View Full Version : Aspartame aka Nutrasweet - Another cause of Lupus

09-19-2005, 05:23 AM
If like many you think this chemical is "like water", please watch "Sweet Misery FDA Aspartame Conspiracy". It's on the ed2k network and probably other p2p networks. It should be on nntp soon under alt.binaries.multimedia. Basically it causes brain disorders, tumors auto immune disorders, etc.

09-22-2005, 01:06 PM
Hi Madthumbs;
Yes, there has been much discussion about Aspartame and Lupus in the media, on the web and even on this forum. There are researchers and scientist claiming it's detrimental affect on those of us with Lupus and there are researchers and scientists claiming that there is not evidentiary proof that it causes us harm.
I found this article in the Lupus Foundation's Web Site:
"We are aware there is an email message circulating on the Internet warning individuals with lupus about dangers associated with using the artificial sweetener aspartame. The Lupus Foundation of America consulted with the chair of the LFA Medical Council, Evelyn Hess, MD, MACP, MACR. Dr. Hess is one of the nation's leading researchers in the field of lupus specializing in environmental influences. According to Dr. Hess, there is, as of now, no specific proof of an association with aspartame as a cause or worsening of SLE.
People with lupus should always consult with their physician before making any changes in their medical treatment, diet, exercise or other routine based on information received via the Internet or other sources lacking known credentials.'

I guess the jury is still out until definative tests have proven, inconclusively, one way or the other how it affects us. Until then, we probably would be well advised to make informed decisions that are best for us.
Thank you so much for the information :lol:

Peace and Blessings

09-23-2005, 03:02 PM
This is an interesting topic. I have noticed that since I got sick my body does not tollerate artificial sweetners at all - thy make me feel TERRIBLE. I hadn't heard anything though about them possibly causing autoimmine diseases.

09-25-2005, 09:58 PM
I've gotten that email. I think it's kind of like earthquakes - we've always had lots of them, but until somebody started measuring them effectively, nobody knew how many of the darned things there were. (I live in South Cali, and I've gotten very blah about anything less than a 5)

Anyway, the point being - I think lupus is one of those diseases where there's always been lots of it around - but a lot of the symptoms are pretty vague (sore joints and fatigue...) and we're just hearing about more cases now cause they've figured out some better ways of measuring whether my soreness and fatigue comes from the same place as your soreness and fatigue or some completely different place (MS, Epstein-barr, etc.).

Somebody made the correlation that a lot of people got diagnosed with lupus, ms, etc. once aspartame made its way into the food supply. That doesn't mean aspartame actually caused the diseases, though. There's a lot of different possibilities - could just be a coincidence of timing, could be that there is something in it that makes symptoms more pronounced in autoimmune diseases, could be there is an indirect link - like a culture that has enough food to require a diet soda might have enough of something else associated with affluence (car fumes, sugar intake, electro-magnetic fields) that is causing or worsening autoimmune responses. And that's just a couple of possibilities off the top of my head.

There's enough people out there who think aspartame really does have something to do with it, that it's gonna get studied by somebody who isn't working for a diet soda company.

09-26-2005, 06:41 AM
Very good points Katalanta!! :lol:


09-27-2005, 08:07 AM
I found this in the Urban Legends section in the About.com website.....

This specimen of email scarelore, in wide circulation since mid-December 1998, warns that the artificial sweetener aspartame (a.k.a. "NutraSweet" and "Equal") is toxic to humans in a hundred different ways. It even coins a new medical term for these effects: "aspartame disease."

Most of the allegations contradict the bulk of medical evidence (see next page), but its author offers a convenient explanation: collusion between aspartame's manufacturers, the medical establishment, and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

Far be it from me to insist that the FDA is infallible and incorruptible, but I would point out that the agency has common sense and years of accumulated research on its side when it maintains that the sweetener is safe for most people. As to aspartame's critics, it doesn't help their cause that the information presented in the email is disorganized, hysterical and poorly substantiated:

First off, despite the attribution at the top (absent in some versions of the message), this text was not written by "Nancy Markle" whoever that may be. Its real author was one Betty Martini, who posted a host of similar messages to Usenet newsgroups in late 1995 and early 1996. The original email was penned in December 1995.

Ms. Martini, who is not a physician but says she has worked in the medical profession, has waged a single-minded battle for years against what she calls "the propaganda put out by industry and the FDA" regarding aspartame. To that end, she founded an organization called "Mission Possible International," represented on such Websites as Dave Rietz's http://www.dorway.com, which houses a vast archive of anti-aspartame literature.

