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Monday, February 13, 2012

Aspartame: Possibly The World’s Deadliest Neurotoxin

Medicine in Our Food?

Is Aspartame dangerous? Judging by the ingredient lists of over 5,000 food products that list Aspartame or NutraSweet/Equal™, one of its name brand versions, the average American believes this product must be completely safe and harmless. But according to Zoh Show guest, Mary Nash Stoddard, founder of The Aspartame Consumer Safety Network and author of the source book, The Deadly Deception, Aspartame "has the potential of being the deadliest neurotoxin known to man." Mary has become the point woman for the citizens' "right to know" about the dangers of Aspartame and joined Zoh on July 2, 1997 to describe the work of the Aspartame Consumer Safety Network (ACSN) and what we can do to avoid this dangerous substance.

"Aspartame was discovered in the 60s as a drug for peptic ulcers," Mary explained. "What the Aspartame Consumer Safety Network is attempting to do is to call the FDA into responsibility and act upon the fact that it was discovered as a drug, still is a drug and [they should] recall and retest it as a drug. It will never pass those tests, and that is the reason it wasn't tested as a drug initially.... Aspartame is 50% Phenylalanine which lowers the seizure threshold in individuals. It's 40% Aspartic Acid which caused lesions in the brains of mice and lab animals, and it can cause silent lesions in the brain according to the top scientists in the amino acid studies. That further breaks down into methanol, 10% wood alcohol by weight, formaldehyde, formic acid and DKP [diketopiperazine] which is the brain tumor agent. So it's a toxic mix we have here and it breaks down in anything above 85º Fahrenheit. Remember [our] body temperature is 98.6º, so it breaks down within ten minutes of ingestion."


Mary was also having simultaneous mysterious reactions to the Weight Watchers products she was using with Aspartame in them. Weight Watchers also recommended using Equal™ and diet soft drinks, and she was becoming ill. "Mine started with a knee joint problem which was arthritic in nature, I thought, and progressed into severe muscle spasms, cramping, twitching, low grade fever [and] fibromyalgia symptoms." Mary was eventually diagnosed with eosinophilia myalgia, a potentially fatal condition. She began her exhaustive search for answers for her child and herself, and one of the results was a compiled 200 page fact report "which is simply reprints of articles from the medical and science journals. [They] were very difficult to find. It was almost hidden in the literature, but it was there, and that's how I got started."

Mary was asked, in 1987, to testify at the third Senate hearing on Aspartame safety in Washington, D.C. While she was there she met a lot of other people who were claiming the same symptoms. She remembered it being "kind of like that movie, 'Close Encounters Of The Third Kind' where everybody got together and said 'Wow, we thought we were the only ones.' " The long list of symptoms on Mary's website were compiled from her twelve years of research and interviews with other sufferers. Aspartame can be the cause of headaches, nausea, vertigo, hearing loss, tinitus, insomnia, numbness of extremities, eye problems, blurred vision, blindness, memory loss, slurred speech, mild to suicidal depression, personality changes, violent behavior, anxiety attacks, hyperactivity, gastro intestinal disorders, seizures, skin lesions, muscle cramps, joint pain, fatigue, PMS, menstrual irregularities, chest pain, arrhythmia, edema and INCREASED appetite. Death is also listed as a symptom. Mary's website continues, "Aspartame may trigger or mimic the following illnesses: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Epstein-Barr, Post-Polio Syndrome, Lyme Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, ALS Disease, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, EMS, Hypothyroidism, mercury sensitivity from amalgam fillings, Fibromyalgia, Graves, Lupus, Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and ADD."

With the variety of symptoms and conditions Aspartame can trigger, Mary says it is essential for doctors to remove if from patients' diets before conducting neurological tests. She says they should take "all of their patients off of this substance and then do their MRIs, their CAT scans, their PET scans and diagnostic testing full speed ahead, but don't do that until the patient is taken off of Aspartame."


After looking at lab animal studies, The Aspartame Consumer Safety Network created a brain tumor registry. Lab animals fed Aspartame had "brain tumors, mammary tumors, which translates into breast cancer in humans, they had uterine tumors and they had pancreatic cancer tumors. So the brain tumor registry is very interesting," she says. "We have discovered a 10% rise in the advent of the very kinds of brain tumors that occurred in the lab animals and those are Astrocytomas and Glioblastomas [glio cell cancers]. These have become almost epidemic in the population. If you go on the Internet and get into any brain tumor news group, you'll find that almost everybody there started with Astrocytomas and these people have been using the diet sodas and the powdered sweetener, Equal™.... Maybe that got them [started] into what they have developed."


Aspartame is included in 5,000 products across 60 countries, so avoiding it is increasingly difficult. Become a careful label reader, advises Mary. "Even labels of over the counter medications and prescription meds, which it is in.... The Deadly Deception contains a list of some of the childrens' prescription medications it's in, like their pain medications that they're given for fevers, and their antibiotics that they're given for infections, ear infections and such, it's in those. You have got to either ask your pharmacist or see it on the label. Please, reject anything that has the word Aspartame [or] Phenylalanine on it. Sometimes it is listed as Phenylalanine."


