Monday, April 26, 2010

Dangers of Diet Drinks

November, 2007
Excerpt from "In the Kitchen with Family and Friends" by Karen Lee

Beverages and foods sweetened with the chemical ASPARTAME, aspartyl-phenylalanine-1-methyl ester, also marketed under the names Equal, Nutrasweet, and Canderel SHOULD NOT BE EATEN. Aspartame is the sweetener in Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Diet Pepsi, Diet Sprite, Diet Root Beer, many other diet drinks, sugar-free chewing gum, and … The list includes approximately 6,000 prepackaged consumer foods.

For years, we’ve heard consumer advocates raving and ranting with serious concerns about aspartame, making claims that it causes headaches, brain tumors, brain lesions, and lymphoma. Blah, blah, blah, what do they want me to do? Drink real Coke and gain more weight? I don’t think so! A little diet soda now and then can’t be all that bad, right? …Wrong!

I was convinced of the danger while I was driving home from a recent agility competition, listening to NPR on the radio. Dr. Devra Davis, the senior research scientist who runs the Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute was the interviewee. Dr. Davis isn’t some wacko tree hugger (like some of us have been accused of being!); she’s a real scientist with a lengthy, reputable resume.

During the program, Dr. Davis discussed many probable causes of cancer, including excessive cell phone usage; exposure to pesticides, chemical cleaning agents, and unsafe cosmetics; and Diet Coke. She said that the reason she is particularly worried about diet drinks is because her institute research shows that aspartame probably causes slow growing BRAIN CANCER. Brain cancer can take as long as 20 to 30 years to show up; that’s why her research isn’t proven yet. Her concern is that an entire generation of diet drinkers is at risk for brain tumors that are insidiously growing now.

Even if you’re not worried about the possible link between aspartame and brain cancer, it’s an undisputed fact that when you drink diet soda, your body ingests aspartame and breaks it down into several residual chemicals, including formaldehyde, formic acid, aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol.

Alrighty, then! No more diet sodas for me! I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to ingest formaldehyde in my body, not just yet. I’ll be drinking unsweetened iced tea, organic if possible, or good ol’ water from now on.

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