Donald Rumsfeld and the Strange History of Aspartame

Medical Dictionary

Aspartame: 11 Dangers of This All-Too-Common Food Additive
The stevia plant has been around for a millennia and a half in parts of South America and is about times sweeter than sugar, gram for gram. It soon became clear that the panel would uphold the ban by a decision. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your health care professional before using products based on this content. He claims the symptoms of aspartame disease include the following not an exhaustive list: The results of one lab or one study can be erroneous. What evidence does she have for such a conspiracy? It also is a chemical hyper sensitization drug so that it interacts with vaccines, other toxins, other unsafe sweeteners like Splenda which has a chlorinated base like DDT and can cause auto immune disease.

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Aspartame – Truth vs Fiction

There has been an enormous amount of scientific inquiry into aspartame, and only a very small fraction of this research is referred to on this site. A great deal of this research is available in the various legitimate scientific journals published in America.

Many of the dozens of symptoms and illness reportedly caused by aspartame consumption have been addressed in this research, and many of the claims against aspartame have been rejected as coincidental or untrue.

Through the years the number of complaints has leveled off to about per year. Aspartame is probably the most intensively studied food additive in history. Because it is still considered safe by the FDA, it remains on the market in the United States and is consumed by millions every day.

Possibly the most common symptom affecting the American population, headaches, in one form or another, affect millions of Americans every year. Many reported complaints from aspartame users involve headaches.

In response to this, many experiments have been performed to ascertain the possible link between the artificial sweetener and headaches. One of the most thorough experiments was performed by Schiffman, Buckley, and colleges published in the N. England Journal of Medicine. In this experiment they used 40 participants who had reported complaints to the FDA about headaches within 24 hours of consuming aspartame. This allowed for detailed monitoring of their status as well as controlling for variation in diet and activity.

Each participant was given a physical examination and their blood chemistry was also thoroughly examined before the experiment began. The experiment was randomized and double-blinded to prevent possible prejudice from the experimenters.

A major critique of this experiment is that it failed to take into account the possibility of long-term exposure to aspartame. This critique was addressed by the experimenters by explaining that, since consumers associated symptoms with aspartame based on short term usage, then the 24 hours following aspartame intake would be the most important time period to examine experimentally. This long-term experiment exposed the participants to dosages of aspartame that were well above the amounts that average Americans would consume.

The results of these experiments show that aspartame IS NOT associated with as increase in headaches. Experiments have shown that very high concentrations of the naturally occurring amino-acid Aspartate acts as a neurotoxin in some lab animals. It was shown that large intakes of aspartame can increase the blood levels of aspartate, but it was well within normal concentrations and well below harmful concentrations Stegnik,Filer,Baker Artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes can make the struggle a little more pleasant.

Antioxidant, nutrient, color stabilizer: Cereals, fruit drinks, cured meats. Vitamin C is also used to pump up the vitamin content of foods like "fruit" drinks and breakfast cereals. It also helps prevent loss of color and flavor in foods by reacting with unwanted oxygen. Though heroic amounts of ascorbic acid were recommended by Dr. Linus Pauling as a cure for common cold, subsequent research found only that it might slightly reduce the severity of colds.

Ascorbyl palmitate is a fat-soluble antioxidant formed by combining ascorbic acid vitamin C with palmitic acid derived from fat. Studies indicate that ascorbyl palmitate is completely metabolized, the ascorbic acid becoming available as vitamin C, and the palmitate portion is converted to energy or fat. Though palmitate from palm and other vegetable oils can increase blood cholesterol levels, the amount derived from this additive is trivial.

Aspartame sometimes marketed under the brand names Equal, NutraSweet, or AminoSweet is a chemical combination of two amino acids and methanol. Questions of cancer and neurological problems, such as dizziness or hallucinations, have swirled around aspartame for decades. A key s industry-sponsored study initially sparked concerns that aspartame caused brain tumors in rats, but the FDA convinced an independent review panel to reverse its conclusion that aspartame was unsafe. The agency then approved its use in for use as a tabletop packaged sweetener and in breakfast cereals, powdered beverage mixes, and other dry packaged foods.

Two years later FDA approved aspartame for use in soft drinks, by far the biggest and most lucrative market. Aspartame dominates the diet soft drink market, and the overall market for artificial sweetener, although its use is declining. The California Environmental Protection Agency and others have urged that independent scientists conduct new animal studies to resolve the cancer question. In , researchers at the Ramazzini Foundation in Bologna, Italy, conducted the first such study.

