Monday, January 16, 2012
The risk of artificial sweeteners is still very real. Aspartame  is used as a substitute sweetener in thousands of products. Most diet sodas, processed foods and candies contain this ‘alternative’ to sugar. If you aren’t careful, you’ll easily run into it somewhere in your food.
Aspartame is marketed not by its real name, but through products like Equal and NutraSweet. This is because aspartame itself has a bad reputation as a dangerous excitotoxin. An excitotoxin is named for its ability to ‘excite’ the cells of the body into overproducing a particular chemical, thus burning them out prematurely. Aspartame in particular has been found to affect brain cells, by mimicking the response to sweetness and producing an artificial form of it.
One study actually found that 67% of female rats exposed to aspartame developed tumors roughly the size of golf balls or larger.
When you consume an aspartame-sweetened product, its effect can translate into a number of neurological symptoms like headaches, fatigue, vision problems, and anxiety. These will continue to manifest until the user eliminates it from their diet completely. However, if aspartame usage is continued, a physical addiction to the substance occurs. Most people know at least one person who can’t seem to kick their diet drinks, and when they try to, they end up with a number of these symptoms. Aspartame is considered addictive, and a chemical dependency begins to form when aspartame is consumed regularly, and is hard to break.
Aspartame Linked to Cancer, Contains Genetically Modified Bacteria
Due to the neurological effect aspartame has, its continued use can be expected to lead to many forms of neurological diseases as well as cancer . Aspartame has been suggested as a prominent cause for certain forms of brain cancer as well. It is also interesting to note that aspartame is also created using Monsanto’s genetically modified bacteria , raising further cause for alarm.
But who is most at risk for unknowingly consuming aspartame?
Older people and diabetics are more likely to consume aspartame due to their desire to replace sugar with a ‘healthy’ alternative. Of course aspartame is far from a healthy alternative. Its effects can easily accelerate or compound health concerns that these individuals may already have. Similarly, children are more likely to consume aspartame due to its prominent usage in all forms of candy, snacks, and soft drinks. This would easily serve to compromise their ability to achieve optimum health, as they are still in their formative stages, and therefore aspartame can cause irrevocable damage.
Avoid this addictive drug-like substance at any cost, and replace it with a real healthy alternative like stevia. Furthermore, it will benefit you to reconsider your stance on sugar  consumption in general. Rather than look for what seems to be a shortcut or alternative, consider that simply consuming less sugar is healthier.
This article first appeared at NaturalSociety.com