Posts Tagged Sweetener
Monday, February 06, 2012
By: Jonathan Benson
[NaturalNews] Correction: The original version of this article stated that some U.S. Department of Agriculture certified organic products may contain neotame. Since the publishing of this article, NaturalNews has obtained a letter from the USDA’s National Organic Program Deputy Administrator, Miles McEvoy, explaining that neotame is NOT permitted for use in products labeled certified organic, or in products that contain the label “made with organic [specified ingredient or food group]. You can view a copy of this letter here:
And while Monsanto was the original creator of neotame back when it owned the NutraSweet Company, J.W. Childs Equity Partners II, L.P. today owns the NutraSweet Company, which includes ownership of neotame as well.
It could be lurking in the foods you eat every single day and you would never even know it. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared that one of Monsanto’s creations, a synthetic sweetener chemical known as neotame, does not have to be labeled in food products, including even in organic food products.
A modified version of aspartame with even more added toxicity, neotame received quiet and unassuming FDA approval back in 2002, even though no safety studies have ever been conducted on the chemical (http://www.neotame.com/pdf/neotame_fda_US.pdf). In fact, an investigation conducted by Feingold.org found only four studies relating to neotame in the MEDLINE database.
Two of these “studies” were not studies at all, and the other two were actually one duplicate study conducted by NutraSweet, the company that produces and sells neotame.
So just like with aspartame, the FDA has once again approved for use a dangerous sweetener chemical that metabolizes into formaldehyde when consumed. Except this time, the chemical contains added 3-dimethylbutyl, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has listed as one of the most hazardous known chemicals, and it does not have to be labeled on any of the products to which it is added.
“Neotame has similar structure to aspartame — except that, from it’s structure, appears to be even more toxic than aspartame,” writes HolisticMed.com on its page about neotame. “Like aspartame, some of the concerns include gradual neurotoxic and immunotoxic damage from the combination of the formaldehyde metabolite (which is toxic at extremely low doses) and the excitotoxic amino acid” (http://www.holisticmed.com/neotame/toxin.html).
The FDA, the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), and the World Health Organization (WHO) all consider neotame to be safe for use, despite the fact that WHO actually published a paper seeking to establish acceptable daily intake levels for neotame. If neotame is so safe that it does not even have to be labeled, according to the FDA, then why do acceptable daily intake levels have to be established? And what is the point of establishing them in the first place?
This dog and pony show of special interest regulatory corruption is a travesty that will have global negative health consequences. Like most other toxins added to foods, neotame will most likely cause chronic damage over a long period of time, which means mainstream health authorities will get away with never having to admit that neotame is a dangerous toxin.
Sources for this article include:
Splenda soon to unleash ‘Nectresse’ – Here’s what you need to know about this new ‘natural’ sweetener
Tuesday, August 07, 2012
By: Jonathan Benson
[NaturalNews] McNeil Nutritionals, LLC, maker of the artificial sweetener Splenda, is gearing up to introduce a new “natural” sweetener known as Nectresse that will cater specifically to those looking for a healthy alternative to artificial sweeteners and sugar. But is Nectresse really as natural as McNeil claims it is, or is the product just another example of tricky marketing hype aimed at health-conscious consumers?
According to the Nectresse website, the product is “100 percent natural,” and is made from the heat-stable extract of an Asian melon known as monk fruit, or Lo Han. McNeil claims that Nectresse contains zero calories per serving, and that monk fruit is 150 times sweeter than sugar, which means that consumers do not need to use very much of it to effectively sweeten foods and beverages.
Nectresse contains other additives besides monk fruit
But monk fruit is not the only ingredient in Nectresse, nor is it even the primary ingredient. The first and most abundant ingredient in Nectresse is actually erythritol, a sugar alcohol commonly derived from corn, the vast majority of which has been genetically modified (GM) in the U.S. And the second ingredient in Nectresse is sugar, which is refined and more than likely comes from GM sugar beets.
The third ingredient in Nectresse is monk fruit, which McNeil explains is extracted using a natural process involving both water and heat rather than chemicals — this is good. But the fourth and final ingredient in Nectresse is molasses, which once again is a sugar that more than likely was derived from GM sugar beets — producers that use sugar from sugar cane, after all, typically indicate this on their ingredient labels.
Nectresse, not so natural after all
So three out of the four ingredients used in Nectresse appear to be derived from bioengineered crops, and two of these ingredients are refined sugars. And since erythritol is a sugar alcohol, as well as the most abundant ingredient in Nectresse, McNeil can legally claim under U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines that Nectresse contains zero calories per serving.