The study found that rats exposed to aspartame starting at eight weeks of age and continuing through their entire lifetimes developed lymphomas, leukemias, and other tumors, including kidney tumors, which are extremely rare in the strain of rat used. In , the same researchers published a follow-up study that exposed rats to aspartame beginning in the womb and continuing through their entire lifetimes. Then in , they published a study that exposed mice to aspartame , starting in the womb and continuing throughout their entire lifetimes.

That third study found that aspartame caused liver and lung cancer in male mice. Those new studies may have found problems that earlier company-sponsored studies did not because the newer studies used far more animals and thus were more capable of detecting adverse effects.

Also, the Italian researchers monitored the animals for their entire lifetimes: Two-year-old rats are roughly equivalent to year-old people. Furthermore, two of the new studies included exposure before birth, which increased their ability to detect cancer only one of the industry studies did. The food industry, FDA, and the European Food Safety Authority contest the Italian findings, pointing to what they consider serious flaws in the design and conduct of the study and evaluation of the results.

However, scientists at the Center for Science in the Public Interest and elsewhere , citing evaluations sponsored by the U. As one defense of aspartame, industry and FDA point to a human study by U. National Cancer Institute researchers. That study involved a large number of adults 50 to 71 years of age over a five-year period.

The study did not find any evidence that aspartame posed a risk. However, the NCI study had three major limitations: Meanwhile, the most careful long-term study of aspartame in humans , conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, found the first human evidence that aspartame poses a slightly increased cancer risk to men, but not women.

The researchers speculated that that might be due to the fact that men have higher levels of an enzyme that converts methanol a breakdown product of aspartame to formaldehyde, a human carcinogen.

The Harvard study couldn't prove that aspartame was a carcinogen, but it certainly added to the safety concerns, especially since the cancers observed in the human study multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma were similar to the cancers observed in two of the three animal studies leukemias and lymphomas.

Another study by researchers with the American Cancer Society, not quite as large as the Harvard study, did not find any link. A recent review of all of the evidence by the scientists who conducted the three positive animal studies urges governments to re-examine their positions on aspartame, and recommends that pregnant women and children not consume aspartame. The bottom line is that three independent studies have found that consumption of aspartame causes cancer in rodents, and one epidemiology study found evidence that aspartame increases the risk of cancer in men.

That should be reason enough for the FDA and other governments to eliminate aspartame from the food supply. Meanwhile, consumers should read labels carefully and avoid this artificial sweetener. Another concern about aspartame emerged in , when Danish researchers linked the consumption of artificially sweetened soft drinks, but not sugar-sweetened soft drinks, to preterm delivery of babies. In another study, this time conducted in Norway, corroborated that finding.

However, it also found a link between sugar-sweetened beverages and preterm delivery. The fact that two large, independent studies found a link between artificially sweetened beverages and preterm delivery is troubling. Since aspartame was first used, some people have contended that it causes headaches or dizziness. Some small studies have documented that finding, while others did not. Anyone experiencing such problems should simply avoid aspartame. Autolyzed yeast extract is a flavoring agent made from yeast, usually the same kind used to make bread rise or ferment beer.

Generally, the yeast is heated or otherwise killed in a way that allows enzymes inside the cells break down the yeast, including the proteins.

Other types of yeast extracts are made by adding enzymes, rather than using the enzymes already present inside the yeast cell. Some people who have allergic reactions to inhaling molds also react to ingesting yeast or yeast extracts. All proteins are made up of amino acids, and one amino acid of interest—glutamic acid—is present in autolyzed yeast extract, as well as in many other foods and in our bodies. A small number of people experience headache, numbness, flushing, tingling, or other short-term symptoms when consuming large amounts of MSG.

Autolyzed yeast extract is sometimes used to substitute for MSG, but has much lower levels of glutamate so adverse reactions are unlikely. Foods such as Parmesan cheese, seaweed, dried shitake mushrooms, and dried tomatoes naturally contain relatively high levels of glutamate, and so could also potentially be a problem for individuals sensitive to MSG, although that does not seem to be the case. Flour improver and bleaching agent: Flour, bread and rolls.