Even if we credit Martini with good intentions (and there's no reason not to), it's difficult to take her email warning seriously. Among other things, it blithely implicates aspartame as the cause of just about every malady known to humankind. To recap the laundry list:

"The methanol toxicity mimics multiple sclerosis..."

"In the cases of systemic lupus, which is triggered by ASPARTAME, the victim usually does not know that the aspartame is the culprit."

"If you...suffer from fibromyalgia symptoms, spasms, shooting pains, numbness in your legs, cramps, vertigo, dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, joint pain, depression, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, blurred vision, or memory loss-you probably have ASPARTAME DISEASE!"

"In one lecture attended by the Ambassador of Uganda, he told us that their sugar industry is adding aspartame! He continued by saying that one of the industry leader's son could no longer walk - due in part by product usage!"

"At the time of this first hearing, people were going blind. The methanol in the aspartame converts to formaldehyde in the retina of the eye."

"Aspartame changes the brain's chemistry. It is the reason for severe seizures."

"This drug also causes Birth Defects."

"It makes you crave carbohydrates and will make you FAT."

"The ingredients stimulates [sic] the neurons of the brain to death, causing brain damage of varying degrees."

"Aspartame is especially deadly for diabetics."

"...aspartame poisoning is escalating Alzheimer's Disease..."

"...the phenylalanine in aspartame breaks down the seizure threshold and depletes serotonin, which causes manic depression, panic attacks, rage and violence..."

"Aspartame Disease is partially the cause to what is behind some of the mystery of the Dessert [sic] Storm health problems."

"When they remove brain tumors, they have found high levels of aspartame in them."
That's a dizzying array of charges to which it's perfectly reasonable to respond: if it's all provable, why isn't the entire medical establishment up in arms about it? Why does the substance continue to have the FDA's approval? Why do reputable scientists and doctors scoff?

Martini's answer, as I mentioned above, is pat and comes in the form of a conspiracy theory: the NutraSweet Company has used its deep pockets to buy all but a very few critics off. I.e., the only sources you can trust, including doctors and scientists, are those approved by Martini.

Naturally, the NutraSweet Company insists as it has ever since it began manufacturing the product that aspartame is safe for nearly everyone to use. In answer to the Internet rumors charging that aspartame is deadly, NutraSweet has posted rebuttals on its promotional Website. Labeling Martini's allegations "egregious," the document states: "None of the symptoms she and her 'sources' have attributed to aspartame have been substantiated in any clinical scientific study."

Those who are inclined to think that's nothing but a corporate whitewash will probably also reject the FDA's Statement on Aspartame published in 1996. The statement disputes charges that aspartame is associated with brain tumors. The FDA has also released its own rebuttal of the "Nancy Markle" email dated January 27, 1999. Critics will note that it agrees on most points with the NutraSweet Company's position.

The U.K. Food Standards Agency also deems aspartame safe for most people and challenges the assertions of Internet rumormongers: "Some critics claim that aspartame is linked to a wide range of serious disorders such as multiple sclerosis, lupus erythrematosis, Gulf War Syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, brain tumors and diabetes mellitus. However, most of the data to substantiate these claims is anecdotal and no reliable scientific evidence is available to show that aspartame might be responsible for these conditions," the agency concluded.

A recent MIT study reaffirms that aspartame is harmless for most users, but again, skeptics will object that the research was funded by a grant from the NutraSweet Company and therefore cannot be trusted.

On Jan. 12, 1999 the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation posted its own rebuttal of the aspartame rumors, characterizing them as "rabidly inaccurate and scandalously misinformative." The article was researched and written by Dr. David Squillacote, respected neurologist and Senior Medical Advisor for the foundation. This was followed by an article published by the National MS Society which in part stated: "Many Internet surfers came across an article warning that the food additive aspartame was responsible for an MS 'epidemic.' In fact, none of the claims in the article were supported by scientific evidence." More from the MS Foundation: Examining the Safety of Aspartame by Ellen Guthrie, Pharm.D.

About Poll
One anti-aspartame Webmaster says the Holocaust 'pales' beside the 'genocide of aspartame poisoning.' What do you think?

It's absolutely true!
It's a bit overstated.
It's an absurd and offensive comparison.

Current Results

Simeon Margolis, M.D., Ph.D. and professor of medicine and biological chemistry at Johns Hopkins University, agrees. In a 1999 feature for Intelihealth, he wrote: "A letter recently circulating on the Internet stated that aspartame can cause a number of illnesses: multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), as well as Alzheimer's disease. As far as I can ascertain, there is no reliable evidence to support the claim that aspartame causes any of these disorders." Responding to the claims that breakdown byproducts of aspartame are dangerous, he added: "While it is true that high heat can break down aspartame, there is no evidence that the breakdown products are toxic." In another Intelihealth Q & A feature, gastroenterologist Lawrence J. Cheskin, also of Johns Hopkins, wrote: "...the evidence is overwhelming that there are no health risks to use of aspartame in the usual amounts (even 64 ounces) for everyone except the one person in about 16,000 in the United States who has phenylketonuria and can't metabolize it."

The American Diabetes Association weighed in with this Feb. 9, 1999 statement: "The American Diabetes Association considers aspartame as well as the other FDA-approved nonnutritive sweeteners saccharin, acesulfame K, and sucralose acceptable sugar substitutes and a safe part of a diabetic meal plan."

The "aspartame scare" hit the mainsream media when the Associated Press moved a Jan. 29, 1999 article debunking the rumor. It stated that "MS and lupus have been around a lot longer than aspartame has, and repeated scientific studies have found no connection between the sweetener and such symptoms." The article cited the FDA and the ACSH, an alphabet soup that won't be to everyone's liking.

So, for those who would rather not take anyone's word on this Betty Martini's, the FDA's, or the media's I highly recommend taking the time to survey the last 20 years' worth of medical research on aspartame (courtesy of the MEDLINE database). I reviewed a good many of the journal abstracts on file there and, taking their conclusions as a whole, it appears to this layman that the "aspartame = death" theorists have wandered far afield from the proven facts.

Lastly, aspartame use is acknowledged (though not without controversy) to produce minor side effects in some people most notably headaches (see Aspartame Ingestion and Headaches, Neurology, 1994).

Also, the FDA warns that persons with certain medical conditions, including pregnant women with hyperphenylalanine, should avoid aspartame:

Carefully controlled clinical studies show that aspartame is not an allergen. However, certain people with the genetic disease phenylketonuria (PKU), those with advanced liver disease, and pregnant women with hyperphenylalanine (high levels of phenylalanine in blood) have a problem with aspartame because they do not effectively metabolize the amino acid phenylalanine, one of aspartame's components. High levels of this amino acid in body fluids can cause brain damage. Therefore, FDA has ruled that all products containing aspartame must include a warning to phenylketonurics that the sweetener contains phenylalanine.

FDA: Food Allergies Rare But Risky, May 1994

09-27-2005, 09:49 AM
I love the science! MORE MORE MORE!

(But after reading the last very thorough and well-expressed post, I feel unaccountably lazy for not doing the research myself.)

Well, now that we've dispensed with the aspartame hypothesis, any other ideas about causes to kick around?

09-27-2005, 06:25 PM
While I don't buy into the whole "aspartame causes lupus" thing... You CAN get aspartame poisioning which is why your soda can has an expiration date on it!

11-05-2005, 06:36 PM
I sent an email to my sisters requesting that they watch the video I suggested in the first post here. One sister writes back with a myth debunking website's appraisal which wasn't convincing. Her response like all the pro aspartame responses indicated that she obviously hadn't watched the video! She's also not losing weight on the stuff. They show chemists explaining how it turns into formeldehyde AND the alcohol that turns people blind/ kills them. Saying aspartame is safe because it's an amino acid in food is like saying "eat a bottle of vitamin C as a meal replacer. The amount just isn't natural at all. It was also listed as a poison for military use and known for it's sweetness long before it was approved. Look into why it was approved, who approved it, why they retired, did they buy stock in the company, etc!

Aspartame doesn't taste good, is addictive, makes you crave carbohydrates, makes us fat, etc. There is no reason to consume it. The only people I know that have lost significant weight and kept it off did so by switching to water as a primary drink, and some took up walking as well. If you don't like water, it's probably because of the poisons chlorine and fluoride they add to it. Common filters don't filter out fluoride which is toxic and harmful to your bones, and thyroid. It is a toxic waste by-product and not a natural mineral as some think.

If you don't believe the negative press; watch the video. If you still doubt then post here acknowledging that you watched the video with some feedback about it. I have yet to see anyone it didn't convince.

Since insects don't even like it, I wonder if we had out-houses today if they'd be fly free because of the stuff!

