Toxins In Your Water
Why Do You Need to Know About Splenda?Splenda, best known for its marketing logo, "made from sugar so it tastes like sugar,' has taken the sweetener industry by storm. Splenda has become the nations number one selling artificial sweetener in a very short period of time.Between 2000 and 2004, the percentage of US households using Splenda products jumped from 3 to 20 percent. In a one year period, Splenda sales topped $177 million compared with $62 million spent on aspartame-based Equal and $52 million on saccharin-based Sweet 'N Low.McNeil Nutritionals, in their marketing pitch for Splenda emphasizes that Splenda has endured some of the most rigorous testing to date for any food additive. Enough so to convince the average consumer that it is in fact safe. They claim that over 100 studies have been conducted on Splenda. What they don't tell you is that most of the studies are on animals.
Additional Concerns About Splenda Studies
There have been no long-term human toxicity studies published until after the FDA approved sucralose for human consumption. Following FDA approval a human toxicity trial was conducted, but lasted only three months, hardly the length of time most Splenda users plan to consume sucralose. No studies have ever been done on children or pregnant women.Much of the controversy surrounding Splenda does not focus just on its safety, but rather on its false advertising claims. The competition among sweeteners is anything but sweet. The sugar industry is currently suing McNeil Nutritionals for implying that Splenda is a natural form of sugar with no calories.
IS IT REALLY SUGAR?
There is no question that sucralose starts off as a sugar molecule, it is what goes on in the factory that is concerning. Sucralose is a synthetic chemical that was originally cooked up in a laboratory. In the five step patented process of making sucralose, three chlorine molecules are added to a sucrose or sugar molecule. A sucrose molecule is a disaccharide that contains two single sugars bound together; glucose and fructose.The chemical process to make sucralose alters the chemical composition of the sugar so much that it is somehow converted to a fructo-galactose molecule. This type of sugar molecule does not occur in nature and therefore your body does not possess the ability to properly metabolize it. As a result of this "unique" biochemical make-up, McNeil Nutritionals makes it's claim that Splenda is not digested or metabolized by the body, making it have zero calories.It is not that Splenda is naturally zero calories. If your body had the capacity to metabolize it then it would no longer has zero calories.
How Much Splenda is Left In Your Body After You Eat It?
If you look at the research (which is primarily extrapolated form animal studies) you will see that in fact 15% of sucralose is absorbed into your digestive system and ultimately is stored in your body. To reach a number such as 15% means some people absorb more and some people absorb less. In one human study, one of the eight participants did not excrete any sucralose even after 3 days. Clearly his body was absorbing and metabolizing this chemical. That is what our bodies are supposed to do.The bottom line is that we all have our own unique biochemical make-up. Some of you will absorb and metabolize more than others. If you are healthy and your digestive system works well, you may be at higher risk for breaking down this product in your stomach and intestines. Please understand that it is impossible for the manufacturers of Splenda to make any guarantees based on their limited animal data.If you feel that Splenda affects you adversely, it is valid. Don't let someone convince you that it is all in your head. You know your body better than anyone else.
How to Determine if Splenda is Harming You
The best way to determine if Splenda or sucralose is affecting you is to perform an elimination/challenge with it. First eliminate it and other artificial sweeteners from your diet completely for a period of one to two weeks. After this period reintroduce it in sufficient quantity.For example, use it in your beverage in the morning, and eat at least two sucralose containing products the remainder of the day. On this day, avoid other artificial sweeteners so that you are able to differentiate which one may be causing a problem for you. Do this for a period of one to three days. Take notice of how your body is feeling, particularly if it feels different than when you were artificial sweetener free.
Splenda May Still Be Harming You
If you complete the elimination/challenge trial described above and do not notice any changes then it appears you are able to tolerate Splenda acutely. However, please understand that you are not out of the woods yet.The entire issue of long-term safety has never been established. Let's look at the facts again:
Considering that Splenda bears more chemical similarity to DDT than it does to sugar, are you willing to bet your health on this data? Remember that fat soluble substances, such as DDT, can remain in your fat for decades and devastate your health.If the above facts don't concern because you believe the FDA would not ever allow a toxic substance into the market then read on.
- There have only been six human trials to date
- The longest trial lasted three months
- At LEAST 15% of Splenda is not excreted from your body in a timely manner
Do You Really Believe These People Are Going to Protect You?