Azodicarbonamide ADC has long been used by commercial bakers to strengthen dough, but has been poorly tested. A review published by several United Nations agencies concluded that "There are no adequate data relating to carcinogenic, reproductive, or developmental effects, hence it is not possible to evaluate the risk to human health for these endpoints. Most of the concern about ADC relates to two suspicious chemicals that form when bread is baked.

The first chemical is semicarbazide SEM , which caused cancers of the lung and blood vessels in mice. It did not cause cancer in rats. In the International Agency for Research on Cancer considered SEM to be a carcinogen in mice, but in concluded that the animal data were "limited" and that SEM was "not classifiable" as to its carcinogenicity to humans. A second breakdown product, urethane, is a recognized carcinogen. ADC used at its maximum allowable level 45 ppm in bread leads to levels of urethane in bread that pose a small risk to humans.

Toasting that bread increases the amount of urethane. However, when used at 20 ppm, which may be the amount used by some commercial bakeries, a FDA study found "only a slight increase" in urethane.

Some urethane forms in bread not made with azodicarbonamide. Considering that many breads don't contain azodicarbonamide and that its use slightly increases exposure to a carcinogen, this is hardly a chemical that we need in our food supply.

It appears that the Delaney amendment, which bars the use of additives that cause cancer in humans or animals, would require FDA to bar its use. At the very least, FDA should reduce the amount allowed to be used.

Margarine, shortening, non-dairy whiteners, beverages, breakfast cereals, supplements. Beta-carotene is used as an artificial coloring and a nutrient supplement. The body converts it to Vitamin A, which is part of the light-detection mechanism of the eye and which helps maintain the normal condition of mucous membranes.

Large amounts of beta-carotene in the form of dietary supplements increased the risk of lung cancer in smokers and did not reduce the risk in non-smokers. Smokers should certainly not take beta-carotene supplements, but the small amounts used as food additives are safe.

Natural high-potency sweetener Brazzein has not yet been approved as a food additive, but some food manufacturers see it as a better-tasting alternative to stevia-derived rebiana. Brazzein is a small 54 amino acids protein molecule that occurs naturally in the berries of a climbing vine found in West Africa, where it has been consumed by people and animals. It is about 1, times sweeter than sugar, but, as far as we can determine, it has not been tested for safety.

Because it is a protein, it might cause food allergies. One company is planning to market the sweetener under the name Cweet. BVO keeps flavor oils in suspension, giving a cloudy appearance to citrus-flavored soft drinks such as Mountain Dew and Fanta Orange.

Decades later, BVO is still poorly tested and remains on the interim list. Health concerns start with the finding that eating BVO leaves residues in body fat and the fat in brain, liver, and other organs. Indeed, doctors have identified bromine toxicity in two people who drank extremely large amounts of such sodas. Sensitive, modern studies are urgently needed to better understand the risk, especially at the lower levels typically consumed by large numbers of children.

Meanwhile, BVO should not be used it is not permitted in Europe. Cereals, chewing gum, potato chips, vegetable oil. BHA retards rancidity in fats, oils, and oil-containing foods.

While some studies indicate it is safe, other studies demonstrate that it causes cancer in rats, mice, and hamsters. Those cancers are controversial because they occur in the forestomach, an organ that humans do not have. However, a chemical that causes cancer in at least one organ in three different species indicates that it might be carcinogenic in humans. That is why the U. This synthetic chemical can be replaced by safer chemicals e.

Cereals, chewing gum, potato chips, oils, etc. BHT retards rancidity in oils. It either increased or decreased the risk of cancer in various animal studies. Residues of BHT occur in human fat. Avoid it when possible. Naturally occurring in coffee, tea, cocoa, coffee-flavored yogurt and frozen desserts.

Additive in soft drinks, energy drinks, chewing gum, and waters. Caffeine is one of only two drugs that are present naturally or added to widely consumed foods quinine is the other drug used in foods. It is mildly addictive, one possible reason that makers of soft drinks add it to their products. Many coffee drinkers experience withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, irritability, sleepiness, and lethargy, when they stop drinking coffee.

Because caffeine appears to increase the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, including miscarriages, preterm delivery, stillbirth, and childhood leukemia and possibly birth defects and inhibits fetal growth, women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should avoid caffeine. Caffeine also may make it harder to get pregnant. The less those women consume, the lower the risk. Caffeine also keeps many people from sleeping, causes jitteriness, and affects calcium metabolism.

