Yale J Biol Med. 2010 Jun; 83(2):101-8.
Gain weight by "going diet?" Artificial sweeteners and the neurobiology of sugar cravings: Neuroscience 2010.
Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06511, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
America's obesity epidemic has gathered much media attention recently. A rise in the percent of the population who are obese coincides with an increase in the widespread use of non-caloric artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame (e.g., Diet Coke) and sucralose (e.g., Pepsi One), in food products (Figure 1). Both forward and reverse causalities have been proposed. While people often choose "diet" or "light" products to lose weight, research studies suggest that artificial sweeteners may contribute to weight gain. In this mini-review, inspired by a discussion with Dr. Dana Small at Yale's Neuroscience 2010 conference in April, I first examine the development of artificial sweeteners in a historic context. I then summarize the epidemiological and experimental evidence concerning their effects on weight. Finally, I attempt to explain those effects in light of the neurobiology of food reward.
MORE ON THE SUBJECT:
Aspartame Makes You Fatter
Some people claim they like the taste of aspartame better than sugar or other sweeteners. In almost all cases, however, people consume aspartame-containing products on the promise that their non-caloric properties will prevent them from getting fat. The following position statement from Sandra Cabot, MD, of Mission Possible, Australia, describes why the primary justification for aspartame being available to weight-conscious consumers, like claims of its being safe, is not true.
By Sandra Cabot, MD
I have been a medical doctor for over 25 years and have clinical and research interests in the liver and metabolism. I have authored several best selling health books including the "Liver Cleansing Diet," "The Body Shaping Diet," "Don't Let Your Hormones Ruin Your Life," "Women's Health," "Menopause and Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy" and I lecture internationally on these subjects. I have been consulted by thousands of patients with weight problems, hormonal imbalances, fatty liver, sluggish metabolism and chronic ill health. I have been an advocate and practitioner of nutritional methods of healing for 30 years. I regularly appear on national television and broadcast on many radio stations to educate people about the importance of a healthy liver in achieving good health and weight control.
In the interests of public health I am making a position statement concerning the use of the artificial sweetener called aspartame and sold most commonly under the brand names "NutraSweet" and "Equal."
Why do millions use it?
One must ask, "Why do millions of people ingest a toxic chemical like aspartame everyday?" It is because people have been brainwashed into thinking aspartame will keep their weight down and is good for health. The belief is inconsistent with credible science and shows me that we have lost touch with our own natural senses and instincts.
After having been consulted by thousands of overweight people suffering with problems concerning the liver and/or metabolism, I can assure you that aspartame will not help you in any way. Indeed, it will help you to gain unwanted weight.
How it causes weight gain
It has been my experience that people who use aspartame to lose weight are more likely to gain weight instead. There are logical reasons to explain the fattening and bloating effects common with aspartame consumption.
When you ingest the toxic chemical aspartame it is absorbed from the intestines and passes immediately to the liver where it is taken inside the liver via the liver filter. The liver then breaks down (metabolizes) aspartame to its toxic components-phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol. This process requires a lot of energy from the liver making less energy available for fat burning and metabolism, which will result in fat storing and elevated blood sugar levels. Excess fat may build up inside the liver cells causing "fatty liver" and when this starts to occur it is extremely difficult to lose weight. In my vast experience any time that you overload the liver you will increase the tendency to gain weight easily.
Aspartame also causes weight gain by other mechanisms.
Also with regard to obesity and aspartame, the Trocho Study in Barcelona (l998) showed that the formaldehyde converted from the free methyl alcohol accumulates in the cells and damages DNA with most toxicity in the liver but substantial toxicity in the adipose tissue (fat cells). Further a recent epidemiological study by Sharon Fowler at the University of Texas in 2005 linked diet drinks with obesity.
In the Congressional Record, Senate, S - 5511, May 7, l985, and part of the protest of the National Soft Drink Assn, now American Beverage, is this Statement: "Aspartame has been demonstrated to inhibit the carbohydrate-induced synthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin (Wurtman affidavit). Serotonin blunts the sensation of craving carbohydrates and this is part of the body's feedback system that helps limit consumption of carbohydrate to appropriate levels. Its inhibition by aspartame could lead to the anomalous result of a diet product causing increased consumption of carbohydrates."
So as far as product liability is concerned, you have companies selling an excitoneurotoxic carcinogenic drug to the population as a sugarfree diet product knowing full well this government-approved artificial sweetener is actually causing the obesity it's marketeer's claim to be preventing. They also know that aspartame is addictive and that the methanol component is classified as a narcotic. Aspartame liberates free methyl alcohol causing chronic methanol poisoning. This affects the dopamine system of the brain causing the addiction.
