Sunday, April 06, 2008

Aspartame Horror Stories


I learned the hard way, by sharing various frauds and hoaxes with friends, just how widespread this kind of thing is. Several anti-aspartame stories are precisely this kind of fraud. Why? The sugarindustry, which moves billions of dollars through the economy, is highly motivated to send, promote, and replicate anti-aspartame stories.
All their money is at stake. The sugarindustry also promotes heavily such stories as that aspartame turns into formaldehyde, is toxic, is carcinogenic, etc.

But the truth is, millions of people have been ingesting billions of "doses" of aspartame for many years without ill effects. And now, the vast sugarindustry is joined by other, alternative, artificial sweeteners, who also want to demonize aspartame.

Health-food fans and faddists always want to find a simple, single cause of many disorders. Then, all that they have to do is to avoid that substance, and then, they convince themselves, they can enjoy "perfect" health!

But life is not that simple. For years, sugar itself was attacked, much as the sugarindustry now attacks aspartame. But let us look for a moment at nature: Every petal on every flower, every leaf on every tree, every blade of grass, contains sugar! So, it is hardly the toxic "demon" that it has been made out to be. In fact, the human body requires sugar! It is our primary source of energy.

Does anyone ever get sick from too much sugar? Certainly. But can it cause diabetes? No, for if you do not have the gene for diabetes, you will not become diabetic by consuming sugar-- even in large quantities.

Has anyone ever become sick because of aspartame? Absolutely; different biochemistries have very different sensitivities. As some people are severely allergic to strawberries or peanuts, and these foods create an alarming spectrum of symptoms in these sensitive people, some are no doubt aspartame-sensitive. Aspartame can be dangerous for these people.

Perhaps it was one of these types represented in your hair-raising story.

But for the population in general, aspartame does not appear to be toxic. In fact, after billions of "doses," there is no solid, good, scientific evidence that aspartame is harmful unless you are aspartame-sensitive!

These stories are like soap-operas. They are scary, even exciting. They promise, further, a simple way to "more perfect" health-- just avoid the "demon" chemical! But these stories lack real credibility. This one was written as if you knew the person personally. But I doubt whether this is so; that perspective is meant simply to increase its dubious credibility.

The wisest perspective is not to "demonize" any substance. The history of the health-food movement, during the past century, is littered with the remains of hundreds, if not thousands, of "demonized" substances. Happily, most turned out to be quite harmless.

In fact, as one example, the chemical BHT (butylhydrotoulene) was so demonized. Now, some health-food faddists are taking it in supplemental capsules; for it is a preservative, and they hope that it will "preserve" them! So, these health-food fads come and go. They are unreliable and not credible; we must use, instead, the principles of sound nutrition to guide us: In other words, eat more fruits, grains, and veggies; avoid meat, and live in Love!


No comments: