Sweet Vs Poison Essay

1578 words - 6 pages

The Food and Drug Administration describe aspartame as “One of the most thoroughly tested and studied food additives the agency has ever approved.” It was discovered in 1965 then the F.D.A approved of it in 1981(AlSuhaibani). Aspartame is found in our every day protein products. Over 90 countries throughout the world use aspartame as a synthetic nonnutritive sweetener and over 6000 products contain aspartame. The Food Safety U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European Authority has placed a level mark of how much aspartame could be consumed before any side effects occur, 50 mg/kg body weight per day. Aspartame has been tested by using mice, rats, hamsters and dogs. These animals were given well over the amount a human should ever consume, 4000 mg/kg body weight per day (Magnuson et al.). It is said that aspartame has a link to many effects such as cancer, but people all around the world have been consuming it for years and there is no scientifically proven results.
Aspartame is an artificial nonnutritive sweetener that is made and sold by companies like Equal and NutraSweet. It is substituted for sugar because it has little to no calories. Aspartame is made from two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine. You can find it in many diet soft drinks, chewing gum and especially in tabletop
sweeteners (Shermer). Compared to sugar, very little aspartame is needed to sweeten foods which makes it more preferable (Schardt 9).
The human digestive system works in a unique way. There are some things that stay the same and there are some things that change after being digested. For instance, after water is digested, it is still water. But majority of what we eat is metabolized, like aspartame. It breaks down into aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol. This may sound dangerous, but let me explain. Aspartic acid and phenylalanine is a necessity to our body in order to survive and stay healthy. On the other hand, methanol is a harmful substance, but the amount of it is so little that it has no effect at all. A cup of tomato juice produces six times more methanol than a cup of diet soda. Methanol is completely broken down from formaldehyde to formic acid so formaldehyde is gone. The formic acid is then broken down into water and carbon dioxide (Shermer).
Back in 1981 after aspartame was approved by the F.D.A, people started to criticize it. Some things that were said about it made it seem impossible to be accepted. There are many accusations on the internet that says aspartame is poison, causes headaches, seizures, Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes, blindness, multiple sclerosis, birth defects, even Gulf War Syndrome. An ad on the internet also said “If you…suffer from fibromyalgia symptoms, spasms, shooting pains, numbness in your legs, cramps, vertigo, dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, join paint, depression, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, blurred vision, or memory-loss-you probably have ASPARTAME DISEASE!” Anti-aspartame...

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