Aspartame And The Brain

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Aspertame And The Brain

Aspartame is the technical name for the brand names NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal-Measure. It was discovered by accident in 1965 when James Schlatter, a chemist of G.D. Searle Company, was testing an anti-ulcer drug.

Aspartame was approved for dry goods in 1981 and for carbonated beverages in 1983. It was originally approved for dry goods on July 26, 1974, but objections filed by neuroscience researcher Dr John W. Olney and Consumer attorney James Turner in August 1974 as well as investigations of G.D. Searle's research practices caused the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to put approval of aspartame on hold (December 5, 1974). In 1985, Monsanto purchased G.D. Searle and made Searle Pharmaceuticals and The NutraSweet Company separate subsidiaries.

Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Many of these reactions are very serious including seizures and death. A few of the 90 different documented symptoms listed in the report as being caused by aspartame include: Headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability, tachycardia, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain.

According to researchers and physicians studying the adverse effects of aspartame, the following chronic illnesses can be triggered or worsened by ingesting of aspartame: Brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, parkinson's disease, alzheimer's, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia, and diabetes.

Aspartame is made up of three chemicals: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol. The book "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," by James and Phyllis Balch, lists aspartame under the category of "chemical poison." As you shall see, that is exactly what it is.

What Is Aspartame Made Of?

Aspartic Acid (40 percent of Aspartame)

Dr. Russell L. Blaylock, a professor of neurosurgery at the Medical University of Mississippi, recently published a book thoroughly detailing the damage that is caused by the ingestion of excessive aspartic acid from aspartame. Blaylock makes use of almost 500 scientific references to show how excess free excitatory amino acids such as aspartic acid and glutamic acid (about 99 percent of monosodium glutamate (MSG) is glutamic acid) in our food supply are causing serious chronic neurological disorders and a myriad of other acute symptoms.

How Aspartate (and Glutamate) Cause Damage

aspartateAspartate and glutamate act as neurotransmitters in the brain by facilitating the transmission of information from neuron to neuron. Too much aspartate or glutamate in the brain kills certain neurons by allowing the influx of too much calcium into the cells. This influx triggers excessive amounts of free radicals, which kill the cells. The neural cell damage that can be caused by excessive aspartate and glutamate is why they are referred to as "excitotoxins." They "excite" or stimulate the neural cells to death.

Aspartic acid is an amino acid. Taken in its free form (unbound to proteins) it significantly raises the blood plasma level of aspartate and glutamate. The excess aspartate and glutamate in the blood plasma shortly after ingesting aspartame or products with free glutamic acid (glutamate precursor) leads to a high level of those neurotransmitters in certain areas of the brain.

The blood brain barrier (BBB), which normally protects the brain from excess glutamate and aspartate as well as toxins, 1) is not fully developed during childhood, 2) does not fully protect all areas of the brain, 3) is damaged by numerous chronic and acute conditions, and 4) allows seepage of excess glutamate and aspartate into the brain even when intact  ....

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Sweetpoison, written by author Dr. Janet Starr Hull, is a book exposing aspartame dangers. provides a variety of aspartame information including nutritional advice on aspartame detoxification, aspartame side effects and up-to-date information on aspartame dangers.

If you have had an aspartame reaction, you can contact me, or you can submit an aspartame case history using our submit an aspartame case history submission form.

From Dr. Janet Starr Hull

Welcome to I'm Dr. Janet Starr Hull, and I have something to share with you that may save your life or the life of someone you love.

In 1991, I was diagnosed with an ‘incurable’ case of Grave's Disease, a fatal thyroid disorder, I never really had Grave's Disease but my doctors were convinced I did. I had aspartame poisoning with symptoms of 'textbook‘ Grave's Disease caused by aspartame saturating my foods. Modern medicine kept me alive temporarily, but I ‘cured’ my disease using The Aspartame Detoxification Program©. Modern medicine has led us to the "take a pill or cut it out mentality" for almost every modern health symptom, but this approach alone cannot cure disease as more and more people are personally discovering.

Using the Aspartame Detoxification Program I designed at the time of my 'disease', I restored my health within 30 days. If you use sugar-free products with aspartame and suffer with health symptoms your medical doctor cannot 'cure', more than likely you have aspartame poisoning. ... (Please click the heading to this full text and source)

Read more about Dr. Janet Starr Hull

Read more about Dr. Janet Starr Hull's book SweetPoison

Aspartame Dangers

The dangers of aspartame poisoning have been a well-guarded secret since the 1980s. The research and history of aspartame is conclusive as a cause of illness and toxic reactions in the human body. Aspartame is a dangerous chemical food additive, and its use during pregnancy and by children is one of the greatest modern tragedies of all.

