrocyte

[red blood cell] membrane enzyme activity,

KH Schulpis et al, two studies in 2005,

Athens, Greece, 2005.12.14:

2004 research review, RL Blaylock


"High or abuse concentrations of ASP hydrolysis products significantly

decreased the membrane enzyme activity,

which was completely or partially prevented by L-cysteine

or reduced GSH."


[ Definition of Erythrocyte]

Erythrocyte:

A cell that contains hemoglobin and can carry oxygen to the body.

Also called a red blood cell (RBC).

The reddish color is due to the hemoglobin.

Erythrocytes are biconcave in shape,

which increases the cell's surface area

and facilitates the diffusion of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

This shape is maintained by a cytoskeleton

composed of several proteins.

Erythrocytes are very flexible

and change shape when flowing through capillaries.

Immature erythrocytes, called reticulocytes,

normally account for 1-2 percent of red cells in the blood. ]


Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 Dec 14; [Epub ahead of print]

The effect of L-cysteine and glutathione on inhibition of

Na(+), K(+)-ATPase activity by aspartame metabolites

in human erythrocyte [red blood cell] membrane.

Schulpis KH, Kleopatra H. Schulpis, MD, PhD.

Institute of Child Health, Aghia Sophia Children's Hospital,

GR-11527 Athens (Greece) +30 1 7708291, Fax +30 1 7700111

Papassotiriou I, 

Tsakiris T,

Tsakiris S. Stylianos Tsakiris.

1 Institute of Child Health, Research Center,

'Aghia Sophia' Children's Hospital, Athens, Greece.


Background:

Reports have implicated Aspartame

(N-L-a-aspartyl-L-phenylalanine methyl ester, ASP)

in neurological problems.


Aim:

To evaluate Na(+), K(+)-ATPase activities in human erythrocyte

[red blood cell] membranes

after incubation with the ASP metabolites,

phenylalanine (Phe),

methanol (MeOH) and

aspartic acid (Asp).


Methods:

Erythrocyte [red blood cell] membranes

were obtained from 12 healthy individuals and

were incubated at 37 degrees C for 1 h

with the sum or each of the ASP metabolites separately,

which are commonly measured in blood after ASP ingestion.


Na(+), K(+)-ATPase and Mg(2+)-ATPase activities were measured

spectrophotometrically.


Results:

Membrane Mg(2+)-ATPase activity was not altered.


The sum of ASP metabolite concentrations corresponding

to 34, 150 or 200 mg/kg of the sweetener ingestion

resulted in an inhibition of the membrane

Na(+), K(+)-ATPase by -30, -40, -48%, respectively.


MeOH concentrations of 0.14, 0.60 or 0.80 mM

decreased the enzyme activity by -25, -38, -43%, respectively.


Asp concentrations of 2.80, 7.60 or 10.0 mM

inhibited membrane Na(+), K(+)-ATPase by -26, -40, -46%,

respectively.


Phe concentrations of 0.14, 0.35 or 0.50 mM

reduced the enzyme activity by -24, -44, -48%, respectively.


Preincubation with L-cysteine or reduced glutathione (GSH)

completely or partially restored

the inhibited membrane Na(+), K(+)-ATPase activity

by high or toxic ASP metabolite concentrations.


Conclusions:

Low concentrations of ASP metabolites had no effect

on Na(+), K(+)-ATPase activity.


High or abuse concentrations of ASP hydrolysis products significantly

decreased the membrane enzyme activity,

which was completely or partially prevented by L-cysteine

or reduced GSH. [reduced glutathione]


European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication,

14 December 2005; doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602355. PMID: 16391576

aspartame (methanol, phenylalanine, aspartic acid) effects, detailed

expert studies in 2005 Aug and 1998 July, Tsakiris S, Schulpis KH,

Karikas GA, Kokotos G, Reclos RJ, et al, Aghia Sophia Children's

Hospital, Athens, Greece

[ The lowest dose level tested, 34 mg aspartame per kg body weight,

well below the FDA daily human limit of 50 mg/kg, 16 12-oz cans,

caused enzyme activity reduction by -33% in human red blood cell

membranes. ]


However, a missed opportunity in both studies is that the inevitable,

extremely and cumulatively toxic products of methanol in the human

body, formaldehyde and formic acid, which are responsible for the

toxicity of methanol, were not independently tested.


" It is concluded that low concentrations of ASP metabolites had no

effect on the [human red blood cell] membrane enzyme activity,

whereas high or toxic concentrations partially or remarkably decreased

the [human red blood cell] membrane AChE activity, respectively.

