Health Effects Caused by Aspartame

If you were, or are, a soda drinker like myself, then likely one of the first things you did was switch to diet sodas when you decided to lose weight. What many people still don’t know, however, is that artificial sweeteners commonly used in diet sodas, such as aspartame, may actually cause some pretty serious health effects and be addictive.

Aspartame, also marketed under the brand name Equal® and Nutrasweet®, is found in many types of foods and drinks and is not limited to only diet varieties. A few common examples of drinks that contain aspartame include Crystal Light, Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi.

Is it unhealthy to eat and drink products that contain aspartame? Well, the aspartame issue really seems to be split because there is lacking medical evidence that aspartame has been the sole factor for causing negative health effects. But for people who claim to have been affected by aspartame, their symptoms included 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. Some medical professionals also believe that the metabolism of aspartame may cause more serious health conditions such as Brain tumors, Arthritis, Multiple sclerosis, Epilepsy, Chronic fatigue syndrome, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Mental retardation, Lymphoma, Birth defects, Fibromyalgia, Diabetes, and Thyroid Disorders.

What is in Aspartame that makes it potentially hazardous to your health? Aspartame contains 10 percent methanol, which is rapidly digested in your body. When it is metabolised methanol is converted to formaldehyde and then formic acid. Chronic formaldehyde exposure at even very low doses has been shown to cause immune system and nervous system changes and damage as well as headaches, general poor health, irreversible genetic damage, and a number of other serious health problems.

Is aspartame addictive? There are many people who claim that aspartame-containing foods are addictive. In addition to methanol, aspartame contains two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Aspartic acid acts as an “excitatory” neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger, in the brain, stimulating neurons to fire. Phenylalanine also easily enters the brain and is transformed into neurotransmitters that can further interfere with normal brain function. This altered brain chemistry caused by aspartic acid and phenylalanine may be responsible for the addictive nature of aspartame.

Aspartame in Diet Beverages – Drinking the occassional diet soda will likely not cause any permanent health problems, however drinking diet beverages all day long can have accumulative negative effects on your health. It is best to err on the safe side of this issue and avoid foods and beverages containing aspartame. Stick to be best diet beverage out there…water, and drink plenty of it.

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