However, on the positive side, drinking a couple of mugs cups per day of regular but not decaf coffee appears to reduce the risk of Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, gallstones, and even suicide. It also can relieve headache pain, increase endurance, such as on a treadmill, and improve alertness.

The caffeine in a standard cup or two of coffee is harmless to most people. But be aware that a middle-size 16 oz. That is equivalent to three old-fashioned 5-ounce-cups' worth of caffeine. Click here for a list of the caffeine content of beverages and foods. If you drink more than a couple of cups of coffee or several cans of caffeine-containing soda per day and experience insomnia or jitters, are at risk of osteoporosis, or are pregnant, you should rethink your habit.

Bread, rolls, pies, cakes. Calcium propionate prevents mold growth on bread and rolls. The calcium is a beneficial mineral; the propionate is safe. Sodium propionate is used in pies and cakes, because calcium alters the action of chemical leavening agents. Dough conditioner, whipping agent: Bread dough, cake fillings, artificial whipped cream, processed egg whites. These additives strengthen bread dough so it can be used in commercial bread-making machinery and help produce a more uniform grain and greater volume.

They act as whipping agents in dried, liquid, or frozen egg whites and artificial whipped cream. Colas, baked goods, pre-cooked meats, soy and Worcestershire sauces, chocolate-flavored products, beer. Caramel coloring is made by heating a sugar compound usually high-dextrose corn syrup , often together with ammonium compounds, acids, or alkalis. It is the most widely used by weight coloring added to foods and beverages, with hues ranging from tannish-yellow to black, depending on the concentration and the food.

Caramel coloring may be used to simulate the appearance of cocoa in baked goods, make meats and gravies look more attractive, and darken soft drinks and beer. Caramel coloring, when produced with ammonia, contains contaminants, 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole. In , studies by the U. National Toxicology Program found that those two contaminants cause cancer in male and female mice and possibly in female rats.

In , the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a division of the World Health Organization, concluded that 2- and 4-methylimidazole are "possibly carcinogenic to humans.

The state lists chemicals when they pose a lifetime risk of at least 1 cancer per , people. California warned that as of January 7, , widely consumed products, such as soft drinks, that contained more than 29 micrograms of 4-methylimidazole per serving would have to bear a warning notice. In March , when CSPI published the results of a study that found levels up to micrograms per can of Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola purchased in Washington, DC, the soft-drink giants announced that they had reduced the contaminant to below California's threshold for action in products distributed in California.

They said they would market the less-contaminated products throughout the country, which Coca-Cola did in and PepsiCo did by The FDA has a limit that is 10 times as strict as California's for regulating chemicals that are contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals.

Even that much lower level might exceed the FDA's threshold for action of 1 cancer per million consumers. It would be worth avoiding or drinking less colas and other ammonia-caramel-colored beverages not only because of risk from the 4-methylimidazole, but, of course, because the products contain about 10 teaspoons of sugar per 12 ounces and promote obesity and tooth decay.

Soy sauces, baked goods, and other foods that contain ammoniated caramel coloring are much less of a problem, because the amounts consumed are small. Improve texture, stabilize foam beer , prevent fruit from settling, prevent sugar from crystallizing cake icings , bind water: Ice cream, beer, pie fillings and jellies, cake icings, diet foods. It is also called cellulose gum. CMC has long been considered safe, but a study funded by the National Institutes of Health raised some doubts.

In mice that were predisposed to colitis, the emulsifiers promoted the disease. It is possible that polysorbates, CMC, and other emulsifiers act like detergents to disrupt the mucous layer that lines the gut, and that the results of the study may apply to other emulsifiers as well.

Research is needed to determine long-term effects of these and other emulsifiers at levels that people consume. Carbon dioxide, a harmless gas, is responsible for the bubbles in beer, soda pop, mineral water, and the like. Cochineal extract is a coloring obtained from the cochineal insect, which lives on cactus plants in Peru, the Canary Islands, and elsewhere.

Carmine is a more purified coloring made from cochineal, but in both cases, carminic acid actually provides the color. These colorings, which are extremely stable, are used in some red, pink or purple candy, yogurt, ice cream, beverages, and other foods, as well as in drugs and cosmetics. They appear to be safe, except that a small percentage of consumers suffer allergic reactions ranging from hives to life-threatening anaphylactic shock.