Dr. Cabot's "position" regarding aspartame, as stated here, is an overview supported by 30 years of experience and research. To discover more about the liver, visit her website at http://www.liverdoctor.com. To learn more about natural sugars that are better for the liver and weight control, read Dr. Cabot's books "The Liver Cleansing Diet" and "Boost Your Energy." Dr. Cabot's books can be ordered from Ten Speed Press through your local book store, or by calling 1-888-75-Liver.
Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum.
Founder, Mission Possible World Health International
9270 River Club Parkway
Duluth, Georgia 30097
Aspartame Toxicity Center: http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame
Here is the Aspartame Resource Guide which also has information on Splenda or sucralose.
Aspartame Resource Guide
Aspartame medical text, Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic, http://www.sunsentpress.com by H. J. Roberts, M.D., over 1000 pages He also has other books on aspartame and just published "A Manifesto for American Medicine"
Dr. Leonard Coldwell's Detox Formula: http://www.mpwhi.com/resources-coldwell.htm His new book is "The Only Answer to Cancer".
Detox formula: "What To Do If You Have Used Aspartame" by neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock, M.D., http://www.wnho.net/wtdaspartame.htm Dr. Blaylock is author of Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, http://www.russellblaylockmd.com He has an excellent CD titled: "The Truth About Aspartame", http://www.atavistik.com All info is on http://www.mpwhi.com/blaylock_wellness_center.htm
Aspartame documentary: Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World, http://www.soundandfury.tv
Aspartame Information List, you can subscribe on http://www.mpwhi.com scroll down to banners.
How to get aspartame out of your state: http://www.thenhf.com/press_releases/pr_24_feb_2009.html
Safe Sweetener: Just Like Sugar, http://www.justlikesugarinc.com Can be found in places like Whole Foods. Made of chicory and orange peel, Calcium and Vitamin C. Chicory has been used for 70 years to improve the health of diabetics. Dr. Russell Blaylock wrote in his newsletter, The Blaylock Wellness Report, http://www.russellblaylockmd.com "Finally a safe sweetener".
Aspartame information for distribution: The Artificially Sweetened
Times, 24 page booklets on aspartame,
Studies have shown that sucralose can:
Ajinomoto just announced a new name for aspartame called AminoSweet. Be warned.
Web sites: http://www.mpwhi.com, http://www.dorway.com and http://www.wnho.net
Aspartame Toxicity Center, http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame
Also, you may be interested in the history of aspartame just reported for Prop 65:
Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment
Proposition 65 Implementation
P.O. Box 4010 1001 I Street, 19th floor
Sacramento, California 95812-4010
FAX (916) 323-8803
Dear Ms. Oshita:
In reading available information, I assume you want mostly how aspartame relates to cancer. Indeed it is a carcinogen, proven so by many scientific studies. Aspartame also triggers many other serious diseases which fill the 1,000+ page medical text, Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic, http://www.sunsentpress.com by H. J. Roberts, M.D.
When FDA Commissioner Dr. Von Eschenbach took office I wrote him about aspartame and cancer, mainly due to his professed intention to save cancer victims; so much of this has already been done. http://www.mpwhi.com/project_recall_aspartame.htm Later 12 toxicologists asked the FDA to ban aspartame because of the long term Ramazzini studies on large rat populations showing aspartame is "a multipotential carcinogen". http://www.cspinet.org/new/pdf/aspartame_letter_to_fda.pdf
Now I'll go back to the beginning.
Aspartame was not approved by science but thru the political chicanery of Don Rumsfeld. D.C. Attorney James Turner, explains how Rumsfeld did it in the documentary Sweet Misery, a Poisoned World. Here's a clip from the movie so you can hear what he said: http://www.soundandfury.tv/pages/rumsfeld2.html
Searle's problem was they couldn't get studies to show safety. For example, in the Bressler Report: http://www.mpwhi.com/aspartame_news.htm You read where they would excise brain tumors from the rats, put them back in the study and after they died resurrected them back on paper. They even filtered out neoplasms to hide them from the FDA. Repeatedly Searle was caught in this criminal activity.
On January 10, 1977 in a 33 page letter, FDA Chief Counsel Richard Merrill recommended to the Justice Department Attorney Sam Skinner that a grand jury investigate Searle for "apparent violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, 21 USC 331 (e), and the False Reports to the Government Act, 18 U.S.C. 1001, for "their willful and knowing failure to make reports to the Food and Drug Administration required by the Act, 21 U.S.C 355 (i) and making false statements in reports of animal studies conducted to establish the safety of aspartame." The FDA called special attention to studies investigating the effect of NutraSweet on monkeys and hamsters.
Searle was caught dead to rights, so they hired Skinner, made him a deal he couldn't refuse. So the former Justice Department prosecutor became a defender. Next at bat as U. S. Prosecutor was William Conlon, who promptly switched sides too. By then the statute of limitations had expired. Searle knew they couldn't win the case so they simply hired the prosecutors. The Godfather hired the District Attorneys!
