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Aspartame- Why is it Dangerous?

Updated: May 11, 2021

When given the option between sugar, or sugar-free, most of us will probably lean towards the sugar-free option as opposed to the original product. However, what we might not realize is that this option may not only lead to weight gain, but far worse.

To start off, aspartame is a non-caloric artificial sweetener that has been used in sugar free, and diet products for many years. It has been taken off the market before for its recognized health risk, but was quickly back on the shelves. Now, we can find it in products like alternatives sweeteners, diet sodas, energy drinks, gum, and candy.

The issue with this artificial sweetener is that it actually increases our hunger, making us crave more calories, especially from sugar. With the consumption of this sweetener, hormone production can be shut off, which prevents the brain from telling us when it is full. It can cause a spike in insulin, and store glucose found the blood, as fat. Especially for those with diabetes, aspartame (and all other artificial sweeteners) is extremely dangerous because it hinders the control of blood sugar levels. Certain symptoms like neuropathy and gastroparesis, which are common for diabetic patients are also much more aggravated with artificial sweeteners.

The issues don’t stop there, though. There are so many other reasons why we should get rid of this non-caloric sweetener.

Since aspartame decreases serotonin levels in the body, it is very common to see mental and psychological disorders when this is apart of the diet. Some common issues that have been noted are: Anxiety, depression, behavioural disorders and more. Those who are suffering with mental health are said to be more sensitive to this artificial sweetener.

Similarly, aspartame changes the chemical reactions in the brain and kills cells in the nervous system, which can ultimately lead to severe disorders like: Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and ALS, as well as seizures. It is important for those who are pregnant or breast-feeding to stay away from aspartame as it can cause birth defects. Since a baby’s blood-brain barrier does not fully develop until they are one year old, it is very easy for this toxin to enter this area and cause possible brain damage.

Aspartame has also been linked to being a possible cause to cancer, specifically by increasing the growth of brain tumours once the aspartame is digested.

Some short term symptoms that we can experience from the consumption of aspartame is: Brain fog, anxiety, diarrhea, headaches, fatigue, etc.

If you are given the choice between sugar and artificial sweeteners, always choose the sugar, regardless of the amount. Whenever you are faced with a product that says “sugar-free”, check the ingredients. If it reads things like: Aspartame, sucralose, ace-k, put the product down- these are artificial. Our body recognizes sugar and knows how to metabolize it. Artificial sweeteners are foreign to our body.

Be smart about what you put in your body.

Thanks for reading!

- Jass

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