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Excitotoxins: Direct and Indirect Cellular Effects of Aspartame on the Brain

re: excitotoxins

I’ve written before about excitotoxins, which are chemicals that convert to neurotransmitters and cause nerves to kill themselves by firing excessively*. When enough neurons have died, you “unexpectedly” get various neurodegenerative diseases, a mystery to medical science even today.

Doesn’t seem like much of a mystery to me: feed the body with garbage processed foods, PUFAs, MSG, aspartame, and other excitotoxin≠s along with many nutrient deficiencies, particularly magnesium deficiency (a global public health crisis and Mg is critical to cellular health), and the inputs guarantee hundreds of millions of degraded lives.

If you suffer from low blood sugar (eg diabetes), heat stress (eg intense exercise or similar), old age, concussion and many other factors, then your blood brain barrier (BBB) which normally can keep most toxins out of the brain out gets leaky and lets in considerably more of the toxins than a young brain in perfect health would. But some always gets through no matter what. Point is, any of those stressors put critical neurons at risk.

* Examples include MSG (monosodium glutamate), and aspartame (aspartic acid). Food purveyors are not required to disclose such poisons when they occur in chemically processed substances often referred to by other names. This is why you see “natural flavors”, instead of MSG; if it was straight MSG it would have to be disclosed. What you don’t know does hurt you!

Excitotoxins: Direct and Indirect Cellular Effects of Aspartame on the Brain

May 2008, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition

The use of the artificial sweetener, aspartame, has long been contemplated and studied by various researchers, and people are concerned about its negative effects. Aspartame is composed of phenylalanine (50%), aspartic acid (40%) and methanol (10%). Phenylalanine plays an important role in neurotransmitter regulation, whereas aspartic acid is also thought to play a role as an excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system.

Glutamate, asparagines and glutamine are formed from their precursor, aspartic acid. Methanol, which forms 10% of the broken down product, is converted in the body to formate, which can either be excreted or can give rise to formaldehyde, diketopiperazine (a carcinogen) and a number of other highly toxic derivatives.

Previously, it has been reported that consumption of aspartame could cause neurological and behavioural disturbances in sensitive individuals. Headaches, insomnia and seizures are also some of the neurological effects that have been encountered, and these may be accredited to changes in regional brain concentrations of catecholamines, which include norepinephrine, epinephrine and dopamine.

The aim of this study was to discuss the direct and indirect cellular effects of aspartame on the brain, and we propose that excessive aspartame ingestion might be involved in the pathogenesis of certain mental disorders (DSM-IV-TR 2000) and also in compromised learning and emotional functioning.


WIND: do not expect the FDA to prohibit the favorite ingredients (poisons) of food manufacturers. The FDA works for them, not for you!

If only 1% of the population is affected, then out of a billion people, you get 10 million people with problems.

Food manufacturers have engineered “food” to be maximally appealing, and that means dozens of chemicals along with flavor enhancers eg MSG disguised as “natural flavors” (very unnatural), and a dozen other dirty-trick names for it.

Then you have the aspartame-flavored soft drinks, which the world drinks by the billions of cans.

Toxin in ===> disease out.

Simple advice: no soft drinks of any kind, no processed or prepared foods, no seed oils, no factory-farmed anything. Eat whole unprocessed foods, preferably organic.

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