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    Crazy Joe Mercola Vs. Aspartame: Who Wins?
    By Josh Bloom | May 20th 2014 09:33 AM | 45 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Josh

    Director of chemical and pharmaceutical sciences at The American Council on Science and Health in New York since 2010.

    Former research chemist

    ...

    View Josh's Profile
    Is life great or what?

    We have all kinds of wonderful choices available to us. Yankees or Mets (better still, neither), Frosted Flakes or Cap'n Crunch, Homeland or The Walking Dead. Awesome. 

    And now we get to choose between an old artificial sweetener that was perfectly safe and a new one that is perfectly safer. 

    For more than 30 years, aspartame (aka NutraSweet), has been the target of conspiracy crazies and those who profit from the crazies. Speaking of whom, supplement mogul Crazy Joe Mercola calls aspartame "By far the most dangerous substance added to most foods today." 

    In case you have any nagging doubts about his credibility, you might wish to consider two statements from Mercola's website: 

    1. "Aspartame is made up of three chemicals: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, methanol."



    This is true, but irrelevant. It makes no difference what anything is made from. The only thing that matters is the reaction product—what you make. Here is the best example: Put a chunk of sodium in your mouth and your head will blow up. And chlorine, one of the first chemical weapons, was used in World War I. One good whiff and it's goodbye lungs. If you react the two you get, of course, sodium chloride—salt. 

    Mercola calls salt an "unnatural chemical." I guess this is true if you ignore all five oceans, the Dead Sea, The Great Salt Lake and organic pretzels.

    But fear not. For only $7.97 you can buy Mercola's Himalayan Crystal Cooking Salt, "the purest salt on Earth," which was discovered after years of searching. In fact, it's so pure that it contains 84 elements! This is odd, since my concept of purity is not having other things present let alone 84 of them. Even funnier is that of the 84 elements, iodine—the only salt additive that is medically important—isn't even present.

    2. "Aspartic acid from aspartame has the same deleterious effects on the body as glutamic acid." Sounds pretty bad. But it begs the question: Why is Mercola selling "Dr. Mercola's Whey Chocolate Protein Powder" (only $32.95 for eleven servings!) on his website? Especially if you bother to take a look at the label:



    So, if I've got this right, one of the reasons that aspartame is dangerous is because it contains aspartic acid, which has the same deleterious effects as glutamic acid. Which Mercola is selling for muscle building because it is "rich in glutamic acid." Now that's rich! As is Mercola, who has figured out how to market something that apparently both helps and harms your body at the same time.

    Mercola does not sell phenylalanine, but NOW Foods sells it on Amazon because: "L-Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid that can be readily converted into the amino acid tyrosine. Because tyrosine is necessary for the synthesis of proteins and the production of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, phenylalanine is an extremely important nutrient that must be obtained through the diet or supplementation."  

    And Biotech Nutritions sells aspartic acid, also on Amazon because it: “is a testosterone booster, increases nitric oxide levels and is a performance enhancer.” And I think it helps you solve the quadratic equation too.

    So, "the most dangerous substance added to most foods today" is made up of two amino acids, both of which are sold as supplements, and a tiny amount of methanol, which you ingest every time you have fruit juice or wine. 

    If the amount of methanol in a can of soda (20 mg) doesn't sound like much, it's because it isn't. By comparison, 10 ounces of brandy contains 500 mg of methanol—also the same amount you would get from a kilogram of apples

    Note: The one legitimate health concern of aspartame is that it contains phenylalanine, which cannot be consumed by phenylketonurics—people with a rare genetic defect that prevents the normal metabolism of phenylalanine, leading to the accumulation of dangerous byproducts. These people—one in 10,000— must also avoid phenylalanine-rich foods, such as milk, cheese, meat, fish, chicken, eggs, beans, and nuts.

    Enter advantame, which has certain properties that give it an advantage over aspartame: 
    1. It does not form phenylalanine when metabolized, so people with phenylketonuria can use it safely. 
    2. It is chemically more stable than aspartame and can therefore be used in cooked foods. Aspartame decomposes when heated. 
    3. It is 20,000 times sweeter than sugar, and 100-times sweeter than aspartame, so less is needed.This solves the non-problem of methanol; one can of diet soda would then contain 0.2 mg of methanol, which 2,500-fold less than you would get from the brandy or apples. 
    In reality, the amount of methanol from either sweetener is no cause for concern. Methanol is ubiquitous, occurring naturally in fruits and vegetables. Your body knows how to handle small amounts of it very well. (Yes- we all know that methanol is converted to formaldehyde. Your body can handle small amounts of that too.) 

    If this isn’t enough to convince people, the intensive toxicology studies of the new sweetener should. The safety of advantame was established in 37 studies in animals and humans at a variety of doses, both acutely and chronically. It was virtually impossible to find a toxic dose in animals, and there were no signs of carcinogenicity, reproductive or developmental toxicity, or any other systemic toxicity in animals or humans. About the only way this stuff could harm you is if you were run over by a truck that was delivering it.

