Aspartame: I Can Quit You for Good

sans E 951, sans aspartameTwo cups on the counter.  One with coffee and cream and 1 single teaspoon of real sugar.  The second with tea, and 4 teaspoons of Splenda.

Kevin takes cream in his coffee and the flies like his coffee, often dying for a sip (literally) in his cup.  My cup? Not so much as a buzz-by.

So if the flies aren’t interested in what is in my cup, why the hell am I drinking it?  And that got me thinking some more.


“No thanks. I have an allergy to pesticide.”

I’m one of the very few people in my family who do not chain smoke cigarettes.  I’m also one of the very few people in my immediate family to avoid pain medications.   I’d rather rest with an ice pack than take a Tylenol 3.  I know where that path goes, when you start medicating life.

Except I was with sugar and then Aspartame.

But when I stopped binge drinking in my twenties (and then again post divorce in 2010) I developed another habit that I thought was harmless.  Diet Pepsi.  It was sweet, refreshing, convenient and zero calorie!  It also had no impact on my Diabetes so to me, it was a guilt free pleasure.

I can drink a 2L bottle in a day.  Easily.  More than that, and it’s okay if you are shaking your head right now.  I’m with you.  Not good.  And no more excuses.  My ‘rocket fuel’ had a fatal flaw.  It was going to kill me.

I started by cutting my consumption of Diet Pepsi and Aspartame by 50% three weeks ago and got cranky and tired.  Psychosomatic or not, there it was.  Last week I cut my consumption by 70% and the symptoms felt very hormonal.  Keep in mind hormones are always part of the picture for a woman with Diabetes and Hypothyroidism but it was pronounced.

Condolences to Kevin who both supports my elimination of Aspartame and runs for cover when I go ape shit.

Last week I felt:

  • Sick to my stomach.
  • Had bathroom woes.
  • Lost my appetite (except for bread due to the upset stomach which didn’t help my carbohydrates one bit).
  • Cranky and irritable.
  • Sad (okay depressed).
  • A persistent headache that would not go away.

I had my last sip of Diet Pepsi two days ago.  Yesterday we went out for a junk food treat (I was a very good and hardworking housewife this weekend so I rewarded myself with more poison… figure that one out).   I had a large regular Coke which I did not enjoy, but which gave me about three hours reprieve from the constant headache.

The symptoms do not scare me as much as what I have read recently about Aspartame.

The Legal Poison Called Aspartame

Hello Monsanto!  You have been poisoning us for years.    Apparently Aspartame was approved in 1981 for use in food.  However it was knocked back in 1974 by physician objections lead by a Dr. John W. Olney and his attorney James Turner.  At that time, G.D. Searle’s research was investigated by the FDA and approval was put on hold for more than a decade due to health concerns.

Here is where it gets sketchy.  In 1985 Monsanto bought G.D. Searle and created Searle Pharmaceuticals and The NutraSweet Company.

About 50% of Aspartame is a chemical called Phenylalanine which is an amino acid normally found in the brain.   Some people have died from the inability to metabolize it.

  • Aspartame creates levels of Phenylalanine which  can be doubled or triple absorbed in your body when eaten with a diet that is rich in carbohydrates.   This makes it double deadly for obese individuals who are drinking it to avoid gaining weight!  And it is MARKETED to people who want to lose weight and those who eat carbohydrate dense diets.   Insidious right?
  • Excessive levels of phenylalanine in the brain can lead to reduced levels of serotonin in the brain, which leads to sleep disorders (check!) and mood variances (check!) and even bouts of anxiety (check!) or depression (crap…).
  • Has been shown to have addictive properties that (wait for it) create a craving for more Aspartame.  Now that’s clever poisoning  … er… marketing folks.

Then there is more good news about sweeteners.  About 10% of Aspartame is Methanol or wood alcohol, which is a poison.  Not being dramatic, it is an actual poison.

  • Can lead to blindness
  • Liver and kidney failure

Free methanol is created when the substance is heated up above 86 degrees.  Why would you ever heat up Aspartame products that hot?  Never… unless you were baking with it.  Or making diet jello (another former staple of my Diabetic life).

Then there is Diketopiperazine (DKP) which is what your body creates by accident when it is trying to figure out what to do with the poison of Aspartame.   DKP produces N-nitrosourea which is known (not suspected, actually proven) to cause brain tumors in mice.  It also causes uterine polyps and a host of other quite pleasant side effects.

Here is where it gets sketchy again.  Yes Monsanto, I am pointing at you.

G.D. Searle conducted several years of experiments but somehow when they were investigated by the FDA in the 70’s (their first attempt to get food safe approval) there were a number of administrative errors that somehow mixed up the lab animals, results and findings, making proof of the tumors inconclusive.

Convenient huh?   Nonetheless those errors were reported to be the cause of the lab animals reporting more than 16 times the amount of brain tumors of other similar studies.

And you made it legal for us to eat it?!?!  Holy shit right? Everyone hastened to tell me it was bad for me but I refused to do the reading.   I own that.  I really didn’t want to know.  But now that I have, I refuse to be stupid enough to ignore it.

Hello water (gag) you tasteless stuff.  I cannot dose you with the chemical drops that are loaded with Aspartame either so… there are limes in the fridge.

I thought I would find refuge in Stevia, but apparently it is high in corn fructose, and since most corn now on the planet used in manufacturing contains GMOs … I think I will stick to plain, old sugar or lemon in my tea.   I prefer African Rooibos (red bush) tea because it is so flavorful without anything added.

My head hurts today.  I still feel sick, but I acknowledge I am in withdraw.  I know this yucky detoxification feeling will end in a few weeks and get better every week.

Sorry Aspartame.  I can quit you for good.