But the fact that Nectresse more than likely contains ingredients derived from GM sources means that it is hardly the “natural” product that McNeil is hyping it up to be. Sure, Nectresse contains a little bit of monk fruit which, like the stevia plant, contains compounds that are naturally very sweet, but that do not provide the body with calories in the same way as sugar. But the other ingredients found in Nectresse can hardly be considered natural.
According to MonkFruit.org, (http://www.monkfruit.org/monk-fruit/68/food-beverage-manufacturers) monk fruit can actually be up to 200 times sweeter than sugar because it contains natural antioxidants known as mogrosides that have a strong, sweet taste, but that are not actually considered to be sugar. These mogrosides are unique to monk fruit, and they also contain zero calories.
By itself, in other words, monk fruit appears to be viable as a healthy, alternative sweetener that, because of its heat stability, can work better than stevia in certain food applications that require baking, sauteing, or other forms of heat cooking. Nectresse, on the other hand, appears to be an adulterated version of the monk fruit that represents the corporate food industry’s latest attempt at trying to cash in on the health-conscious.
Sources for this article include:
Friday, March 02, 2012
By: Aurora Geib
[NaturalNews] If you have been drinking diet soda and chewing gum, chances are you have been enjoying aspartame in generous quantities. Aspartame is a popular sugar substitute that can be found in diet soda drinks, chewing gum, fruit spreads and sugar-free products to name a few. It is also known by the brand names, Sweet One, NutraSweet and Spoonful. Despite its popularity in the market, what many do not know is that aspartame accounts for 75 percent of side effect complaints received by the Adverse Reaction Monitoring System (ARMS) of the US Food and Drug Administration.
Can aspartame be addictive?
Yes, according to Dr. Betty Martini, popular anti-aspartame advocate. She explains that it is an “addictive, exitoneurotic, carcinogenic, genetically engineered drug and adjuvant that damages the mitochondria.” Moreover, Dr. Janet Hall, another famous advocate against aspartame, shares on her website that all artificial sweeteners create an artificial need for more sweetness. She goes on to add that forced sweetness, being a class of altered food, is a trap that cause people to become addicted to sweeter tasting food with no nutritional value.
Recent studies have shown that aspartame is addictive because it affects the absorption of dopamine in the brain.
Side Effects of Aspartame
Aspartame is made up of 3 components: phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol. Understanding the effects of aspartame will require us to look into its genetic make up.
In its website, manufacturers of aspartame continue to assure the public that low-calorie sweeteners are effective for weight reduction, weight maintenance, reduction of tooth decay, management of diabetes and reduction of risks associated with obesity. They claim that consumers of low-calorie, sugar-free beverages were able to incorporate these products into a healthy lifestyle not because they need to manage their weight (since a majority of people use low-calorie foods and beverages for reasons other than dieting) but because use of low-calorie products is part of a healthy lifestyle.
Despite the benefits cited in the aspartame website, independent studies have been shown that aspartame is not as safe as it appears to be. In a recent study conducted by researchers from the University Of Miami Miller School Of Medicine and at Columbia University Medical Center, it was discovered that those who drank diet soft drinks on a daily basis were more likely to contract vascular diseases compared to those who took none.
Supporters of aspartame insist that aspartic acid and phenylalanine are found in many foods. What they have conveniently left out, however, is that the said neurotoxins are harmless only when consumed with other nutrients like fats, amino acids (protein) and carbohydrates. On their own, they are absorbed by the nervous system in large concentrations causing the stimulation of brain neurons and cell death. Symptoms of the conditions include headaches, confusion, balance problems and seizures.
Methanol, on the other hand, is also a highly toxic substance. It is released in the small intestine gradually with the assistance of chymotrypsin and then broken down into formaldehyde: a chemical used for embalming which is a carcinogen that causes birth defects, retinal damage and DNA replication.
Again, supporters of aspartame insist that methanol is safe because it is found in vegetables and fruit juices. What they neglect to mention, however, is that methanol in vegetables and fruit juices is bound with pectin and the body does not possess the digestive enzyme to break down pectin and release ethanol into the body. Furthermore, ethanol, the methanol toxicity antidote, is found in natural sources of methanol, inhibiting the metabolism of methanol and giving the body sufficient time, through the lungs and kidneys, to clear it. Methanol found in aspartame is easily absorbed because it is in a free form.
Aspartic acid, methanol and phenylalanine and their breakdown in the body are cumulative because of their fast absorption and slow excretion.
