Aspartame Associated with Increased Risk of Blood Cancers in Long-Term Human Study
November 07 2012 | 8,983 views | + Add to Favorites By Dr. Mercola Aspartame is an artificial sweetener used in diet soda and over 6,000 other sugar-free or "diet" products. New research1 linking aspartame to cancer in some individuals has sparked a flurry of commentary, including an "apology" from Brigham and Women's Hospital, a Harvard University teaching facility, for promoting the results2. I first found out about the study when ABC News contacted me and requested that I provide them with a comprehensive analysis of this 40-page study within an hour. Fortunately, I have extensively reviewed this topic and was able to provide their requested review. Funding was provided by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The Harvard hospital originally sent out a press release with the headline: "The truth isn't sweet when it comes to artificial sweeteners." Alas, just half an hour before the release of the study, the hospital suddenly got cold feet, issuing the following statement: "Upon review of the findings, the consensus of our scientific leaders is that the data is weak, and that BWH Media Relations was premature in the promotion of this work. We apologize for the time you have invested in this story." According to Erin McDonough3, senior vice president of communication and public affairs, this was "the first time something like this had ever happened in her 25 years of working in media relations." NBC News stated4: "Not all science deserves publicity. Some is not done well. Some comes to equivocal conclusions and serves solely to alert other researchers of the need for further study. The research... about a potential cancer from aspartame falls squarely in that second category. If such a study does get attention, it can often increase the confusion and anger that many people feel about science in general – and the study of possible risks and benefits of our diet, in particular." None of this surprises me. After all, can you imagine the liability the food and beverage industries, not to mention virtually every public health agency in the US, would face were there convincing evidence that aspartame is carcinogenic? They simply cannot afford such evidence to be accepted. But make no mistake about it, this study is of great importance because it's the most comprehensive and longest human study — spanning 22 years — that has ever looked at aspartame toxicity. The study

This does not occur in freshly consumed fruits and vegetables. as the study points out. .aspx?e_cid=20121107_DNL_art_1 evaluates the effect between aspartame intake and cancer.http://articles. Unfortunately. they simply didn't look long enough! But the average person does not realize that all those industry-funded studies were so pathetically short. Most are unaware that canned or bottled fruit juice is loaded with methanol that dissociates from the pectin over time and can actually cause similar problems as aspartame. As the study mentions.mercola. Interestingly enough. So evaluating methanol toxicity in animals is a flawed model for testing human toxicity. They found that men who consumed more than one diet soda per day had an increased risk of developing multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. methanol is allowed to be transported in the body to susceptible tissues where this enzyme.000 women over the age of 20 were reviewed for the featured study." Well. But what most researchers do not appreciate is that humans are the only animals that do NOT have the protective mechanism to compensate for methanol toxicity. A number of animal studies have clearly documented the association between aspartame and cancer. only ones that are bottled or canned. Interestingly. Ignoring First Long-Term Human Study Would Be a MAJOR Mistake This is the first large-scale observational human study to report an association between aspartame consumption and blood cancers. This is due to alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH). and the media doesn't inform them of this fact either. The beverage industry was quick to respond5 to the study saying aspartame has been "deemed safe for decades by the world's leading toxicologists. the longest study prior to this one was only four and half months.000 men and over 77. people are easily misled. Hence no major difference could be discerned between the aspartame and the control group. ADH. used fruit juice as the control. which did not find an association with aspartame and cancer. Why Was Aspartame More Toxic in Men than Women? The health statistics for nearly 48. which damages protein and DNA that lead to the increased risk of cancer and autoimmune disease. and they found a clear association between aspartame consumption and non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and leukemia. In humans. Hence. because there are so many of these shortterm trials. Leukemia was associated with diet soda intake in both sexes. this association was not found in women. the previous AARP Diet and Health Study. far too short to reveal any toxicity from chronic The long-term nature of this study is really crucial because one of the primary tricks companies use to hide the toxicity of their products is short-term tests. then converts it to formaldehyde. they get away with saying that aspartame is one of the most studied food additives ever made and no health concerns have ever been discovered.

