Ever look at the ingredients in gum? You should. For a long time I searched for gum that was sugar-free, or contained little sugar. I was searching for one that had great flavor and one where the taste lingered for at least 10 minutes. What I found was every pack of gum contained aspartame. If you look at all brands of gum in regular supermarkets (and candy, colas, diet products, desserts & yogurt for that matter) you will find ASPARTAME is in all of it.
What is aspartame?
Aspartame is an artificial, non-saccharide (carbohydrate) sweetener used as a sugar subsitute. Aspartame is a methyl ester of the aspartic acid/phenylalanine dipeptide. First sold under the name Nutrasweet. Whew! Science jargon alert! I will explain these tiny little sentences that seem intimidating.
Just to clear things up: A methyl ester is part of a family of materials that are used as bases for producing other products. Commonly, these products are produced from a variety of raw materials such as fats and plant oils. Common resources manufactured as methyl esters are: coconut, palm, canola and rapeseed oils, recycled vegetable oils, and beef tallow. Methyl esters are made through a chemical process called transesterification.
Aspartic acid is an amino acid. If you remember basic nutrition, amino acids are important to our lives and have many functions in metabolism. One particularly important function is to serve as the building blocks of proteins.
Phenylalanine is also an amino acid, listed as an essential one for humans used to biochemically form proteins. Phenylalanine is a precursor for tyrosine (one of the 20 amino acids that are used by cells to synthesize proteins), the monoamine signaling molecules dopamine( dopamine is produced in several areas of the brain, it’s main function as a hormone is to inhibit the release of prolactin from the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland. Dopamine is available as an intravenous medication for the sympathetic nervous system producing effects such as increased heart rate and blood pressure.)
Back to: phenylalanine! Phenylalanine is found naturally in the breast milk of mammals. It is used in the manufacture of food and drink products and sold as a nutritional supplement for its reputed analgesic(painkiller!) and antidepressant effects. It is a direct precursor to the neuromodulator ‘phenylethylamine’, a common dietary supplement.
Ok, done with the science, nutrition, brain talk for now, but spelling it all out does help you understand how important all this is and related to your health.
***Also this post relates to Nutrasweet, Splenda, Equal and Sweet N’ Low sweeteners.***
Now important facts on aspartame:
Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Many of these reactions are very serious including seizures and death. A few of the 90 different documented symptoms listed in the report as being caused by aspartame include: Headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability, tachycardia, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain.
According to researchers and physicians studying adverse effects of aspartame, the following chronic illnesses can be triggered or worsened by ingesting of aspartame: Brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, parkinson’s disease, alzheimer’s, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia, and diabetes.
Just remember a couple main things about aspartame and you’ll be alright. It is a neurological TOXIN. It causes interuptions and problems in the brain because it causes brain lesions – which lead to other problems in the body wherever the lesion begins to grow. One of the MOST detrimental effects of it is – Depression. We all know alot of people on antidepressants. We all also know alot of people on diet products, who are depressed or who then seek out antidepressants. These cause weight gain and the side effect of more money coming out of your pocket every month for a prescription! This also contributes to the great cycle of putting even more money into pharmaceutical and doctor’s pockets!! Why not just change your diet and see if you notice a difference?
Aspartame is indeed a chemical poison. If you ask me, what’s wrong with good old natural sugar? It just can’t be abused and injested with gusto- moderation, moderation, moderation is the key! And as I have stated before, once your on a healthy diet, sugar really won’t taste good anymore and you won’t crave it as before. It’s all a matter of retraining your tastebuds (your brain).
Now, as with many subjects on this blog, chewing gum is another product you can seek out at alternative shops that offer healthy, natural products. You can’t find all-natural gum at your local supermarket. However, I am astonished at the rate the “organic” section in the supermarkets is starting to stock these other, “healthier options”, whether it be fruit, drinks, baking ingredients or chewing gum!
I found this chewing gum (GLEE!) at one of my local Organic grocers. The taste is pretty good and it serves it purpose when I want gum to chew on. When experimenting and thinking deeper on this great gum quest of mine, I thought, who really wants a gum they can chew on for hours and it still bear that taste when you first started chewing on it? It’s just not natural to chew a piece of gum for an hour, or four?! I tried 3 other chewing gums and this one was the best! Also Altoids are what I have switched to, they taste great, are all-natural and do the “job”.
Very informative articles to read:
A link to “Sweet Misery.” Excellent documentary showing how dangerous artificial sweetener Aspartame is. From its history, to its effects this video is enough to shock anyone into really looking at their food labels next time they shop. Aspartame is a toxic food that came into the world as an investment by Donald Rumsfeld, while ignoring the deadly effects the tests showed. Take a good look at this video, it could save lives -watch for free! (A note: this is an older video that is tediously repetitious, all you really need to watch is the first 40 minutes or so to hear the important information, the rest of the video is just countless proof examples of people’s experiences.)