T Nation

Beware of Aspartame

I just came across some interesting information in my weight class and because I had noticed some questions about aspartame on this forum recently, I thought I would share this with you. Although I realize most bb’s do not drink very much pop, we all know people who do. This info is for those people who are convinced that diet pop is fine.

Aspartame is not a natural product. It's predecessor is saccarine, which has been banned in Canada as "unsafe for human consumption". Packets of saccarine still available in the US contain warning right on the packages that the product causes cancer in lab rats. Aspartame is made up of 3 chemicals: 50% phenalaline, 40% aspartic acid, and 10% methyl alcohol (wood alcohol). Methyl alcohol breaks down in the body into formaldehyde and DKP (or formic acid). Both are known to cause cancer and both accumulate in the body without detection. Both also are known to cause various side effects such as malais, nausea, recurrent headaches, dizziness, visual disturbance, blindness, shooting pains, cardiac rhythm changes and death.

The EPA in US suggests less than 8 mg of methanol alcohol as a safe limits for humans. A typical litre of diet soda contains 85 mgs.

Aspartame is also known to be addictive. It is found in diet soda, instant breakfasts, cereals, sugar free products, instant beveridges, frozen deserts, jello, pudding, laxatives, powdered drink mixes, wine coolers, candies, etc.

So, for whoever it was that asked a while ago what is wrong with diet pop–there you go!

BORING!!!(a la Homer Simpson)

“D’OH!” (another Homer Simpsonism).

Theres a bunch of imfo on this in dr. Mercola site- www.mercola.com/article/aspartame/ ,in case you want to check it.

How many people have been drinking diet cokes for years with aspartame and/or saccharin in it? Are people falling out all over the place. NO! get a life.

ahhh, the old sacharine scam… you dont buy what they sell you for face value, do you? my nutrition prof told me i would get cancer if i kept eating protein and taking a multi vitamin. but he had osteoperosis and refused to even try any kind of wt training or calcium supplement to try and strengthen his bones. do research for yourself, dont take anything at face value. my roommates sports nutrition prof told him creatine would give him liver cancer… tell me that isnt rediculous… i read one study about sacharine, and the dose given to the mice was totally absurd. it was only a gram or so of sacharine a day, which doesnt seem like that much. but to a mouse that only weighs a few ounces… even if it weighed a full couple pounds, relating that intake to a human would be the equivalent to inhaling almost a pound of sodium sacharine a day. i have not read any subsequent studies, because that one just made me ill it was so pitiful. as for being bad, i bet it isnt as good as distilled water for you, but what is? and the chemical breakdown of aspartame is pretty heinous stuff, but step back for a second and look at who is making the statement about its chemical derivatives and their bad effects. the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency? i will assume you meant the FDA, and am not trying to insult you, just trying to make sure that the EPA isnt broadening its horizons so they can totally fuck a bunch of other stuff in my life… anyhoo, the FDA, the same ppl that banned ephedrine in my lovely homestate of ohio for 2 years. the same ppl that almost destroyed our lovely MD6, the same ppl that still tout the damn food pyramid. and if you think for a second that there is no kind of financial backing, or political pressure from the sugarcane council, or whatever that council is w/ sugar and sugar cane… remember when eggs where bad for you? that was according to the FDA. but now they are the incredible, edible egg, w/ 66% less cholesterol than we said they had just a few short years ago! duh. either they were totally unwaranted in their prior claims, or they grossly misunderstood and/or miscalculated data, or somebody somewhere got pissed and pulled funding out, whatever it was, i aint buyin whatever it is they are selling. i am honestly not trying to be hostile here, at all. i apologize if it sounds that way. but i take anything the FDA says w/ a grain of salt. or a pound of salt… And, given the alternative of 190 calories worth of pure, unadulterated sucrose per 12 oz, i dont think a little methanol alcy is gonna be so bad. but, thats just me. How about the other sweeteners, the new ones, like sucralose and aceselfame-k (i know i butchered that spelling…) was anything discussed about those? i have not had a chance to look up any studies on those yet, so if you got any info, it would be appreciated. Have a good one!

Marie that passage didn’t quote a single study. Find one that does and it might be a little more credible. I think you will find that difficult(I’ve never tried, just relaying what others have said), because, from what I understand, none exist.

