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Old 08-30-2008, 08:30 PM   #1  
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Default Is your diet coke killing you?


OK, so we all know that aspartame (fake sugar, not to be confused with Splenda which I hear is somewhat not as bad for you as aspartame) can't be GREAT for our health, even if it does mean fewer calories. I'm curious what you guys think about it and what you've heard from your specialists. Those of you who are IR and stay away from simple sugars, do you also abstain from artificial sweeteners? Or are you a diet-soda-holic?

My friend's mom is a pharmacist and forwarded this article to me. (Pardon the formatting..I'm just cutting and pasting from an e-mail.)

It's convinced me to stop having my occasional diet soda and to just steer clear of anything "artificial"...but oh man, it's hard when you can't have real sugar to also stay away from fake sugar.

What I really dislike about this article, however, is that it is SO anecdotal. I mean there's no proof, there's no data, there's no citations to back any of it up. I wish I could find some actual studies or at least someone with some authority on the subject to tell me the truth.


> In October of 2001, my sister started gett ing v ery sick. She had stomach
spasms and she was having a hard time getting around. Walking was a major
chore. It took everything she had just to get out of bed; she was in so much
> By March 2002, she had undergone several tissue and muscle biopsies and
was on 24 various prescription medications. The doctors could not determine
what was wrong with her. She was in so much pain, and so sick.she just knew
she was dying. She put her house, bank accounts, life-insurance, etc., in
her oldest daughter's name, and made sure that her younger children were to
be taken care of.
> She also wanted her last hooray, so she planned a trip to Florida
(basically in a wheelchair) for March 22nd.
> On March 19 I called her to ask how her most recent tests went, and she
said they didn't find anything on the test, but they believe she had MS.
> I recalled an article a friend of mine e- mailed to me and I asked my
sister if she drank diet soda? She told me that she did. As a matter of
fact, she was getting ready to crack one open that moment.
> I told her not to open it, and to stop drinking the diet soda!
> I e- mailed her the article my friend, a lawyer, had sent.
> My sister called me within 32 hours after our phone conversation and told
me she had stopped drinking the diet soda AND she could walk! The muscle
spasms went away. She said she didn't feel 100% but she sure felt a lot
better. She told me she was going to her doctor with this article and would
call me when she got home.
> Well, she called me, and said her doctor was amazed! He is going to call
all of his MS patients to find out if they consumed artificial sweeteners of
any kind.
> In a nutshell, she was being poisoned by the Aspartame in the diet
soda...and literally dying a slow and miserable death.
> When she got to Florida March 22, all she had to take was one pill, and
that was a pill for the Aspartame poisoning! She is well on her way to a
complete recovery.
> And she is walking! No wheelchair! This article saved her life.
> If it says 'SUGAR FREE' on the label; DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!
> I have spent several days lecturing at the WORLD ENVIRONMENTAL CONFERENCE
on "ASPARTAME," marketed as 'NutraSweet,' 'Equal,' and 'Spoonful.'
> In the keynote address by the EPA, it was announced that in the United
States in 2001 there is an epidemic of multiple sclerosis and systemic
lupus. It was difficult to determine exactly what toxin was causing this to
be rampant.
> I stood up and said that I was there to lecture on exactly that subject.
> I will explain why Aspartame is so dangerous: When the temperature of this
sweetener exceeds 86 degrees F, the wood alcohol in ASPARTAME converts to
formaldehyde and then to formic acid, which in turn causes metabolic
acidosis. Formic acid is the poison found in the sting of fire ants. The
methanol toxicity mimics, among other conditions, multiple sclerosis and
systemic lupus. Many people were being diagnosed in error. Although multiple
sclerosis is not a death sentence, Methanol toxicity is!
> Systemic lupus has become almost as rampant as multiple sclerosis,
especially with Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi drinkers. The victim usually does
not know that the Aspartame is the culprit. He or she continues its use;
irritating the lupus to such a degree that it may become a life-threatening
> We have seen patients with systemic lupus become asymptotic, once taken
off diet sodas.
> In cases of those diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, most of the symptoms
disappear. We've seen many cases where vision loss returned and hearing loss
improved markedly.
> This also applies to cases of tinnitus and fibromyalgia.
> During a lecture, I said, "If you are using ASPARTAME (NutraSweet, Equal,
Spoonful, etc) and you suffer from fibromyalgia symptoms, spasms, shooting,
pains, numbness in your legs, cramps, vertigo, dizziness, headaches,
tinnitus, joint pain, unexplainable depression, anxiety attacks, slurred
speech, blurred vision, or memory loss you probably have ASPARTAME
> People were jumping up during the lecture saying, "I have some of these
symptoms. Is it reversible?"
> Yes! Yes! Yes! STOP drinking diet sodas and be alert for Aspartame on food
labels! Many products are fortified with it! This is a serious problem.
> Dr. Espart (one of my speakers) remarked that so many people seem to be
symptomatic for MS and during his recent visit to a hospi ce, a nurse stated
that six of her friends, who were heavy Diet Coke addicts, had all been
diagnosed with MS. This is beyond coincidence!
> Diet soda is NOT a diet product! It is a chemically altered, multiple