Additionally, neurological symptoms, including learning and memory

processes, may be related to the high or toxic concentrations of the

sweetener metabolites. " ]


Pharmacol Res. 2005 Aug 26; [Epub ahead of print]

The effect of aspartame metabolites on human [red blood cell]

erythrocyte membrane acetylcholinesterase activity.

Tsakiris S,

Giannoulia-Karantana A,

Simintzi I,

Schulpis KH.

Department of Experimental Physiology, Medical School,

University of Athens, P.O. Box 65257, GR-154 01 Athens, Greece.


Stylianos Tsakiris. 


Giannoulia-Karantana A. First Department of Pediatrics,

Aghia Sophia Children's Hospital, University of Athens, Greece.


Kleopatra H. Schulpis, MD, PhD. Institute of Child Health,

Aghia Sophia Children's Hospital, GR-11527 Athens (Greece)

Tel. +30 1 7708291, Fax +30 1 7700111 

[ Papoutsakis T. ]


Papadopoulos G. Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology,

University of Thessaly, Ploutonos 26, 41221 Larisa, Greece

Abstract:


Studies have implicated aspartame (ASP) with neurological problems.

The aim of this study was to evaluate acetylcholinesterase (AChE)

activity in human erythrocyte [red blood cell] membranes

after incubation with the sum of ASP metabolites,

phenylalanine (Phe),

methanol (met) and

aspartic acid (aspt),

or with each one separately.


Erythrocyte [human red blood cell] membranes were obtained from

12 healthy individuals and were incubated with ASP hydrolysis

products for 1h at 37 degrees C.

AChE was measured spectrophotometrically.


Incubation of membranes with ASP metabolites corresponding

with 34 mg/kg, 150 mg/kg or 200 mg/kg of ASP consumption

resulted in an enzyme activity reduction by -33%, -41%, and -57%,

respectively.


Met concentrations 0.14 mM, 0.60 mM, and 0.80 mM decreased

the enzyme activity by -20%, -32% or -40%, respectively.


Aspt concentrations 2.80 mM, 7.60 mM or 10.0 mM inhibited

membrane AChE acitivity by -20%, -35%, and -47%, respectively.


Phe concentrations 0.14 mM, 0.35 mM or 0.50 mM reduced the

enzyme activity by -11%, -33%, and -35%, respectively.


Aspt or Phe concentrations 0.82 mM or 0.07 mM, respectively,

did not alter the membrane AChE activity.


It is concluded that low concentrations of ASP metabolites had

no effect on the membrane enzyme activity,

whereas high or toxic concentrations partially or remarkably

decreased the membrane AChE activity, respectively.

Additionally, neurological symptoms, including learning and memory

processes, may be related to the high or toxic concentrations of the

sweetener metabolites. PMID: 16129618


http://groups.yahoo.com/group/aspartameNM/message/939

aspartame (aspartic acid, phenylalanine) binding to DNA:

Karikas July 1998

Karikas GA, Schulpis KH, Reclos GJ, Kokotos G

Measurement of molecular interaction of aspartame and

its metabolites with DNA. Clin Biochem 1998 Jul; 31(5): 405-7.

Dept. of Chemistry, University of Athens, Greece

Murray, full plain text & critique:

chronic aspartame in rats affects memory, brain cholinergic

receptors, and brain chemistry, Christian B, McConnaughey M

et al, 2004 May: 2004.06.05

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2004 May; 78(1): 121-7.

Chronic aspartame affects T-maze performance, brain cholinergic

receptors and Na(+),K(+)-ATPase in rats.

Christian B, McConnaughey K, Bethea E, Brantley S,

Coffey A, Hammond L, Harrell S, Metcalf K, Muehlenbein D,

Spruill W, Brinson L, McConnaughey M.

Department of Pharmacology, Brody School of Medicine,

East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858, USA;

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics,

Durham, NC 27811.

Mona M. McConnaughey, Ph.D. Research Assistant Professor

Department: PHARMACOLOGY & TOXICOLOGY

Office: Brody Medical Science 6E-120A 252-744-2756

This study demonstrated that chronic aspartame consumption in rats

can lead to altered T-maze performance and increased muscarinic

cholinergic receptor densities in certain brain regions.

Control and treated rats were trained in a T-maze to a particular side

and then periodically tested to see how well

they retained the learned response.