Please consider that the only organizations between you and potentially toxic side effects are the FDA and the manufacturers of sucralose (Tate & Lyle) and of Splenda (McNeil Nutritionals).The FDA has a long standing history of ineffective screening and rampant conflict of interests as demonstrated in their inability to identify Vioxx as too dangerous to be on the market. This mistake costs 55,000 people their lives.Now the point I want you to understand here, because it is really important, is that Splenda is not a drug and is only a food additive. As such the number of studies required to receive FDA approval is substantially less than drug. Vioxx had an order of magnitude of more comprehensive clinical trials than Splenda ever did, and despite this rigorous approval process it still killed 55,000 people.So, now you have the primary concerns I have about Splenda and the choices is yours.Read Splenda Horror StoriesWe have more people on our site that have reported adverse reaction to Splenda than were formally studied in the research submitted for FDA approval. It would seem this collection of data is in some ways superior to the data submitted to the FDA for Splenda approval.
I am fond of telling people that if something tastes sweet you probably should spit it out as it is not likely to be to good for you. This of course, is a humorous exaggeration, but for most people who struggle with chronic illness, it is likely to be a helpful guide.
Please note this article is was written in 2000.
This is one of the first comprehensive and clear investigative reports with warnings on sucralose...........
Aspartame, known to the public as NutraSweet, Equal, and Spoonful, has been the subject of controversy since it first became an ingredient in food products in 1981. In 1985, Americans used 800 million pounds of Aspartame, with an average intake of 5.8 pounds per person. They consumed more than 20 billion cans of aspartame-sweetened soft drinks in 1985 alone.A study of available literature on the subject reveals that over the years more and more indications have arisen that suggest that the public is at great risk through its repeated use. Serious consideration should be given to discontinuing the ingestion of aspartame until the safety or lack thereof is firmly established.For this article, the Complementary Medicine Association interviewed authorities George Schwartz, M.D. and Mary Nash Stoddard. Dr. Schwartz is a trauma surgeon and the author of In Bad Taste: the MSG Syndrome. Ms. Stoddard, editor of The Deadly Deception, founded the Aspartame Consumer Safety Network and the worldwide Pilot's Hotline for reporting adverse reactions to aspartame. We will also refer to a comprehensive text entitled Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills by Russell L. Blaylock, MD. We are grateful to these individuals for their support.What does aspartame do?
First, aspartame releases aspartate during digestion. Aspartate is a neurotransmitter used by the neurons in the brain. It is a type of excitatory amino acid. Excitatory amino acids are normal and necessary brain chemicals, and as such, they are allowed to cross the blood-brain barrier. Aspartate, the principal chemical component of aspartame, is a neurotransmitter and a type of excitatory amino acid. It is a natural and necessary body chemical. Neurotransmitters cross the blood-brain barrier.The blood-brain barrier is designed to protect the brain from the invasion of harmful chemicals. When normal neurotransmitters such as aspartate and glutamate cross this barrier in excess, they will cause poisoning and lead to the death of the nerve cells within the brain and spinal cord. The blood-brain barrier cannot discern the amount that is needed from too much. So these neurotransmitters can build up undetected until a toxic level is reached. This accumulation seems to be particularly insidious in its effect on the developing brains and nervous systems of children."The nervous system is designed to control the concentration of excitatory amino acids in the fluid surrounding the neurons, the extracellular space. The main ones concerning us are glutamate and aspartate. The nervous system does this by pumping the excess back into glial cells which surround the neurons and supply them with energy. While this pumping system is very efficient, it uses enormous amounts of ATP, a high-energy compound that all cells in the body use for energy."If energy production is reduced in the brain, the protective pumps begin to fail and glutamate begins to accumulate in the space around the neuron, including the area of the synapse. If the energy is not restored the neurons will burn up; they are literally excited to death.
