I’ve come to realize that not all of our food is safe and this makes me mad. What I’m referring to is aspartame. Look around and you’ll see people downing diet drinks on a daily basis. Watch people in the grocery stores loading their carts with diet food products. Watch TV and see all the commercials pushing products containing this additive. The majority of people don’t have a clue as to the dangers associated with it. I hope that this article will enlighten some otherwise unsuspecting consumers as to it’s hidden dangers.

So what is Aspartame?

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that was approved by the FDA in 1981 for dry goods and in 1983 for carbonated drinks. It is composed of the amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine as well as methanol or wood alcohol. Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than sugar. It is pushed by the food industry as a low calorie alternative and is found in weight control products. The truth is that it actually causes weight gain. Are we being misled? Is there a conspiracy? Is our health being put at risk for the mighty dollar?

Health Risks Associated With Aspartame

There are many health risks associated with “aspartame” consumption. In fact, the FDA lists over 90 symptoms associated with it’s consumption. Over 75% of reactions to food additive complaints filed with the FDA are aspartame related. Some of the many symptoms associated with this additive include:

  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Memory loss
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Heart palpitations
  • Tinnitus
  • Vertigo
  • Seizures
  • Depression
  • Hyperactivity
  • Irritability
  • Aggression
  • Concentration problems
  • Brain tumors

Aspartame is added to thousands of food products. These laced products include diet drinks, diet food products, table top sweeteners, frozen desserts, juices, chewing gum and breath mints, desert mixes, prescription and over the counter medications, multivitamins and children’s vitamins, to name a few.

There are some safe natural alternatives. They may be found in your local food market or in health food store and include honey, maple syrup, molasses, and the herb Stevia.

I have learned to read product labels as to insure that I know what I am consuming and I encourage you to do the same. Be aware that sometimes a product label will only state that it contains phenylalanine and this indicates that aspartame is in the product. I encourage you to read product labels and learn to recognize the ingredients that are in the food that we consume.

The controversy over this food additive continues to grow as more people become aware of the dangers associated with its consumption. I feel the FDA should take a closer look at it. It is my opinion that aspartame should be removed from our food and drink products.