    So, some rather clever science has given us another choice of sweeteners, but I’m betting that the Mercolas of the world will find something "wrong" with it and offer a natural alternative (maybe even with free shipping). After all, we all need to make a living.

    Comments

    Advantame does contain phenylalanine. Apparently, because of it's sweetness, the FDA said the amounts in food won't require a label for PKU.

    Josh Bloom
    Thanks for catching that. I fixed it.
    Trying to simplify it, I screwed it up.
    It now says "does not form phenylalanine"

    This is because with the addition of the (3-hydroxy-4-methoxyphenyl)propyl group to the aspartic acid nitrogen, peptidases no longer recognize it as a substrate, and the amide bond is not cleaved. So phenylalanine is not released during metabolism.

    Sorry you asked?

    I should know better than writing this stuff at 1 AM

    Josh Bloom
    Comical "journalism."

    -Look at the yearly FDA adverse reaction list... Aspartame is always at or near the top. I guess
    when people drink a diet soda and get an instant migraine, blurred vision, vertigo, or seizures, it's that pesky ol'
    "coincidence."
    -No safety studies have ever been done on humans... ever. Odd, no?
    -Look up the medically valid term, "excitotoxin" and get informed before you produce baseless articles.

    Lastly, using your reasoning (or lack thereof), Merck/Eli Lily/Novartis/Sanofi-Pasteur/etc. all say that
    vaccines are good and essential to our health... and wouldn't you know!?!?! They conveniently SELL
    vaccines for you to buy. How shady and untrustworthy is that?! Lol.

    Informed Citizen

    Josh Bloom
    I don't normally get into it with anti-vaccinuts.But your "reasoning" is beyond laughable. Because a company sells you something, the product must be bad? Therefore all drugs must be bad, right?
    Try telling that to the people that are no longer dying of AIDS (or even spreading it).
    Or people that are approaching end stage liver disease from hepatitis C and are instead cured. 
    Should Lilly not sell insulin because it makes money? 
    Maybe Toyota should stop selling cars or Ben and Jerry stop selling ice cream.
     I'm curious what you DO spend your money on. Because someone someplace will be making a profit, and we wouldn't want that, would we? 
    Josh Bloom
    Oy vey... My reason for making the point on the drug companies taking positions on health topics (say communicable diseases, germs, viruses, etc), while concurrently selling related products to their recommendations (vaccines), was to use your own reasoning against you.

    You stated multiple times in your article here how Mercola sells things, therefore be weary of his claims and recommendations since he has financial incentive.

    I was using your own reasoning, through the vaccine maker analogy, to prove the fact that Mercola (or thousands of other health/nutrition purveyors out there who sell products, aside from dispensing health advice) is no less credible or is suspect, because he
    markets supplements.

    Make sense now?

    Josh Bloom
    "Make sense now?"

    It sure doesn't.
    Your analogy is deeply flawed. Equating vaccines with untested drugs, e.g. supplements is ridiculous. 


    Just as ridiculous is the concept that because an individual or company makes claims about their products, the claims are wrong. Or right.  This is where science comes in. The claims are either legitimate or not. If you choose to believe that Mercola's claims represent good science, then by all means buy his stuff. I will pass.


    Taken to its logical conclusion, your argument would have you not buying a car from Toyota or a container of Stonyfield organic milk. They both claim that their products are good and want you to buy them. Does that mean they are not not? 

    What do you buy that isn't advertised or promoted? I'm curious.



    Josh Bloom
    As best I can find, Aspartame doesn't appear *at all* in the FDA's adverse events reporting system for drugs. And the list of supplements for which they've received adverse events reports is non-public. Where are you seeing this "at or near the top"?

    BTW, snark like "get informed" directed at someone writing on biochemistry who happens to have a PhD in biochemistry is not brilliant and persuasive repartee.

    Correction to my previous post:

    I meant to say that Aspartame had no human clinical trials performed/conducted before it's
    FDA approval. This would be akin to prescription medications having only rodent studies
    to prove/disprove their efficacy/safety before being pushed onto the market.

    Apologies.