In 1984, studies conducted revealed that the toxicity of NutraSweet (aspartame) to living organisms. The State of Arizona arrived at findings which showed that aspartame in carbonated drinks can break down into free methanol in temperatures of 99 degrees Fahrenheit. On May 13, 1998, the University of Barcelona also arrived at results revealing that aspartame was transformed into formaldehyde in the bodies of living creatures, and on later examination formaldehyde had spread through the vital parts of the body.
“Artificial sweetener disease”
The US Food and Drug Administration has received reports of 92 medical health problems resulting from aspartame, ranging from abdominal pain to migraines, dizziness and hives. Aspartame poisoning is often misdiagnosed because its symptoms mock other syndromes. It changes the ratio of amino acids in the blood, lowering or blocking levels of hormones like dopamine and tyrosine that are necessary for bodily function.
Since aspartame cannot be detected through lab tests and x-rays, these diseases and disorders may actually be a toxic load. Below are some specific health conditions that are associated with aspartame you might want to recall next time you open a can of diet soda:
1.Cancer–The Ramazzine Foundation, a European Cancer Research Center, conducted a study on aspartame which revealed that aspartame increases the risk of cancers (lymphoma, leukemia and breast cancers). Despite the National Cancer Institute‘s stand that no such connection was ever firmly established between aspartame and cancer, it might well be worth thinking that what is harmful to rats is also harmful to humans. Moreover, the dismissive stand of regulatory bodies concerning aspartame is merely based on the absence of data that can conclusively support such a connection and NOT on a finding that establishes that aspartame does not cause cancer.
2.Mental disorders and degeneration of brain cells– Excessive ingestion of artificial sweeteners, according to researchers from the University of Praetoria and the University of Limpopo, may lead to various mental disorders and the degeneration of the brain. Publishing in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers noted that aspartame appeared to cause excessive signals, damage and even death to nerve cells. Since aspartame disrupts the functioning of the cell’s energy source, it will lead to a cascade of effects on the whole system.
3.Headaches– As early as 1994, a study conducted published on PubMed.gov showed that ingestion of aspartame was associated with headaches. Subjects in the study revealed that they experienced headaches 33 percent of the time when taking aspartame compared to 24 percent when on placebo treatment. Moreover, Dr. Robert Milne and Blake More in their book “Headaches” report that headaches are the most reported side effect given by those who take products containing aspartame. They add that in a University of Parkinson‘s at Florida study, it was found out that the incidences of migraines doubled for a majority of test subjects who took aspartame. Their headaches lasted longer and were marked by significant signs of shakiness and diminished vision.
4.Weight gain and increased blood sugar– Aspartame is not a healthy alternative for diabetics or those wanting to lose weight. Contrary to popular belief, a recent study has shown that regular consumption of diet soft drinks is strongly connected with abdominal obesity and that aspartame can increase blood sugar. Researchers from the University of Texas Health Center San Antonio reported in a study that, as a group, 70 percent of those who drank diet soft drinks gained weight as opposed to those who did not. Moreover, those who drank 2 or more diet sodas regularly experienced an increase in their waist circumference by 500 percent more than those who did not drink them.
In another related study that analyzed a possible relationship between intake of aspartame and fasting glucose and insulin levels among 40 diabetes-prone mice, one of the researchers in the study, Dr. Gabriel Fernandes, revealed that heavy aspartame exposure might potentially contribute to the associations noticed between soda consumption and the risk of diabetes in humans.
The above health conditions are just some of the 92 reported medical health problems reportedly associated with aspartame. Despite the stand of aspartame manufacturers that their product has been declared safe for human consumption, it is still strange that there are still reports from sectors who do not stand to benefit from such declarations that aspartame is not safe. Prudence would dictate that avoiding a product may be better in the long run than to discover firsthand that all that was said about it was true. Why? Because you happen to be living proof of it.
How to protect yourself
To keep yourself safe from contracting “artificial sweetener syndrome,” it is suggested that you stop taking all products containing this chemical.
If you have brought or stocked up on products containing aspartame, you can arrange to return the products so you can get a refund of your money. If you feel that you may need professional help in getting over the disease, please see your doctor as soon as possible. Take a proactive approach to being healthy.
Finally, for those taking aspartame simply because they want to observe a healthy diet, replace your aspartame habit with real sugar. Although it may have more calories, it offers a far better solution than being poisoned. Those who want to manage their weight problems are advised to seek a healthier course of action like eating more whole foods, vegetables and fruits and getting regular exercise. True and sustainable weight loss cannot be achieved through a quick fix without a change in lifestyle. Set a personal example to be healthy and watch yourself regain your life.