The Crux of Aspartame

>> Monday, November 23, 2009

This little tidbit of information alone, that aspartame in the body becomes formaldehyde, should be enough to convince anyone to steer far clear of aspartame. The fact that this kind of additive could ever have been approved by the FDA ought to give you serious second thoughts about ever trusting a government agency ever again.

Don't forget, too, that true food advocates such as Michael Pollan and Marion Nestle advise eating non-processed foods as much as and whenever possible. Never forget that aspartame and other artificial sweeteners are as far from natural as you can get.

Respect your body and don't poison it.

in reference to:
"When ingested, the methyl ether in aspartame becomes highly toxic methyl alcohol which is also known as methanol or wood alcohol and can be lethal in doses as small as four ounces. The methanol from aspartame is broken down into formaldehyde which is dangerous toxin that the body is unable to eliminate."
- Why You'd Be Crazy to Consume Aspartame (view on Google Sidewiki)
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jegarst November 24, 2009 at 5:00 PM  


You simply don't know what you are taking about, so let me educate you.

The essential paradigm of toxicology (the science of poisons) is that everything is a poison and nothing is non-toxic. But, it is only the dose of a substance that delineates a pharmacological drug from a lethal poison. Consequently, it is pure nonsense to call anything a poison without defining that associated dose. By way of examples consider water, cyanide, and botulinum toxin. Realize, it is the water overdose alone that drowns, yet it is because of cyanide’s low dose that the natural, food-borne cyanide we all ingest doesn’t kill you. Similarly, botulinum toxin is one of the most lethal substances known. Yet with judicious control of dose, it can and frequently is used to deaden problem nerves in cosmetic procedures. Dose makes the poison. The word poison means nothing without an associated dose. Now lets consider your calling formaldehyde a poison to be avoided.

First, there is no viable case for any toxicity issue with formaldehyde produced endogenously by methyl hydroxylation followed generally by chemical demethylation of many N-, O-, or S-methylated substances (including methanol, HOCH3) for a whole host of reasons. These include but are not limited to the fact that it doesn't exist as formaldehyde in water but rather as less dangerous dihydroxymethane, it reacts with and is oxidized to formate by natural protective substances that are in far greater concentrations, and it has a natural role in the biosynthesis of methylated lysine derivatives for substances like carnitine. These points have been demonstrated by numerous papers and analyses over decades. Inhaled formaldehyde presents a different story in model animals (whose nose is exposed to high doses), but even then there is no good data to suggest formaldehyde has any human consequences. Here is why: gaseous formaldehyde simply cannot achieve the doses where such issues develop, because no human can tolerate the stench of formaldehyde long before that problem dose is reached.

Second, what you don’t know is that there is as much or more methanol in fruit juice or brandy than in an aspartame containing soft drink. It takes many milliliters of methanol for human methanol toxicity and sodas contain only small amounts of methanol. Moreover, continual intake of methanol (and its oxidation products formaldehyde and formate) at low doses are actually vital precursors for folate-catalyzed biological methylation processes. Specifically, folic acid is the vitamin that assists conversion of formate to methyl groups critical for converting and detoxifying homocysteine to methylhomocystine (methionine) and the DNA base uracil to methyluracil (thymine). Homocysteine is a true excitotoxin and uracil incorporation into DNA in place of thymine causes fragile, broken DNA and many types of cancer. Folate prevents these toxic processes and uses methanol (formaldehyde or formate) to make the methyl groups to provide that protection.

An examination of methanol poisoning will reveal to you that folate is one of the prime tools in combating methanol poisoning and that has been known for about forty years. But the critics of aspartame will not tell you this truth about this issue. The only explanation for any reaction to aspartame from sodas would be personal sensitivity issues such as a folate deficiency, folate enzyme changes called polymorphisms, or accrual of homocysteine (often but not always prevented by supplemental folate).

Aspartame is perhaps the most studied substance available. There are no viable scientific studies that suggest any adverse effect from aspartame. All those suggesting otherwise have been obliterated by later examination, see the latest here

John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

psychiclunch November 25, 2009 at 8:44 AM  

You know, John, it would be a little more to your credit if instead of just jumping in, waving your PhD, and claiming that aspartame is as natural as water, that you would first approach with an air of openness, introduce yourself, and explain how you are impartial to the subject of aspartame and want people to know why it's safe.

But you didn't do that.

SO, the first thing that a diligent investigator needs to do is to know who he's talking to. A VERY quick search into you shows that... well, I wouldn't be surprised if you were actually PAID to surf for and denounce any opposition to aspartame. Really, you're a doctor that has that much time on his hands?

I'd like to feel honored to have received some kind of "official" attention - positive or negative - in response to what I write, but sadly it seems you're just another shill. Thankfully others have already put some effort into finding more out about you:


So thank you for your time, but please prove to us that you are not in any way receiving any kind of compensation or profits derived from the production and/or sale of aspartame. That is, if you even bother checking back here, of course.

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Psychic Lunch was founded in 2009 by a nerd and father who wants people to be healthy. The information on this site is researched, but should be considered opinion; that is, you should always do your own research and come to your own conclusions about what is and what is not healthy. Products endorsed on this site are actually believed in and used by the author.


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