Why haven't you heard about this before? Partly because the diet industry is worth trillions of American dollars to corporations, and they want to protect their profits by keeping the truth behind aspartame's dangers hidden from the public. When NutraSweet® was introduced for the 'second' time in 1981, a diet craze revolutionized America's eating protocols and a well-oiled money machine was set into motion changing modern lifestyles. After more than twenty years of aspartame use, the number of its victims is rapidly piling up, and people are figuring out for themselves that aspartame is at the root of their health problems. Patients are teaching their doctors about this nutritional peril, and they are healing themselves with little to no support from traditional medicine.

Read more about Aspartame Information

Aspartame Effects

Aspartame is the common denominator for over 92 different health symptoms at the root of modern disease. The Aspartame Detoxification Program demonstrates the most effective way to reverse disease symptoms is removing the underlying cause - aspartame.. ..." 

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Avoiding AspertameAvoiding Aspertame...<

Avoiding Aspertame

Many health-conscious people believe that avoiding aspartame, found in over 5000 products under brand names such as Equal and NutraSweet, can improve their quality of life. The history of this synthetic sweetener’s approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), including a long record of consumer complaints and the agency’s demonstrated insensitivity to public concern, suggests they’re right.

In October 1980 the Public Board of Inquiry (PBOI) impaneled by the FDA to evaluate aspartame safety found that the chemical caused an unacceptable level of brain tumors in animal testing. Based on this fact, the PBOI ruled that aspartame should not be added to the food supply.

This ruling capped 15 years of regulatory ineptitude, chicanery and deception by the FDA and the Searle drug company, aspartame’s discoverer and manufacturer (acquired by Monsanto in 1985), and kicked off another two decades of maneuvering, manipulating and dissembling by FDA, Searle and Monsanto.

In 1965, a Searle scientist licked some of a new ulcer drug from his fingers and discovered the sweet taste of aspartame. Eureka! Selling this chemical as a food additive to hundreds of millions of healthy people every day would mean many more dollars than limited sales to the much smaller group of ulcer sufferers.

Searle, a drug company with little experience in food regulation, began studies to comply with the law — but which failed to do so. Its early tests of the substance showed it produced microscopic holes and tumors in the brains of experimental mice, epileptic seizures in monkeys, and was converted by animals into dangerous substances, including formaldehyde.

In 1974, however, in spite of the information in its files, the FDA approved aspartame as a dry-foods additive. But the agency also made public for the first time the data supporting a food-additive decision. This data was subsequently reviewed by renowned brain researcher John Olney from Washington University in St. Louis, and other scientists.

Dr. Olney discovered two studies showing brain tumors in rats and petitioned FDA for a public hearing. Consumer Action for Improved Foods and Drugs (represented by the author of this piece) also petitioned for a public hearing based on the approval process having been based on sloppy science and the product’s having reportedly caused epileptic seizures in monkeys and possible eye damage.

Dr. Olney had already shown that aspartic acid (one aspartame component) caused microscopic holes in the brains of rats after each feeding. Aspartame also includes phenylalinine, which causes PKU in a small number of susceptible children, and methyl, or wood, alcohol which is neurotoxic in large amounts.

Faced with this array of possible health dangers, FDA granted the hearing requests. In lieu of withdrawing its aspartame approval, the agency prevailed on Searle to refrain from marketing the sweetener until after completion of the hearing process. it then proposed that a Public Board of Inquiry (PBOI) review the matter.

In July of 1975, as the FDA prepared for the PBOI, an FDA inspector conducted a routine review of the Searle’s Skokie Ill., testing facilities and found many deviations from proper procedures. This report led the FDA commissioner to empanel a Special Commissioner’s Task Force to review Searle’s labs.

In December of 1975 the Task force reported serious problem with Searle research on a wide range of products, including aspartame. It found 11 pivotal studies conducted in a manner so flawed as to raise doubts about aspartame safety and create the possibility of serious criminal liability for Searle.

The FDA then stayed aspartame’s approval. It also contracted, over serious internal objection, with a group of university pathologists (paid by Searle) to review most of the studies, set up a task force to review three studies and asked the U.S. Attorney for Chicago to seek a grand jury review of the monkey seizure study.

The pathologists paid by Searle only reviewed failure to properly report data and not the study’s design or conduct. They found no serious problems. The FDA task force found Searle’s key tumor safety study unreliable, but was ignored. The U.S. attorney let the statue of limitations run out, then (along with two aides) proceeded to join Searle’s law firm.

