Even though many of these reports are anecdotal, they are quite
credible, given the chemistry of aspartame. Brain/mood symptoms brought on
by aspartame could easily be caused by the changes in brain chemistry triggered
by elevated phenylalanine.
There have been numerous studies showing aspartame's safety.
My complaint with these is that the studies used aspartame capsules rather
than the commonly used form of aspartame mixed and stored in food.
"Wood Alcohol" in Your Food
Even more significant, perhaps, is the role of methanol or methyl
alcohol (also called "wood alcohol"), which makes up 10% of aspartame. The
methanol is further broken down into formaldehyde (a known carcinogen), formic
acid (a poison excreted by ants) and diketopiperazine (DKP, which causes brain
tumors). Absorption of methanol is hastened if aspartame has broken down,
as it does when it is heated, used in hot drinks or decomposed during prolonged
storage. In Israel, people are warned not to consume large quantities of aspartame,
and not to store products containing it in the heat. Incredibly, the FDA recently
approved aspartame for baked goods!
Methanol is specifically toxic to the optic nerve, and caused
blindness in people who drank "bootlegged" whiskey that contained it. The
poisoning effects of taking methanol are cumulative.
A pilot, George E. Leighton, experienced such sever blurred
vision while flying that he couldn't even read the instrument panel and barely
averted a crash landing. This occurred two hours after he inadvertently drank
two cups of aspartame-sweetened hot chocolate. He has consumed no aspartame
since, nor has he had any blurred vision. Other pilots had seizures which
they are convinced were caused by aspartame, and have lost their licenses
as a result.
How Stevia Got Stonewalled by the FDA
Stevia, on the other had, is not only non-toxic, but has several
traditional medicinal uses. The Indian tribes of South America have used it
as a digestive aid, and have also applied it topically for years to help wound-healing.
Recent clinical studies have shown it can increase glucose tolerance and decrease
blood sugar levels.
Of the two sweeteners, stevia wins hands down for safety. Yet
your children guzzle excitatory chemicals laced with methanol.
Stevia gained popularity in this country in the 1980's as a
safe sweetener. Celestial Seasonings, one of the world's largest herbal tea
companies, used it as a flavoring in many of the teas. In 1986, without warning,
the FDA came into their warehouse and seized their stock of stevia. No reason
was given for seizure; the company was simply told they could not use it in
In 1991 the FDA banned stevia, claiming that it was an "unsafe
food additive," even though it is available in many other countries. The obvious
reason for the seizure and the ban on stevia was to prevent it from competing
Let's Fight for a Safer Non-Calorie Sweetener
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) has petitioned
the FDA to lift the ban on stevia, based on the fact that stevia is not a
food additive, but a food with a long record of safety. The FDA has yet to
act on this petition.