Carmine and cochineal have long been listed on labels simply as "artificial coloring" or "color added. Food and Drug Administration gave the food industry until January 1, , to clearly identify the colorings as carmine or cochineal extract on food labels to help consumers identity the cause of their allergic reaction and avoid the colorings in the future.

Unfortunately, sensitive individuals must endure any number of allergic reactions before identifying the cause. The FDA rejected CSPI's request for labels to disclose that carmine is extracted from insects so vegetarians and others who want to avoid animal products could do so. Thickening, gelling, and stabilizing agent: Dairy and non-dairy products, including ice cream, sorbet, frozen desserts, chocolate milk, soy milk, almond milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, whipping cream; jelly, infant formula, salad dressings, deli meat, frozen dinners.

Carrageenan is a family of indigestible large molecules obtained from certain seaweeds. It is used as a thickening or texturing agent in a wide variety of foods and beverages. Large amounts of carrageenan have harmed test animals' colons. The amounts in food are too small to be a concern for most people, but an independent committee of the World Health Organization WHO concluded that it is unclear whether people with episodes of gastrointestinal disease might absorb some carrageenan, which presumably could cause gastrointestinal or immune system problems.

Some people have reported that eliminating carrageenan from their diet diminished or eliminated their gastrointestinal discomfort. Carrageenan—at least in its natural, undegraded form—does not cause cancer in animals.

In animal studies, high doses of carrageenan increase the potency of chemicals that cause cancer, and there has been controversy over whether it could do so at the low levels that people consume. The FDA and the WHO committee have concluded that food-grade carrageenan does not pose either a direct or an indirect cancer risk.

Some experts have been concerned about the safety of carrageenan for infants, given that the GI tract of the infant is still developing. In , however, the WHO committee reviewed new animal studies and concluded that infant formula made with carrageenan is safe.

Thickening and whitening agent: Ice cream, ice milk, sherbet, coffee creamers. Casein, the principal protein in milk, is a nutritious protein containing adequate amounts of all the essential amino acids.

Only about 1, pounds of the product are used annually, so it really isn't a significant part of the food supply, nor should it pose any risk. The FDA considers it to be "generally recognized as safe. Beavers mix castoreum with urine to mark their territories and make their fur and tail more water-resistant.

The food industry finds it strong, tar-like, musky odor to be useful in flavorings. Of course, you'll never see "castoreum from anal sacs of beavers" on food labels; instead, it is just included in the broad term "natural flavorings. Prevents caking and clumping, binds water used in diet foods , improves texture, thickens, emulsifies, used as a filler: Grated cheese, breads, diet foods, frozen dinners, sauces, salad dressings.

Cellulose is a safe and inexpensive carbohydrate that comprises the woody parts and cell walls of plants. It is a type of dietary fiber found naturally in fruits, vegetables, and cereals. Acid, flavoring, chelating agent: Ice cream, sherbet, fruit drink, candy, carbonated beverages, instant potatoes. Citric acid is versatile, widely used, cheap, and safe. It is an important metabolite in virtually all living organisms and is especially abundant naturally in citrus fruits and berries.

It is used as a strong acid, a tart flavoring, and an antioxidant. Sodium citrate, also safe, is a buffer that controls the acidity of gelatin desserts, jam, ice cream, candy, and other foods. Candy, marshmallows, syrups, snack foods, imitation dairy foods.

Corn syrup, which consists mostly of dextrose, is a sweet, thick liquid made by treating cornstarch with acids or enzymes. It may be dried and used as corn syrup solids in coffee whiteners and other dry products. Corn syrup contains no nutritional value other than calories, promotes tooth decay, and is used mainly in foods with little intrinsic nutritional value. Banned in the United States. Allowed as a packaged tabletop sweetener in Canada, and also in diet soft drinks and foods in some other countries.

This controversial high-potency sweetener was used in the United States in diet foods until , at which time it was banned because animal studies suggested that it caused cancer. It is still permitted in Canada, Europe, and some other countries. Now, based on animal studies, cyclamate or a byproduct is believed not to cause cancer directly, but to increase the potency of other carcinogens and to harm the testes.

Cysteine, an amino acid, is a natural constituent of protein-containing foods. It is added to foods to prevent oxygen from destroying vitamin C. Bakers use cysteine to reduce the mixing time for dough.

