Aspartame disease amongst adults is caused by the consumption of products containing aspartame, and can result in an array of symptoms including numbness, nausea, slurred speech, mental confusion, dizziness, headaches and migraines. But don't be fooled, the harmful effects of aspartame do not stop there. All artificial sweeteners including NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful and Equal-Measure are aspartame. Somehow aspartame received and maintained its FDA approval in 1981 and very few people know and understand the staggering list of harmful side effects associated with ingesting aspartame, especially while pregnant.
There are several toxic chemicals in aspartame that, when broken down by the body, can wreak havoc on our health. Aspartame consists of three chemical components. These chemicals are referred to as excitotoxins and include phenylalanine (50%), aspartic acid (40%) and methanol (10%). Phenylalanine and aspartic acid are naturally occurring amino acids in the foods we eat, but can only be considered safe for consumption in combination with the various other amino acids that are naturally found in food. When consumed on their own in the form of artificial sweeteners, gum or diet drinks, aspartame enters the central nervous system at extremely high concentrations. These concentrations can often cause nerve cells to die within the body.
Phenylalanine breaks down into diketopiperazine (DKP), a dangerous carcinogen known to cause brain tumours. Studies have shown that high levels of phenylalanine can result in possible brain damage as the neurotransmitters of the brain become unbalanced.
The 10% of methanol that is absorbed into the body’s blood stream from aspartame can spontaneously break down at certain temperatures into formaldehyde, a toxin that reacts with cellular proteins within the body such as DNA. Studies have shown that aspartame-related Formaldehyde is linked to seizures, Parkinson’s and Alzeimer’s disease, as it accumulates in the areas of the brain that cause the neurodegenerative symptoms associated with them.
The side effects that aspartame can have on fetuses and newborns are even more troubling. The American Dietetic Association still maintains that aspartame is safe for pregnant and nursing women, while countless studies have shown that aspartame is NOT safe for the mothers themselves or their developing babies in any way, shape or form. Many women seek post-partum weight loss and try to do this with the use of artificial sweeteners and diet drinks, which is also considered extremely unsafe and is not recommended. Contrary to popular belief, aspartame actually causes weight gain, as the body constantly struggles to create enough fat cells in which to store the excess acid. The effects of the acids found in aspartame have also been linked to depression, postpartum depression, insomnia and postpartum anxiety disorder.
Pregnant women who consume aspartame run the risk of their unborn child developing birth defects and brain damage - particularly in the areas of the brain in charge of complex learning and hormone control.
A baby's blood-brain barrier does not fully develop until the age of 1, so all the while the baby is in his/her mother’s womb and breastfeeding after being born, aspartic acid and phenylalanine are given free access to the baby’s nervous system. Additionally, studies have shown that fetal phenylalanine can kill tissue culture.
Fetuses are FOUR TIMES more sensitive to excitotoxins than adults are. Since the placenta concentrates nutrients for the baby, not only can fetuses receive magnified levels of phenylalanine while still in the womb, but babies who are breastfeeding from mothers who consume aspartame can suffer from irreversible brain damage within the first year of life.