While these committees met, the FDA organized the PBOI. Searle, the petitioners and the FDA Bureau of Foods each nominated three members for the board and the FDA commissioner selected one member from each list. the board, which convened in January of 1980, rejected petitioners’ request to include the commissioner’s task force information in its deliberations. Still, in October 1980, based on its limited review, the board blocked aspartame marketing until the tumor studies could be explained. Unless the commissioner overruled the board, the matter was closed.

In November 1980, however, the country elected Ronald Reagan President. Donald Rumsfeld (former congressman from Skokie, former White House chief of staff, former secretary of defense and since January 1977 president of Searle) joined the Reagan transition team. A full court press against the board decision began.

In January 1981 Rumsfeld told a sales meeting, according to one attendee, that he would call in his chips and get aspartame approved by the end of the year. On January 25th, the day the new president took office, the previous FDA commissioner’s authority was suspended, and the next month, the commissioner’s job went to Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes.

Transition records do not show why the administration chose Hayes, a professor and Defense Department contract researcher. In July Hayes, defying FDA advisors, approved aspartame for dry foods — his first major decision. In November 1983 the FDA approved aspartame for soft drinks — Hayes’ last decision.

In November 1983 Hayes, under fire for accepting corporate gifts, left the agency and went to Searle’s public-relations firm as senior medical advisor. Later Searle lawyer Robert Shapiro named aspartame NutraSweet. Monsanto purchased Searle. Rumsfeld received a $12 million bonus. Shapiro is now Monsanto president.

Shortly after the FDA soft-drink approval, Searle began test marketing, and complaints began to arrive at the FDA — of such reactions as dizziness, blurred vision, headaches, and seizures. The complaints were more serious than the agency had ever received on any food additive, At the same time, scientists began looking more closely at this manufactured chemical sweetener.

In 1985, the FDA asked the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to review the first 650 complaints (there are now over 10,000). CDC found that the symptoms in approximately 25% of the complainants had stopped and then restarted, corresponding with their having stopped and then restarted, either purposely or by accident, aspartame consumption.

The CDC also identified several specific subjects whose symptoms stopped and started as they stopped and started consuming aspartame. The FDA discounted the report. The day the FDA released the CDC report, Pepsi Cola — having obtained an advance copy — announced its switch to aspartame with a worldwide media blitz.

Former White House Chief of Staff Rumsfeld owed a debt of gratitude to former White House confidante and Rumsfeld friend Donald Kendal, Pepsi’s chairman. The Pepsi announcement and aggressive marketing (millions of gumballs, a red and white swirl, tough contracts) made NutraSweet known in every home.

At the same time, according to data released in 1995, human brain tumors like those in the animal studies rose 10% and previously benign tumors turned virulent. Searle and FDA’s deputy commissioner said the data posed no problem. Two years later this same FDA official became vice president of clinical research for Searle.

From 1985 to 1995, researchers did about 400 aspartame studies. They were divided almost evenly between those that gave assurances and those that raised questions about the sweetener. Most instructively, Searle paid for 100% of those finding no problem. All studies paid for by non-industry sources raised questions.

Given this record, it is little wonder that many health-conscious people believe avoiding NutraSweet improves their quality of life. If and when a scientific consensus concludes that aspartame puts some, if not all, of its consumers at risk, it will be much too late. The point is to eat safely now. Remember: the brain you save may be your own.

James S. Turner, Esq., is a partner in the 27-year-old Washington, D.C. consumer-interest law firm of Swankin and Turner. He is the author of The Chemical Feast: The Nader Report on the Food and Drug Administration, Making Your Own Baby Food, and a number of law journal and popular media articles. ....


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Dizziness - Disorientation...

 I have been experiencing episodes of dizziness and disorientation and some problems with concentration.  

I drink 3 - 4 diet sodas a day to replace my addiction to kool-aid and regular coke. After doing some research on the Internet it appears that the aspartame may be the culprit.  However, most of these sites seem obsessed with Gov't conspiracy theories and are always hawking some book or "detox program" for $$.  So, I don't really trust the content.

Has anyone else experienced this?  Is it temporary? am i just crazy?  (Please click the red arrow to this text and source)

".... So here’s what happens when you ingest Aspartame in your diet sodas: the stomach starts the metabolization of the substance and finally converts it to methanol which is a narcotic and is a prime cause for addiction. The body then breaks down methanol to formaldehyde which it cannot excrete, and is therefore accumulative. That covers the addiction but now as we continue to partake, the dopamine system in the brain is weakened and the neurotransmitter and vasoconstrictor, serotonin, is decreased and is unable to do its job. The results are loss of feelings of well being, inability to sleep and depression. There are many other life-destroying links to Aspartame, and and I will mention certainly, brain tumors, ALS or Lou Gherig’s Disease, and it also precipitates Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.