This safe emulsifier is used to build a strong gluten network to improve bread volume and keep dough from getting sticky or collapsing. Prevents sugar from crystallizing, encapsulates flavor oils, thickening agent: Dextrin is the mixture of fragments that results from treating starch with acid, alkali, or enzymes.

It is as safe as starch. Bread, caramel, soda pop, cookies, many other foods. Dextrose is an important chemical in every living organism. A sugar, it is a source of sweetness in fruits and honey. Added to foods as a sweetener, it represents empty calories and contributes to tooth decay. Dextrose turns brown when heated and contributes to the color of bread crust and toast. Diacetyl is one of the many chemicals that give butter its characteristic flavor.

Low levels are present in butter including unsalted butter, to which extra diacetyl is added to prolong its shelf life. Much higher levels have been used in butter-flavored popcorn, margarine, and butter-flavored cooking oils and sprays. The low levels are safe, but workers in factories that produce microwave popcorn learned the hard way that long-term exposure to diacetyl causes obstructive lung disease, which is potentially fatal.

Widespread publicity around to and several lawsuits persuaded most major American food manufacturers to protect their workers and restaurant cooks by switching to supposedly safer ingredients. But more recent studies indicate that one substitute, 2,3-pentanedione, chemically similar to diacetyl also called 2,3-butanedione , may be just as damaging to the respiratory tract. This is the diglyceride part of the long-used emulsifier, mono- and diglycerides.

The manufacturer claims that it can help people lose weight and reduce triglyceride levels. Don't count on this little-used ingredient providing any real benefit. Salad dressing, margarine, sandwich spreads, mayonnaise, processed fruits and vegetables, canned shellfish, soft drinks. Modern food-manufacturing technology, which involves rollers, blenders, and containers made of metal, results in trace amounts of metal contamination in food.

EDTA ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid traps metal impurities, which would otherwise promote rancidity and the breakdown of artificial colors. Low calorie sugar-free sweetener: Drinks, hard candy, chocolate milk, frozen desserts, baked goods, packaged sweeteners sometimes mixed with stevia leaf extract, monk fruit extract, or other sweeteners.

This sugar alcohol, which was first used commercially in the United States in about , is about 60 to 70 percent as sweet as sugar, but provides at most only one-twentieth as many calories. Small amounts occur naturally in such fruits as pears, melons, and grapes, but virtually all of the erythritol used as a food additive is produced by fermenting glucose with various yeasts.

Companies also value erythritol because it provides the bulk that sugar has and which high-potency sweeteners lack, plus it adds to the "mouthfeel" of low-sugar beverages. Because it is not digested by bacteria, it does not promote tooth decay. Other than occasional allergic reactions, the only safety concern about erythritol is that eating too much of it could cause nausea.

Individual sensitivities vary greatly, but most adults can safely consume up to about 50 grams of erythritol per day. For comparison, there are 12 grams in Blue Sky Zero Cola, 4 grams of erythritol in a ounce can of Zevia soda.

That's safer than most other sugar alcohols, such as sorbitol, mannitol, and lactitol. Erythritol's relative safety is due to its being mostly absorbed into the bloodstream and excreted unchanged in urine.

Other sugar alcohols stir up trouble in the colon where they attract water leading to laxation or diarrhea or are digested by bacteria causing gas. Used by the olive industry to generate a uniform jet-black color and in pills as a source of iron.

Fructose also called levulose is a sugar that is a little sweeter than table sugar. Modest amounts of fructose occur naturally in fruits and vegetables, which also contain other sugars. When table sugar is digested, it breaks down into equal amounts of fructose and glucose dextrose.

Another major source of fructose in the typical diet is high-fructose corn syrup HFCS , which typically contains about half fructose and half glucose. Fructose itself is used as a sweetener in a small number of foods whose labels often imply, deceptively, that such foods are healthier than competing products that are sweetened with sugar or HFCS. The fructose that occurs in fruits and vegetables is certainly safe. However, the large amounts that come from added fructose, sucrose ordinary table sugar , and high-fructose corn syrup increase triglyceride fat and small, dense LDL "bad" cholesterol levels in blood and may thereby increase the risk of heart disease.

Also, recent studies show that consuming 25 percent of one's calories from fructose or high-fructose corn syrup which is about half fructose leads to more visceral deep belly fat or liver fat.