SODIUM (salt) and ASPARTAME containing product that actually makes you crave
carbohydrates. It is far more likely to make you GAIN weight!
> These products also contain formaldehyde, which stores in the fat cells,
particularly in the hips and thighs. Formaldehyde is an absolute toxin and
Is used primarily to preserve "tissue specimens." Many products we use every
day contain this chemical but we SHOULD NOT store it IN our body!
> Dr. H. J. Roberts stated in his lectures that once free of the "diet
products" and with no significant increase in exercise; his patients lost an
average of 19 pounds over a trial period.
> Aspartame is espe cially dangerous for diabetics.
> We found that some physicians, who believed that they had a patient with
retinopathy, in fact, had symptoms caused by Aspartame.
> The Aspartame drives the blood-sugar out of control. Thus diabetics may
suffer acute memory loss due to the fact that aspartic acid and
phenylalanine are NEUROTOXIC when taken without the other amino acids
necessary for a good balance.
> Treating diabetes is all about BALANCE. Especially with diabetics, the
Aspartame passes the blood/brain barrier and it then deteriorates the
neurons of the brain; causing various levels of brain damage, seizures,
depression, manic depression, panic attacks, uncontrollable anger and rage.
> Consumption of Aspartame causes these same symptoms in non-diabetics as
> Documentation and observation also reveal that thousands of children
diagnosed with ADD and ADHD have had complete turnarounds in their behavior
when these chemicals have been removed from their diet. So called "behavior
modification prescription drugs" (Ritalin and others) are no longer needed.
Truth be told, they were never NEEDED in the first place! Most of these
children were being "poisoned" on a daily basis with the very foods that
were "better for them than sugar."
> It is also suspected that the Aspartame in thousands of pallets of diet
Coke and diet Pepsi consumed by men and women fighting in the Gulf War, may
be partially to blame for the well-known Gulf War Syndrome.
> Dr. Roberts warns that it can cause birth defects, i.e. mental
******ation, if taken at the time of conception and during early pregnancy.
> Children are especially at risk for neurological disorders and should
NEVER be given artificial sweeteners. There are many different case
histories to relate of children suffering gran d mal seizures and other
neurological disturbances talking about a plague of neurological diseases
directly caused by the use of this deadly poison."
> Herein lies the problem:
> There were Congressional Hearings when Aspartame was included 100
different products and strong objection was made concerning its use. Since
this initial hearing, there have been two subsequent hearings, and still
nothing has been done. The drug and chemical lobbies have very deep pockets.
> Sadly, MONSANTO'S patent on Aspartame has EXPIRED!
> There are now over 5,000 products on the market that contain this deadly
chemical and there will be thousands more introduced. Everybody wants a
"piece of the Aspartame pie." I assure you that MONSANTO, the creator of
Aspartame, knows how deadly it is.
> And isn't it ironic that MONSANTO funds, among others, the American
Diabetes Association, t he American Dietetic Association and the Conference
of the American College of Physicians?
> This has been recently exposed in the New York Times.
> These [organizations] cannot criticize any additives or convey their link
to MONSANTO because they take money from the food industry and are required
to endorse their products.
> Senator Howard Metzenbaum wrote and presented a bill that would require
label warnings on products containing Aspartame, especially regarding
pregnant women, children and infants. The bill would also institute
independent studies on the known dangers and the problems existing in the
general population regarding seizures, changes in brain chemistry,
neurological changes and behavioral symptoms.
> The bill was killed.
> It is known that the powerful drug and chemical lobbies are responsible
for this, letting loose the hounds of disease and death on an unsuspecting
and uninformed public. Well, you're Informed now! YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW!
> Please print this out and/or e- mail to your family and friends.
> They have a right to know too
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Old 08-30-2008, 08:34 PM   #2  
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I read that aspartame actually makes you feel more hungry which I thought was interesting and when compared in a study, those who drank diet soda ate more than those who drank regular. It's strange how these chemicals affect our bodies, isn't it?
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Old 08-30-2008, 08:54 PM   #3  
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I was told that aspartame would effect my blood sugar the same as sugar so I stopped using products with it (I have type II diabetes, trying to mange it w/o meds). It did seem to explain why I was still having sugar spikes at night. (I was eating sugar free jello pudding with sugar free cool whip which both have aspartame)
I also try to avoid using a lot of the other artificials like Splenda, but I will use them at times.
I do use Agave nectar. I've used it to make chocolate pudding and to sweeten whipped cream and in 5 bean salad. I will be experimenting more with it. It has a low glycemic index so is ok for diabetics.
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Old 08-30-2008, 09:00 PM   #4  
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I don't think i'd believe too much of that article. I know some of the stuff is true, but really...read it again. It sounds like one of those lame chain email things... "make a wish and send to 20 people and it'll come true" sort of thing.