Rats that had received aspartame (250 mg/kg/day)

in the drinking water for 3 or 4 months showed a significant increase

in time to reach the reward in the T-maze,

suggesting a possible effect on memory due to the artificial

sweetener.

Using [(3)H]quinuclidinyl benzilate (QNB) (1 nM) to label muscarinic

cholinergic receptors and atropine (10(-6) M) to determine nonspecific

binding in whole-brain preparations,

aspartame-treated rats showed a 31 % increase in receptor numbers

when compared to controls.

In aspartame-treated rats, there was a significant increase in

muscarinic

receptor densities in the

frontal cortex, midcortex, posterior cortex, hippocampus, hypothalamus

and cerebellum of

80 %, 60 %, 61 %, 65 %, 66 % and 60 %, respectively.

The midbrain was the only area where preparations from

aspartame-treated rats showed a significant increase

in Na(+),K(+)-ATPase activity.

It can be concluded from these data that long-term consumption

of aspartame can affect T-maze performance in rats and alter

receptor densities or enzymes in brain. PMID: 15159141

May 31: Coca-Cola and the much larger Cargill Inc.,

after years of secret development, with 24 patents,

will soon sell rebiana (stevia) in drinks and food

in the many nations where it is approved as a sweetener --

for decades a major sweetener in Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan,

Thailand, Malasia, Saint Kitts, Nevis,

Brazil, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Israel,

and an approved supplement in USA, Australia, and Canada,

according to Wikipedia.


Indonesia Considered Ban on Aspartame [Jakarta Post article]

January 30, 2007
On aspartame 
As co-founder of the international organization educating the public regarding the reported adverse reactions to aspartame, (Aspartame Consumer Safety Network), I want to congratulate the governing agency that ruled to consider a ban on aspartame sweeteners in Indonesia.

Aspartame was approved in 1981 under a shroud of intense controversy - with falsified documents which contained test results that showed dead laboratory animals miraculously manipulated back to life, on sworn documents submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by the drug company, G.D. Searle. Since 1987, our organization has devoted all of our energy and resources toward getting aspartame recalled and re-tested as a drug, which is how it was discovered.

My co-founder, James Turner and I were among a handful of experts and victims who testified at the Senate Hearings on Aspartame Safety in Washington D.C. in 1987 - shortly after creating the massive consumer network that now works successfully with consumers, health care professionals, scientists and media.

Tens of thousands of concerned individuals look to our organization for answers about the safety of their artificial sweetener. On our ACSN hotline, many (including military and commercial airline pilots) report serious adverse effects ranging from cancers to seizures and death.

It is our opinion that all countries where aspartame is sold need to consider banning this dangerous artificial sweetener which has hidden far too long behind the grossly misleading label: "Safe and natural." Unfortunately, aspartame is neither.

Respectfully,
        Hon. Mary Nash Stoddard
Founder Aspartame Consumer Safety Network and Pilot Hotline (1987-present)
        www.aspartamesafety.com
 Dallas, Texas 



Breaking News on Food and Beverage in Asia Pacific 
Indonesia consults on aspartame, sweetener use in food

By Dominique Patton
 

09/01/2007 -  The Indonesian government is currently reviewing its laws on artificial sweeteners and will consider banning them from food if expert evidence suggests they present health risks, according to a report.

"We may remove artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame saccharin and cyclamate, from the Health Ministry's decree ... about allowable food additives," Husniah R.T. Akib, head of the country's food and drug authority (BPOM) told the Jakarta Post.

"We are looking at the various opinions around the world on these sweeteners. If stakeholders and people believe those three substitutes are health hazards, we will ban them," Husniah said.

The three sweeteners are permitted in food in the European Union and 
Codex Alimentarius, a set of internationally recognized food standards, also recognizes their safety. However within the Asia-Pacific region, Japan has banned aspartame and cyclamate while Malaysia prohibits cyclamate.

The use of aspartame as a 
sweetener was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1981. But animal studies that were claimed to show a carcinogenic effect threw the sweetener's safety into doubt. These have however been criticized by several toxicologists and the EU food authority confirmed its safety last year. It is now the second most widely used artificial sweetener, after saccharin, contained in about 6,000 food products worldwide.

Both cyclamate and saccharin have also been linked to controversy, both banned by the FDA after studies linking it to cancer in animals but the FDA lifted its ban on saccharin in 1991.

The review in Indonesia is being carried out by the BPOM as well as the health and trade ministries and university experts. The food and beverage industry, the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and several consumer groups are also involved in the process, according to the report.

