When you go to a restaurant, where the sugar shaker used to be, there is now a small square container of multicolored packets, each with a different type of sweetener. If you immediately reach for that little blue packet, aspartame, you might want to rethink that decision. While it may seem like a good idea to cut out calories using artificial sweeteners, it seems there are side effects that also come with that benefit.
Watch out diabetics, aspartame may be working against you.
Obesity is the leading cause of preventable deaths and has become an epidemic. Why not use every trick in the book to help prevent it? Sometimes, the preventative has unintended consequences and that seems to be true of aspartame. Aspartame can increase the potential for insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes and a condition that makes weight loss even harder. It can also help people to have a larger waist circumference, an unhealthy indicator.
Inflammation is linked to serious conditions, just like sugar, aspartame makes it worse.
You might be dodging those calories in sugar, but you aren’t dodging the inflammation effect it has. Just like other processes, such as the fight or flight response, inflammation is necessary. However, when it’s chronic, it ceases to be a good thing and becomes a health issue. It can lead to serious conditions that are lethal, painful or both. Inflammation has many faces. It can mimic an allergic response. On the other side of the coin, if you’re allergic to aspartame, it can increase inflammation. Inflammation plays a role in heart disease and cancer. There are direct links between aspartame and rheumatoid arthritis.
Are you getting migraines or just feeling blue?
There are studies linking aspartame to mood disorders. One study showed that when individuals consumed aspartame for at least 8 days, they showed more signs of irritability and had negative mood swings compared to those that never consumed aspartame. Other studies showed that aspartame might be a cause of blurry vision, migraines, dry eyes and even may deteriorate cognitive functioning.
If you’re sensitive to aspartame or the methanol in it, it has been known to cause seizures. In fact, up to 30% of the non-epileptic seizures are due to it. The FFA suggests pilots avoid it, since it also can cause problems at higher altitudes.
Inflammation can occur throughout the body, including the gut. Aspartame can cause gut inflammation. Gut inflammation can make weight loss even more difficult to accomplish and affect nutritional absorption.
Aspartame can interfere with hormone levels. It can disrupt the balance of ghrelin—the hunger hormone—and leptin—the one that makes you feel full. It diminishes leptin and increases ghrelin.
There are a variety of results, both positive and negative, relating to aspartame and its link to cancer of the colon, blood and intestines. There are also studies that show it can negatively affect metabolism.