I asked my dietitian at the Mayo Clinic if the diet soda was bad for me. He pulled up research and said that he didn't see a problem in drinking it. My dad's dietitian also told him it was fine...and he's a type 1 diabetic.
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Old 08-30-2008, 09:14 PM   #5  
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I've read alot of the aspartame research, and I've spoken with my doctors (an ENT, my family doctor an internist, and a neurologist) and I'm comfortable using it and other artificial sweeteners in moderation, though of the sweeteners I prefer the taste of sucralose (Splenda).

When I was living in IL and when I moved to WI, my doctors told me that artificial sweeteners are safe for most people, but some people are allergic or sensitive to them and shouldn't use them. I haven't had a problem, so I continue to use them.

I had friends who were trying to convince me that aspartame and/or caffeine were causing my fibromyalgia (before I saw the neurologist who told me that was extremely unlikely). I went off of caffeine for about a year, and sweeteners for most of it, and there was absolutely no difference in my symptoms. In fact, the fatigue of the fibro was getting bad again, and the doctor told me to go back on caffeine, as it was safer than prescription meds for fatigue.

I think that anyone who notices problems associated with any food or food additive, should avoid the food or additive whether that's aspartame, food coloring or strawberries.

Last edited by kaplods; 11-01-2008 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 08-30-2008, 09:44 PM   #6  
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Originally Posted by snoozlebug View Post
My friend's mom is a pharmacist and forwarded this article to me. (Pardon the formatting..I'm just cutting and pasting from an e-mail.)
This is a very old internet hoax email, which has been around since 1999.


Having said that I tend to avoid artificial sweeteners, however, the list of reasons in that email are simply made up fabrications.
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Old 08-30-2008, 10:26 PM   #7  
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I have heard the above before, but I didn't put much stock in it. I've drank gallons of diet soda since I was 12 and I have no known ill health affects. When I was younger I drank about a six pack a day!

I stopped drinking soda because a friend of mine decided it was bad for us... Then I started drinking it again. For me after about two weeks it tastes terrible! I don't know why I liked it!

I have since stopped drinking soda (31 days today) because recent studies I have read indicate that it confuses the body, when it gets such a "sweet" substance with no calories. The body then doesn't know how to process real sugar and this leads to weight gain. From when I lost weight before I believe this to be true.

I do however us artificial sweetener, but as sparingly as I can.
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Old 08-30-2008, 10:39 PM   #8  
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Originally Posted by RealCdn View Post
This is a very old internet hoax email, which has been around since 1999.


Having said that I tend to avoid artificial sweeteners, however, the list of reasons in that email are simply made up fabrications.
THANK YOU! I was looking for some sort of official person or organization to debunk the e-mail. Now I have something to show my friend.

