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Old 04-14-2004, 05:52 PM   #1
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strange86 HB User
Aspartame

Does anyone know how harmful/safe aspartame is? Everyone seems to have a different opinion. Some say it will cause cancer, death, anxiety, depression, memory loss, etc., while [url]www.aspartame.info[/url] says that it's safe for a 175-lb. man to consume approximately 40 cans of diet soda a day, and would not be affected by aspartame. I drink at least one can of diet soda a day, and also suffer from various intense anxiety disorders (OCD), and don't know if the aspartame affects me (as in increases my symptoms). Also, I want to know if this will cause cancer like they say/said saccharin did. I don't smoke or other things like that, so I'd HATE to have cancer because of diet soda ingesting.
Any help would be appreciated.

Sunny

 
Old 04-16-2004, 05:14 AM   #2
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Re: Aspartame

Sunny,
No drug or food supplement in the history of mankind has been taken in this many trillions of doses ever before. After 24 years, if you give a trillion doses of something to 200 million people you'll show up any problems.

Every major health organization in the USA and the World have endorsed the product as safe.

You are correct: there's never been any evidence of cancer from aspartame as there was from saccharine (bladder cancer.)

It is perfectly safe unless you ask someone who's peddling Splenda (as Atkins was when it was first developed.)

Last edited by zip2play; 04-16-2004 at 05:17 AM.

 
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Old 04-16-2004, 06:25 AM   #3
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Re: Aspartame

Quote:
Originally Posted by zip2play
It is perfectly safe unless you ask someone who's peddling Splenda (as Atkins was when it was first developed.)
Just being a nit-picking low-carber but . . .

Are you suggesting Atkins had a financial interest in Splenda? (If so, evidence, please.) Or just that he endorsed Splenda?

Yes, he did endorse it in favor of Aspartame, but the reason had nothing to do with the claims of adverse health effects from Aspartame. The reason was that Aspartame seemed to cause the progress of so many people's weight loss to stall and Splenda did not . . . at that point, at least.

So, I'm a bit confused about the relevance of a reference to Atkins in response to this posters question.

 
Old 04-23-2004, 09:27 PM   #4
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Shane S HB User
Re: Aspartame

Atkins obviously stands to make money by selling products with Splenda in them, along with the range of low carb products interest in the diet has generated, all of which is essentially the basis of the Atkins corporation. Granted, he could've done the same with any other sweetener. However, Splenda was the more profitable option without an established brand. As a newer product, it also fit better into the company's practice of misleading consumers about the carb content of its products.

 
Old 04-24-2004, 11:35 AM   #5
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Re: Aspartame

There's not anything any more wrong with aspartame than any other sweetener on the market. Granted, they all should probably be avoided where possible.

 
Old 04-24-2004, 09:44 PM   #6
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Re: Aspartame

You may want to check into the chemical properties of aspartame. It breaks down at just above room temperature, thus it is not usable above 80 degrees F, and certainly should not be used in cooking. The major breakdown product of concern is methanol, which metabolizes to formaldehyde and can be the cause of eye problems. It also contains phenylalanine which is bad for some people.

Allowing a can of diet soda to stay in a hot car in the summer, then placing that can in the refrigerator for anyone to drink is just not a good thing to do. If the soda made it from the manufacturer to your refrigerator without exceeding 80 degrees - likely in the winter - then it is probably ok.

This link gives a fairly good description of the product:

[url]http://www.greenfacts.org/aspartame/l-3/aspartame-1.htm#3[/url]

Personally, having read about this many times in the past, I won't touch the stuff! If I need a sweetener, I'll use Stevia.

 
Old 04-25-2004, 04:50 PM   #7
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Re: Aspartame

Quote:
Originally Posted by moose48
You may want to check into the chemical properties of aspartame. It breaks down at just above room temperature, thus it is not usable above 80 degrees F, and certainly should not be used in cooking. The major breakdown product of concern is methanol, which metabolizes to formaldehyde and can be the cause of eye problems. It also contains phenylalanine which is bad for some people.

Allowing a can of diet soda to stay in a hot car in the summer, then placing that can in the refrigerator for anyone to drink is just not a good thing to do. If the soda made it from the manufacturer to your refrigerator without exceeding 80 degrees - likely in the winter - then it is probably ok.