"Diabetics are some of the most insidiously affected people," Mary warned, "because they are not being told that Aspartame will harm them. They're being told that it's their lifeline [when] just the opposite is true." She suggests diabetics test themselves by drinking "two or three, preferably warm [room temperature], diet drinks and then begin testing about an hour later. You'll find [that] the blood sugar levels are not in control with Aspartame."

There are many alternatives for diabetics, however. Raw unrefined honey, tubinado sugar, which is an unrefined sugar, Stevia, a sweet, dietary supplement, and rice syrup, a grain sweetener that does not metabolize like a raw sugar. These and many others can be found in the health food stores in most areas.


Zoh reports the trouble had by medical researcher, Dr. Roberts, M.D., in publishing his brief study called "Aspartame Associated Confusion and Memory Loss: A Possible Human Model For Early Alzheimer's Disease". None of the standard medical peer reviewed journals would publish it. This was peculiar, he thought, "considering the increasing magnitude of Alzheimer's Disease and the relevance of my observations to newer biochemical findings and avenues of research." He can "personally vouch for the enormous difficulty in getting published [any] articles concerning reaction to Aspartame products.... The options are generally limited to burying the findings in a small circulation journal such as the bulletin of a county medical society, reporting the results as a letter to the editor or, unfortunately, discarding the project."

Unfortunately, the peer reviewed journals are not always about the latest findings in research. More often than not, the articles and research are slanted to benefit the companies who underwrite the studies. The articles that appear in the journals are censored by those who sit on the peer review panels, often the same people who sit on the boards of major chemical and drug manufacturing companies--the real control of health care in this country. This monopoly over research and publishing may in part explain why foundations such as the Epilepsy Institute and the diabetic organizations endorse a product that is really injurious to the consumer. "It's funding," says Mary Nash Stoddard succinctly. "The Diabetic Association is funded by all the diet soft drink and sweetener companies." She has a photo showing an oversize check for $75,000 presented to the American Dietetic Association from the NutraSweet™ Co. The American Dietetic Association is the board that oversees all registered dietitians and the food served in institutions, hospitals and care facilities. "These are licensed professionals and they have prostituted themselves to the artificial sweetener companies.... They have allowed, because of this funding, the NutraSweet™ PR people to write their facts in their fact sheet on artificial sweeteners -- on their own product! They are definitely in bed together. You can't get around that. The Epilepsy Association, the Diabetic Association, the Dietetic Association and many, many other [health organizations] are beholden to the sweetener industry.

"Virtually all of the research that has been done since the 80s has been tainted by Monsanto and NutraSweet™ funding of the studies," continued Mary.


"If you go into the political scenario behind it, which we do in our report called Deadly Deception Story of Aspartame, you will see all of the intrigue up to the Supreme Court with the former Monsanto Chemical [attorney] now seated on the Supreme Court, Judge Clarence Thomas.... It's definitely a horrible web of political and scientific intrigue."


Mary says she met an F16 pilot in Washington, DC who asked her to continue her public fight against Aspartame because it poses a serious risk for pilots. She says he reported "We're having seizures. We're losing our medical certification to fly. This is a danger that the flying public needs to know about... and they're not being told. You know, the FAA will talk about just about anything except the danger to the flying public associated with the pilot using Aspartame or the controller in the tower using it and getting blurred vision at the wrong time. This has caused many accidents, I believe, in aviation. In our Deadly Deception Story of Aspartame, we have a whole section, reprints from flying magazines, including The U.S. Air Force Flying Safety Magazine which warned its pilots, two different times in 1992, to stay away from diet drinks and Aspartame if you want to keep your medical certification to fly. If you don't get seizures from it, you may have heart attack problems and you'll lose your medical, you'll lose your job and all that training and all that money for your license is down the drain. Believe me, pilots do not want to lose that."


"One of the top priority poisons in our food supply today, and that of our children," Mary maintains, "is Aspartame. Beyond a doubt, it has the potential of being the deadliest neurotoxin known to man." She advises the first thing we do is to eliminate this poison from your diet. Don't buy any product that has the word Aspartame, NutraSweet™ or Equal™ (and now: Neotame) listed in the ingredients. Also keep an eye open for a new product coming out called Joe Sweet which is a combination of sugar and Aspartame.

Mary also urges us to return the products with these ingredients that we already have in our homes to the store, even if they are already opened. That way the manufacturer, not the grocer, will absorb the cost. The manufacturer needs to know that a growing number of concerned consumers will not buy anything with this poison in it.

You can join the all-volunteer Aspartame Consumer Safety Network and order Deadly Deception Story of Aspartame on This 200 page fact report by Mary Nash Stoddard is an excellent resource for information. . Visit them on the web at

This article was prepared by Sally O'Hara.