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Aspartame and sugar Alternatives

Aspartame and sugar Alternatives

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Aspartame and sugar Alternatives

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  1. Aspartame and sugar Alternatives

  2. What is Wrong with White Sugar? • Refined white sugar has been linked to dental cavities, increased cholesterol levels, heart disease, hypoglycemia, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis and nutritional deficiencies. • Can create dramatic fluctuations in blood sugar which, over time, can wear down both the pancreas and the adrenal glands. • Because it provides no nutrition, most dietitians agree that white sugar has no legitimate place in a healthy diet.

  3. Manufacturing of Table Sugar • Modern sugar cane farming, chemical fertilizers and pesticides are used to grow the sugar cane plants. • The mature sugar cane is harvested and sent to refining factories, where the cane's vitamins, minerals and other nutrients are separated from the sucrose. • After further refining, the cane juice is dried, processed into crystals and bleached to remove its naturally dark color.

  4. What is Aspartame? • Aspartame is a low-calorie sweetening ingredient that provides the sweet taste of sugar without the calories. Aspartame has been used in numerous foods and beverages for more than 20 years and is enjoyed by millions of Americans every day.

  5. Where Can Aspartame be Found? • Aspartame is used to sweeten products such as low-calorie tabletop sweeteners, carbonated soft drinks, powdered soft drinks, puddings, gelatins, frozen desserts, yogurt, hot cocoa mixes, teas, breath mints, chewing gum and other foods, as well as some vitamin and cold preparations.

  6. Acceptable Levels of Aspartame • 50 mg / kg of body weight • Average aspartame Contents of Selected foods

  7. History of Aspartame • Aspartame was discovered in 1965 by a researcher, Mr. James Schlatter, at G.D. Searle & Company. • Schlatter was a scientist doing research with amino acids, working to develop a treatment for ulcers. In 1965, while creating a bioassay, an intermediate chemical was synthesized -- aspartylphenylalanine-methyl-ester (aspartame). In December of 1965, while James Schlatter was recrystalling aspartame from ethanol, the mixture spilled onto the outside of the flask. Some of the powder got onto his fingers. Later, when he licked his fingers to pick up a piece of paper, he noticed a very strong sweet taste. • Since that time aspartame has become one of the most highly valued and widely used sweeteners in the world, known for its clean taste and amazing sweetness (180-200 times sweeter than sucrose). Aspartame also quickly became a highly valued ingredient among people with diabetes because it literally changed their lives, allowing them to enjoy foods that are sweet and tasty without ingesting sugar.

  8. How is Aspartame Handled by the Body? • Aspartame is broken down in the body to the amino acids aspartic acid and phenylalanine as well as a small amount of methanol. It is a mixture of 40 percent aspartic acid, 50 percent of phenylalanine, and 10 percent of methanol. • These components are also found naturally in foods such as meats, milk, fruits and vegetables. • The body uses these components in exactly the same way whether they come from aspartame or common foods. • In fact, the foods you consume every day provide much greater amounts of these components than does aspartame

  9. The Molecular Structure of Aspartame

  10. Methanol and its Break Down in our Body • Methanol (methyl alcohol or wood alcohol) is a colorless, poisonous, and flammable liquid. It is used for making formaldehyde, acetic acid, methyl t-butyl ether (a gasoline additive), paint strippers, carburetor cleaners for your car's engine, and chloromethanes, et al. This poison can be inhaled from vapors, absorbed through the skin, and ingested. • Methanol is the type of alcohol you read about when people become blind from drinking it. In aspartame, methanol poisoning and poisoning from methanol's breakdown components (formaldehyde and formic acid) can have widespread and devastating effects. This occurs in even small amounts, and is especially damaging when introduced with toxic, free-form amino acids, called excitotoxins. • Methanol is quickly absorbed through the stomach and small intestine mucosa. The methanol is converted into formaldehyde (a known carcinogen). Then, via aldehyde hydrogenase, the formaldehyde is converted to formic acid. These two metabolites of methanol are toxic and cumulative.

  11. Phenylalanine and its Breakdown in our Body • Phenylalanine is an amino acid. Well, amino acids are good for us, right? Don't they keep us healthy? The answer is yes, amino acids are necessary for good health, EXCEPT when you separate the individual amino acid from its protein chain, and use it as an "isolate" or by itself.

  12. Aspartic Acid and its Breakdown in our Body • The Aspartic acid, in aspartame, is also an excitotoxin. An excitotoxin, is a deleterious substance that excites or over-stimulates nerve cells. This occurs in the brain, as well as the peripheral nerves, because aspartic acid, in free form, is an absorption accelerant & easily crosses the blood-brain barrier. • This pathological excitation of nerve cells creates a breakdown of nerve function, as we will see. Basically, they are a group of compounds that can cause special neurons within the nervous system to become overexcited to the point that these cells will die. • That's right, they are excited to death. Excitotoxins include such things as monosodium glutamate (MSG), aspartate, (a main ingredient in NutraSweet), L-cysteine (found in hydrolyzed vegetable protein) and related compounds.