Nevertheless the FDA had no intention of approving aspartame. The fraud was so great that Dr. John Olney (who with James Turner fought against approval of aspartame) told Searle to do studies in his lab so he could see that they were done honestly, with supervision. Dr. Olney believed the FDA wouldn't approve aspartame because the studies showed it produced brain damaged. What he didn't anticipate is that Searle didn't submit these findings to the FDA.
January 30, 1980 the Public Board of Inquiry revoked Searle's petition for approval declaring that they had "not been presented with proof of reasonable certainty that aspartame is safe for use as a food additive." Searle had spent $17 million on an aspartame factory and had no intention of giving up, poison or no. At this point they hired Donald Rumsfeld who said he would call in his markers and get it approved anyway. What were those markers? President Reagan had told Rumsfeld he would be nominated for vice president, but instead selected Bush number 1.
The day after Reagan took office he appointed Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes as the new FDA Commissioner, to over-rule the Board of Inquiry. Reagan knew it would take 30 days to get Hayes to the FDA, so he wrote an Executive Order making the FDA powerless to do anything about aspartame. At 3 AM that night a member of Reagan's staff called the FDA Commissioner Jere Goyan and fired him. Here is a letter from his wife who was there when the terminating call came in: http://www.mpwhi.com/letter_about_jere_goyan.pdf
Once aspartame was on the market there was outrage as consumers were diagnosed with seizures, multiple sclerosis and blindness from the free methyl alcohol releases. Senator Orrin Hatch, on Monsanto's payroll, obstructed hearings on aspartame for years, but there were 3 Congressional hearings from 1985 to l987. Hatch was on Monsanto's payroll, and kept the bill in committee that would put a moratorium on aspartame until NIH completed independent studies on the flood of aspartame problems they were seeing: seizures, blindness, headaches, sexual dysfunction, behavioral problems, especially in children, drug interactions and birth defects.
About that time Dr. James Bowen wrote FDA that "aspartame is mass poisoning of the American public and 70 countries" - today over 100. >http://www.dorway.com/drbowen.txt The good doctor wrote: "For this reason, I am opposed to labeling aspartame content of food and drinks. To do so would imply that the government is taking some sort of responsible action....when the only responsible action would be to immediately take aspartame off the market, fully disclose its toxicities, offer full compensation to the injured, public and criminally prosecute anyone who participated in the fraudulent placement of aspartame on the marketplace."
How was the new FDA Commissioner, Arthur Hayes, get rewarded for over-ruling the Board of Inquiry? He was hired as a consultant to NutraSweet's PR Agency on a 10-year contract at $1,000.00 a day, and nobody's heard a peep from him since, he got lockjaw. Who ever heard of a PR guy who won't talk?
Now they began funding professional organizations ladies-of-the-evening like the American Diabetes Assn, American Dietetic Assn and numerous others to propagandize the public with touting asparshame. Of course they also threatened scientists whose studies identified the toxicity of this poison. In the UPI Investigation Dr. Wurtman was threatened if he did studies on aspartame and seizures he would lose his funding. He capitulated. Read this report on the 8 month investigation by United Press International: http://www.mpwhi.com/upi_1987_aspartame_report.pdf Dr. Wurtman, too, got a terrible case of aspartame lockjaw, but MIT still gets the money.
ILSI, the International Life Sciences Institute, was born in 1978 as a "research" front for our favorite poisoners. It's board members are from Coke, Pepsi, Searle, Monsanto and the rest of the usual suspects. If a university won't play their way the get no pay, that is to say, funding for fake "research".
Over the years many independent studies have been done. The manufacturers say 200 studies that aspartame is safe as rain. Some of those were the ones FDA found fraudulent and sought prosecution for, and others were simply bought and paid for quack studies from rubber duck labs.
Consider seizure studies by Monsanto, they bought Searle in l985: http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/abuse/seizures.html Seizures are listed 5 times on the FDA report of 92 symptoms that range from male sexual dysfunction to death: http://www.mpwhi.com/92_aspartame_symptoms.pdf People are having so many seizures and going blind on aspartame that the Community Nutrition Institute filed a petition to ban aspartame in l986. Again the manufacturers put in the fix to prevent it from being banned. They were so worried someone would have a seizure they actually gave people anti-seizure medication in the Rowan study. '
Another impeccable "study" involved one-day consumption of, believe it or not: a single capsule of aspartame. Tantamount to smelling the bottle. The got it peer reviewed with their power. So when consumers complain of seizures they say "we did studies and aspartame doesn't cause seizures".
I smoked a Lucky once and I'm fine, so nicotine doesn't cause cancer!