Those changes may increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Finally, large amounts consumed on a regular basis also may affect levels of such hormones as leptin and ghrelin, which help regulate appetite, thereby contributing to weight gain and obesity. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans America's basic nutrition policy , American Heart Association, and other health authorities recommend that people consume no more than about 3 to 8 percent of calories in the form of refined sugars.

That's far less than the current average of 14 percent of calories. Powdered drinks, pudding, pie fillings, gelatin desserts. A solid at room temperature, inexpensive, and highly acidic, fumaric acid is the ideal source of tartness and acidity in dry food products. Thickening and gelling agent: Powdered dessert mixes, marshmallows, yogurt, ice cream, cheese spreads, beverages. Gelatin is a protein obtained from animal hides and bones. It has little nutritional value, because it contains little or none of several essential amino acids.

Companies add small amounts of Ginkgo biloba to beverages because it supposedly boosts memory and thinking, but most studies in healthy people show little or no benefit at levels greater than what's added to foods and beverages.

Since Ginkgo appears to interfere with blood clotting, it should not be consumed before or after surgery, during labor and delivery, or by those with bleeding problems such as hemophilia. Importantly, in , the U. Government's National Toxicology Program published the first study that could evaluate Ginkgo 's ability to cause cancer. The study found "clear evidence" that Ginkgo biloba caused liver cancer in male and female mice and "some evidence" that Ginkgo caused thyroid cancer in rats.

Companies add small amounts to foods because of ginseng's reputation for boosting energy, sexual stamina, and mental effort, but there's little evidence for those claims even at much higher levels than what is found in foods.

The amount in foods and beverages is not likely to pose a safety risk. Sequestrant, acidifier, leavening agent, curing agent: Nonalcoholic beverages, processed fruit and fruit juices, baked goods, dairy products, cured meats. Gluconic acid is a metabolite of glucose. Glucono delta-lactone is the most widely used of this family of compounds and is used to adjust the acidity or as a leavening agent in baked goods, processed fruits, and dairy products.

It is also used in some cured meats to speed the formation of the pink color. Candy, fudge, baked goods. In nature, glycerin forms the backbone of fat and oil molecules. The body uses it as a source of energy or as a starting material in making more-complex molecules. GMP and inosine monophosphate IMP are used together to enhance the meaty umami flavor of soups and other foods.

They are usually used together with monosodium glutamate MSG , because they enhance its potency. Guarana is a plant that has seeds high in caffeine. Companies add guarana to beverages as a "natural" source of caffeine, but its effect is the same as the caffeine in coffee or tea. Include guarana when you're keeping track of the caffeine in your diet.

Too much caffeine from any source can cause insomnia, anxiety, and other problems see discussion of caffeine. Beverages, ice cream, frozen pudding, salad dressing, dough, cottage cheese, candy, drink mixes. Gums are derived from natural sources bushes, trees, seaweed, bacteria and are poorly tested, though probably safe.

They are not absorbed by the body. They are used to thicken foods, prevent sugar crystals from forming in candy, stabilize beer foam arabic , form a gel in pudding furcelleran , encapsulate flavor oils in powdered drink mixes, or keep oil and water mixed together in salad dressings.

Gums are often used to replace fat in low-fat ice cream, baked goods, and salad dressings. Tragacanth has caused occasional severe allergic reactions. The FDA warns against giving a product called SimplyThick, which contains xanthan gum, to infants, since it may cause a life-threatening condition called necrotizing enterocolitis.

It is not clear whether the gum itself, bacterial contamination of the gum, or some other cause is to blame. Balloons or pressurized containers.

Helium is an inert, safe gas that is used to float balloons or sometimes to force foods out of pressurized containers. Our consumption of high-fructose corn syrup HFCS has soared since around HFCS and sugar are equally harmful. HFCS starts out as cornstarch. Companies use enzymes or acids to break down most of the starch into its glucose subunits.

Then other enzymes convert different proportions of the glucose to fructose. In , about 59 pounds of corn sweeteners, mostly HFCS, and 68 pounds of cane and beet sugar were produced per capita in the United States. A total of pounds of all caloric sweeteners, down 15 percent from the high of pounds, was produced per person.