It is expected to be completed later this month.

"In addition to Codex Alimentarius, we also refer to world agencies such as the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the FDA," Husniah told the paper.

The BPOM has already approved the sweeteners acesulfame-K, alitame, neotame and sucralose. 



DIET DRINKS AND BILL O'REILLY ON FOX TV w/DR. SHARI LIEBERMAN

Diet Soda Dangerous? Monday, March 22, 2004

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Back of the Book" Segment tonight, Americans
drink billions of gallons of diet soda a year. It's incredible how much we
consume. And some believe millions of Americans are addicted to the stuff.
They have to have it.

With us now is Dr. Shari Lieberman, a certified nutrition specialist here in
New York City.

So it's -- 10 billion cases of soda sold every year in the USA,
and 30 percent of that, approximately, is diet soda, and I know people who
walk around all day long drinking diet soda. What is that all about?

SHARI LIEBERMAN, PH.D., CERTIFIED NUTRITION SPECIALIST:
It's unbelievable. It is such an addicting substance. You have both the
aspartame, the NutraSweet, combined with the caffeine. You're basically
getting a rush all day. It actually messes with your brain chemicals, Bill.

O'REILLY: Does it really?

LIEBERMAN: It really does. You know, aspartic acid actually makes what we
call excitatory neurotransmitters. Imagine we have a balance of ones that
calm us down and ones that hype us up.

So, if you're drinking something that's going to make the ones that are
excitatory or making us hyper all day long, that's why there are so many
side effects associated with NutraSweet, such as irritability and anxiety.

I mean people are basically getting a rush all day from drinking this.

O'REILLY: OK. So, if you're drinking diet soda all day long or, say, you're
drinking, you know, 48 ounces, 50 ounces a day, which a lot of people do...

LIEBERMAN: They do.

O'REILLY: ... you are basically -- it's an upper.

LIEBERMAN: It's an upper. Exactly. And guess what happens when you run out
of it? It's a crasher...

O'REILLY: Is that right?

LIEBERMAN: ... and then you need an upper.

O'REILLY: You feel bad after it.

Now is this physically addicting, do you believe, or is it psychological?

LIEBERMAN: I believe it's physically addicting. You know, we know that
caffeine is. So you've got a ton of caffeine in the diet sodas. Then you
actually have a substance that's affecting neurotransmitters. So they're
really getting a double whammy, and, of course, we're talking about people
that are drinking it all day long.

O'REILLY: Yes, and they think that, well, I can drink it all day long
because there's no calories in it, I'm not going to get fat. Go ahead.

LIEBERMAN: I have to tell you something about that. If you look at the
research, people that drink diet sodas are oftentimes eating more calories
than people drinking regular sodas.

O'REILLY: But they're eating them.

LIEBERMAN: It actually increases...

O'REILLY: You know, that's -- they're eating.

LIEBERMAN: It seems to increase...

O'REILLY: You can't get fat drinking diet soda.

LIEBERMAN: It's not that you get fat, Bill. I think it's the...

O'REILLY: Bloated.

LIEBERMAN: ... taste of the sweet. It keeps you so addicted. They seem to
eat more carbohydrates throughout the day when they're drinking diet soda.
Go figure.

O'REILLY: What other physical things -- if you're consuming a lot of diet
soda, what happens to your body?

LIEBERMAN: Well, you also can get a certain amount of methanol, which is the
more toxic alcohol. That's a byproduct of NutraSweet and aspartame, if
you're drinking a lot of it, and that's a wood alcohol that's actually
rather toxic and can cause some problems as well. So you have a substance
that, when you're taking in really large amounts, is going to affect your
chemistry, your brain chemistry, your...

O'REILLY: Your body chemistry and...

LIEBERMAN: Exactly. Your body chemistry.

O'REILLY: OK. Now there are no warnings on any of the soda labels, and
nobody says any of this. But, you know, I -- and I wanted to do the story
because, anecdotally, I've seen people, you know, in the office here and all
of that, drink diet soda after diet soda after diet soda.

LIEBERMAN: Well, who did my makeup today actually said to me she's drinking
a ton of diet soda and is suffering from migraines. There are reports of
migraines and fibromyalgia and certain illnesses disappearing when people go
off diet sodas. So, I mean, there is a relationship between taking in a lot
of this stuff -- we're not talking about the occasional user.

O'REILLY: No.

LIEBERMAN: But if -- you know, once again, you've got these excited neurons
in your head, and it is related to migraines and fibromyalgia and a number
of other illnesses that have been shown to go away.