  13. Studies and Experimental Data • G.D. Searle approached Dr. Harry Waisman, Biochemist, Professor of Pediatrics, Director of the University of Wisconsin's Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Memorial Laboratory of Mental Retardation Research and a respected expert in phenylalanine toxicity, to conduct a study of the effects of aspartame on primates. The study was initiated on January 15, 1970 and was terminated on or about April 25, 1971. • Seven infant monkeys were given aspartame with milk. One died after 300 days. Five others (out of seven total) had grad mal seizures. The actual results were hidden from the FDA when G.D. Searle submitted its initial applications. • Neuroscientist and researcher John W. Olney found that oral intake of glutamate, aspartate and cysteine, all excitotoxic amino acids, cause brain damage in mice (Olney 1970). Dr. John W. Olney informed G.D. Searle that aspartic acid caused holes in the brains of mice. • Ann Reynolds, a researcher who was hired by G.D. Searle and who has done research for the Glutamate (MSG) Association, and was asked to confirm Dr. Olney's tests. Dr. Reynolds confirmed aspartame's neurotoxicity in infant mice. • Excitotoxic compounds like MSG, aspartate, cysteine seem to create hypothalamic lesions, particularly in young animals. The reason for the latter is likely the fact that the blood brain barrier closes most slowly (if ever completely) around structures like hypothalamus. The outcome for such animals (rats) was obesity,severe behavioral changes, etc.

  14. By H. J. Roberts, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.C.C.P. • Every patient with unresolved neurologic, psychologic, allergic, dermatologic, gastrointestinal and metabolic/endocrine problems should be queried about aspartame intake. • The diagnosis of multiple sclerosis should be deferred pending at least several months observation in the case of persons consuming aspartame. • A pregnant woman should not risk the health of her fetus by consuming aspartame products. • Visual, neurologic or bowel problems in diabetics should not be ascribed to a presumed underlying retinopathy or neuropathy until evaluating the response to aspartame abstinence. • Cataract surgery ought to be deferred in heavy aspartame users to evaluate for spontaneous improvement after abstinence. • Patients presenting with seizures, headache, atypical facial or eye pain, the Meniere syndrome, depression, the carpal tunnel syndrome, normal-pressure hydrocephalus, and a host of other unexplained neuropsychiatric problems, or who fail to respond to conventional treatment, must be queried about aspartame use … especially if invasive studies are planned. • Young adults who express concern about "possibly having early Alzheimer's disease," based on recent confusion and memory loss, ought to be observed at least one month after stopping aspartame before this diagnosis is pursued. • Gynecologic surgical procedures to evaluate gross menstrual changes should be deferred pending the response to abstinence.

  15. Aspartame Versus Table Sugar • A can of soft drink sweetened with sugar contains about 150 Calories, compared to only one or two Calories in a can of soft drink sweetened with aspartame. • since it is sugar-free, aspartame can make an important contribution to good dental health. • For people on the Atkins Diet, aspartame is ideal as it is does not contain any carbohydrates • When aspartame-containing beverages are left at high storage temperatures, the aspartame can degrade and form small amounts of methanol. • Diketopiperazine (DKP) is another breakdown product of aspartame. • One small study (which has not been repeated) did find some worsening of depression when depressed patients took large doses of aspartame • It has not been shown to be dangerous to diabetics in any way, where as sugar has.

  16. Aspartame Versus Table Sugar • Aspartame products have been shown to not satisfy cravings as well as regular sugar products • Overweight subjects who consumed fairly large amounts of sucrose (28% of energy) mostly as beverages, had increased energy intake, body weight, fat mass and blood pressure after 10 wk. These effects were not observed in a similar group of subjects who consumed artificial sweeteners.

  17. Is Aspartame Safe? • Yes. Aspartame's safety has been documented in more than 200 objective scientific studies. • The safety of aspartame has been confirmed by the regulatory authorities in more than 100 countries, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Health Canada, and the European Commission's Scientific Committee on Food, as well as by experts with the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization and World Health Organization.

  18. Benefits of Aspartame • Aspartame offers people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes greater variety and flexibility in budgeting their total carbohydrate intake and helps them satisfy their taste for sweets without affecting blood sugar. • People with diabetes are more likely to stick with a healthful meal plan when they can include foods they enjoy. • Consuming products with aspartame can reduce calories, which helps people with diabetes manage their weight.

