The Toxic Soup Called Aspartame
by Dave Rietz
Aspartame was never and cannot be proven to be safe. It is not and cannot be a diet aid because the formaldehyde (from the breakdown of the 10% methanol) gets stored in the fat along with some water. The National Soft Drink Association (NSDA) did a 30-page protest in the '80s (Congressional Record, Senate S 5511, 5/7/85) that complained that aspartame is unstable, and that it reduces the levels of serotonin (a substance that gives that "full" feeling) so aspartame induces a craving for carbohydrates. L-Aspartyl-l-phenylalanine methyl ester, 98%, aspartame CAS #22839-47-0 (a.k.a. Equal, NutraSweet, Spoonful, Benevia, Equal Measure, etc.) is composed of (at least) three things: 1.) aspartic acid, (40%) CAS # 56-84-8 C4H7NO4 (L-Aspartic acid) 2.) phenylalanine, (50%) CAS # 63-91-2 C9H11NO2 (L-Phenylalanine) 3.) methanol (10%) CAS # 67-56-1 CH4O (Wood alcohol) Molecular Weight : 294.30 Formula : C14H18N2O5 MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET : http://www.dorway.com/asparta.txt O O || || NH3 -- CH -- C -- NH -- CH -- C -- OCH3 | | CH2 CH2 | | C=O C | // \ O HC CH | | HC CH \\ / C H The phenylalanine breaks down into diketopiperazine (DKP), a known tumor agent, and is the reason FDA mandated a PKU warning label "PHENYLKETONURICS: Contains phenylalanine". Diketopiperazine was the major impediment to approval noted in the Searle "Helling" memo (http://www.dorway.com/secrets.html). The methanol (without Ethanol, the natural antidote) breaks down in- solution (diet coke, spit, etc.) into formaldehyde. The human liver also breaks down "free" methanol from any solution into formaldehyde. The body has difficulty eliminating formaldehyde so it combines some of it with water and stores it in the fat. Formaldehyde not stored in the fat is further converted to formic acid (same thing as ant sting poison). (For proof that there is methanol, and that it converts to formaldehyde and DOES get stored in the fat.. visit: http://www.PRESIDIOTEX.COM/barcelona/) So, with each sip EVERY user gets a micro-dose of three poisons, two of which (formaldehyde and formic acid) are known carcinogens... along with that side-order of DKP, the tumor agent. A science report was done on Diet Cokes and the results were evaluated by a reputable food testing laboratory. The Lab proved the methanol => formaldehyde conversion (even in unopened cans cooling off in the refrigerator) and that phenylalanine converted to DKP. (See http://www.dorway.com/jcohen.html) A fairly complete list of aspartame breakdown components from the aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol is as follows: Formaldehyde CAS # 50-00-0 CH2O (embalming fluid) Formic Acid CAS # 64-18-6 CH2O2 (fire ant-sting poison) Beta Aspartame ** Aspartylphenylalanine ** Aspartylphenylalanine amide ** Tyrosine CAS # 60-18-4 C9H11NO3 L-Dopa ** Dopamine ** Norepinephrine ** Epinephrine ** Phenylethylamine CAS # 64-04-0 Phenylpyruvate ** Phenylactic acid ** Phenylacetic acid CAS # 103-82-2 Diketopiperazine (DKP) CAS # 106-57-0 C4H6N2O2 (Glycine anhydride) The damages caused by aspartame are noted in FDA's compiled list of 92 symptoms of aspartame poisoning (http://www.dorway.com/badnews.html) (includes comments on how it happens). These symptoms were derived from what the FDA notes is the most complained about substance in their history, at one time comprising around 85% of all complaints. The total number of complaints FDA admits is over 10,000 (a vast understatement because Mission Possible has sent FDA thousands of reports they chose to ignore). Of note is that my two CERTIFIED letters of complaint, one to FDA and another to DHHS, have never been answered, which leads me to believe neither were counted. FDA says less than 1% of victims report a problem. This balloons their 10,000 complaints to over a MILLION victims who SHOULD have complained! Please note that either number is significant, especially for a "safe" food additive. The proponents of aspartame admit to the 10% methanol content but claim that fruit has more methanol. This is probably true, but where they deviate from the truth is that nature included an abundance of ETHANOL in fruit, the natural antidote to methanol poisoning. They omit telling the public that aspartame has NO ethanol, which is why it is unstable and breaks down into formaldehyde in unopened containers. Products with aspartame in solution have an approximate 270 day shelf life IF stored below 86 degrees F. Much less when stacked in the sun outside a gas station! A Nutrasweet Co. comment: "Additionally, the comments about multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosis, and Alzheimer's Disease being linked to aspartame are not true. No one knows what causes these sad diseases, but they existed many, many years before aspartame came to the market. There has not been an "epidemic." Unfortunately these unsubstantiated statements have frightened individuals and their families." If "No one knows what causes these sad diseases" how can they rule out aspartame? Simple logic nails them as liars on this one, too! Nutrasweet also says that the amino acids in aspartame are "natural". They are natural only IN COMBINATION with other amino acids... not isolated as in aspartame. Dr. Moser, the Nutrasweet spokesman, overstepped the boundary of truth on National TV when he stated aspartame cannot get into the blood and cause seizures. The RAO report, one of 15 "pivotal" (of seventy four) G. D. Searle funded tests, proved that five of seven monkeys fed aspartame-laced milk for a year developed seizures and the seventh one died (but all data on why was "lost"). Dr. Moser privately admitted to Jennifer Cohen (author of the Diet Coke science report): "..the study should never have been undertaken, much less submitted as legitimate observation. This particular experiment represents an unpardonable breach in