11-05-2005, 06:41 PM
While I don't buy into the whole "aspartame causes lupus" thing... You CAN get aspartame poisioning which is why your soda can has an expiration date on it!

-Incidently I've read the reason bottled water has an expiration on it is because of the chemicals that leech into it from the plastic container.

The American Diabetes Association weighed in with this Feb. 9, 1999 statement: "The American Diabetes Association considers aspartame as well as the other FDA-approved nonnutritive sweeteners saccharin, acesulfame K, and sucralose acceptable sugar substitutes and a safe part of a diabetic meal plan."

-Who can trust them when they scared us into believing that sugar causes tooth decay (it doesn't anymore than carbs). They told us sugar rots our stomaches and led quite the campaign against sugar. Do they ignore the link between pasteurized/ homogenized milk and deterioration of the pancreas which produces insulin? What lactose does when not properly digested?

That's a dizzying array of charges to which it's perfectly reasonable to respond: if it's all provable, why isn't the entire medical establishment up in arms about it?

-Don't know about you, but I find the doctors give you one drug that only serves to cover some symptoms and cause others that you need yet another drug for. They're eductated by the pharmaceutical industry (someone I grew up with became a doctor and agrees with me on this). Rarely is anything cured by doctors, yet if you look into natural cures you see actual cures happening much more so than the charismatic/ new age divine healing crap. (I believe in and read the KJV Bible, but don't buy that crap). I believe the medical establishment is totally wrong about AIDS as well. I don't believe it's caused by HIV, that hiv is almost harmless, and has been around a lot longer than the aids pandemic. You also have more to fear from the innoculations than the bird flu scaremongering going on. You won't see a cure for cancer in mainstream, but multiple cures exist! More people make a living off cancer treatment than people die from it. Work in a factory and see how people kill their future working with highly toxic chemicals for $2 more an hour than they would elsewhere!

I may sound crazed, but I do research. I'm not selling you a zapper, and I call Kevin Trudeau a liar. My own lupus symptoms go away by avoiding soy. Especially soy oil. Now there are studies showing rat's offspring dying or being stunted by gmo soy. Nothing new - gmo'd tomatos put people in hospitals with internal bleeding.

11-05-2005, 11:25 PM
Okay... But, while I said I don't buy in to the whole aspartame thing, I also don't use it because frankly it's nasty... And I never really have... ALSO don't use soy products... At all... Don't eat it, I only cook with olive oil, I use cosmetics, but don't have the butterfly rash, and the rash that I do get from sun snesitivity only started once I started prednisone and I am convinced that once I am off of that I shouldn't get rashes anymore...

So, if this is the cause/cure for lupus, #1 why do i have it, and #2 why am I not cured?

Hate to sound skeptical ... But, I really would like to know your theory on this! :) And I didn't know that about the bottled water! I WAS wondering why water had an expiration date... other than it gets kinda stale after a while....

Though you know, I just recently read that the increase in people drinking purified water has created an increase in tooth decay because they put flouride in tap water, and since we filter it out we aren't getting as much as we should be or whatever....

Seems like no matter what you do, you can't win! LOL!!! :lol:

11-06-2005, 10:14 AM
I'm with SoleSinger on the sugar substitutes. Never have used aspartame products much. Tried the sugar substitutes, didn't like the taste, decided I was better off with real sugar. About 10 years ago I went completely vegetarian\natural products, started drinking only water (usually bottled cause we have well-water and it tasted funny to me).

I do eat lots of soy products, though. My rheumy and I are experimenting with my diet to see if anything I eat is causing things to get better or worse, so I'm not against giving up soy for a couple of weeks as a test.

It's not like it's an either\or situation. Either the docs pump you full of drugs or the naturopaths suggest herbs and yoga. My doc at least is open to trying anything, including supplements and aromatherapy. We talked about the possible placebo effect and agreed that as long as it worked, neither of us was at all picky on how we got a positive result.

The docs are not the enemy. I don't like them any better than the next person, but I've yet to meet a doctor who was upset when they cured a patient. They may not know everything about how human bodies work yet, and yes, sometimes they get it completely wrong, but the docs are our allies in this thing. Don't blame them if some diseases are more difficult to diagnose and cure than others.

12-27-2005, 03:21 PM
About a year ago I switched from Aspartame products to Splenda products, and even if it is not a cause of Lupus, there is enough evidence that it is poison,,,so it can't be good...the hardest part was giving up my diet coke...when I just have to have a diet drink I now drink Diet Rite, which has zero everything, and is sweetened with Splenda....Happy Holidays...