Recently, I went shopping with my 11 year old nephew, and was shocked and unprepared for the experience. Like other kids his age, he preferred diet sodas containing aspartame and brominated vegetable oil (BVO). He also preferred processed foods high in MSG.
The Problem With Diet Drinks And Aspartame
I found myself protesting his choices, explaining the dangers of food additives, and removing these items from the shopping cart as fast I could. These food additives are harmful to health, and represent a minefield at the Supermarket waiting for the unsuspecting consumer.
Since the 1981 approval as a food additive, aspartame has the dubious honor of the most complaints reported to the FDA’s Adverse Reaction Monitoring System, accounting for 75 per cent of all complaints. Aspartame is a chemical sweetener in diet sodas such as diet Coke and Diet Pepsi with names such as Nutrasweet, Equal, etc. Little packets of aspartame are placed on the tables at restaurants for use as a coffee sweetener instead of sugar.
The Cancer and Obesity Links
The Aspartame industry has sponsored 74 aspartame safety studies, all showing Apartame consumption is safe. When studies are done privately, with no connection to the aspartame industry or the FDA, 89 of 90 aspartame safety studies identified problems with aspartame use. A disturbing 2007 study by Soffritti at the Ramazzini Institute in Italy showed aspartame to be a multipotential carcinogen.
Many people drink diet sodas thinking this will help lose weight. A recent study shows this is a fallacy, finding a 41% increased risk of being overweight for every can or bottle of diet soft drink consumed daily. The sweetener aspartame activates receptors in the brain to expect sugar (glucose), when none is forthcoming, the aspartame user merely increases junk food and sugar intake.
Aspartame and MSG: their Links to Fibromyalgia and Neurological Complaints
Forty years ago, my earliest experience with MSG during medical school was a headache after eating at a chinese restaurant. The MSG causes the Chinese Restaurant Syndrome. Since my old medical school days, MSG has been added to thousands of products at the supermarket, and virtually all forms of fast food. Much of this MSG is hidden and does not appear on the label.
MSG stands for mono sodium glutamate. Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain, and upregulation of the Glutamate pathway leads to neuron cell damage and cell death. MSG is associated with lesions in the hypothalamus, directly causes obesity, and a host of somatic and neurological symptoms. Rat studies show that MSG is a direct cause of obesity. Is our obesity epidemic caused by increased MSG consumption in the population?
A new problem with MSG is that many of the sources are hidden. In other words, the processed food contains MSG in some form, yet the name MSG does not appear on the label. MSG is present in in all Fast Foods, including Burger King, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizzas, Wendy’s etc.
Both Aspartame and MSG are excitatory neurotoxins. When aspartame and MSG are consumed together, as commonly found with fast food and diet sodas in the same meal, there can be a double whammy effect. A 2001 report describes four patients with fibromyalgia syndrome unresponsive to medical treatment. These four patients noted complete resolution of chronic pain upon removing aspartame and MSG from the diet.
In addition, a lengthy list of medical and neurological symptoms are associated with MSG and aspartame. One syndrome includes slurred speech which looks like a TIA (transient ischemic attack). This usually resolves after elimination of MSG and aspartame from the diet.
A 1981 study by Dhindsa showed that MSG administered to lab rats caused marked hypothyroidism with striking histology changes in the thyroid gland.(10)
BVO- Brominated Vegetable Oil
Bromine (BVO) is a toxic substance added to sodas such as Mountain Dew, Gatorade, Powerade, Pineapple and Orange Fanta, Sun Drop, Squirt and Fresca. Bromine directly competes with Iodine in the body causing thyroid problems and Iodine deficiency states.
BVO has been banned in India.
The FDA is an agency of our government, and like all other agencies, is infiltrated and corrupted by corporate lobbyists. Rather than an agency for the people, the FDA is an agency of the large corporations that manufacture the food additives. The safety studies are manipulated to get FDA approval. And that’s why the FDA cannot protect the American public from harmful food additives at our supermarket.
In Conclusion- Avoid the Minefield at the Supermarket
We have merely scratched the surface of harmful food additives to avoid at the Supermarket, concentrating on the excitatory neurotoxins Aspartame and MSG. Others, such as Trans Fats, and GMO foods are harmful to our health and should also be avoided.
All these additives are potential hormone disruptors and a healthy hormone balance is essential throughout life to protect against the stress these chemicals place on our system.
Part Two of Dr Dach’s article focusing on soy and its potential problems for women will appear on 19 April. To read more on his work please visit his website at www.jeffreydach.comand if you have any questions or comments on his articles you can contact him via the website.