O'REILLY: Right. And it doesn't do any -- your teeth any good either?

LIEBERMAN: It really -- it doesn't protect your teeth like Xylitol and some
of the other sweeteners.

O'REILLY: All right, Doctor. I knew drinking 50 ounces of that stuff wasn't
good.

LIEBERMAN: You were right, Bill.
________________________________________________________________________

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," March 19, 2004 that
has been edited for clarity.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/
Watch The O'Reilly Factor weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET and listen to the Radio Factor!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Legal Drug Lords - Holding World Health Hostage
Aspartame, found in NutraSweet/Equal, could be hurting us all.
By Mary Nash Stoddard

Who are the real villains in today's society? The chemical and pharmaceutical companies who pollute our children's food supply for profit and those in government who protect them. Aspartame, also known as NutraSweet & Equal, is arguably the most toxic substance in our food supply today. Aspartame disease has become an epidemic in our world that must be recognized and addressed.

How did we get to this point and what do we do about it?
The one constant in the lives of people around the world is food. We all have to eat. The Legal Drug Lords (Pharmaceutical and Chemical companies) capitalize on this and have gradually assumed control of our food supply, with the active participation of their consorts at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), leaving the poor consumer unprotected and at great risk.

It's all about politics--not at all about science.
The artificial sweetener Aspartame was approved through fraudulent means. Deaths of lab animals were covered up. Brain tumors, mammary tumors, pancreatic tumors, and uterine tumors went unreported. Discovered as a drug for peptic ulcers in the sixties, it was first approved in 1974. That approval was rescinded before it could get to market, because of the brain tumor issue.
At the time, the National Soft Drink Association lodged formal objections with the U.S. Senate, because of the brain tumor issue. The makers of Aspartame, G.D. Searle were being investigated by U.S. prosecutors, but at the last minute, the lawsuit was dropped because the U.S. Attorney, Samuel Skinner recused himself at the last minute and defected to the NutraSweet law firm of Sidley & Austin. Skinner then went on to become head of the Department of Transportation and eventually Chief of Staff in President Bush's white house. Meanwhile, President Regan's FDA Director, Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr., approved Aspartame for tabletop use in 1981 and when it won final approval for aquaeous solution in 1983, Hayes quit the FDA and went to work for the NutraSweet Public Relations firm of Burson Marsteller, for $1,000 a day.
What is it and what is it in?
Aspartame is a toxin whose effects are cumulative and may currently be found in over 5,000 products including diet soft drinks, sports drinks, gum, coffees, teas, kool aid type drinks, children's vitamins, antibiotics, frozen dairy desserts such as ice cream and yogurts, and much more. It is very difficult to live without consuming aspartame.
Aspartame is an extremely complex molecule. It is 50 percent Phenylalanine, 40 percent aspartic acid, and 10 percent methanol. Each of these substances can be dangerous by themselves and even more dangerous as they work together.
Phenylalanine
Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid. Individuals with phenylketoneuria or PKU lack an enzyme necessary for breaking down and eliminating excess amounts of phenylalanine. Approximately 20 million carriers of the PKU gene are also at risk and do not know it. In children with this disorder, phenylalanine accumulates to toxic levels (20 or 30 times normal) which gradually causes more and more damage to the developing brain. Those with PKU should be aware of all sources of phenylalanine in their diets. It was shown in human testing that phenylalanine levels of the blood were increased significantly in human subjects who chronically used aspartame. (Wurtman and Walker, "Dietary Phenylalanine and Brain Function," Proceedings of the First International Meeting on Dietary Phenylalanine and Brain Function, Washington, D.C., May 8, 1987)
According to Dr. Louis Elsas, head of Genetics at Emory University in Atlanta, the phenylalanine in aspartame can quadruple on the side of the placenta during pregnancy, thereby causing a possible 10 percent drop in I.Q. scores of the child born under these conditions.
Most importantly, Phenylalanine can also lead to a lowering of the seizure threshold. Dr. Richard Wurtman, professor of Neuroendocrine Regulation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has presented the FDA with data that indicates that aspartame effects brain phenylalanine and tyrosine levels. This could effect the synthesis of neurotransmitters and bodily functions. Aspartame acts as a "mind altering" drug in disturbing the chemical balance of the brain. Serotonin production is obstructed by the presence of Aspartame. Serotonin is a key neurotransmitter that keeps moods level, sleep patterns normal, and controls the menstrual cycle in women.
Aspartic Acid
Aspartic Acid is also a neuroexcitatory amino acid. It caused "silent" lesions in the brains of the lab animals, which are often called "holes in the brain." It also changed the lab animals' DNA-the third generation of pups were born morbidly obese and sexually dysfunctional.
Dr Russell L. Blaylock, a professor of Neurosurgery at the Medical University of Mississippi, writing in Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, details the damage that is caused by the ingestion of excessive aspartic acid from aspartame. According to Blaylock, excess free excitatory amino acids such as aspartic acid are causing serious chronic neurological disorders and a myriad of other acute symptoms.
Methanol (Wood Alcohol)
Methanol is used as the bond that holds the phenylalanine and aspartic acid together and is perhaps the most dangerous component of aspartame. It is released within ten minutes of consumption.
Very simply, methanol is wood alcohol and toxic. It is well known in the literature for doing damage to the eye, liver, brain, and other organs of the body. Any product that contains methanol should send up a red flag in our minds.
The absorption of methanol into the body is hastened when free methanol is ingested, and free methanol is created from Aspartame when it is heated to above 86 F (30 C). This would occur when an aspartame-containing product is improperly stored or is heated.
Methanol breaks down into formaldehyde (embalming fluid), formic acid (ant sting venom) and diketopiperazine (DKP). All are highly toxic. DKP may just be the most problematic of all, because it caused brain tumors in the lab tests.
John W. Olney, a professor in the department of psychiatry, School of Medicine, Washington University, a neuroscientist and researcher, noticed that DKP, when nitrosated in the gut, produced a compound similar to a powerful brain tumor causing chemical.
Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, causes retinal damage, interferes with DNA replication, causes birth defects. Aspartame can exceed the EPA standards for safe levels of formaldehyde ingestion.
One of the arguments that the sweetener industry uses to refute much of these is that the amino acids found in aspartame are natural and are broken down by the body. However, phenylalanine and aspartic acid when produced synthetically in the lab do not behave in the same manner as when found in nature. They have been shown to cross the brain's blood barrier. In their natural state, these amino acids are found in perfect balance with all the other ameliorating amino acids. Methanol, when found in nature, is always accompanied by ethanol, which neutralizes the toxic effect. There is no ethanol in Aspartame, only Methanol. So, right there you have a prescription for disaster.