They have all bases covered. Today front groups like Calorie Control Council, with full knowledge that aspartame causes birth defects and mental retardation actually push the poison: http://www.wnho.net/mh_aspartame_letter.htm
When 60 Minutes did a story about aspartame and brain tumors the manufactures claimed to have all these studies showing safety. Dr. Ralph Walton who was on the show decided to research who funded the "studies": http://www.dorway.com/peerrev.html Note that 92% of independent peer-reviewed studies show problems aspartame causes, while those funded or controlled by industry all say it's safe. If you eliminate 6 studies the FDA, aspartame's branch office in Washington, messed with, and one pro-aspartame sponsored summary, 100% of independent scientific peer reviewed studies show aspartame problems.
As Dr. Bowen said: this is mass poisoning of the world. Aspartame destroys the brain, the optic nerve, the immune system and central nervous system. It devastates every organ of the body. Epidemic obesity, diabetes, sexual dysfunction, retinopathy and neuropathy, optic nerve destruction, convulsions and insulin reactions, MS, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, IQ depreciation and dozens of other afflictions have been inflicted upon us by this deadly neurotoxic carcinogenic "sweetener".
According to the prestigious Ecologist, aspartame was listed with the pentagon in an inventory of prospective biochemical warfare weapons submitted to Congress. http://www.mpwhi.com/ecologist_september_2005.pdf
Studies show the horrific damage done to the body. For instance, the Trocho Study shows the formaldehyde converted from the free methyl alcohol actually embalms tissue and damages DNA. http://www.mpwhi.com/aspartame_methanol_and_public_health.pdf Methanol also binds to pectin. In aspartame there is no ethanol. Here is their basic propaganda answered with references: http://dorway.com/dorwblog/?page_id=606
A detox formula for aspartame victims endorsed by Dr. Russell Blaylock, Neurosurgeon: http://www.wnho.net.wtdaspartame.htm Available are his excellent books and a CD: "The Truth About Aspartame"
There are efforts now in states and countries to rid the planet of aspartame. It is genetically engineered. The manufacturers are get people in high places addicted. When I testified to the Senate in New Mexico, half the senators were sipping Diet Coke. Presidents Clinton and Bush were addicted. Methanol is classified as a narcotic, it causes chronic methanol poisoning. This effects the dopamine system of the brain producing addiction.
I've lectured in other countries and I can tell you people are sick and dying the world over on this poison. It would be great to see it banned from California. First of all it's illegally on the market because it violates the Delaney Amendment. Here are comments from an FDA toxicologist, Dr. Adrian Gross, to Congress on 8/1/85:
Dr. Gross testified that at least one of Searle's studies "has established beyond ANY REASONABLE DOUBT that aspartame is capable of inducing brain tumors in experimental animals and that this predisposition of it is of extremely high significance. ... In view of these indications that the cancer causing potential of aspartame is a matter that had been established WAY BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT, one can ask: What is the reason for the apparent refusal by the FDA to invoke for this food additive the so-called Delaney Amendment to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act?"
The Delaney Amendment makes it illegal to allow any residues of cancer causing chemicals in foods. In his concluding testimony Gross asked, "Given the cancer causing potential of aspartame how would the FDA justify its position that it views a certain amount of aspartame as constituting an allowable daily intake or 'safe' level of it? Is that position in effect not equivalent to setting a 'tolerance' for this food additive and thus a violation of that law? And if the FDA itself elects to violate the law, who is left to protect the health of the public?" Congressional Record SID835:131 (August 1, l985)
Here is my letter to the Assembly Committee on Health which exposes the fact that it's adulterated: http://www.mpwhi.com/letter_to_a_n_kim_california_ach.htm The adulteration means it violates interstate commerce laws.
Consumer power is winning the war against this toxin. Holland Sweetener, the largest European aspartame producer closed in 2006. Another European maker also quit. In Japan Tosh stopped making it as well. Merisant, in the USA went bankrupt for $230,000,000 in January, 2009. 47 members of Parliament signed for a ban in the UK. There is continuing effort to get banned in the Philippines. Romania banned it in the early 90's because it's carcinogenic. And now the European Food Safety Authority is doing a review.
Today no drug is safe if the consumer is using aspartame because of the interaction due to damage to the mitochondria. It's used in hospitals because of the dietitians making patients even sicker.
The Nutratanic hit the iceberg and Coke & Pepsi are in the lifeboats with new sweeteners in the works. Japan's Ajinomoto and the USA NutraSweet Co are still slapping around in the frigid waters of consumer condemnation. http://www.wnho.net/recipe_for_death.htm
If I can provide further data I'll gladly do so. There is no way to show safety on aspartame with honest, unbiased studies. Eliminate industry studies to defend its product and you'll see how deadly is this toxin. Dr. Bill Deagle said its more deadly than depleted uranium because its ubiquitous in our food.
Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum.
Founder, Mission Possible World Health International
9270 River Club Parkway
Duluth, Georgia 30097
Aspartame Toxicity Center: http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame