Leukaemia and lymphoma link to Nutrasweet


My regular readers will know I am not a fan of artificial sweeteners, mostly because of the side effects linked to them and the fact that because the body does not recognise them as sugar, it is more inclined to seek it out in other forms – in other words it won’t help you lose weight and keep it off.

Since 2005 we have known that there is a link between lymphoma, leukaemia and aspartame and it has had FDA approval since 1981. You will find it in literally thousands of products from food and soft drinks through less likely items like vitamins. You will find it on the supermarket shelves under several different brand names including NutraSweet, Equal Measure, and Spoonful. Since it was first approved there have been a string of complaints from consumers over symptoms such as migraines, dizziness, insomnia, joint pain, memory loss, hives, rash, abdominal cramping, hallucinations, and seizures. There were also some deaths reported related to aspartame

Earlier this year the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reported that aspartame showed no carcinogenic potential at the allowable daily intake (ADI) of 40/mg/kg but personally I think the wisest course is to avoid it altogether. To date there are over 900 studies done, with the most recent in May 2009 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, which investigated the link between formaldehyde and lymph cancer. You may only associate its use in embalming bodies, but a 2007 study showed that it linked to aspartame intake.

Aspartame turns into formaldehyde in the body, but it was previously thought that this was then quickly eliminated until a 1998 study showed that dietary aspartame binds to tissues in protein. It was found in liver, kidney, and blood and the report suggested that the build up of aspartame was cumulative and it is this that causes more damage over time.

Since 1987 formaldehyde has been listed by the US Environmental Protection Agency as a probable human carcinogen and is also linked to birth defects, and environmental allergies. In fact if you are thinking of starting a family you might want to pay attention to James Bowen, MD who wrote a provocative article entitled ‘Aspartame Murders Infants’ and who has said that it is destructive of the fertility process as it both inhibits female sexual response and induces male sexual dysfunction.

Natural alternatives for sweetness such as Perfect Sweet mentioned above, honey and Stevia, which is sold as a supplement, are worth seeking out.

The power of potted plants

The idea that plants can help your health is not a new one. I can remember everyone in my office in the 1970′s bringing in spider plants as there was a theory that they would help to have near a computer. It’s not just a theory, as many users have claimed they are effective in removing potentially harmful chemicals-including those in paints, varnishes, dry cleaning fluids, car exhaust fumes and tobacco smoke-from the air in your home.

The top 9 Air Purifying Plants are:

Dragon tree
Spider plants
Peace lilies

Till now this has been anecdotal evidence – the kind I most like as it means that real people have found real results with it – but now, Japanese scientists are developing genetically engineered plants that can absorb formaldehyde. This is a pungent chemical compound used as adhesive in building materials and furnishing and is seen as a major factor in what is known as sick-house syndrome. This is now more common as people experience headaches, dizziness and other health problems triggered by the chemicals now found in most homes.

Researchers expect the plants to absorb formaldehyde, along with carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, and they found that the level of toxic gas fell to around one-tenth of the original level. They are now trying to apply the technology to common foliage plants, but in the meantime I am going out to buy some more spider plants and a large bunch of chrysanthemums.

Formaldehyde – Is it killing you?

May 21, 2008 by  
Filed under Food & Nutrition, Health

Say formaldehyde and most people automatically think of the embalming process, of which it is a primary ingredient, but you would amazed at where else it turns up. Formaldehyde, is a toxin and carcinogen and is also one of the most common ingredients in many household items, from furniture to bedding. These items can give off formaldehyde fumes that are harmful to our health and lead to developing symptoms such as asthma, eye and skin irritation, headaches, wheezing and coughing.

Formaldehyde is a tissue preservative, and it is the chemical’s very toxic nature that makes it so effective at that as it quickly kills bacteria or fungi that might otherwise begin the process of decomposition. Unfortunately, it is also an ingredient in a wide variety of resins used to make permanent adhesives for plywood and carpeting, so you find it in present in furniture and building materials (particularly those made with pressed wood products) and certain moulded plastics.

Like a crease-free existence? Well formaldehyde resins are used to make textiles wrinkle-resistant and can be found in everything from curtains to sheets and clothing. Where else will you find them?

** dishwashing liquids
** fabric softeners
** carpet cleaners
** glues
** cardboard and paper products
** wallpaper and certain latex paints
** cosmetics including nail polish and nail hardener

If you like to leave your engine running in the garage or on the drive near your home, then be aware that the exhaust from cars, lawnmowers and other combustion engines contain not only the formaldehyde, but other toxic chemicals as well.

Although formaldehyde gas is colourless, it has a sharp and distinctive odour at high concentrations, but at much lower concentrations is unlikely to be obviously noticeable. If it worries you, this link takes you to a UK supplier of a home testing kit – www.hannainst.co.uk/acatalog/HI_3838_Formaldehyde_test_kit.html

And Another Reason to Avoid Aspartame!

Millions of people actually are absorbing formaldehyde in their diet soft drinks. It’s true: formaldehyde is one of the chemical byproducts of aspartame breakdown in soft drinks if they are stored at incorrect temperatures – this generally is over 95F when the chemical sweetener aspartame begins to break down, forming small amounts of formaldehyde right in the can, which when swallowed becomes a potent neurotoxin. You may say you only keep your diet drinks in the fridge, but you have no control over their storage before they get to you, or if they are taken out as part of a picnic and left in the sun.

Aspartame is currently responsible for 75% of all consumer complaints to the FDA in the States and why I am so adamantly against diet drinks. Not only do they not work, your body is not ‘fooled’ by the chemical sweetener and often sends you off looking for real sugar to compensate, but aspartame has been linked to seizures, blindness, fuzzy vision, headaches and other neurological disorders. A healthy alternative is to use half fruit juice and half water, preferably still but if not then go for a less gassy alternative such as Badoit if you want that sparkle and fizz.