December 22, 1997, Monsanto (manufacturers of Aspartame and Artificial Bovine Growth Hormone) applied for a patent to market a new sweetener, based on the Aspartame formula, called Neotame, which will be 7,800 times sweeter than Aspartame, which is 200 times sweeter than sugar.

Mary Nash Stoddard is a founder of the burgeoning international anti-aspartame movement, with her Aspartame Consumer Safety Network. She is recognized as the foremost aspartame authority (qualifying in courtroom proceedings as an expert witness) and her work has been featured on thousands of radio and television news and talk shows around the world, including Nightline and 60 Minutes.

Associated Press Wire Story on Aspartame

                                                ASSOCIATED PRESS WIRE - 5/4/99                                  


______________________________________________________________________________

Doc:00128513 DB: research_d_99_2 Date: Tues May 4 18:01:30 1999

Christian dedicates life to educating the public about aspartame 
By Susan Montoya=
Associated Press Writer=
With AP Photo 

  DALLAS  (AP) _ Mary Nash Stoddard wouldn't go so far as to say aspartame, the artificial sweetener found in those little blue packets, is the work of the devil. But she will definitely say it's not the work of God.
  Mrs. Stoddard, a 60-year-old Southern Baptist and former Christian radio show host, has dedicated her life to educating the public on what she calls the dangers of aspartame, which gives sweetness to diet sodas and many other products without the calories of sugar.
       "Once I discovered what this was and what it could do to people I was not given the luxury of sitting back and going back into life just as a widow, a mother and eventually a grandmother," she said. "I knew I had to do something drastic."
  Her message has found favor with several Christian leaders, including Pat Robertson, a religious broadcaster and founder of the Christian Coalition: television show hostess Dr. Karen Hayter; and televangelist Kenneth Copeland, who has banned the sweetener at his ministry's Fort Worth headquarters.
      Mrs. Stoddard said she visited six specialists, but none could determine what was causing her severe muscle aches, twitching and numbness. As she tells her story some 15 years later, her hands still tremble.
"I was getting sicker and sicker," she said.
    
Her doctor suggested that it could be "that new sweetener that everybody was using." Aspartame, better known as NutraSweet or Equal, had just been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1981 and was beginning to reach the market.        
       