    Good article.. 'cept for the comment with your excitement about having a choice between the Yankees and Mets. This is lost on me as I am not a fan of either one of those teams. :)

    Josh Bloom
    Same goes for most of us in New York—at least this year. 
    Josh Bloom
    Hank
    I once wrote an article for the LA Times noting that Frankenstein was not a GMO and among the first comments was 'hey, actual science got into the LA Times'. They now have a second article fitting that description: FDA approves a new artificial sweetener by Melissa Healy, LA Times
    Josh Bloom
    Too funny
    Josh Bloom
    Who is he kidding. Would people would complain for 30 years if aspartame was safe? Would there be a 1000 page medical text, "Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic", www.sunsentpress.com ? Would there have been congressional hearings because of the outcry.? Would there be millions of sites warning the public.? I have spent 22 years working free to alert the public and working with the world experts. The FDA made a deal with G. D. Searle never to allow the public to see the teratology studies. Took me 8 years to find them. Caused neural tube defects, autism, spina bifida, cleft palate. They ought to all be put under the jail. More methanol in fruit and vegetables? He knows better. The methanol in fruits and vegetables is accompanied by ethanol, the classic antidote for methanol toxicity and takes it safely out of the body. i No ethanol in aspartame. Google "Rotgut aspartame: Methanol Mania". I've just visited several countries and people all over the world know aspartame is poison. Now Dr. Woodrow Monte has written the book, "While Science Sleeps: A Sweetener Kills" and the last chapter on aspartame and autism is free on www.whilesciencesleeps. Advantame. Avoid it like the plague. Dr. Mercola who has done a great deal of research and wrote a book on aspartame is very competent to take on this man for trying to cover up one of the greatest breaches of public trust in this nation. Would the FDA have tried to indict the company for fraud if aspartame had shown safety? Check it out - www.mpwhi.com See the petition FDA tried to revoke and the movie of what happened, "Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World".

    Hank
    Would people would complain for 30 years if aspartame was safe? Would there be a 1000 page medical text, "Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic", www.sunsentpress.com ? Would there have been congressional hearings because of the outcry.? Would there be millions of sites warning the public.? 
    Actually, yes. Politicians are not in the science business, they are in the advocacy business, and conspiracy theorists have a startling ability to pump out 1,000 page tomes linking the the Eye of Providence, numerology, global control and (insert Your Scary Product Here). It would be scarier if they didn't do those things, because then it would mean something really might be dangerous.

    The minute cranks latch onto something, we all know it isn't a threat because cranks lack the knowledge to find anything that might be dangerous.
    Josh Bloom
    You are entitled to your opinion, but for the record, I am not covering up anything. I don't get one penny more or less whether I write that aspartame is safe as water or deadlier than rat poison. 
    I write what I know about, and after 27 years in biomedical research (where toxicity was probably the most important issue we faced) I will debate the chemistry, toxicity, and pharmacology of aspartame with anyone. You may not like what I have to say, but I write exactly what I want whenever I want to, and don't get a penny for this either. So, if you think I'm part of another conspiracy, think again. I'm just a former chemist, and I don't write anything unless I have an expert opinion on the subject. In this case, I do.

    Josh Bloom
    Speaking of science... Here's one of many if people wanted to do a bit of due dilligence...

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24700203
    (June 2014, Research In Nursing/Health Journal)

    "Neurobehavioral effects of aspartame consumption."
    Abstract
    Despite its widespread use, the artificial sweetener aspartame remains one of the most controversial food additives, due to mixed evidence on its neurobehavioral effects. Healthy adults who consumed a study-prepared high-aspartame diet (25 mg/kg body weight/day) for 8 days and a low-aspartame diet (10 mg/kg body weight/day) for 8 days, with a 2-week washout between the diets, were examined for within-subject differences in cognition, depression, mood, and headache. Measures included weight of foods consumed containing aspartame, mood and depression scales, and cognitive tests for working memory and spatial orientation. When consuming high-aspartame diets, participants had more irritable mood, exhibited more depression, and performed worse on spatial orientation tests. Aspartame consumption did not influence working memory. Given that the higher intake level tested here was well below the maximum acceptable daily intake level of 40-50 mg/kg body weight/day, careful consideration is warranted when consuming food products that may affect neurobehavioral health.

    Inconvenient facts are pesky and unnerving things.

    hahaha SUNSET PRESS! that site is kwality with a kapital k. remember to put the tinfoil in your shoes, too,. because they have started shooting the beams through the concrete...

