Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008

Alert - Artificial Sweeteners

By Sara Matuk
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Everyone who knows me knows how strongly I feel about artificial sweeteners. Instead of providing just my personal opinion, I'm forwarding enlightening information from a nutrition professional, Bonnie Minsky. Although I do not personally know her, she is highly regarded in the alternative treatment circle-of-friends I've found. Please consider the following the next time you reach for "just one can" of diet pop.

Dear Valued Client,

(From Bonnie, Steve, and the staff )

http://www.nutritionalconcepts.com/

Bonnie Minsky MA, MPH, LDN, CNS

Most of you know that I am vehemently against the consumption of artificial sweeteners. I would like to share with you recent developments that back my position. I also wish to draw upon my clinical experience to reiterate the harmful effects that artificial sweeteners present.

Chemical Overload

artificialThe research links and related articles referenced in this newsletter should serve as "proof in the pudding." You should not be surprised with the recent media coverage on artificial sweeteners. The negative effects have been known for years but have been largely ignored by the medical community. It took several studies about weight gain for the public to take notice.

The Excitotoxin
How artificial sweeteners increase weight gain is very simple to understand. They are toxic chemicals. When the human body gets overloaded from an amount of chemicals that it cannot possibly detoxify, the brain sends messages to create something to encapsulate the chemicals. That something is called a fat cell. The more chemicals we ingest, the more fatty cells/tissue are created.

Aspartame, in particular, causes an excitatory response in the brain, according to nuerosurgeon Russell Blaylock, MD. It erroneously gives the brain a false message that the body has eaten too much protein, thus causing a carbohydrate craving.

Aside from the weight gain and cravings, artificial sweeteners create a host of much more serious side effects.

Client Testimonials
I have had so many cases of toxic reactions to artificial sweeteners over my 22 years of nutritional counseling that I could write a book. The following three examples are the most dramatic.

19 year-old female diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Had to drop out of college due to severe debilitation. Before MS diagnosis, had been on six month weight-loss, fat-free diet with 4-6 diet cokes and 2-3 packets of Crystal Light daily. Her meals consisted of salads with fat-free dressing and egg white/turkey or chicken breast. We took her off of all diet drinks, added fruits/vegetables and two fat servings with a multivitamin, extra vitamin B-6, and magnesium glycinate. Two months later, her nuerologist revealed her brain scan showing no signs of Multiple Sclerosis.

43 year-old male surgeon. Lost his short-term memory and had to stop performing surgery. All medical tests were negative. His diet revealed 8-10 cans of Diet Coke with no food until 4PM. Weaned off all artificially sweetened products, ate a balanced diet with multivitamin, extra vitamin B-6, and magnesium glycinate. Six weeks later his short-term memory returned.

32 year-old woman. Severe gas, bloating, constipation. Consumed 8-12 packets of Splenda daily (stopped Nutrasweet due to violent headaches). Surgery needed due to compaction of sucralose (Splenda) in transverse colon. Consequently, she stopped consuming artificial sweeteners. Her digestion is now normal.

Negative Health Effects
Other issues related to the consumption of artificial sweeteners: acidosis/gout, complete depletion of vitamin B-6 and magnesium, dizziness, fatigue, headaches/migraines, weight gain, multiple digestive issues (including bloating, cramping, diarrhea, nausea), joint pain, hormone imbalance, high blood pressure, depression/mood swings, and canker sores.

Beware of Hidden Ingredients
Manufacturers often hide artificial sweeteners on ingredient labels by using their scientific, not retail, names. We also list little known artificial sweeteners you need to be aware of.

Acesulfame potassium, alitame, aspartic acid, cyclamate, isomalt, neotame, P-4000, phenylalanine, raffinose, and sucralose

Reading labels is crucial, especially on gum and beverage packaging.

Go to related articles to read my approved alternative sweeteners.

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