Much of that decline resulted from declining soft drink consumption thanks to increased health consciousness and to the popularity of bottled water , while the rest reflects food manufacturers switching back to ordinary sugar. Actual consumption as opposed to production of caloric sweeteners, according to the U. Department of Agriculture, was 76 pounds per person in Some people think that HFCS is mostly fructose, which does probably play a significant role in obesity.

However, HFCS, on average, is about half fructose and half glucose—the same as ordinary table sugar sucrose when it is metabolized by the body. When sugar is used in soft drinks, much of it is broken down to glucose and fructose right in the bottle. Modest amounts of HFCS are safe. However, large amounts promote tooth decay, as well as increase triglyceride fat levels in blood, thereby increasing the risk of heart disease. Also, recent studies show that consuming 25 percent of calories from HFCS or fructose leads to more visceral deep belly fat or liver fat.

Those changes may increase the risk of diabetes or heart disease. Finally, large amounts of fructose from HFCS or sugar consumed on a regular basis also may affect levels of such hormones as insulin, leptin, and ghrelin that regulate appetite, thereby contributing to weight gain and obesity. The HFCS 55 that is used in most soft drinks contains about 10 percent more fructose than sucrose.

That makes most soft drinks a bit more harmful than if they were made with sugar. The American Heart Association has a stricter recommendation: Sweetener, improves shelf life, inhibits bacterial growth, fermentation, other purposes: Candy, baked goods, beer. Acids or enzymes are used to break down cornstarch into a syrup rich in the sugar maltose 35 percent or more. Maltose is composed of two units of glucose.

Thus, the patients suffered acute memory loss and eventually coma and death. Memory loss is due to the fact that aspartic acid and phenylalanine are neurotoxic without the other amino acids found in protein.

Thus it goes past the blood brain barrier and deteriorates the neurons of the brain. Roberts will be writing a position paper with some case histories and will post it on the Internet. Roberts realized what was happening when aspartame was first marketed. At the Conference of the American College of Physicians, doctors admitted that they did not know. They had wondered why seizures were rampant the phenylalanine in aspartame breaks down the seizure threshold and depletes serotonin, which causes manic depression, panic attacks, rage and violence.

Just before the Conference, I received a FAX from Norway, asking for a possible antidote for this poison because they are experiencing so many problems in their country. This poison is now available in 90 PLUS countries worldwide.

Fortunately, we had speakers and ambassadors at the Conference from different nations who have pledged their help. We ask that you help too. Print this article out and warn everyone you know. Take anything that contains aspartame back to the store.

I have been requested by the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research to respond to your request for an evaluation of the article received via an e-mail message on the alleged toxicities of the artificial sweetener, aspartame. I have worked on questions relating to the safety of aspartame repeatedly since and am familiar with the safety studies that have been conducted to support the safety of this food additive. There were well over separate toxicological and clinical studies conducted to establish the safety of aspartame before it was approved for regulatory acceptance.

Since its approval in by the USFDA, there have been many additional studies performed to follow up on some of the more creditable reports of aspartame- mediated adverse effects. Below I have tried to succinctly respond to certain of the allegations of toxicity proposed in the e-mail message.

First, reports of the ingestion of aspartame in patients who later have suffered multiple sclerosis or systemic lupus is obviously not scientifically sustainable evidence that aspartame is responsible for the occurrence of either disease. Both of these disorders are subject to spontaneous remissions and exacerbations so it is entirely possible that when patients stopped using aspartame they might have also coincidentally have had remission of their symptoms.

There is no credible evidence that I am aware of that suggests that aspartame elicits multiple sclerosis or systemic lupus. Second, the claim that aspartame ingestion results in the production of methanol, formaldehyde and formate: These claims are factual. In the gastrointestinal tract aspartame is hydrolyzed to one of its component materials, methanol, as well as the two amino acids, phenylalanine and aspartic acid. This methanol is taken up by the cells of the body and metabolized first to formaldehyde and then to formate.

The key information that is missing in the description by Ms. Markle is that the levels of ingestion are very modest.

In fact, there are other foodstuffs that we ingest that supply as much and sometimes even more methanol; e. There are even higher quantities of methanol ingested when ethanol is consumed. Thus, in the final analysis this methanol is the same as from other sources and in the quantities consumed from aspartame, it is readily and naturally metabolized via the one-carbon biochemical cycle to entirely innocuous and natural body components.

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