    Hank, enough. All anyone has to do is google aspartame dangers to read millions of info on how dangerous aspartame is. Read the FDA list of 92 symptoms from four types of seizures, coma, mood alteration, male sexual dysfunction and death on www.mpwhi.com Also read the complete Bressler Report. We always wondered why some info had been taken off until I called Jerome Bressler from the FDA when he retired. I just wanted to thank him for being honest on the fraud and other shenanigans. He told me to find the studies removed from his study because the world did not know this is one of the deadliest products ever approved. Wanting to be sure I wasn't the only one to know this I had Dr. H. J. Roberts and Dr. Russell Blaylock, neurosurgeon call Jerome. Dr. Roberts wrote his congressman. I have the correspondence. FDA said it was confidential they couldn't release it. One FDA man said they shredded those studies because they were old. Jerome Bressler said he was his boss. He also said he had to live with what the FDA did all these years knowing pregnant mothers were using aspartame and having autistic children. It took me 8 years to get these studies but they are added back to the Bressler Rep[ort which is why it says "complete Bressler Report" Notice the admission of the FDA that aspartame causes birth defects. Dr. Ralph Walton who did the research for 60 Minutes showing 92 per cent of ALL independent scientific peer reviewed research showed problems with aspartame (and if you eliminate 6 studies the FDA had something to do with and 1 pro-industry summary) 100 per cent of all independent studies show how deadly aspartame is - is now doing a study on birth defects for anyone who gave birth after 1984. rwalton123@aol.com I write the obituaries of those dying from aspartame and Dr. Alemany who did the Trocho Study showing the formaldehyde from the free methyl alcohol embalms living tissue and damages DNA told me in Barcelona that aspartame will murder 200 million. The FDA called me because they refused to answer the imminent health hazard which by law is to be answered in a week or ten days. I said "People are sick and dying everywhere as I lecture all over the world." I was told, "So what, we have to depopulate". Go to www.mpwhi.com and read "Peer Reviewed Research". Don't ever say anything about www.sunsentpress.com That is the publishing website of H. J. Roberts, M.D. who died last year. He was selected by a medical journal in 1980's as "Best Doctor in the US". He devoted his life to alerting the world about aspartame and before he died he left me all his 30 years research on aspartame to carry on his work to save as many as I could.

    John Hasenkam
    Hmmm. I like taking Mercola to task. However the above abstract piqued my interest because I have never believed aspartame to be a problem. But then I found the below two abstracts which are at least partly consistent with the symptom reports in that first abstract Betty posted. So now I must think again. Ah damn Betty why did you post that!? :)
    I won't be looking further into this, I don't use it and the data is scant. The below certainly doesn't prove anything but in the absence of establishing clear problems with the below studies it is unwise to dismiss the claims. 

    BTW, there are precious few studies on aspartame neurobiological effects. It is all very well to talk about hundreds of studies but so often many studies are variations on a theme, not a comprehensive investigation of a substance. 

    aspartame adrenal 16

     2012 Apr;21(3):245-55. doi: 10.1007/s12640-011-9264-9. Epub 2011 Aug 6.

    Effect of aspartame on oxidative stress and monoamine neurotransmitter levels in lipopolysaccharide-treated mice.

    Abdel-Salam OM1Salem NAHussein JS.



    Abstract

    ... Thus, the administration of aspartame alone or in the presence of mild systemic inflammatory response increases oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain, but not in the liver.



    PMID:
     
    21822758
     
    [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


     2008 Apr;62(4):451-62. Epub 2007 Aug 8.

    Direct and indirect cellular effects of aspartame on the brain.

    Humphries P1Pretorius ENaudé H.



    Abstract

    ... The aim of this study was to discuss the direct and indirect cellular effects of aspartame on the brain, and we propose that excessive aspartame ingestion might be involved in the pathogenesis of certain mental disorders (DSM-IV-TR 2000) and also in compromised learning and emotional functioning.



    Comment in


    PMID:
     
    17684524
     
    [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]





    Josh Bloom
    Paper #1:  "Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) were measured in liver. The administration of only aspartame (22.5 and 45 mg/kg) increased brain TBARS by 17.7-32.8%, decreased GSH by 25.6-31.6%, and increased TNF-α by 16.7-44%."

    Comments: Biomarkers only, therefore simply speculation. Very small changes. Statistical significance? I can't tell. Department of Toxicology and Narcotics, National Research Centre, Tahrir St., Dokki, Cairo, Egypt? Please.


    Paper #2 Comments: A review of many speculative biomarker papers. With an obvious agenda. One of MANY examples:

    "when the temperature of aspartame exceeds 86°F, the wood alcohol in aspartame is converted into formaldehyde and then to formic acid, which in turn causes metabolic acidosis" 

     Did you ever hear of dose-response? From  (http://tinyurl.com/p6v5uo9):


    This poisoning occurred at 2,500 to 10,000-times the amount found in one can of soda.Yeah- that's really relevant. And should you want to play the "accumulation card"-- formic acid does not accumulate. It's half life in humans is 2.5 hours. Of the 20 mg of formic acid formed from 200 mg of aspartame, about 1 mg will remain after 12 hours. Metabolic acidosis from 1 mg of formic acid????  These guys must be kidding, right?  

    I won't waste anymore of my time on this. In 5 minutes I was able to find SO many problems with the conclusions that I thought I was reading The Onion.

    We can stop this now. Might as well be the Palestinians talking to the Israelis. Pointless. You believe what you want. I will enjoy my Diet Coke and feel just fine.




    Josh Bloom
    John Hasenkam
    Comments: Biomarkers only, therefore simply speculation. Very small changes. Statistical significance? I can't tell. Department of Toxicology and Narcotics, National Research Centre, Tahrir St., Dokki, Cairo, Egypt? Please.

