- The sugar content (Mt Dew has the equivalent of like 9 teaspoons of sugar. Seriously, take a look at the caloric count. It's all from sugar.) Does nasty stuff to your teeth, & obviously it makes you fat.
- The carbonation: Think acid rain.
- The sodium
Plus there's the caffeine, but most people get that anyway. I just drink Diet Pepsi, 'cause I don't want the sugar, but I don't really care about the rest of the problems.
Err, isn't Nutrasweet (in most Diet soda pops right?) possibly known to cause cancer or is that a myth? What's bad about carbonation? I knew of the sugar, caffeine, and sodium but never knew carbonated water was bad.
The "Pandora's box of chameleon-like toxins and tumor agents"
Aspartame was never and cannot be proven to be safe. It is not and cannot
be a diet aid because the formaldehyde (from the breakdown of the 10%
methanol) gets stored in the fat along with some water. The National Soft
Drink Association did a 30-page protest in the '80s (Congressional Record,
Senate S 5511, 5/7/85) that mentioned the fact that aspartame was unstable,
and that aspartame reduced the levels of serotonin (a substance that gives
one that "full" feeling) which often induces a craving for carbohydrates.
L-Aspartyl-l-phenylalanine methyl ester, 98%, aspartame CAS #22839-47-0
(a.k.a. Equal, NutraSweet, Spoonful, Benevia, Equal Measure, etc.) is
composed of (at least) three things:
1.) aspartic acid, (around 40%) CAS # 56-84-8
2.) phenylalanine, (around 50%) CAS # 63-91-2
3.) methanol (wood alcohol) (10%) CAS # 67-56-1
(NOTE: For those who use Netscape Navigator 3.1 or better, and who would
like to view molecules in 3D and "stereo", in several formats, with the
ability to rotate them to any angle... get and install the plug-in from:
NH3 -- CH -- C -- NH -- CH -- C -- OCH3
| // \
O HC CH
The phenylalanine breaks down into diketopiperazine (DKP), a known tumor
agent, and it is the reason for the FDA mandated "PHENYLKETONURICS:
Contains phenylalanine" (PKU) warning label. Diketopiperazine was the
major impediment to approval noted in the Searle "Helling" memo
The methanol (with no natural antidote of Ethanol) breaks down in-solution
(diet coke, whatever) into formaldehyde. The human liver also breaks down
"free" methanol from any solution into formaldehyde. The body has
difficulty eliminating formaldehyde so it combines some of it with water
and stores it in the fat. What is not stored in the fat is further
converted to formic acid (same thing as ant sting poison).
So, with each sip EVERY user gets a micro-dose of three poisons, two of
which (formaldehyde and formic acid) are known carcinogens... along with
that side-order of DKP, the tumor agent. A science report was done on diet
cokes. The contents of the unopened cans was later evaluated by a reputable
food testing laboratory that proved the methanol => formaldehyde
conversion, even in the unopened container cooling off in the refrigerator,
and the phenylalanine to DKP conversion.
These symptoms were derived from what the FDA notes is the most
complained about substance in their history, at one time comprising around
85% of all complaints. The total number of complaints that they admit to
is over 10,000 (which is too low, for a number of reasons) and the FDA also
suggests that fewer than 1% of the population actually reports a problem.
This balloons the over 10,000 actual complaints to over ONE MILLION victims
who should have complained! Please note that either of those numbers are
significant, especially for a "safe" food additive.
The proponents of aspartame safety admit to the 10% methanol content.
But then they state that fruit has more methanol. This is probably true,
but where they deviate from the truth is that mother nature was kind enough
to include an abundance of ETHANOL, the natural antidote to methanol
poisoning, that minimizes any harm to the person eating the fruit. They
omit telling the public that aspartame has NO ethanol content, which is why
it is highly unstable and readily breaks down into formaldehyde (in the
original unopened container). Products with aspartame in solution have an
approximate 270 day shelf life IF stored below 86 degrees F.
They also have a habit of stating that "aspartame cannot... bla bla".
Perhaps not, but most likely one or more of the above noted
breakdown/conversion products does cause that kind of damage or symptoms.
In perhaps the only public expression of concern from the industry, Havis Dawson, editor of the trade magazine
Beverage World, called on the industry a year ago to "pronounce clear guidelines for how much caffeine our
children should drink." Since then, he's received no response. "If the industry doesn't come up with guidelines," he says, "someone else who's more scared of caffeine could do it, and they might not be ones industry likes."
Guidelines may indeed be necessary. For years, independent scientific researchers have been urging caution. Their
concerns fall into two categories: how children react behaviorally to the addictive and stimulant qualities of
caffeine, and how caffeine affects children's bodies. Children respond to caffeine as do adults, according to a
number of studies. A low dose may aid concentration and task completion, but higher doses typically make
children nervous, anxious, fidgety, frustrated and quicker to anger. National Institute of Mental Health child
psychiatry researcher Judith Rapoport found the 8-to-13-year-olds who regularly consumed high doses were
judged more restless by teachers--in fact, one-third were hyperactive enough to meet the criteria for attention
deficit disorder with hyperactivity (ADHD). When low-caffeine-consuming children were given a daily dose
equivalent to that of their higher-consuming peers, parents reported that they became more emotional, inattentive
and restless. "Children for whom there is a concern about anxiety should not have caffeine," Rapoport says.