but the study was not designed to answer that question. While the findings from this study add credible evidence that consuming aspartame over a long period of time can pose significant health risks. Many have indeed been injured by aspartame — there are more adverse reports to the FDA on aspartame than all other food additives combined.aspx?e_cid=20121107_DNL_art_1 One hypothesis for the difference between the sexes is that men have a higher activity of the enzyme ADH.mercola. While the mechanism responsible for the difference between the sexes for certain cancers need to be studied further. insisting that it should be made clear that chance was a plausible explanation for the findings6. it also demonstrates that our understanding of the precise mechanism of harm is still lacking and needs to be investigated further. and found it to be extremely well executed. More formaldehyde circulating in your blood would naturally have more opportunity to cause greater damage. which metabolizes methanol and converts it to formaldehyde. which I'll review in a I believe the study offers significant supporting evidence of the danger that "diet" drinks and foods pose. it's worth noting that this is because they could not offer a conclusive explanation for the difference between the sexes. a biological mechanism for cancer from aspartame does exist. Lead researcher Eva Schernhammer. in addition to men having higher ADH activity. Furthermore. All in all however. It's also widely known how massive industry and government collusion at the FDA was ultimately responsible for its approval after it failed to be approved for many years. as it's unclear why the women in this study didn't experience the same increased rates of cancer. I carefully reviewed this study in its entirety. It's possible that there is some hormonally mediated protection against the adverse effects of aspartame in women. Although the authors' summary conclusion mentions they do not rule out the possibility of chance for this association. as I mentioned earlier. DrPH stated in the original press release (which has since been removed): . MD. it was the reviewers of the study that pushed back during the editing process.http://articles.

there's a major biochemical problem with methanol in humans. allowing the methanol to be safely passed through your digestive tract. This is why toxicology testing on animals is a flawed model. which wreaks havoc with sensitive proteins and DNA. but not women. It doesn't fully apply to humans." Methyl Alcohol — The Root of the Problem with Aspartame Aspartame is primarily made up of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Both animals and humans have small structures called peroxisomes in each cell. which are designed to detoxify a variety of chemicals.aspx?e_cid=20121107_DNL_art_1 "The sex difference we observed deserves consideration.. it no longer tastes sweet. where the ADH enzyme converts it into formaldehyde. that are loaded with alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH). which help detoxify Other chemicals in the peroxisome convert the formaldehyde to formic acid. but human peroxisomes cannot convert the toxic formaldehyde into harmless formic acid. This is precisely what happened to most of the diet soda sent to the Middle East for US troops. the formaldehyde is free to cause enormous damage in your tissues. According to aspartame expert Dr. They received non-sweet sodas that were loaded with dangerous levels of methanol. the methyl alcohol travels through your blood vessels into sensitive areas. as easily happens when drinks sweetened with it are exposed to higher temperatures. Woodrow Monte. on the other hand.mercola. to recap: In humans. which converts methanol to formaldehyde. This is in sharp contrast to naturally-occurring methanol found in certain fruits and vegetables. which provides the majority of the sweetness. is very weak.. which allows the methyl group on the phenylalanine to easily break off and form methanol. one being chance. There are many possible explanations in this. compared to all other animals. . When methanol enters the peroxisome of every animal except humans. The phenylalanine has been synthetically modified to carry a methyl group. and since there's no catalase present. Methanol acts as a Trojan horse. however these differences could be related to a yet-to-be-discovered risk factor for lymphoma and leukemia. Humans do have the same number of peroxisomes in comparable cells as animals. have a protective mechanism that allows methanol to be broken down into harmless formic acid. If the methyl alcohol is broken off from the phenylalanine. it's carried into susceptible tissues in your body. So again. like your brain and bone marrow. where it is firmly bonded to pectin. but this last step occurs only in animals. That phenylalanine methyl bond.http://articles. which are associated with soda consumption in men. Peroxisome contains catalase. called a methyl ester. All other animals. it gets into that mechanism. which is harmless. which can be toxic when it's in this already broken down state. There are a couple of hundred in every cell of your body. because of the difference in how it's metabolized. such as your brain.