    Lab tests are biomarkers, shall we disregard those? I don't know how significant these findings are but as a collection of biomarkers those results are not the sort of things you would want to see in your lab test results. I do not think those changes are "small" because over extended periods of time those "small" changes can have large consequences. Elevated TNF and decreased GSH are risk markers for neurodegeneration. 


    Heuristically I remain doubtful that aspartame is a problem because it has been on the market for decades and if there was a problem it would be more obvious by now. Nonetheless it is worth paying attention to "speculations" because a great deal of primary research is speculation. Dismissing such findings on those grounds means throwing out a huge amount of research findings. 


    Cairo Eqypt Please?


    Sure, that warrants caution but I'm not going to succumb to the source fallacy. That is why I suggested these studies need to be analysed. Error rates are way too high in many biomedical studies. To dismiss the study because of its origin is no different than those who dismiss studies because they are from Big Pharma. Epistemic hypocrisy is something I prefer to avoid. 












    Michael Martinez
    Mercola calls salt an "unnatural chemical." I guess this is true if you ignore all five oceans, the Dead Sea, The Great Salt Lake and organic pretzels.
    Let's just quote "Crazy Joe" directly, shall we?

    What remains after typical salt is "chemically cleaned" is sodium chloride -- an unnatural chemical form of salt that your body recognizes as something completely foreign. This form of salt is in almost every preserved product that you eat. Therefore, when you add more salt to your already salted food, your body receives more salt than it can dispose of.
    Source: http://products.mercola.com/himalayan-salt/


    So he is not calling salt an unnatural chemical, is he?  Your comment is misleading.

    I grok that you're debunking marketing claims as faux science but you don't need to mislead people with your debunkery.  Such false attributions make you less credible a critic.  I have to wonder what else in your article is misleading.

    Is he technically correct?  Sodium chloride is "a salt" (there are other salts) and it's a primary component in what most people would probably agree is "unprocessed salt".  I agree that sodium chloride is a naturally occurring substance.  He's being a bit egregious.
    Josh Bloom
    I appreciate your comments and suggestions. Hyperbole detracts from credibility. But I stand by what I wrote.  
    Let's quote Crazy Joe again:" sodium chloride -- an unnatural chemical form of salt that your body recognizes as something completely foreign"


    This is nothing but a disingenuous use of semantics. His intent is obvious. He may not technically be calling sodium chloride "unnatural," but with the exception of a scientist, NO ONE will read it in any other way. If it is "an unnatural form," which is nonsense, and "your body recognizes it as something completely foreign," which is even more nonsensical, how else could it possibly be interpreted?


    He is not being a bit egregious. In my opinion, he is being intentionally misleading.

    Thanks for writing. We may have a slightly different take on this, but least you're sane, which is more than I can say for most of the rest. 
    Josh Bloom
    Thor Russell
    If most of your audience is insane who are you writing for and why? I don't think its just to let off steam though it sure seems you are doing that. Your tone isn't going to change the mind of someone with relatively set ideas on either side. 
    The vast majority of people will take one look at Crazy Joe and just ignore him. Those that don't either are similarly misinformed or are intensely irritated by him and definitely won't learn anything from him either. 

    Someone I think you could learn from in terms of engaging and educating an audience is Steve, also on this site 
    e.g.  http://www.science20.com/agricultural_realism/it_ok_eat_cloned_fruit-110537
    I have learnt a lot from his articles am usually impressed by how he engages with people. 

    Thor Russell
    Josh Bloom
    ThorYou nailed it. Yes, sometimes I write for my own amusement, which is reflected in the tone. It may be snotty, but it's not boring. Many people enjoy it, and some do not. I also write "serious." Depends on my mood and the topic.


    I never expected to change anyone's mind, especially about this. It is impossible, no matter the style. I was having a little fun while pointing out some ridiculous claims. 


    Personally, I could not possibly care less whether someone uses aspartame or not. That is their choice, as is whether to believe me or not.


    Thanks for writing. 
    Josh Bloom
    Hank you said:

    Would people would complain for 30 years if aspartame was safe? Would there be a 1000 page medical text, "Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic", www.sunsentpress.com ? Would there have been congressional hearings because of the outcry.? Would there be millions of sites warning the public.?

    Actually, yes. Politicians are not in the science business, they are in the advocacy business, and conspiracy theorists have a startling ability to pump out 1,000 page tomes linking the the Eye of Providence, numerology, global control and (insert Your Scary Product Here). It would be scarier if they didn't do those things, because then it would mean something really might be dangerous.