That being said, like you, I still don't think it's really super for my health to drink a bunch of chemicals. But I don't want people thinking it's necessarily going to cause them serious illness.
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Old 11-01-2008, 04:53 PM   #9  
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Default Aspartame makes me ill

At 9 years old, I discovered, the hard way, that aspartame makes me very ill. For many years, doctors and others around me did not believe my reactions, but as more people have developed similar reactions they are starting to understand. After a few episodes of getting ill, we figured it out...I have optic migranes along with a high fever and nausea from even the slightest bit of aspartame. My parents and sister learned to tell the taste difference between aspartame and regular sugar to help me avoid it at family events.

There is no way to totally avoid aspartame other than read labels carefully. There are even products with sugar in them (like Juicy Fruit gum) which also include Aspartame as a lesser ingrediant. When at family events or potlucks, I always ask if the jello or pudding are sugar free and avoid just in case they answer is unknown.
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Old 11-01-2008, 11:40 PM   #10  
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Check out www.snopes.com for information on this subject.
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Old 11-02-2008, 12:38 AM   #11  
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With all respect, thread titles like "Is your diet coke killing you?" just feeds this kind of myth spreading. While I think it's good to question what you eat, doing so in a way that contributes to fear mongering and rumor spreading doesn't do anyone any good.

Just my $0.02 on this topic, which seems to come up frequently.

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Old 11-08-2008, 06:37 PM   #12  
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Default My experience...

I haven't really kept up with all of the arguments in the news as to what sweeteners are and are not okay for us to have health-wise. But I have found something to be true for myself. For as long as I remember, even back into my childhood, I have suffered from daily headaches and frequent migraines. I treated them daily with over the counter medications, first with tylenol and soon with excedrin. Over the years, my intake of excedrin got as bad as about 12 daily. And then even that stopped working. I realized that a big part of my problem was rebound headaches. Back in July, I stopped taking all OTCs, "cold turkey." Let me tell you, it was a rough go of it, but after about a month, my more severe headaches slacked off considerably. But then I realized that the caffeine in my diet sodas (which is also in excedrine) was probably another big "trigger" for my headaches. So about three weeks after getting off of OTC meds, I stopped my caffeinated beverages cold turkey. That was yet another big hurdle for me, but I conquered it. And my headaches have improved dramatically. A few weeks after ending my love affair with diet sodas, I tried one... The very next day, my head ached so badly that I could barely function at school and work. So that's it for me; no more caffeinated beverages. As I still have some headaches, as of a two days ago, I no longer even drink non-caffeinated sodas (sprite, ginger ale, etc.). And already, I can tell a difference in my headaches. I know that this wasn't the real reason for the original post. I guess that my point is that sometimes we can tell when certain things we put into our bodies are having a negative affect on us. And for me, letting go of diet sodas (both caffeinated and non - which is still loaded with sugar or substitutes) has given me new freedoms in my life!

Last edited by schmalger; 11-08-2008 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 11-08-2008, 06:49 PM   #13  
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Because of the amino acids that make up aspartame, they block your ability to manufacture serotonin, which is the chemical that tells you when you are full. And there have been studies that show that rats who are fed aspartame eat more food and gain more weight.

Knowing that, I still loved my diet pepsi. After I got pregnant, I was super tired so I kept drinking it. I've periodically (maybe 2-3 times a year) had simple partial seizures since I was in my teens (the kind of deja-vu feeling, where I know what's going on, but no one else does). After I got pregnant, I started having them once a month. I read something about aspartame lowering the seizure threshold, so I stopped consuming aspartame and haven't had a seizure since then--well over a year ago. It was definitely doing something to my brain, and I'm very happy without it.

Last edited by fireballgirl; 11-08-2008 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 11-08-2008, 09:07 PM   #14  
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I don't have the journal article on me, but in several studies it's been found the amount of aspartame to start affecting serotonin levels is when you exceed the average daily allowances which is 50 mg/kg/day (I believe.) The last study I read estimated that it took anywhere from that level to over 100 mg/kg/day to mess with tryptophan uptake (which then lowers serotonin synthesis). I have a project on nutrition and artificial sweeteners this semester.

That being said, aspartame affects a lot of people in a variety of ways and most people it doesn't do a thing at all. The main concern with aspartame is people with PKU ingesting it.
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Old 11-08-2008, 09:21 PM   #15  
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Personally, my experience is that anything artificial (colouring, sweetners, preservatives) is not good for me, especially my skin. I found once i cut them all out my health improved like i had not ever seen before. However, i dont put too much faith in the email, like others have said

What it basically boils down for me is that aspartame isnt killing me, but its doing jack all that is good for me
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