Hofstra University psychology associate professor Mitchell Schare studied almost 400 preschoolers from
upper-income New York City suburbs in 1994 and 1995. The heavier caffeine consumers among the children,
who had the equivalent of three to four cups of coffee daily, had more "uncontrollable energy," Schare notes. He
concludes, "I believe the effects of caffeine can potentially mimic ADHD and be misdiagnosed as ADHD." These
kids' chief caffeine source was, surprisingly, iced tea, which many parents may not realize contains caffeine.
Like adults, kids who are regular caffeine drinkers suffer ill effects when they don't get a regular shot. In a recent
study by Stanford neurobiologist Avram Goldstein, fifth and sixth graders at a suburban Denver school deprived
of daily caffeine reported having symptoms including trouble thinking clearly, not feeling energetic and getting
angry. Even children who typically consume 28 milligrams a day (less than an average soda) felt symptoms.
"Children can in fact become dependent on caffeine," notes Goldstein, who did pioneer research on caffeine and adults in the sixties. And caffeine-dependent children usually have a handicap adults don't: They can't guarantee a daily fix the way adults can, because they don't typically have the money and mobility to get caffeine at will. Johns Hopkins psychiatry professor and caffeine expert Roland Griffiths worries about this on-again, off-again situation.
"A lot of kids already have chaotic lives. Do children need a pharmacological destabilizer on top of that?" he asks.
Caffeine can also be harmful to children's growing bodies, since it can cause excess excretion of calcium and
magnesium, says Gail Frank, nutrition professor at California State University, Long Beach, and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. She says, "There's a danger that children won't reach sufficient bone mass."
Children are less likely now to replace calcium by drinking milk--consumption has plummeted in recent years,
largely because kids are downing soft drinks instead. The phosphoric acid in cola beverages may be particularly
detrimental to children's health; there is evidence that it can cause bone fractures, notes Cornell University Medical College registered dietitian Barbara Levine. Phosphoric acid can also break down tooth enamel. And common
children's ailments like ear infections and respiratory irritations that produce colds, bronchitis and asthma may be exacerbated by caffeinated, carbonated drinks, according to Dr. William Cochran, pediatric gastroenterologist at Penn State's Geisinger Clinic and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics nutrition committee. Caffeine and carbonated bubbles can trigger "refluxing," in which a sphincter muscle allows the acidy contents of the upper stomach to back up and irritate portions of the respiratory tract, including the throat and ears. In both his research and pediatric practice, Cochran has found that most children with chronic ear infections and respiratory illnesses have refluxing problems.
As kids guzzle caffeinated and other sodas at increasing rates, researchers like Frank worry about potential
problems that won't be seen until kids mature. "What will happen when millions of children with much higher rates of caffeine consumption grow up?" Frank asks. "We may see increasing rates of osteoporosis." She also points to caffeine's ability to raise blood pressure: "We just don't know the long-term effects, and we need to find out."
Meanwhile, Frank recommends that children and teens stay well under 100 milligrams of caffeine a day, which amounts to one or two cans of soda, depending on the caffeine content.
In an article from Science Times, Jane E. Brody states the following (Brody 1985):
"The drug agency has set an allowable daily intake of 50 milligrams of aspartame per kilogram of
body weight, and the agency predicted that actual average use would run around eight to ten
milligrams. According to Dr. Gaull of Searle, levels of use found in a national survey last spring
showed that the average was then already twice that--19 milligrams--and the maximum level
consumed by 'aspartame abusers' was 28 milligrams. A United States attorney representing the
F.D.A. said in court last month that average consumption is now 30 milligrams and that many
consumers are above the 50 milligrams maximum suggested."
Farber gave an example of what a typical aspartame consumption may be for a child (Farber 1989,
"An 8-year-old of 20 kg, might eat the following:
1,050.0 mg of aspartame
"This would equal 52.5 mg/kg of aspartame consumption....' [Note that even for a 60 kg adult, the
above-listed example would amount to over 17 mg/kg per day.]
On a hot Summer day, the child may ingest the aspartame listed above and several more carbonated
beverages. There may be many children who are ingesting a full 2-liter bottle of pop during an active
Summer day (1100 mgs. of aspartame). On top of that ingestion, there may be Jell-O, cereal, gum,
and many other aspartame-containing foods.
It is important to note that all aspartame-containing products of the same type do not contain the
same amount of aspartame. For example, a one liter bottle of diet cola averages approximately 560
mg of aspartame. However, orange soda contains as much as 930 mg of aspartame per liter
(Federal Register 1984). In addition, the Tsang (1985) study showed that there may be an addition
10% or more amount of aspartame in the product than what is claimed by the manufacturer.
archive of legends & netlore
Posted: 01/06/99 (Updated: 02/20/99)
This specimen of email scarelore, in wide
circulation since mid-December 1999, 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:
Most of the allegations contradict the bulk
of medical evidence, but its author offers a
convenient explanation: collusion between
aspartame's manufacturers, the medical
establishment, and the U.S. Food & Drug
2 pages there the second page debunks the Aspartame Warning.