Shocking Facts about Artificial Sweeteners

Posted: March 14th, 2012

Category: Shocking Facts

Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose and saccharin, and artificial flavor enhancers such as MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) are some of the most toxic yet commonly found chemicals in the American food supply. Many scientists and researchers consider these compounds to be the single most regularly consumed toxic compounds to the human body. What is even more shocking is when you consider how common it is to see children drinking ‘diet’ beverages and chewing gum laced with aspartame. The first step in taking back your health is to remove these chemicals from your diet, replaced with natural and organic alternatives.

  • Saccharin is ‘reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen’ because there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in animals including multiple sites in rats and mice, and sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans, causing bladder cancer.
  • Another possible danger of saccharin is the possibility of allergic reactions. Reactions can include headaches, breathing difficulties, skin eruptions, and diarrhea. It’s also believed that the saccharin found in some infant formulas and can cause irritability and muscle dysfunction.
  • Incredibly, Sucralose was actually discovered while trying to create a new insecticide. It may have started out as sugar, but the final product couldn’t be further from sugar. Sucralose is created when sugar is treated with a number of chemicals making it nothing like anything found in nature.
  • Aspartate (found in NutraSweet) and glutamate (found in Monosodium Glutamate or MSG) act as neurotransmitters in the brain by facilitating the transmission of information from neuron to neuron. Too much aspartate or glutamate in the brain kills certain neurons by allowing the influx of too much calcium into the cells. This influx triggers excessive amounts of free radicals, which kill the cells. The neural cell damage that can be caused by excessive aspartate and glutamate is why they are referred to as “excitotoxins.” Ingedients like Aspartate and MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) literally “excite” or stimulate the neural cells to death.  
  • Diketopiperazine (DKP) is a byproduct of aspartame metabolism. DKP has been implicated in the occurrence of brain tumors. Olney noticed that DKP, when nitrosated in the gut, produced a compound that was similar to N-nitrosourea, a powerful brain tumor causing chemical.
  • NutraSweet (Aspartame) is composed of linkages of aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol. The aspartic acid acts as a neuroexcitatory agent. When NutraSweet is digested, it yields 10% methanol (wood alcohol). The wood alcohol (methanol) is widely distributed throughout the body including brain, muscle, fat and nervous tissue. It is then metabolized to FORMALDEHYDE which enters the cells and binds to the proteins and DNA (the genetic material).
  • This finding has been confirmed numerous times and the DNA-protein-cross-links are believed to cause cancers in experimental animals. Changes in the genetic material is associated with cancer production in humans. The ability of Aspartame to cause cellular mutations has been shown through studies. There are increases in malignant brain tumors suggested to be associated with aspartame use. FORMALDEHYDE is a known stimulant for cancer and genetic damage in the cell.

The following facts about Aspartame toxicity shown by recent scientific research:

  1. Aspartame (nutrasweet) breaks down into methanol (wood alcohol).
  2. Methanol quickly converts to formadehyde in the body.
  3. Formaldehyde causes gradual and eventually severe damage to the neurological system, immune system and causes permanent genetic damage at extremely low doses.
  4. Methanol from alcoholic beverages and from fruit and juices does not convert to formaldehyde and cause damage because there are protective chemicals in these traditionally ingested beverages.
  5. The most recent independent research in Europe demonstrates that ingestion of small amounts of aspartame leads to the accumulation of significant levels of formaldehyde (bound to protein) in organs (liver, kidneys, brain) and tissues.
  6. Excitotoxic amino acids such as the one which is immediately released from aspartame likely increases the damage caused by the formaldehyde.
  • Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Many of these reactions are very serious including seizures and death. A few of the 90 different documented symptoms listed in the report as being caused by aspartame include: Headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability, tachycardia, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain.
  • According to researchers and physicians studying the adverse effects of aspartame, the following chronic illnesses can be triggered or worsened by ingesting of aspartame: (2) Brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, parkinson’s disease, alzheimer’s, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia, and diabetes.

Alternative Natural Sweeteners

  • Agave Nectar
  • Coconut Nectar
  • Lo Han Extract
  • Organic
  • Raw Honey
  • Organic Blackstrap
  • Molasses
  • Sugar Alcohols (xylitol, glycerol, sorbitol, maltitol, mannitol, and erythritol)




  • Under Alternative Natural Sweeteners, I was surprised to not see Stevia products mentioned here.
    Was it just an oversight or do you have a problem recommending it?

    • Hi Lorraine, Stevia has been subject to some controversy lately regarding it’s health benefits. White stevia is actually a chemically processed powder that has been removed from the stevia leaf, similar to the way white sugar is really just the sweet sucrose removed from the sugar cane. Many commonly found white stevia powders also use large amounts of maltodextrin (usually derived from GMO corn) to cut the strong sweet flavor of stevia extract. Also, the majority of powdered stevia is produced by giant industrial corporations which are not always easily trusted to make the healthiest decision for the consumer. Using stevia extract is certainly a healthier choice than some of the extremely toxic artificial sweeteners like aspartame, but even healthier choices can be made such as locally harvested organic raw honey.