This link gives a fairly good description of the product:

[url]http://www.greenfacts.org/aspartame/l-3/aspartame-1.htm#3[/url]

Personally, having read about this many times in the past, I won't touch the stuff! If I need a sweetener, I'll use Stevia.
The link you provided suggests nothing unpleasant about aspartame, and links at the bottom of the page to the European Commission's Scientific Committee on Food Safety's report on aspartame at:
[url]http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/fs/sc/scf/out155_en.pdf[/url]

It is a long, careful, detailed review of all the studies and claims about aspartame, methanal, dna and the rest of the mess and concludes there is simply nothing there. The stuff has almost NO biological effects--good or bad--exept in giant doses. Regular, even heavy use does not harm health or weight loss or brains or the rest. It just doesn't.

Stevia is fine. Splena is fine (I have no idea why it is thought Atkins owned it, but it seems a fine a safe sweetener). Sacchirine has now been put through the tesing ringer for decades, and it seems to be fine, too.

What is unhealthy is SUGAR. It's not poison, either, but it sure is not good for you, and certainly causes weight gain and dental problems in doses commonly used in the general populace.

Some common sense here. Why are we so protective of sugar, fructose, and these other "natural" and unhealthy products? Lots of things are natural and not healthy to eat (think poison ivy, as a place to start). Other things are not so "natural" but fine to eat, such as almost all the farm products on our local shelves (yes, they are very far from the "natural grains and veggies that they have been bred from).

"Natural" sugar is not so good for you at all. If aspartame or splenda or others help you avoid it, I'll bet your health is much better for it.

Know what I mean?


sean

 
Old 04-25-2004, 06:21 PM   #8
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Re: Aspartame

Sugar's good when used properly. Most people just don't understand what that means.

 
Old 04-26-2004, 12:13 PM   #9
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Re: Aspartame

Hello Moose, Thank you. I really needed to read that. Ok, I'm guilty. I drink diet soda. I guess I'll have to go back to drinking real unsweetened fruit juice and water. (I'm prone to tumors.) Just exercise the fructose and calories off.

Ok, on the serious side...Is aspertame and Nutra Sweet the same thing? I vaguely remembering that my father could have the "evil" saccrhin, but not asperatame. It had something to do with either his medication or his being a heart patient. Has anyone heard of that?
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Old 04-26-2004, 04:10 PM   #10
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Re: Aspartame

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane S
Atkins obviously stands to make money by selling products with Splenda in them, along with the range of low carb products interest in the diet has generated, all of which is essentially the basis of the Atkins corporation. Granted, he could've done the same with any other sweetener. However, Splenda was the more profitable option without an established brand. As a newer product, it also fit better into the company's practice of misleading consumers about the carb content of its products.
If people want to by anti-Atkins, I wish at least they would be informed about it. Atkins uses sugar alcohols in his products, for the most part, not Splenda. And it would be nice to hear a NEW incorrect assertion once in a while. The net carb business is explained very clearly in many places . . . it's just a matter of informing oneself.

 
Old 04-26-2004, 05:27 PM   #11
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Re: Aspartame

Yes, aspartame is in Nutrasweet (as well as Equal).

It's readily apparent one would not have to try hard to find many Atkins products containing Splenda, not to mention that the company sells plain Splenda itself. Claiming otherwise is uninformed.

Apparently Atkins was not willing to fight to prove your point. First, in a move of admission that its labels were incomplete, the company changed them to less readily confuse consumers, but it took a lawsuit to get them to do so. When that wasn't enough, it paid the victims rather than see them in court. Not new news, perhaps, but certainly not incorrect either. Atkins can deny it all they want... they still look guilty as sin. As for people on Atkins being uninformed, I didn't say it.

Last edited by Shane S; 04-26-2004 at 05:41 PM.

 
Old 04-26-2004, 06:53 PM   #12
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Re: Aspartame

I'm so-so on having aspartame (even in little amounts). I've seen many reports that say it's safe in small amounts, but then again a lot of these reports are written by ppl who have some sort of connection to marketing aspartame. The reason i dont like having it is because I've seen reports that say it has caused many diff problems- cancers, organ probs, etc. A big one that is often mentioned (thus leading me to believe at least part of it) is that it causes menstrual problems, or irregularities.