    Hank did you take a course on how to say things that make no sense and show you have no answer. People don't cry out like the pilot who had an aspartame blackout and almost lost his plane and life . He was also on Hardcopy. The pilots testimony was so believable along with the toddler who used Flintstone with aspartame (now a brain damaged child) that Hardcopy was cancelled. Brilliant physicians like Dr. H. J. Roberts who graduated medical school at 21 and wrote the medical text "Difficult Diagnosis" that doctors used taking their boards, and selected as the Best Doctor in the US, don't write 1000 page medical texts on aspartame disease because they are conspiracy theorists! As it happens Dr. Roberts spent a good part of his practice taking care of aspartame victims in the trenches of medical practice and also did a study. He is the father of the anti-aspartame industry and will go down in history.

    Don't insult people's intelligence because the evidence is so clear there is no way to rebut it except saying ithings that make you look foolish like most flacks.

    Betty

    As with the employability of labour[you wouldn't employ anybody without c,v,,qualifications etc.]employability of a product should be guilty until proven innocent.When you are talking about effects on biological systems there is too great an uncertainty to prove it beyond reasonable doubt and so both sides of this argument are doubtful disputations.I don't see the point of this article since we are left with "taste and see" and "try it yourself".My own personal testimony is that i had been drinking aspartane sweetened drinks for some time when suddenly i got an adverse reaction to it,a kind of closing of the throat which caused me to look into this topic.I still drink aspartane sweetened drinks but much more moderately I think this is the same with most products;feel your way gradually and take as wide an advice sample as possible.Remember YOUR body is the testing instrument and your analysis is only as good as the sampling.

    Josh Bloom
    "a product should be guilty until proven innocent"

    That is called the precautionary principle, and it is quite impossible. You can never prove that anything is safe. I am very comfortable with the safety of aspartame, and the science behind it.


    I guess it is possible that certain people may have a bad reaction to just about anything, but after 35 years, if the stuff was really harmful where are the bodies? Where is the increase in rates of cancer? Answer: There isn't any, assuming you believe the NIH. Aspartame was approved in 1981. Show me a rising cancer incidence since then. 


    Josh Bloom
    By this argument we would have to allow doctors to perform surgery on us without any proven qualifications or experience,just "give 'em a go"eh? Rather you than me pal.People have a right to know and decide what they put in their own mouths.

    Josh Bloom
    You're joking, right?Doctors go through medical school.
    Surgeons get board certified. 
    Drugs and food additives get approved, or not, by the FDA. 
     If there is any logic to your statement it escapes me.
    Josh Bloom
    Hank
    Doctors go through medical school.
    Well, Mercola is an osteopath. He gets to call himself a doctor, and can apparently do surgery and tout homeopathy as medicine, so maybe the commenter is noting that regardless of those things, Mercola is not qualified to mow lawns, so a degree is not everything?

    If not, I don't know the point of his comment either.
    Josh Bloom
    Hank-DOs can be indistinguishable from MDs. They both get pretty much the same training but (DOs get some extra in whatever the hell the difference is supposed. to be).

    Then they often diverge. I have two friends who are both excellent doctors. One is an ER doc, the other internal med. You would never know they were DOs. Then, you get the neck-snapping glorified chiropractors, who often are medicine, anti-pharmaceutical, pro-homeopathy types. 

    That's when it's time to run away screaming. I'm guessing Crazy Joe is in the latter group (probably on the far right side of the bell curve at that) which must come in rather handy to sell his crap. From what he writes it's hard to imagine he made it into DO school, let alone finished it. His knowledge of medicine seems superficial at best, with a double order of bluster.
    Josh Bloom
    To hear you flacks who would knowingly even attempt to defend a deadly chemical like aspartame, one has to get sick at heart that there are those type of people who put money and power before human life. Reminds me of EFSA who did the review on aspartame. The EU Commission on Food who did a review got caught. No committee made the decision, only one person, no doubt a flack. So then EFSA was set up perhaps to stop this sort of thing. Again EFSA tried to say aspartame was safe. Parliament told them with all the studies coming in (Denmark study on 60,000 women, aspartame triggering heart attacks and strokes, and raising fasting blood sugar, etc. etc. ) showing it isn't safe, to go back and do it again. More and more studies continue to show how deadly it is. So here EFSA has 82 scientific peer reviewed studies on aspartame showing it unsafe. What do they do presented with over-whelming evidence that aspartame is a killer? They did what every good puppet of industry does - throw all the studies out as being unresponsible. Reminds me of Dr. Kohler who finally admitted "We were pressured by Industry to hijack science." He was the head of EFSA and couldn't take it anymore, put out a press release and resigned.

    How do you people look at the world with a straight face when you emphatically know aspartame is a chemical poison? G. D. Searle was not able to show safety originally. That's why FDA wanted them indicted for fraud. Both U.S. Prosecutors went to work for the defense, and the statutes of limitation expired. So FDA revoked the petition for approval. Don Rumsfeld hired by Searle, made a deal with President Reagan, who after being elected, had the FDA Commissioner fired who would have signed that petition into law. Read it on www.mpwhi.com , Reagan than appoints Dr Arthur Hayes, who Rumsfeld knew from the Defense Dept. as commissioner to over-rule the Board of Inquiry. What an outcry there was as people were poisoned. In Congressional hearings it was even admitted that the complaints were so high the FDA was sending them to the AIDS Hotline. You can read all about it in the congressional records on my web sited.