Marie’s message is well warranted given the adverse affects reported all over the joint on aspartame. I must admit, i do use it regularly, although i have cut back a great deal, esp. diet pop, becuase of the way the phosphorous in that stuff can leach your body of calcium and facilitate osteoporosis if you are not careful. Obviously it would take a shitload of diet pop to do this, but at one point, i was shuttling down almost 3 2 liters a day on a cut phase back in the day of my bb’ing ignorance. Now its one can a day or less and that is it. Keep in mind anything with caffeine, if taken to extremes, can have the same effect. In the end, sensitivity to aspartame is, most likely, individually different (just like every other diet manipulation) but, its good to head the warning.

good post…people are sheep

This scare tactic stuff reminds me of rumors like: Don’t eat pop rocks and drink soda, it killed Mikey. People for the last time don’t believe everything you read. Especially, if its info passed on over email or even word of mouth on a college campus. These are the two great places for horrifying rumors. Get a life all of you chicken littles.

Recently the Yoghurt industry has successfully lobbied to get aspartame approved as “Industry Standard”. What this means is that the inclusion of aspartame in a yoghurt does not need to be mentioned in the label by law. Other examples are found in the dairy industry where nearly all skim, 1%, and 2% fat milks have included in the product nonfat dry milk for thickening purposes. Nonfat dry milk (a nice source of oxidized cholesterol and msg which is created by processing) is Industry Standard and therefore not required by law to be labeled.

Excellent example of not believing everthing you read especially when the info presented is obviously biased or reported from a source with an “agenda”. The studies presented on these type issues (if studies were even done in some cases) are “bad science” at best and usually the studies are biased to “prove some bodies personal agenda”. I’m not aware of any real life proof of artificial sweeteners proven to cause any health problems in anybody and in all likely hood, are safer than real sweeteners which have been proven when consumed in excess to contribute to diabetes and obesity at the least (and tooth decay). Take info with a grain of skepticism when the source and any studies are questionable as there seems to be a lot of bad science where “researchers” devise tests to arrive at a preconcieved view point. It’s just like the soy industry trying to convince us “soy is good for us” campaign. Personally, I’ll continue drinking diet soda rather than the empty calories of sugar.

A comment was made about high dosing in lab rats. I heard the explanation for that is the rats have a faster metablolism than humans so the higher dosing to bodyweight really isnt overkill. Anyone know if that is true or not? Or is it just an excuse for shoddy testing parameters?

Could some of the aspartame haters list some clinical studies in rats or humans that show it causes any kind of medical problems because I have had a very difficult time finding them even though they are claimed to exist.

This reminds me of the “christian” rumor of Proctor and Gamble’s “satanic” moon and 13 stars logo. This stuff comes up every once in a while. The FCC’s going to ban religious programming because of atheists is another. Stuff spreads faster because of the net. Hoo boy, what next?

Here’s a study for you: when I eat anything with asparatime in it I get a horrible headache. Allergies related to chemical food additives are very common, MSG and a lot of preservatives are common, often undiagnosed, allergies. Yes, most studies are bullshit and based on outrageous quantities being ingested. Often lab test animals are fed the equivilent of 200 servings at a time… and anything in that quantity will give you some sort of cancer. Personally I try to avoid processed foods as much as I can, if I eat it I make it, and then I don’t have to worry.

Sorry to have bored some of you, but some of this was news to me and I thought it would be good to share it.Take it with a grain of salt if you wish. Ignore it if you so desire. Yes, I know, “studies” like these are presented with an agenda in mind. However, the content of aspartame was news to me and I personally don’t like injesting a lot of chemicals. I know they are in everything, but at least if you know what it is and what it’s in you can choose to avoid it if you wish. As for the diabetic stuff. Sure, sugar pop is not a good choice, but on the other hand, given some of the data, neither is diet pop. The best choice would be water or 100% fruit juices.
Just about everything these days can cause cancer or add to its growth. What bothers me is that we keep on eating, applying, injesting stuff, not knowing what is in it or what it does to us and then lament when we find out that it is bad.

So, anyways, like I said–ignore if you wish. Do some research if you wish. Just thought I would share–that’s all.

Dan Duchaine once brought up an interesting fact.That fact being that PLENTY of fruits produce higher levels of this “wood alcohol” than aspartame contains.Not 100 % sure on what fruits,but could probably find the info if need be.

Thank you Marie.

When I first heard this rumour a couple of years ago, I did some digging around. I forget the details, but what I remember was that it was only considered potentially harmful if exposed to heat (certainly more than body temperature, though I forget the number quoted), where it could undergo some sort of chemical change. A reference was made to diet coke being stored in uncooled tents in the Gulf war. I didn’t bother to look any further than that as I don’t like warm coke. I was thinking only today though - what about when I nuke it in my oats?