Used as a sweetener, often to replace sugar (in many sugar free and diet products) but how does this really affect us. The answer is, a lot.
It effects the central nervous system. Compounds of this artificial sweetener blocks the passage of amino acids to the brain. Studies have also shown that aspartame has an effect on memory and memory loss. According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a study done on rats showed that high aspartame dosages can cause neurochemical changes and significantly affect the human brain. An article in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health showed a study that fed mice aspartame throughout their life span, it was concluded to be a carcinogenic amongst the male mice because of an inducement of cancer in the liver and lungs. Aspartame is much sweeter than sugar so you can consume a lot more of it for fewer calories (hence why its in the diet version of food products). The things is, artificial sweeteners don’t effect the appetite indicators of the brain, meaning you can eat a high quantity of it but the body will not register that you’ve been eating so much (so you don’t feel full and keep eating!). When we eat sugar, it enhances our appetite so when we have this artificial sweetener it increases appetite, making us more hungry.
Remember this is a product approved by the FDA which is why its still in our products. There is a lot if information that also claims there aren’t any health hazards associated with aspartame. If you do the research, you can draw your own conclusions but for now I would lay off of the sugar free gum!
Foods that contain aspartame:
- Most sugar free products
- Ice cream toppings
- Fruit spreads
- Vitamins (yikes, you also have to mindful of the brands you choose)
- Granola and protein bars