Diet Sodas, Aspartame and Stroke by Jeffrey Dach MD
Posted Feb 13 2011 10:10am
Diet Sodas, Aspartame, Migraine, Seizures, Brain Tumors and Stroke
by Jeffrey Dach MD
A good friend avidly consumes two or three cans a day of Diet Coke. He recently suffered a stroke-like event with loss of speech. Thankfully he quicky recovered with return of function. His friends and family are worried and have urged him to cut out the diet sodas, yet he remains oblivious and continues his addictive behavior.
A new study presented at the 2011 American Stroke Association Conference showed daily diet soda consumption had a 61 percent higher risk of stroke.(1) Diet sodas contain aspartame, a questionable food additive that should be avoided.
Aspartame is a neuro-stimulant which provokes migraine headaches and potentiates epileptic seizures in animal studies.(7)(8) Dr. Olney says aspartame consumption explains the increased incidence of brain tumors in the population. Animal studies show an exceedingly high incidence of brain tumors in aspartame-fed rats compared to no brain tumors in concurrent controls.(9) A 2005 study by Italian researcher Morando Soffritti found aspartame to have carcinogenic potential in animal studies. (10)
Adverse Effects of Aspartame on Brain Chemistry
A review in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition looks at adverse effects of aspartame on brain chemistry:
"Aspartame is composed of phenylalanine (50%), aspartic acid (40%) and methanol (10%). Phenylalanine plays a role in neurotransmitter regulation, whereas aspartic acid plays a role as an excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Consumption of aspartame causes neurological and behavioural disturbances in sensitive individuals. Headaches, insomnia and seizures are reported neurological effects, due to changes in brain concentrations of norepinephrine, epinephrine and dopamine. Excessive aspartame ingestion is associated with compromised learning and emotional functioning."(11)
"Aspartame disturbs amino acid metabolism, protein structure, neuronal function, endocrine balance and changes in the brain concentrations of catecholamines. Aspartame causes nerves to fire excessively, which indirectly causes a very high rate of neuron depolarization. The ATP stores in the cells are depleted, mitochondria are damaged, leading to apoptosis of cells. The cellular walls are destroyed; thus, the cells (endothelium of the capillaries) are more permeable, leading to a compromised Blood brain barrier (BB, and greater oxidative stress and neurodegeneration."(11)
Once the chemistry of aspartame is understood, the adverse effects become understandable and obvious. Of course aspartame consumption causes stroke and other neuro-degenerative disorders. This is the chemistry of the drug.
Video on Aspartame: Sweet Misery A Poisoned World - 90 minutes
(1) http://www.newsroom.heart.org/index.php?s=43&item=1249 Diet soda may raise odds of vascular events; salt linked to stroke risk American Stroke Association Meeting Report: Abstracts P55 and 25 Study Highlights: Drinking diet soda daily is linked to a higher risk of stroke, heart attack and vascular-related deaths. American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2011.
In findings involving 2,564 people in the large, multi-ethnic Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS), scientists said people who drank diet soda every day had a 61 percent higher risk of vascular events than those who reported no soda drinking.
“If our results are confirmed with future studies, then it would suggest that diet soda may not be the optimal substitute for sugar-sweetened beverages for protection against vascular outcomes,” said Hannah Gardener, Sc.D., lead author and epidemiologist at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Miami, Fla.
Health NewsReviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD Feb. 9, 2011 (Los Angeles) -- You may feel less guilty if you opt for diet sodas over sugary beverages, but drinking them regularly may raise your risk of heart attack and stroke, a study suggests.
In a nine-year study of more than 2,500 people, those who drank diet soda daily were 48% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke or die from those events, compared with those who rarely or never drank soda. The analysis, presented at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference (ISC),
The beverage findings should be "a wakeup call to pay attention to diet sodas," said Dr. Steven Greenberg. He is a Harvard Medical School neurologist and vice chairman of the International Stroke Conference in California, where the research was presented on Wednesday.lead researcher Hannah Gardener of the University of Miami.