  19. Risks Associated with Aspartame • Individuals with the rare genetic disease, phenylketonuria (PKU), cannot properly metabolize phenylalanine. • (PKU) is detected at birth through a mandatory screening program, and these individuals must monitor their intake of phenylalanine from all foods including foods containing aspartame.

  20. Other Natural Sugar Alternatives • Any refined sweetener, whether it's white sugar, honey or another variation, is broken down by the body into glucose, and is associated with the same problems, like weight gain and cavities. Even so, natural sweeteners have their advantages. Most are less refined than white sugar, have a slightly higher nutritional value, and tend to be broken down more slowly in the body, creating less impact on blood sugar. Following are some sweet substitutes to try: • --Agave nectar. This liquid sweetener comes in light and dark varieties, and is a good substitute for corn syrup. • --Brown rice syrup. Brown rice syrup has a mildly sweet, delicate flavor and is processed by the body more slowly than white sugar. • --Date sugar. Made from ground dates, this pale brown sweetener makes an excellent substitute for brown sugar. • --Evaporated cane juice. Also called "milled cane" or "unrefined cane juice," this less-processed version of white sugar contains some vitamins and minerals, is unbleached and is available in organic versions. • --Fructose. This is available in both powdered and liquid versions. Fructose, which is plant sugar, releases glucose into the bloodstream more slowly than white sugar and this makes it more suitable for diabetics. • --Fruit juice concentrate. Made from apples, grapes, peaches, pears, pineapples, berries or other fruit, these sweeteners have the consistency of thick syrup and an intense flavor. • --Honey. Clover is the most common, but honey comes in dozens of varieties, depending on the flower that produces it. Look for raw, unpasteurized honey, which retains its beneficial enzymes and nutrients. Honey is also available powdered. • --Maple syrup. Nearly twice as sweet as white sugar, maple syrup adds rich flavor and trace minerals to nearly any recipe. Maple sugar is made by evaporating the liquid from maple syrup. • --Molasses. Molasses contains the nutrients extracted from sugar cane and sugar beets. Blackstrap molasses, from the bottom of the processing vats, is thick, dark and high in nutrients. • --Turbinado. Made from the initial pressing of the cane, turbinado contains molasses and has a sweet, rich flavor and blond color.

  21. Healthy Sweetener Use Guide

  22. Economic Forces Behind Aspartame • Before aspartame received its final green light from the FDA for use in dry foods in 1981 and in beverages in 1983, scientists objected to its approval. • Initially granted FDA approval for use in dry foods in 1974, but was later blocked by objections raised by attorney James Turner and John Olney, M.D. • Investigators described aspartame safety studies conducted by G.D. Searle between 1967 and 1975 as `shoddy science' and `sloppy tests.' Ninety out of 113 aspartame safety tests showed discrepancies. • FDA scientists and outside researchers insisted that more rigorous and reliable testing was needed. • Despite these concerns, on July 18, 1981 aspartame was approved for use in dry foods by FDA Commissioner Arthur Hull Hayes who, incredibly overruled his own Public Board of Inquiry which recommended that approval be denied. He also ignored the law, Section 409(c)(3) of the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 348), which says that a food additive should not be approved if tests are inconclusive

  23. Economic Forces Cont… • In 1981, John Olney, professor of psychiatry and neuropathology at Washington University, St. Louis cited risks involved with the use of aspartame. • Olney, who was instrumental in banning the use of cyclamates, warned that aspartame had brain damaging properties. • The American Academy of Pediatrics raised concerns about the effects of phenylalanine on PKU carriers who were unaware that they had the defect. Astonishingly, even the National Soft Drink Association had serious doubts about the safety of aspartame. • In 1983, the NSDA filed a 30-page objection to aspartame's use in beverages and then, inexplicably reversed its opposition. Aspartame received approval for use in soft drinks in 1983 and shortly thereafter, Commissioner Arthur Hull Hayes left the FDA. He was then (allegedly) hired as a consultant (at the rate of $1,000 per day) with G.D. Searle's public relations firm. • As said by Senator Howard Metzenbaum : “We had better be sure that the questions that have been raised about the safety of this product are answered. I must say at the outset, this product was approved by the FDA in circumstances that can only be described as troubling.”

