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Cheers! Bottoms Up With Aspartame

Nov 8, 2007
Let me preface this article by saying that I had been just as guilty as most in that quest to look fit, trim and healthy. After being a fat kid, I became obsessed with working out and weight control and carried that mission all through my adult life. Gym rat and carb counter, supplements, diet products and any edge I could come up in that eternal battle against the bulge. From the outside, I had succeeded more than most.

I did amateur competitive bodybuilding up until age 48, and even won a few Master's Division trophies. In our early fifties, my wife and I, who both work hard at it, are the picture of health and fitness in the eyes of many. At the same time, we both bemoaned constant aches, joint pains and phantom ailments that never got diagnosed. It became an inside good-natured game of one upping each other and who the worse ailment of the day. Trips to the doctor's office became more and more common, as did pickups at the pharmacy.

It was easy to dismiss as part of being over the hill, as we justified it. For me it was even easier to play-off, as years and years of competitive sports such as football, baseball, and even boxing and martial arts played havoc on my joints and what else could be expected from the long trail of broken bones, sprains and muscle pulls. Hey, you have to pay the price I told my wife as I inched out of bed in the morning, grimacing for a few minutes until things got in gear. I even noticed over the last five or so years that mood swings and depression started to kick into gear and become more problematic with each passing year. That was even easier to write off mentally, attributing it to being in business with my spouse and the financial pressures associated with that plus maintaining my own full-time other career. The reality of planning for retirement, becoming a new grandparent and trying to help my own young adult children make their way into the world added to this stress, albeit some of it was good stress. Who wouldn't start to buckle a bit under this type of load?

Then, from almost a stroke of luck, I stumbled upon something that has had the most dramatic effect on the quality of my health, both physical and mental, that I would have ever imagined. I had always been a user of diet products and diet soda and other beverages, which were the norm for me. The warehouse shopping center near us started carrying Crystal Light powders, in bulk, at a very low price. I started using that as my main beverage and significantly increased the amount I drank. I developed constant intestinal distress, light-headedness, increased joint pain, irritability, and bad moods. (Yes, even worse than normal). I was totally baffled as to what was going on and increasingly frustrated that my doctor couldn't pinpoint it. In passing my wife mentioned her problems using Equal (aspartame) and after reading the label saw that it was the sweetener used in Crystal Light. Having a strong interest in nutrition and a science background, I dived into researching aspartame.

After a few hours on Google one night, I walked into the bedroom with my jaw dropped. I explained to wife that I was shocked that such an additive was ever allowed on the market. I read the whole story how our trusted FDA backed away from any independent research that showed these dangers, and relied on the studies done by Monsanto, the chemical company that owned it. Even an FDA panel rescinded approval in the early eighties due to studies showing it caused seizures and brain tumors in lab animals. Through political and monetary pressure, they gave in. FDA Commissioner Arthur Hull Hayes overruled the panel's recommendation, and granted full approval. Within three month's of this approval, Mr. Hayes resigned from the FDA to accept another position. Want to guess what that was? A paid consultant for Searle, who happens to be the pharmaceutical arm of Monsanto that manufactures aspartame.

The breakdown products of aspartame in your body are methanol and formaldehyde, both know toxins. Yes, methanol, the same product we add to gasoline. I guess that was intended to jump start our engines each morning with a package of Equal on our cereal. To make a long story short, and save some of the more technical aspects for a future article, by eliminating this one product from my diet for good, 95% of every ailment, ache, and pain has totally disappeared. My mental outlook has been dramatic as has my tolerance to stress. Like night and day has been my experience and I only wish I had this information much earlier in life. Please use my experience as the basis for doing your own research into this additive and the almost one hundred bad side effects attributed to it. The next time you raise a glass in "Cheer", let the image of a packet of Equal slip into your mind, with just a hint of formaldehyde. Don't get me wrong, formaldehyde is a great product, if you are embalming a corpse. Don't become a walking one
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