If you're feeling anxous or jittery however (or believe the anxiety disorder is a result of too much aspartame), consider cutting back on the caffeine (in the diet colas). This has definately shown to have a big impact on people's nerves and such.
Hope this helps!

 
Old 04-26-2004, 07:02 PM   #13
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Re: Aspartame

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane S
Yes, aspartame is in Nutrasweet (as well as Equal).

It's readily apparent one would not have to try hard to find many Atkins products containing Splenda, not to mention that the company sells plain Splenda itself. Claiming otherwise is uninformed.

Apparently Atkins was not willing to fight to prove your point. First, in a move of admission that its labels were incomplete, the company changed them to less readily confuse consumers, but it took a lawsuit to get them to do so. When that wasn't enough, it paid the victims rather than see them in court. Not new news, perhaps, but certainly not incorrect either. Atkins can deny it all they want... they still look guilty as sin. As for people on Atkins being uninformed, I didn't say it.
If I can parse the incoherence correctly, you are saying that since Atkins products often include Splenda, he therefore owned Splenda in whole or part? I believe Splenda is a product line of Mcneil PPC, which also owns and produces Tylenol, Motrin, and Immodium, among other brands. In other words, it is a HUGE concern, and even the satanically powerful Atkins could not get a significant piece of that outfit.

I have no idea what your court settlement and family payment story consists of, never hearing it before, but if it is as odd and illogical as the splenda tale, I'll not worry much.

But what would any of that have to do with whether these artificial sweeteners, splenda, nutrasweet and the like, are good or bad for you?

I own no stock in any of the sweeteners, and they compete with each other anyway, but the imagined risks for each of them have proved overwrought, incorrect, alarmist. This is good news, not bad. Why does it lead to so much rancor?

Sugar may be okay in moderation, but "moderate" should be defined in this case pretty conservatively, since there is no really good use of it (except perhaps during intense athletics, or for people who must gain weight), and there are more than a few disadvantages. My opinion only, of course, but one that is well grounded, I think.

Peace

sean

Last edited by sean; 04-26-2004 at 08:09 PM.

 
Old 04-26-2004, 07:45 PM   #14
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Re: Aspartame

To my knowledge, Atkins does not have any ownership in Splenda or any of its affiliates, but then again: who doesn't have a piece of that pie? I merely said Atkins had something to gain by using Splenda. That does not indicate ownership. Fortunately, your sarcasm is accurate: Atkins isn't all that powerful. This, too, will pass. Then someone will probably become a millionaire by "inventing" an ultra-low protein diet and convincing people that protein makes you fat.

In August 2001, a class action lawsuit was brought against Atkins for "intentionally misleading with regard to the characterization of the actual number of carbohydrates" in its products with a host of claims ranging from deception to fraud. In February of the following year, the company changed all its labels to new, more clear ones. A year later, the company settled, agreeing to various discounts and full refunds, to both those directly involved and also the general public. It didn't have any real impact on the company, just more of an embarassment than anything. Granted, the FDA and consumers are partly to blame for this issue.

Not sure what it has to do with anything. That's a question for the person who brought it up. I was merely responding.

Sugar doesn't make people gain weight. Extra calories (if this comes from sugar, that's when it's the culprit), proper exercise (or lack thereof), and some supplements do. There are health conditions and yada yada, but they're rare enough as to discard them for reference to the general population. I average about 70g of pure dextrose a day myself. Can't come up with a disadvantage.

 
Old 04-27-2004, 06:52 AM   #15
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Re: Aspartame

Quite right about the lawsuit. Mymisreading of your post.I had misunderstood your point, thinking it had to do with Splenda still. It was about whether sugar alcohols would be counted as carbs on the Atkins labels. They are, of course, listed usually on these or similar products as "non-impact" carbs. I find this confusing, too, and think the Atkins labelling was legitimately challenged.

I apologize for the heat of my prior response. I am just fed up, I discover, with various falsities and accusations in this debate, as if they shed light on the question of how we might eat to promote health.

peace


sean

 
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