  24. Economic Forces Cont… • Prompted by mounting safety concerns within the scientific community, Ohio Senator Howard Metzenbaum called for Senate hearings on NutraSweet. • Introduced the Aspartame Safety Act of 1985 on Aug. 1 of that year. • The bill called for clinical studies to ascertain the safety of aspartame, a moratorium on the introduction of aspartame into new products until independent testing was complete, labeling of products including the amount of aspartame in each serving and the allowable daily intake, and a warning that aspartame is not intended for infant use. • The bill also required the FDA to set up a clinical adverse reaction committee to collect reports of adverse effects and to send written notices to physicians about aspartame. In a March 3, 1986 news release, the Senator stated "we cannot use American's children as guinea pigs to determine the `safe' level of NutraSweet consumption." Sadly, the bill that potentially could have stopped an ongoing tragedy, was killed in the Labor and Human Resources Committee, and never reached the Senate floor. • After suffering a $28 million dollar loss in the previous year, G.D. Searle was bought by the chemical company, Monsanto in 1985. Monsanto then created the NutraSweet Company as a subsidiary, separate from G.D. Searle. Over the next decade, aspartame consumption soared and reports of ill side effects increased. • In June of 1996, FDA Commissioner Dr. David Kessler lifted all restrictions on the use of aspartame and granted it blanket approval, despite the fact that this neurotoxin (mislabeled as a food additive) is in reality, a dangerous drug that changes brain chemistry and interacts with other drugs. He did so without public notification. He also ignored a request by Senator Metzenbaum (then retired) to initiate additional safety testing. Aspartame could now be used as freely as sugar.

  25. Which Would a 6 Year Old Find More Appealing?

  26. OR….. Not Quite as Exciting!  Often out of Children’s reach or above their eye-level

  27. The Problem?

  28. The Sweetest Advice? • Use "natural" sugar substitutes like honey and maple syrup in moderation, or stick to fruit to soothe your sweet tooth -- it's high in nutrients, phytochemicals and fiber, and is broken down more slowly than any kind of refined sugar. • Some ideas: puree frozen berries with unsweetened rice milk for a fast breakfast smoothie, stew pears and currants in apple juice and cinnamon for a simple dessert, freeze bananas for a cooling summer snack, munch on grapes instead of candy.

  29. Recipe's for low and Reduced Sugar Diets Blueberry Peach Pie • Serves 6 to 8 • This fast and easy pie is loaded with juicy berries and peaches, and sweetened with honey. Top with ice cream or frozen vanilla yogurt. • 2 cups fresh blueberries2 cups fresh peeled and sliced peaches1/2 cup light agave nectar or honey3 Tbsp. cornstarch1 cup water1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice2 Tbsp. unsalted butter or canola oilOne prepared pastry crust • Preheat oven to 425 degrees and bake shell for 10 minutes. • In a medium bowl, combine blueberries and peaches. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the fruit mixture into a food processor. Puree briefly. In a medium saucepan, combine agave nectar or honey, cornstarch and water, whisking until smooth. • Stir in pureed fruit and cook over medium-low heat for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture is thickened. Stir in lemon juice, butter or oil, and remaining peaches and berries. Chill until partially thickened. Spoon into the cooked pastry shell and chill for 3 more hours.

  30. Plum Tart with Rose-Scented Cream • Serves 8 • This dense and juicy tart uses only fresh and dried fruit and fruit juice for sweetness. • 14 medjool dates, chopped1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut1/2 cup finely chopped pecans2 Tbsp. apple juice6 medium plums, sliced8 oz. heavy whipping creamEssential rose oil (not perfume oil) • Combine dates, coconut, pecans and apple juice in a medium mixing bowl. Mix well with hands, then press mixture into a glass pie dish. Layer crust with sliced plums. • Pour whipping cream into a glass bowl and add two drops of essential rose oil. Beat whipping cream until soft peaks form, and spoon on top of tart. Chill or serve at room temperature.

  31. References • American Dietetic Association (2003). Nutrition fact sheet: straight answers about aspartame Journal of the American Dietetic Association, v103 i6 p801(2) • Davis, G., (2002). A Tale of Two Sweeteners-- Aspartame & Stevia" of The Complete Guide to Vegetarian Convenience Foods and So, Now What Do I Eat? • Roberts HJ. Difficult Diagnosis: A Guide to the Interpretation of Obscure Illness Philadelphia, W.B. Saunders Company, 1958. • Turner, L., (2001). You can satisfy your sweet tooth with some help from Mother Nature. (healthy sugar substitutes and analysis of sugar and substitutes) Better Nutrition, v63 i2 p44.

  32. References Cont… • Stoddard, Mary Nash, (1995). "The Deadly Deception" Compiled by the Aspartame Consumer Safety Network for volumes of available published information, ACSN, P.O. Box 780634, Dallas, Texas 75378, (800) 969-6050. • Stegink, Lewis D., Filer L., (1984). "Aspartame: Physiology and Biochemistry," Marcel Dekker, Inc., N.Y. • USDA 1988. "1988 United States Department of Agriculture Situation and Outlook Report; Sugar and Sweeteners." Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, pp. 51. • Whitney, E.N. & Rolfes, S. R., (2002). Understanding Nutrition 9th Ed. Pg.93-128.Wadsworth Thompson Learning