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Diet Sodas, Aspartame and Stroke by Jeffrey Dach MD

Posted Feb 13 2011 10:10am

diet soda aspartame found to cause stroke avoid the minefield 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

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

Books on Adverse Effects of Aspartame:

Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills  by Russell Blaylock, M.D

Sweet Poison: How the World's Most Popular Artificial Sweetener Is Killing Us--My Story  by  Janet Starr Hull

Articles with related interest
The Grocery Store as Mine Field, Avoiding the Dangers

Jeffrey Dach MD
7450 Griffin Road
Davie, Fl 33314

Links and References

Aspartame linked to Stroke

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.

Is Diet Soda Linked to Heart, Stroke Risk? Study Suggests Connection Between Drinking Diet Soda and Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke By Charlene Laino WebMD

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),

Diet soda and heart, stroke risk: A link doesn't prove cause and effect

Ischemic Stroke Hospitalizations Increase in Young Adults
By: SHERRY BOSCHERT, Internal Medicine News Digital Network

Diet Soda Tied to Stroke Risk, But Reasons Unclear; Beverage Industry Today Provides Complete Coverage 10 Feb 2011

Diet soda tied to stroke risk, but reasons unclear By MARILYNN MARCHIONE, AP Medical Writer Marilynn Marchione, Ap Medical Writer – Wed Feb 9, 5:02 pm ET

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
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.

potentiates induction of seizures

Possible neurologic effects of aspartame, a widely used food additive. T J Maher and R J Wurtman  Environ Health Perspect. 1987 November; 75: 53–57.  Department of Pharmacology, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, Boston 02115.

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.

J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 1996 Nov;55(11):1115-23.
Increasing brain tumor rates: is there a link to aspartame?

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.

Soffritti Study
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
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) Direct_indirect_cellular_effects_aspartame_brain_Humphries_

(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.

History of Aspartame

HJ Roberts

Mercola -Apartame Links

Sweet Misery: The Horrors of Aspartame Revealed in Documentary

Why Nutrasweet was so Successful and Will Likely Never be Replaced by Splenda

Aspartame Is By Far, the Most Dangerous Substance On the Market That Is Added To Foods

Aspartame - Avoid It

FDA Pivotal Safety Study: Aspartame Caused Brain Seizures

Others   aspartame dangers Bettty Martini Site  - THE ASPARTAME CONSPIRACY (Mark Gold)   (Dr. Betty Martini)

Books on Aspartame:

Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills  by Russell Blaylock, M.D

Sweet Poison: How the World's Most Popular Artificial Sweetener Is Killing Us--My Story  by  Janet Starr Hull
Dr. John Olney and Jas. Turner, Esq. - Two Brave Unsung Heroes

Videos on Aspartame #
Sweet Misery - 52 min documentary
Dr. Devra Davis talks about Aspartame
Aspartame - the hidden poison for society


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(c)Copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved Jeffrey Dach MD, Bioidentical Hormone Blog 7450 Griffin Road, Suite 190, Davie, Florida 33314
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