    The epidemics skyrocketed. l Out of the blue autism statistics went through the roof. . Then we find out the FDA made a deal with G. D. Searle to never allow the public to see teratology studies. It took me 8 years to find them and added some back to the Bressler Report. Jerome Bressler laid dying in a nursing home pleading to get those studies back to his report, and that the public be notified. When you looked at the studies you become sickened because here the FDA admits aspartame causes birth defects. What kind of birth defects? Neural tube - autism, cleft palate and spina bifida. Now its too late, plagues have saturated the earth. Dr. Alemany who did the Trocho Study told me aspartame would kill 200 million people.

    Don't forget you flacks, it can happen to your families as well, because of the DNA damage. The Holy Scriptures make it plain (Jeremiah) the wicked will sleep a perpetual sleep and never awaken.

    Intelligent people looking for truth will kindly look at the records and base their decision on science - real science not fraud in science. Flacks use ugly language and try to destroy the character of researchers who worked hard to get to the truth. Over 30 years of controversy and skyrocketing epidemics. Betty

    Hank
    To hear you flacks
    You get one chance to back up your assertion that anyone here has been bought off by Big Aspartame. If you do not have it, talk like an adult with a brain or get banned. I have lost a small fortune building this site and doing science outreach for the public and I do not like when some shrill nobody accuses me of being on the take.

    First warning. Last warning.
    Josh Bloom
    Betty has revealed that she is 50 shades of crazy.

    I'm all for the ban.
    Josh Bloom
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/10/american-council-science-hea...

    Looks like Josh Bloom gets paid by ACSH, and the soda companies that use aspartame pay ACSH. ACSH has a bit of a history that way, lacking transparency - only through leaked documents do we see that.

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=American_Council_on_Science_a...

    Dr. Bloom, care to address?

    Josh Bloom
    Simon- I sure do.Yes, I get paid by ACSH (and not all that much, but that's another story).
     Most people do get paid for their jobs. 

     I'm not really up on our funders at the time (I think the Mother Jones article was based on info that was a little dated), but whatever we are getting from soda companies is sure not much.  Believe it or not, there are still some honest people around who actually write what they believe, regardless of the consequences.

     I am one of them. My views on aspartame were formed long before I was hired here—roughly 3.5 years ago. They are based on my expertise in chemistry, metabolism, and toxicology—issues that chemists doing drug discovery grapple with constantly. My decision to switch to artificial sweeteners was based on the fact that I figured out that I was getting over 500 calories a day from sugar in soda, juice etc, and I wanted to knock it off. Do you really think that I started poisoning myself 15 years ago in anticipation of being laid off (with 40,000 of my colleagues) and landing a job where I would write about aspartame as a shill for soda companies, from which I don't earn a penny and ACSH gets very little?

     Also, you might want to keep in mind that we have received money from the pharmaceutical industry. I often write very complimentary pieces on their work, because I think it is deserved.  But I could send you something like 10 op-eds where I go after certain drug companies in a big way when I think they are doing something wrong or sleazy. 

    If I did not think aspartame was safe I would not use it, and I certainly wouldn't write that it is. No one tells me what to write—ever.


     If you think that this place is some huge money generating entity that is drowning in industry dollars you could not be more wrong. 
    Josh Bloom
    My question would then be why you are choosing to write about aspartame. ACSH has a fully produced video on the website.

    I suppose it would be coincidence that you would be writing about the topic, ACSH producing videos on the subject, and now promoting Advantame with so little evidence of safety in this new artificial sweetener.

    If common sense had it's way, you would think the beverage industry and ACSH made it a priority to promote, as a beneficiary to that, you are here.

    Josh Bloom
    Simon-  It's pretty simple. I get most of my ideas for my blog pieces and newspaper op-eds from daily medical news. At the time that I saw that advantame was approved, I hadn't even heard of it. But the science behind it was very clever-- they solved two problems with one chemical modification. Even after we are fired (which is constant) we still remain chemists on some level. This invention appealed to my chemist brain. I am not promoting it. I never even heard of the company that invented it. I commented on the problem solving they did and the insanely safe tox profile. I completely disagree with your assertion that there is little safety data. It is exactly the opposite. No one could find ANYTHING wrong with it at any dose.

    I brought up aspartame because it's always a hot button issue, and I remembered what Mercola said about it from awhile ago. He went after us recently, so I thought it might be fun to mock him. It was. 

    I do this blog as a hobby and sometimes just to write funny stuff. Ok, maybe with a bit of an attitude. 