"What are the risks to children who consume excess aspartame?The protective enzymes in a baby's brain are still immature, and therefore are unable to effectively detoxify the excitotoxins that enter its brain. This would mean that in the case of a pregnant woman eating meals high in excitotoxin taste enhancers, the baby could be exposed to these high glutamate levels for many hours. It is not unreasonable to assume that mothers will eat several meals and snacks containing various forms of excitotoxins such as MSG, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, and aspartame. This could produce a high concentration of glutamate exposure in the baby's brain several times a day. Also significant is the fact that the immature brain is four times more sensitive to the damaging effects of excitotoxins than the adult brain. Thus, following a dose of MSG, the baby's blood level of glutamate may remain high for many hours. Since no experimental work can be done on pregnant women or children, we must look to animal research studies for some clues."In a study with mice and rats Toth and Lajtha found that, when giving aspartame and glutamate either as single amino acids or as liquid diets over a prolonged time (several hours to days), they could significantly elevate brain levels of these supposedly excluded excitotoxins. Brain tissue levels of aspartic acid rose as high as 61% and glutamate levels rose 35% in brain tissue over prolonged feeding... Humans are exposed to high concentrations of excitatory food additives throughout the day by consuming a variety of processed foods and diet drinks."Plasticity of the brain is important in the learning process. Even when the baby is in the womb, the brain of the infant is being stimulated by sounds, touch, and even light, causing changes in the brain's structure in important ways. Babies move and play with their toes, suck their thumbs, and react to noises and music after only six weeks in the womb. All of this stimulation causes the pathways in the brain to change and develop.At birth the baby's brain chemistry functions homogeneously -- the biochemical reactions occur evenly throughout the brain. But soon after birth, the brain undergoes a rapid acceleration in growth and function. During this period the level of glutamine, the precursor of glutamate, rises very rapidly in some of the areas of the brain. Glutamate helps to regulate the development of the wiring of nerves in the new brain. As the child grows, even beyond teen years, these developing connections grow as well.This process of molding the brain continues throughout life, but the majority of growth takes place within 0-7 years of life. During these critical years, if unborn and young children are fed drinks or food containing aspartame, over-stimulation can occur.It is important to appreciate that many of the toxic effects of excitatory amino acids occur at a time when no outward symptoms develop. The child does not become sick or throw up, or have any behavior that would alert the parents that something is wrong.
How Was Aspartame Approved?
Dr. Schwartz was asked to elaborate on a statement attributed to former Senator Metzenbaum, now of the Consumer Federation of America in Washington, DC who said, "The approval process of aspartame has had a questionable history."Dr. Schwartz: "When aspartame was first introduced for approval by the FDA, it was considered to be a sweetener, not an additive or a drug, and with a great deal of lobbying, the discussions were propelled through the approval proceedings, and the numerous case reports from individuals with adverse reactions were ignored."From Dr. Blaylock's book we learn that, "In 1975 the drug enforcement division of the Bureau of Foods investigated the G. D. Searle company as part of an investigation of "apparent irregularities in data collection and reporting practices." The director of the FDA at that time stated that they found "sloppy" laboratory techniques and "clerical errors, mixed-up animals, animals not getting the drugs they were supposed to get, pathological specimens lost because of improper handling, and a variety of other errors, (which) even if innocent, all conspire to obscure positive findings and produce falsely negative results.""The drug enforcement division carried out a study under the care of agent Jerome Bressler concerning Searle's laboratory practices and data manipulation. This important report was buried in a file cabinet, never to be acted on by the FDA."Although aspartame-produced tumors in rats do not equal tumors in humans, after aspartame consumption began, there have been more brain tumors. In the years 1973 to 1990, the number of brain tumors in people over sixty five has increased by 67 percent (National Cancer Institute SEER Program Data)."Is it proven that people drinking, or eating artificial sweeteners don't lose weight?Mary Stoddard says, "It's well documented that excitotoxins like aspartame have the reverse affect on weight. People drinking diet drinks and eating diet food will get more hungry. The FDA no longer allows manufacturers of diet supplement drinks and foods containing aspartame to label them as weight reduction products, but requires that they be labeled as diet drink or diet food.
A study of 80,000 women who use sweeteners were evaluated through the Centers for Disease Control. It was found that they gained rather than lost weight using artificial sweeteners."Why do pilots need to avoid aspartame?Mary Stoddard explains, "In a letter to the editor and in one article published in the United States Air Force AirMen's News, it was noted that aspartame ingestion causes elevated spiking on the EEG, resulting in grand mal seizures and blackout episodes in the cockpit. Dozens have lost their jobs due to aspartame-related medical problems."How does aspartame affect vision?Dr. Schwartz states, "Diet drinks with aspartame release small amounts of methanol when the aspartame is broken down through digestion in the small intestine. It is well documented that methanol interrupts the retina and optic nerve transmissions and causes visual problems. Even though the FDA has thousands of cases of visual disturbances on record from individuals drinking too many diet drinks with aspartame, there have been no formal, unbiased, scientific studies done. Vision studies need to be done.