Northern Manhattan study enrolled 2,500 adults over 40 in the New York area from 1993 to 2001 through random phone calls. Half are Hispanic and one-fourth are black, making it one of the few studies to look at these risks in minorities, who have higher rates of stroke. Participants filled out a standard survey about their diets at the start of the study, and their health was tracked for nearly 10 years.In that time there were 559 strokes or heart attacks, 338 of them fatal. Daily diet soda drinkers (there were 116 in the study) had a 48 percent higher risk of stroke or heart attack than people who drank no soda of any kind
Aspartame Medical Literature
may provoke headache (7) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9439090 Headache. 1997 Nov-Dec;37(10):665-6. Chewing gum headaches. Blumenthal HJ, Vance DA. Department of Neurology, University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, Tulsa, USA. Abstract Aspartame, a popular dietetic sweetener, may provoke headache in some susceptible individuals. Herein, we describe three cases of young women with migraine who reported their headaches could be provoked by chewing sugarless gum containing aspartame.
The artificial sweetener aspartame (L-aspartyl-L-phenylalanyl-methyl ester), is consumed, primarily in beverages, by a very large number of Americans, causing significant elevations in plasma and, probably, brain phenylalanine levels. Anecdotal reports suggest that some people suffer neurologic or behavioral reactions in association with aspartame consumption. Since phenylalanine can be neurotoxic and can affect the synthesis of inhibitory monoamine neurotransmitters, the phenylalanine in aspartame could conceiveably mediate neurologic effects. If mice are given aspartame in doses that elevate plasma phenylalanine levels more than those of tyrosine (which probably occurs after any aspartame dose in humans), the frequency of seizures following the administration of an epileptogenic drug, pentylenetetrazole, is enhanced. This effect is simulated by equimolar phenylalanine and blocked by concurrent administration of valine, which blocks phenylalanine's entry into the brain. Aspartame also potentiates the induction of seizures by inhaled fluorothyl or by electroconvulsive shock. Perhaps regulations concerning the sale of food additives should be modified to require the reporting of adverse reactions and the continuing conduct of mandated safety research.
Apartame causes brain tumors in animal studies. May explain increased incidence of brain tumors in the US.
Olney JW, Farber NB, Spitznagel E, Robins LN.Department of Psychiatry, Washington University Medical School, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.
In the past two decades brain tumor rates have risen in several industrialized countries, including the United States. During this time, brain tumor data have been gathered by the National Cancer Institute from catchment areas representing 10% of the United States population. In the present study, we analyzed these data from 1975 to 1992 and found that the brain tumor increases in the United States occurred in two distinct phases, an early modest increase that may primarily reflect improved diagnostic technology, and a more recent sustained increase in the incidence and shift toward greater malignancy that must be explained by some other factor(s). Compared to other environmental factors putatively linked to brain tumors, the artificial sweetener aspartame is a promising candidate to explain the recent increase in incidence and degree of malignancy of brain tumors. Evidence potentially implicating aspartame includes an early animal study revealing an exceedingly high incidence of brain tumors in aspartame-fed rats compared to no brain tumors in concurrent controls, the recent finding that the aspartame molecule has mutagenic potential, and the close temporal association (aspartame was introduced into US food and beverage markets several years prior to the sharp increase in brain tumor incidence and malignancy). We conclude that there is need for reassessing the carcinogenic potential of aspartame.
http://george-eby-research.com/html/aspartame-carcinogenic.pdf Aspartame induces lymphomas and leukaemias in rats Eur. J. Oncol., vol. 10, n. 2, pp. 00-00, 2005 IN PRESS Morando Soffritti, Fiorella Belpoggi, Davide Degli Esposti, Luca Lambertini Cancer Research Centre, European Ramazzini Foundation of Oncology and Environmental Sciences, Bologna, Italy
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1392232/ Environ Health Perspect. 2006 March; 114(3): 379–385. First Experimental Demonstration of the Multipotential Carcinogenic Effects of Aspartame Administered in the Feed to Sprague-Dawley Rats. Morando Soffritti, Fiorella Belpoggi, Davide Degli Esposti, Luca Lambertini, Eva Tibaldi, and Anna Rigano
(11) Eur J Clin Nutr. 2008 Apr;62(4):451-62. Epub 2007 Aug 8. Direct and indirect cellular effects of aspartame on the brain. Humphries P, Pretorius E, Naudé H. Department of Anatomy, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa.
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