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Industry hides bitter truth about artificial sweeteners

Dear Humorous Herbalist,

I enjoyed your article last month on Stevia (April 23). In the article, you said that the Japanese had banned the use of artificial sweeteners in the early 1970s, and thus have been adding stevia to products. My daughter recently went to a nutritionist who told her that she must avoid all artificial sweeteners because they were toxic and contributed to her various health maladies, including depression and hormonal imbalances.

Her medical doctor scoffed at this advice but my daughter decided to give it a try. After reading the labels on everything she was consuming, she couldn’t believe how many of those items had either NutraSweet™ or Splenda in them. She followed the nutritionist’s advice and is now feeling much better. Do you have any scientific evidence that backs up the destructive nature of these additives? Thank you.



” Carol (e-mail)

Dear Carol,



The case against artificial sweeteners is a sour one. There appears to be an ongoing censoring of information in mainstream publications of the often dangerous side effects of aspartame (known as NutraSweet™) and the newer additions (Splenda) while curtailing the broader use of healthy alternatives such as stevia because of the outright power and greed of the industries that produce fake sweeteners.

I have personally seen the effects of artificial sweeteners (sudden loss of the menstrual cycle, learning disabilities, muddled thinking, increase in agitation and anger, complications for diabetics, triggers for migraines and many more), the symptoms of withdrawal (extreme edginess, anxiety attacks, night sweats, dizziness) and the restored health after the poison is out of the system (the return of menstrual cycles, better concentration, renewed ability to “take on the day,” and other positive outcomes).

Aspartame is found in thousands of products, ranging from cereals, breath mints and protein powders to sugar-free chewing gum, pharmaceuticals and laxatives! The widespread inclusion of aspartame is shocking since 85 percent of all complaints registered with the FDA are for adverse reactions to this artificial sweetener. Five of those “adverse reactions” contributed to reported deaths.

There are many Web sites that outline the dangers of aspartame and other fake sweeteners. I think that http://www.mercola.com offers the most in-depth research into what these terrible additives can do to you. Here is a brief overview of health problems connected with the use of aspartame which can be found in greater detail on Dr. Mercola’s Web site.

– Birth defects: A study funded by Monsanto to study possible birth defects caused by aspartame was cut off after preliminary data showed damaging information about aspartame.

– Cancer (brain cancer): In 1981, an FDA statistician stated that the brain tumor data on aspartame was so “worrisome” that he could not recommend approval of NutraSweet™.

– Diabetes: Research conducted by a diabetes specialist showed that aspartame leads to the precipitation of clinical diabetes, causes poorer diabetic control in diabetics on insulin or oral drugs, leads to the aggravation of diabetic complications such as retinopathy, cataracts, neuropathy and gastroparesis and causes convulsions. (I think it’s interesting that, despite this research, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends aspartame to persons with diabetes. Is it a coincidence that the NutraSweet Co. writes the ADA’s “Fact” sheets that promote NutraSweet™?)

– Emotional disorders: In a double blind study of the effects of aspartame on persons with mood disorders, findings showed a large increase in serious mood-altering symptoms. Since some of the symptoms were so severe, the study was stopped. Researchers concluded that “individuals with mood disorders are particularly sensitive to aspartame; its use in this population should be discouraged.”

– Epilepsy/seizures: At Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 80 people who had suffered seizures after ingesting aspartame were surveyed. Community Nutrition Institute concluded: “These 80 cases meet the FDA’s own definition of an imminent hazard to the public health, which requires the FDA to expeditiously remove a product from the market.”

The artificial sweetener Splenda is no exception. Splenda, the brand name for sugar-derivative sucralose, is a chemical substance. Animal studies have shown that Splenda can shrink the thymus gland up to 40 percent, enlarge the liver and kidneys, decrease red blood cell count, abort pregnancies and decrease fetal body weights.

My advice is to absolutely stay away from these toxic, junk sweeteners. Optimally, use honey or stevia as sweeteners. Remember, stevia herb is not a fake sweetening agent. It is an herbal leaf that tastes sweet and tricks the brain into believing the body is consuming sugar, thus creating a more satisfied tummy.

While supplies last, Laurel Dewey is offering a special deal on autographed copies of her 400+ page second book, “Plant Power.” Purchase “Plant Power” for $18 (that’s $2 off the retail price) and receive free shipping. Purchase two books for $30 and save a total of $10 off the retail price and receive free shipping. Make checks/money orders payable to: The Humorous Herbalist and address it to: “Plant Power Book Deal,” 714 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs, CO 81601. Include names of the individuals receiving the books and Laurel will personalize the greeting.

E-mail your questions to The Humorous Herbalist at writer8@sopris.net.

The information in this column is not meant to take the place of your physician, nor is it intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe. Pregnant or nursing women should consult their doctor before using herbal therapy.


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