"Is There a Known Connection Between Increasing Consumption Of Diet Drinks and Headaches?
In the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Donald R. Johns reported what appeared to be a connection between a case of migraine and the consumption of large amounts of a beverage containing NutraSweet™. A thirty-one-year-old woman with a known history of well-controlled migraine headaches began drinking six to eight 12-ounce cans of diet cola sweetened with NutraSweet, 15 tablets of aspartame, and other foods containing aspartame (approximately 100 to 1500 mg) daily. About two hours after ingesting the drinks, she noticed stomach upset and a throbbing headache. When taken off aspartame, she noticed steady improvement and eventually the headaches disappeared altogether.In the May 1988 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, two letters appeared from the following physicians regarding headaches and aspartame. In the first, Dr. Richard B. Lipton and coworkers at the Montefiore Headache Unit reported that, in their studies using 171 patients, 8.2 percent of the patients who had headaches were sensitive to aspartame. They found that stress and tension also trigger migraines and other headaches. Dr. Lipton concluded that "sufferers of migraines or other vascular headaches should be warned to avoid NutraSweet." If you are a person who suffers headaches from low blood sugar levels, you also should avoid excitotoxins, including aspartame, because they aggravate hypoglycemia."A group of headache sufferers who have identified aspartame as the trigger setting off their headaches where given 30 mg/kg/day to study their aspartame sensitivity under double-blind controlled conditions. Of a total of 32 subjects, randomized to receive aspartame and a placebo in a two-treatment, four-period crossover design, "18 completed the full protocol, and 7 completed part of the protocol before withdrawing due to adverse effects. Three withdrew for other reasons. Two were lost to follow-up; one was withdrawn due to noncompliance, and one withdrew and gave no reason. Each experimental period lasted 7 days. Individuals receiving aspartame reported having headaches on 33 percent of the days as compared with 24 percent for the placebo treatment group (p = 0.04)."Individual subjective evaluation of aspartame versus placebo was shown to be statistically significant. It appears that some people are particularly susceptible to headaches caused by aspartame and may want to limit their consumption.
"Is There an Aspartame Connection To Other Health Conditions?
In treating stroke victims, researcher Roger Simon has shown that energy-starved neurons are infinitely more vulnerable to excitotoxin damage. There are a growing number of conditions affecting the nervous system that are related to accumulations of excitotoxins. Excess excitotoxins can have a devastating effect on the nervous system.Dr. Blaylock states that a primary concern is the possible effect of these powerful brain cell stimulants on the adult's brain, especially related to the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's dementia, Huntington's disease and ALS. The brain uses excitatory amino acids as normal neurotransmitters, but there exists a delicate balance of excitatory and inhibitory chemicals in the brain. When this balance is upset, serious disorders of the nervous system can result."Those who suffer mood disorders seem to be very vulnerable to the effects of aspartame. A study required that 40 patients with unipolar depression and a similar number of individuals with a psychiatric history receive 39 mg/kg/day or placebo for 7 days. The project was halted by the Institutional Review Board of the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine after 13 of 40 individuals with a history of depression experienced severe reactions. There was a significant difference between patients taking aspartame and those taking the placebo in the number and severity of symptoms that these patients with depression reported.
Individuals with mood disorders are particularly sensitive to aspartame, and its use should be discouraged."Three cases are reported from patients who had episodic movement disorders triggered by foods or other components of their diets. One of those cases told of rhythmic contractions of the arms and legs that were triggered by aspartame.Can seizures be triggered by aspartame?In 1985, Dr. Richard Wurtman reported several cases of seizures brought on by drinking too many diet drinks. The first case involved a woman with no previous seizure activity who developed seizures after drinking seven liters of NutraSweet-containing beverages per day.In the second case, a woman 27 years old had a grand mal seizure after drinking 4 to 5 glasses of Crystal Light™ containing NutraSweet. This patient experienced twitching, trembling, jerking, and hyperventilation.The last case was a 36-year-old male professor who drank one liter of ice tea sweetened with NutraSweet every day and developed grand mal seizures after several days. He had no previous history of seizures nor of aspartame consumption.
"Who Else Should Avoid Aspartame?