There are many who disagree that Aspartame is harmful, including Mayo Clinic, but why all the secrets and behind the scenes actions? Because maybe there is something to cover up. Why does the manufacturer of Aspartame, Ajinomoto, want to rebrand Aspartame, calling it “Amino Sweet”, a ‘natural sweetener’. Doesn’t this look like a presentation of a new product and let’s forget all about Aspartame and its bad reputation? This looks to me very much like an effort by the manufacturer to cajole the public into believing this product is healthful, wholesome, natural and safe, even though we have much evidence that it is not safe. Money is to be made here in the diet drink business and that is why companies like Searle have faked their research results on animals, coming out with what they want to hear instead of the truth.

As a word of warning to those who read this, please note that there are many products out there, like chewing gum and baby aspirin that, if used, even your children can become susceptible to its effects. I noticed that even those great tasting CVS cough drops are made with aspartame (under a different chemical name that I did not recognize). For those who are still on a diet soda binge, it can happen to you!..."

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Diseased, Disgruntled,  Disabled



Justin Dumais is a 2004 Athens' Olympic Silver Medalist, a Grave’s Disease survivor, and aspartame victim. Merely months before the Olympic trials, Justin contacted me for nutritional help in recovering from a diagnosis of Grave’s Disease caused by diet colas with aspartame. He read my first book Sweet Poison, followed my recovery experience from my own case of Grave’s caused by aspartame, and cured his disease in six weeks (just like I did) by simply removing aspartame from his diet, cleansing, and restoring his depleted nutrients. His recovery from a “false” diagnosis of Grave’s Disease came merely months before the 2004 Athen’s Olympic Trials. But, like me, did Justin really have Grave’s or merely aspartame disease?   ... to this page ...

Personally, I've not had any diet pop since about January 15, 2012.  Today is April 30, 2012.  My memory has been very, very good.  When I go to a store I don't need a list.  I can recall many things easily which was not easy for me before.  I've been a big fan of diet coke and diet pepsi for a very long time; I imagine since I was 18-19 years old.  I turned 56 this past March.  On occassions where I would abstain from diet pop for one week periods, my memory was better - on cessation; but when I resumed it, the memory was noticeably hindered.  I've read that your brain can heal when you stop consuming aspertame from diet colas. Your Health And Tech Friend  P.S. I'm grateful I was able to quit; I drank it for a long time.  Loved the stuff.  If you stop for awhile and then taste it, you can tell that you are consuming something that is not meant for human consumption.  It's the aspertame.  Or?  Could there be something more in it?  I'm not certain, but I believe it to be the aspertame. ....   More thoughts from me in the paragraph below...

Sometimes I feel sad when I think about how different things are today, from when I was growing up.  In tenth grade I first tried the cola named 'Tab' - ohhh, that was awful tasting stuff.   But, because it 'had no sugar' I tried very hard to like it.  At home my mom used saccharine: oh!   Talk about a very bad taste.  I tried it straight out of the bottle: little drops would come out of it.  Clear, liquid in about a 5 oz bottle.  I'm not certain when but eventually Pepsi came out with Diet Pepsi, and that was pretty good.  Then Coke: not certain which came first.  I do remember getting Diet Pepsi in a bottle.  That was a taste that was a little easier to get used to.  Soon, boy that was all that I drank.  Diet colas; mostly I preferred the pepsi.  Coke was sweeter than I liked.  By 1989/90 I was drinking about one or two 2-liter bottles a day.  This has not been an easy habit for me to break.  But, over a few months time within this last year, after some constant reminders from my daughter, I am now diet cola free.  And I'm not missing it finally.  I did miss it for awhile; I'd have one every week, maybe two; I sort of weaned my way off of them.  But I'm free of it, and I can say that my memory is more sharp.  I can actually go to the local grocery store without a list; and my recall on everything is very good.  It was not very good in the past.  I constantly had to ask myself "what was I looking for" - "what did I come here for."  Not any more!  Your Health And Tech Friend  P.S.  It is my recommendation that we do not drink beverages with aspertame, and other artificial sweeteners; or consume other products with the artificial stuff in it.   Would we run our cars on artificial gas?  How long would they run properly.  Just a thought.  P.P.S. Check out the side effects of truvia...

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