 "I stopped taking it and I could tell the difference in a  matter of weeks," she said.
  Eventually, the mother of three started the Dallas-based Aspartame Consumer Safety Network to warn people that the artificial sweetener was supposedly linked to cancer and a slew of other diseases.

      Mrs. Stoddard acknowledges that the ingredients of aspartame can be found in nature, but not in the way it is packaged.
Aspartame is composed of two amino acids, aspartic acid and the methyl ester of phenylalanine.
  "Biblical text shows us the way to respect our body as a temple of God is by taking in what is natural, but aspartame was developed by man," she said. "Only God can make an apple. When man can make an apple, maybe then I'll buy it."
        
The Christian broadcasters say they oppose aspartame based on biblical passages that refer to the body as the temple of God and that instruct them to eat only the fruit of the seed.
   "Christians feel a responsibility to take care of themselves. We feel like God's word does instruct us to take care of our bodies," said Barry Tubbs, one of Copeland's associate ministers. "It's strictly a health concern."                  
       
 A spokeswoman for the maker of NutraSweet, St. Louis-based Monsanto Co., said company officials respect the Christians' beliefs, but insist their product is not dangerous.
     "People should not link our product to any adverse reactions," Nancy Nevin said.
        
      Mrs. Stoddard said thousands of people have contacted her about their negative reactions to aspartame. She said that's proof enough of the danger associated with the sweetener.
        "People are falling like flies but nobody is telling them they triggered their illnesses by taking aspartame," she said. "I am not saying aspartame causes every single symptom, but let's consider it a factor."
       "You can't just write me off as some kind of crackpot because I'm not a scientist or a doctor. You have to remember our first doctors bled their patients to death for pneumonia."
      _____
    AP-DX-0603-99  0709MDT 


______________________________________________________________________________











                                                                                  
                                                                                       

Mary Nash Stoddard, Founder
Aspartame Consumer Safety Network and Pilot Hotline [1987-2005]
P.O. Box 2001 - Frisco, TX 75034
tel. 1-214-387-4001
email: marystod@airmail.net
http://www.aspartamesafety.com

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Did Media Fear Legal Actions For Reporting Problems With Sweetener?

WTVT anchor, producers subpoenaed

By ERIC DEGGANS

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 11, 1998

TVT-Ch. 13 anchor Kathy Fountain and two producers at the Tampa station were subpoenaed Thursday by former investigative reporters Jane Akre and Steve Wilson, who allege the station canceled an interview scheduled for Fountain's weekday Your Turn talk segment this week over concerns that it might anger chemical manufacturing giant Monsanto.

Fountain and producer Angela Schultz received subpoenas at the station Thursday, for a deposition Sept. 21 as part of an ongoing lawsuit filed by Akre and Wilson against the station in April. Your Turn producer Cynthia Simmons was also subpoenaed. The couple, who are married, say WTVT fired them in December when they wouldn't support attempts to soften a four-part investigative report on concerns about another Monsanto product, the synthetic bovine growth hormone Posilac.

Wilson says WTVT's decision Tuesday to cancel an interview with Mary Nash Stoddard -- a critic of artificial sweeteners that contain the chemical aspartame, including the Monsanto-made NutraSweet -- shows the station's continuing fear of litigation from the company.

"This shows a clear pattern of special treatment," said Wilson, a former reporter for Inside Edition before joining WTVT in November 1996. "If you want to say something construed as negative to Monsanto, you can't get on."

Officials at WTVT denied Wilson's contentions,saying the segment was canceled when producers couldn't find someone to balance Stoddard's position that the use of products containing aspartame can be dangerous.

"We weren't aware of the Monsanto connection (to NutraSweet) until after we decided to cancel the segment," Fountain said. "(Wilson's) account is completely erroneous. We had always told (Stoddard) we weren't comfortable doing it if it wasn't balanced."

Instead, viewers of Your Turn on Tuesday saw Fountain's husband, WTVT anchor Frank Robertson, and Baseball Hall of Famer Al Lopez discuss Mark McGwire's attempt to break Roger Maris' home run record -- which he did. "He (Wilson) is just trying to disrupt the news organization at WTVT," said attorney Pat Anderson, who is representing the station in the lawsuit. Anderson, whose firm also represents the Times on First Amendment issues, says she plans to depose Wilson and Akre for two to three weeks beginning Monday.

