Saturday, July 30, 2005

Study Ties Aspartame To Increased Brain Tumors And Cancer

A new study suggests that the artificial sweetener aspartame (aka Nutrasweet, Equal) has been directly linked to the formation of brain tumors as well as leukemia and lymphoma in lab rats.

An independent Italian research study by the Bologna-based European Ramazzini Foundation of Oncology and Environmental Sciences gave varying doses of aspartame to 1800 lab rats throughout the course of their lifespan beginning at eight weeks old.

In doses as low as 20 mg per kilogram of body weight, both leukemia and lymphoma were much more likely to occur in the females, with a trend towards developing the cancerous conditions with as little as 4 mg per kilogram of body weight.

What does this translate to in humans? That's just three diet sodas sweetened with aspartame for a 140-pound woman or four aspartame-flavored soft drinks for a 180-pound man. Of course, aspartame is found in thousands of diet products of all shapes and sizes.

There has been a move in recent years to transition to a much better and safer artificial sweetener, such as sucralose (aka Splenda). Although the sugar lobby is trying hard to discredit Splenda because of the public's desire for a safe sugar substitute, more and more people are turning away from aspartame in favor of sucralose-sweetened products as Splenda has overtaken Nutrasweet in popularity in just the past couple of years.

Dr. Morando Soffritti, who served as the scientific director for this study on aspartame, concluded that healthy women and children should probably "avoid consumer use of aspartame."

"We cannot continue to use aspartame in 6,000 types of products, soft drinks, yogurt, and whatever," he told WebMD.

Dr. Michael Jacobson from the Center For Science in the Public Interest, who is the one who wanted the FDA to put warning labels on sugar-flavored soft drinks, says this study proves the potential for aspartame to be unhealthy warrants a closer examination by researchers and an immediate switch to other safer artificial sweeteners.

"I think consumers should switch to Splenda, the sweetener known as sucralose," Jacobson declared, telling people not to be concerned if they happen to have small quantities of aspartame by accident.

Dr. Soffritti presented his study results to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and will be published in the European Journal of Oncology Nursing.

The EFSA announced on July 14 that they are not making any recommendations to consumers regarding aspartame consumption until more information is presented to them to suggest concern.

Of course, pro-aspartame groups are arguing that this latest study is not consistent with the years of research that has been conducted on aspartame for the past two decades.

But that didn't stop activist groups from filing racketeering charges against Nutrasweet Co. and the American Diabetes Association for distributing and promoting a "toxic" product in September 2004.

The class action lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and is seeking $350 million in damages caused by alleged false reassurances about the safety of aspartame which they describe as a "deadly nuerotoxin unfit for human consumption." Interestingly, even U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is named in this lawsuit because of his role in getting aspartame approved by the FDA over twenty years ago.

My concern about all these allegations against aspartame is that once they destroy Nutrasweet, who will be next in the crosshairs? It's Splenda, of course, and the battle lines have already been drawn as the debate over its safety has begun in earnest. For those of us who are livin' la vida low-carb, we know that these attacks against Splenda are actually attacks against the very low-carb lifestyle that is so hated by the media and the sugar industry. They will do whatever they have to do to annihilate their competition and anybody who suggests people should eat less sugar.

Brace yourself for even more studies to be released in the coming months and years, not only against aspartame, but also against Splenda. Pay very close attention to who is behind the research and you will very likely see the fingerprints of the sugar lobby all over it. We'll be watching!


Blogger dixonge said...

actually Nutrasweet has been tested/vetted as safe, according to the US Govt

2/19/2008 9:54 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Yep, I've blogged about this before. :)

2/19/2008 9:57 PM  

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