    You have some trust issues, my friend. Not everything in life can be explained away as marketing. 

    I just plain felt like writing a snotty piece. With accurate information. I did both. 


    Josh Bloom
    Hank
    Simon seems to live in a world where he and everyone he knows is bought and paid for so he cannot fathom that anyone in the world of science isn't. 

    Like that old legal joke goes, when the judge asks a guy charged with lifting wallets if he wants a trial by judge or a jury of his peers, the accused says, "You judge, I don't want 12 pickpockets deciding what happens to me".

    You don't assume the worst in people and he does - that tells us all we need to know about his agenda and your lack of one.
    My sister will get a headache if she drinks anything with Nutrasweet, and I think some studies have suggested a link, although just headaches and no lasting harm. She's a microbiologist and not prone to woo.

    I just don't like the taste, and I figure my body has a billion years of evolutionary information on how to process good old sugar, so I stick to cane sugar sodas if I'm in the mood for some pop. Hansen's (especially the grapefruit flavor), Mountain Dew Throwback, etc. I used to like Kosher Coke! Yes, it's Coca-Cola with cane sugar. Small store near me used to carry it, but they closed. Keep meaning to look online.

    Josh Bloom
    I guess it is possible that some people react to (you name it) in unusual ways. So, I guess it's possible that your sister is one of them.
    I hated the taste when I started drinking diet soda, but I have now adjusted to it. To the point where if a waiter brings me a regular Coke instead of a Diet Coke it tastes too sweet (and icky) so I send it back.

    I simply wanted to cut back on the calories I was getting from sugar. 

    Regarding evolution and sugar, I don't think it's that simple. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think cane sugar has been used for only a few thousand years, so evolution doesn't come into play.

     Rather, (and this is just personal opinion) I think that man (or whatever) developed a taste for sweetness as a mechanism to avoid eating toxic plants a very long time ago. There would be no adaptive advantage for sugar cane—just anything with a sweet taste.   Getting a little out of my expertise zone here.
    Josh Bloom
    If your a chemist ,Josh then like me you will be aware of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle and mechanisms of reactions.In inorganic reactions A+B always =C+D,but as the chemical reactions become more complex such as organic chemical reactions more random things happen,because of.Heisenberg's uncertainty A+B can give C+D,E+F,and G+H in various proportions.This was always a problem with large scale organic chemical production when trying to manufacture an organic compound there would always be side reactions,giving impurities,but we could get reasonable certainty by controlling rates of throughput,use of catalysts and control of temperature and pressure.The constraints[environment ]in which the reaction took place gave us reasonable certainty which I would have thought is the legal requirement for guilt or innocence.However when it comes to the great complexity of biological processes,A+B can give so many different products and the reaction go so many different ways that there is great uncertainty in what will happen and the environment in which biological reactions in our bodies for instance take place is so varied that it is impossible to anticipate or control neither the reaction or the environment.This is why I don't believe we can use DNA testing as a fingerprint because our DNA is constantly changing in line with changes in our environment and random reactions in our bodies according to Charles Darwin and our knowledge of chemistry.I think Einstein was right,everything is about relationships and so everything is about chemistry,because chemistry is about how everything reacts with everything around it.It's not as the physicist or mathematician thinks all about particles or numbers at all.

    I would like also to take your point about logic.Logic can be very unreasonable.For instance it used to be logical to say the sun rises in the east and sets in the west but now with reason we know that the sun doesn't move at all.It used to be logical for the north pole to be up and south pole to be down,but with reason the north pole is the pole to which the north pole of a magnet points,which since opposite poles attract is actually the south pole of the earth's magnetic field,and the south pole is really the north pole of the earths magnetic field,and is the positive pole.If you think positive is up and negative is down then the south pole should be.up and the north pole down and all the maps of the world are printed the wrong way up.I warn you though Josh that many doctors and drug manufacturers,even those approved and qualified have been sued for saying something was certain when it turned out that it was not,which is why doctors ,weather forcasters,and drug manufacturers now talk of degrees of certainty.

    I would like also to take your point about logic.Logic can be very unreasonable.For instance it used to be logical to say the sun rises in the east and sets in the west but now with reason we know that the sun doesn't move at all.It used to be logical for the north pole to be up and south pole to be down,but with reason the north pole is the pole to which the north pole of a magnet points,which since opposite poles attract is actually the south pole of the earth's magnetic field,and the south pole is really the north pole of the earths magnetic field,and is the positive pole.If you think positive is up and negative is down then the south pole should be.up and the north pole down and all the maps of the world are printed the wrong way up.I warn you though Josh that many doctors and drug manufacturers,even those approved and qualified have been sued for saying something was certain when it turned out that it was not,which is why doctors ,weather forcasters,and drug manufacturers now talk of degrees of certainty.