methodology." (H. Moser) FDA's "pivotal" proof of safety is a bizarre inverted interpretation. What might the other 73 Searle-funded tests reveal? Review FDA toxicologist Dr. Gross's notarized statements to Senator Metzenbaum concerning brain tumors (http://www.dorway.com/gross.txt) and FDA's Dr. Jerome Bressler's 76 page report of only ONE Searle test, which verifies brain, mammary, ovarian and uterine tumors PLUS shrunken testes (http://www.dorway.com/bressler.txt). Simply stated... "ASPARTAME is a Pandora's box of chameleon-like toxins and tumor agents that have 92 FDA acknowledged ways to ruin your life, death being one of them". Damage caused by aspartame consumption is CUMULATIVE... it adds up with each dose. Too often the FDA mandated warning label "PHENYLKETONURICS: Contains phenylalanine" is hidden or illegally omitted (with impunity). ---------------- METHANOL Methanol (wood alcohol, methyl alcohol) is a common household solvent used in perfume, windscreen washing liquid, duplicating fluid, antifreeze, shellac, paint remover. It is also added to commercial glutaraldehyde for shipping. Methanol occurs naturally in fruit and vegetables along with ethanol (alcohol). Methanol metabolises in the body to formaldehyde, then to formic acid, and then to substances which can be eliminated - including carbon dioxide and water. The oxidation products of METHANOL/METHYL ALCOHOL [ie methanol => formaldehyde => formic acid] may induce severe acidosis. The amount causing severe effects varies with the individual especially if ethyl alcohol (ethanol) is consumed at the same time. The two compounds share the same degrading enzyme, alcohol dehydrogenase, and competition from ethanol slows the production of the more toxic products of metabolism - ie formaldehyde and formic acid. Oxidation and excretion of methanol is slow; toxic symptoms do not develop for 12-48 hrs. Symptoms involve the visual apparatus (severe degenerative changes occur within the ganglion cells of the retina; the toxicity of methanol appears to relate directly to formic acid), the CNS, and the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. Clinical toxicity relates to acidosis as well as the effects of accumulation of toxic products: nausea, vomiting, generalised weakness, severe abdominal pain, vertigo, headache. Symptoms similar to ethyl alcoholism appear: restlessness, incoordination... confusion and memory defects are common. [Paper available: CIIN 0024-GOET-85-014]. The half life of HCHO in rabbits etc is estimated to be one minute. Inhaling the fumes of methanol can cause headache, eye irritation, dizziness, visual disturbances and nausea. It damages the liver, heart, kidneys, and lungs. FORMALDEHYDE EFFECTS Skin reactions: ...chemical can be both irritating and allergy- causing...(EPA). A slight sensation of tiny insects crawling over the eyes, nose and pharynx (formication) is felt at 2-3 ppm. (Zurlo N, via OSH, NZ.) Contact with the vapour or solution causes skin to become white, rough, hard and anaesthetic due to superficial coagulation necrosis. With long exposure, dermatitis and hypersensitivity frequently result. Prolonged exposure may also cause cracking of skin and ulceration, especially around the fingernails. Inhalation of HCHO vapours produces irritation to the eyes, nose and throat and frequently results in upper respiratory tract irritation, coughing and bronchitis. Asthma may occur in sensitive individuals. Exposure may cause headache, dizziness, difficulty breathing and pulmonary edema. Acute effects include conjunctival and URT irritation from exposure to 0.1 ppm-5 ppm. Severe exposure to fumes may lead to chemical pneumonia. (EPA www.epa.gov). Peak expiratory flow rates in med students decreased slightly over a 10 week anatomy course, a trend which reversed after the course finished. But studies of routinely exposed workers, controls, and asthmatics using controlled chamber challenges have frequently failed to show pulmonary changes. However most patients tested for formaldehyde asthma do not react to specific challenge or have demonstrable antibodies present. Inhalation of 10-20 ppm can lead to lower respiratory tract irritation manifested by cough, chest tightness, and tachycardia. Human systemic effects by inhalation. After ingestion, degenerative changes may be found in the liver, kidneys, heart and brain. Experimental poison by ingestion, skin contact, inhalation, intravenous, intraperitoneal and subcutaneous routes. Human poison by ingestion. A woman drinking 120 mls of formaldehyde died 28½ hrs later - blood analysis showed that sufficient formaldehyde metabolised rapidly to formic acid (large amounts within half an hour distributing to about 70% of body water) to cause metabolic acidosis. HCHO is involved in DNA damage and inhibits its repair. HCHO is a suspected human carcinogen and has been shown to produce mutations and abnormal organisms in bacterial studies" - (EPA). Carcinogen - (Dorland’s Medical Dictionary). An experimental carcinogen, tumorigen and teratogen. Experimental reproductive effects. The chemical has been linked to menstrual disorders and pregnancy problems in women exposed to high levels in nail salons (EPA). A study of lab workers in Finland found a significant association between formalin exposure and spontaneous abortion. Neurotoxin (see also Formaldehyde Neurotoxicity p 29.) A good reference: Lezak M. Neuropsychological Assessment, 1995, Chap 7). Other symptoms of sensitivity to formaldehyde, including muscle and joint pain, fatigue, and cross reactivity to other chemicals are similar to those listed for glutaraldehyde p 21. Excessive thirst is noted in The Jeremiah Project literature. John Bower, Director, Healthy House Institute, Bloomington, Indiana: In a new study, March 1999: "One of the most insidious problems with formaldehyde is its ability to sensitise people to other pollutants."
Back to Health101.org articles