com/sites/articles/archive/2012/11/07/aspartame-causes-bloodcancer..654 children aged 9 to 14 also reported positive association between diet soda and weight gain for boys.16 kg/m2.000 women. found that epidemiologic data suggest artificially sweetened foods and beverages do not reduce weight. a study published on October 19 in the journal eight-year period in the 1980s. BMI increased by 0. For example. In a similar 2008 study8.aspx?e_cid=20121107_DNL_art_1 Saccharin and Aspartame Cause Greater Weight Gain than Sugar In related news. and diet. The Growing Up Today Study. found that compared with sucrose (regular table sugar)." . the results "were not explicable by differences in food consumption patterns. regardless of initial weight. which included nearly 80. rats that ate yogurt sweetened with an artificial sweetener consumed more calories. Similar observations have been reported in children.http://articles.. thus boosting your inclination to overindulge. When matched for initial body mass index (BMI). For each daily serving of diet beverage. The problem is this news has not received the necessary traction in the media. with dose dependence on the amount of consumption. saccharin and aspartame caused greater weight gain in adult rats. The San Antonio Heart Study examined 3. and this weight gain was unrelated to caloric intake.940 women from the Nurses' Health Study conducted in the 1970s. found that those who used artificial sweeteners were significantly more likely than non-users to gain weight over time. indicating weight gain.. involving 11. The underlying mechanism was not determined.682 adults over a seven. too.. ethnicity. Quite the contrary: "Several large scale prospective cohort studies found positive correlation between artificial sweetener use and weight gain. and put on more body fat than rats that ate yogurt sweetened with sugar. Saccharin use was also associated with eight-year weight gain in 31. thereby changing your body's ability to regulate intake naturally. A two-year prospective study involving 166 school children found that increased diet soda consumption was associated with higher BMI Z-scores at follow-up.111 children and youth found diet soda drinkers had significantly elevated BMI. have shown that eating artificial sweeteners might hinder your body's ability to estimate calorie intake. The fact that aspartame is NOT a dieter's best friend has been known by scientists for some time. However. gender." Another more recent study with the telling title of Gain Weight by "Going Diet?" Artificial Sweeteners and the Neurobiology of Sugar Cravings.. gained more weight." and concluded that: " The data do not support the hypothesis that long-term artificial sweetener use either helps weight loss or prevents weight gain. Other studies. published in 201010.. According to the authors.mercola. a study from 19869. drinkers of artificially sweetened beverages consistently had higher BMIs at the follow-up. A crosssectional study looking at 3. a number of studies have already shown that consuming artificial sweeteners breaks the connection between a sweet sensation and a high-calorie food.

please don't make the mistake of telling yourself "they must be OK for me". However. if you do experience side effects from aspartame. It's easy to do. find the phone number for your state. adverse response. Once your body has the proper fuel. Do this for one to three days and notice how you feel. So if you suspect you have experienced an adverse reaction from aspartame (or any other drug or food additive). shape. or form. you can repeat steps 2 through 4 with the next one on your list. please take a moment to make this important call. take the following steps: Eliminate all artificial sweeteners from your diet for two Avoid other artificial sweeteners during this period.aspx?e_cid=20121107_DNL_art_1 Are Your Health Problems Related to Artificial Sweeteners? Many people belatedly realize they've been suffering reactions to one artificial sweetener or another. reintroduce your artificial sweetener of choice in a significant quantity (about three servings daily). your sweet cravings will radically diminish and you will be satisfied without them. I strongly urge you to avoid them at all costs. a good way to help you weed out the culprit is to do an elimination challenge. They are toxic to all humans and will not help you in any way. the more reports they get. It's easy to make a report — just go to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator page. If you suspect an artificial sweetener might be to blame for a symptom you're having. To determine if you're having a reaction to artificial sweeteners. If you don't notice a difference in how you feel after re-introducing your primary artificial sweetener for a few days.http://articles. Are there ANY Safe and Healthy Alternatives to Sugar? The best strategy is to lower your use of sugar and eat right for your nutritional type and make sure you have enough high quality fats. but you must read the ingredient labels for everything you put in your mouth to make sure you're avoiding ALL artificial sweeteners.mercola. If you've been consuming more than one type of artificial sweetener. After two weeks of being artificial sweetener-free. . Also. this doesn't mean your health won't be damaged in the long run. it's a safe bet you're able to tolerate it acutely. especially as compared to when you were consuming no artificial sweeteners. and make a call reporting your reaction. If you still have cravings it is a strong suggestion you need to further refine your attempt to identify the right fuel for your body. There's no telling just how many reports they might need to receive before taking another look at aspartame's safety and reconsidering their stance. meaning your body doesn't have an immediate. the more likely that is to happen. Let me make it abundantly clear that even though you may not show immediate signs of any noticeable reaction after consuming artificial sweeteners. please report it to the FDA (if you live in the United States) without delay. My free Nutritional Plan can help you do this in a step by step fashion. But I CAN tell you.

then you have insulin sensitivity issues and would benefit from avoiding ALL if you struggle with high blood pressure. . Remember. Turbo Tapping is a clever use of the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). try Turbo Tapping. If you're having trouble weaning yourself off soda. diabetes or extra weight. high cholesterol. specifically designed to resolve many aspects of an addiction in a concentrated period of time.aspx?e_cid=20121107_DNL_art_1 If you need a sweetener you could use stevia or Lo Han. both of which are safe natural sweeteners.mercola.

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