"Diabetics, people with hypoglycemia, people prone to confusion or memory loss, pregnant women, the elderly, infants, children, patients with epilepsy, liver, kidney disease, and eating disorders, the relatives of those individuals who are sensitive to aspartame, diabetics, and patients with phenylketonuria (PKU)."During digestion, aspartame is broken down into aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol. Those with PKU must restrict their intake of phenylalanine.Where do we go from here?Considering what is now known about brain chemistry, as well as the now numerous documented reports of adverse reactions to aspartame, it would be prudent to eliminate aspartame from the diet.Reading labels on food items is important but not sufficient. Labeling regulations make it possible to conceal from the public information needed to make good decisions about diet. For example, there are some circumstances in which a substance like aspartame or glutamate does not have to be shown on the label. Often it is included under another term like "enhanced flavors or spices." The public needs to be aware of these problems and demand more information.References
- Summary:This study evaluated 25 patients with gastrointestinal problems (chronic diarrhea, constipation, abnormal fermentation in intestines, indigestion, acid indigestion, etc.) were either given alkaline water or clean water to drink.
- Results: It was confirmed that alkaline ionized water is more effective than clean water against chronic diarrhea, abdominal complaints and overall improvement rate (relief of abdominal complaints) and safer than clean water. 88% of the test subject that received alkaline water showed improvements.
- Limitation: This study was done on a small group of people (25). Researchers noted that unlike medicine, there is no promise of an immediate effect. Researchers noted that alkaline water was most effective for mild symptoms.
- Summary: Study examined people who were determined to get sufficient calcium from their diets to find out if alkaline water could reduce the rate of bone loss. The study compared alkaline water to acidic water to see if alkaline water worked better.
- Results: In calcium sufficiency, the alkaline water led to a significant decrease of PTH and of S- CTX (two important markers of bone loss). The acidic water with did not reduce bone loss.
- Limitation: In calcium sufficiency, the alkaline water led to a significant decrease of PTH and of S- CTX (two important markers of bone loss). The acidic water with did not reduce bone loss.
- Summary: A natural alkaline mineral water with a pH of 8.7 was evaluated to see if it reduced blood pressure in people with low magnesium and calcium levels.
- Results: The results of this study suggest that waterborne minerals are a valuable source of nutrient uptake, and can reduce blood pressure in people with calcium and/or magnesium deficiency.
- Limitation: This study was performed on a small group (20 people) and was short term. Additional studies are needed to confirm the effect of alkaline water on blood pressure
- Summary: Human DNA was subjected to oxidative damage using hydrogen peroxide to simulate the type of damage that free radicals do to DNA in the body.
- Results: Alkaline water was shown to enhance the antioxidant activity of ascorbic acid (vitamin C).
- Limitation: This result of this study suggests that alkaline water enhances the antioxidant benefit of vitamin C. This effect would need to be tested in humans to confirm this.
- Summary: This study evaluated four alkaline waters that were made by several methods, including a water ionizer, to find out if alkaline water has an antioxidant effect. Researchers in this study observed that molecular hydrogen was found in the test water not active hydrogen.
- Note: The laws of chemistry clearly show that it is impossible to have "active hydrogen" in water because active hydrogen combines with itself rapidly to form molecular hydrogen.
- Results: Alkaline water produced by electrolysis was shown to have an antioxidant effect in the laboratory
- Limitation: The antioxidant effect of alkaline water in human tissues needs to be tested by further research
- Study on the use of the effectiveness of alkaline water to reduce the symptoms of an upset stomach:
Hirokazu, T et al Clinical evaluation of alkaline ionized water for abdominal complaints: Placebo controlled double blind tests Alkaline Water and Stomach Complaints 6th Functional Water Symposium '99 Tokyo Conference Program/Abstracts Collection, pp. 6-7
- Study on the effectiveness of alkaline water to reduce bone loss in people that get adequate amounts of calcium from their diet:
Wynn, E. et al Alkaline mineral water lowers bone resorption even in calcium sufficiency: alkaline mineral water and bone metabolism.
- Study on the effect of mineral water on blood pressure levels of people who do not get enough calciumor magnesium in their diet:
Rylander, R Mineral water intake reduces blood pressure among subjects with low urinary magnesium and calcium levels.
- Research on the antioxidant effect of alkaline water combined with vitamin C:
Lee, M. Electrolyzed-reduced water protects against oxidative damage to DNA, RNA, and protein
- Review of a collection of studies on the antioxidant effect of alkaline water attributed to hydrogen
- Hiraoka, A et al Studies on the Properties and Real Existence of Aqueous Solution
- Systems that are assumed to have Antioxidant Activities by the action of "Active Hydrogen"