"This has happened before to me," said Stoddard, who maintains Schultz told her the segment was canceled after a meeting with the station's attorneys -- a statement Fountain and other executives at WTVT also deny. "We get excuses and run into brick walls because people are afraid."

But Simmons denies all of Wilson and Stoddard's assertions. "We did not have a meeting with any attorneys. I just didn't think it was the right thing to do (put on Stoddard) ... because I didn't have the other side."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Canadian TV Aired Aspartame Warnings From Pilots & Aviation Doctors

Sun. Aug. 18 2002 11:46 PM ET


Hotline gets warnings about pilots and aspartame
Jennifer Tryon, CTV Food Specialist

Over the past eight years, sporadic warnings from consumer groups have appeared in Canadian aviation magazines, suggesting airline pilots call a hotline. There, they can confidentially report problems they've been having from eating or drinking the artificial sweetener aspartame.

"We've had hundreds and maybe thousands of calls that are pilot-related," said Mary Nash Stoddard, who has answered the Aspartame Pilots Hotline for more than a decade from her home in Dallas, Texas.

Stoddard is the founder of the Aspartame Consumers Safety Network, a group she founded when her daughter had a seizure after ingesting aspartame.

CTV News discovered the hotline number in a Health Canada Access to Information request. It was buried in a document submitted to Health Canada in 1995, warning health officials about the risks pilots may be under by consuming aspartame. The document warned of more than 90 symptoms that could be attributed to aspartame. More disturbingly, it also warned that pilots could suffer grand mal seizures in the cockpit after consuming the artificial sweetener.

In a letter obtained by CTV News, one Transport Canada doctor blames aspartame for a former Air Canada pilot’s grand mal seizure. The doctor fought his own department to have the pilot's licence reinstated. The doctor states: "Since his grounding, [the pilot] has eliminated foods containing aspartame... He has not experienced any further episodes of vision disturbances..."

One former Air Canada pilot told CTV News he saw memos on a bulletin board suggesting pilots not consume diet drinks. There was no scientific proof attached, just a warning.

So why aspartame and why pilots?

Some believe it's a coincidence. But others, such as Stoddard, say the amino acids that make up the sweetener, phenylalanine and aspartic acid, cause a reaction in the brain at high altitudes. The reaction can lead to hypoxia, also called "the bends," and sometimes seizure.

Aspartame is made up of two amino acids that form methanol ester, which becomes the substance known as Nutrasweet or Equal. It's 180 times sweeter than sugar and safe for diabetics. Repeated studies have found it to be safe.

Pilots are typically health-conscious and often choose to drink diet drinks to stay hydrated in the air and keep their weight down. Many say the reports on aspartame have been anecdotal in nature. The hundreds who call Stoddard's hotline every year are considered to be misdiagnosing themselves or part of a radical online movement to ban aspartame.

But Hanes Dunn, a former U.S. Air Force and Continental Airlines pilot, now living in Texas City, Texas, believes aspartame cost him his career. In 1990, he suffered a grand mal seizure which resulted in automatic termination of his flying status. Dunn says he's not epileptic and only has seizures when he ingests foods containing the sweetener.

"I've never had an abnormal EEG [brain scan]," says Dunn who, until he started using diet drinks to lose weight, boasted a clean bill of health. "I can't prove it one way or another. But all I know is that all my problems started once I started using diet drinks that were sweetened with aspartame."

Dunn says he believes that, ironically, the diet drinks he drank to keep his weight down to ensure he didn't lose his pilot's licence ended up costing him his licence.

"What I feel like I did was, basically, I committed occupational suicide," Dunn says.

Dunn says being grounded cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars in income, and contributed to his divorce. He says he now refuses to ingest aspartame of any kind and often has to carefully read labels on some foods and drink to ensure it's not in them.

Dunn is just one pilot CTV News found who had suffered seizures and attributed them to aspartame use. Two former Air Canada pilots wouldn't talk on the record. One said it was because he was still flying and didn't want to jeopardize his licence. But Dunn wanted to talk about the problems he's had with the sweetener.

Dunn took part in a clinical test to gauge his reaction to aspartame. He ingested 12 cans of diet cola and was seizure-free. However, he did break out in a rash.

Health Canada is firm in its decision that aspartame is safe in average amounts. Some studies show it would take 16 cans of diet cola for aspartame to become harmful.

John Salminen, Health Canada chief of the Chemical Health Hazards Division, said: "We don't rule out the possibility that there are individuals who cannot tolerate aspartame, I mean that is a possibility."