You may not be familiar with the term aspartame, but I’m sure you’ve heard of Sweet ‘N Low, NutraSweet, Sugar Substitute, Equal, and of course … Diet.

The thing to know about these substitute or artificial sweeteners: They are wreaking havoc on the health of consumers.

In fact, more that 75% of reports to the FDA about poor reactions to food additives are caused by aspartame. Reactions include:

headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, muscle spasms, heart palpitations, depression, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, irritability, vision problems, hearing loss, vertigo, breathing difficulties, slurred speech, loss of taste, memory loss, joint pain, and weight gain.

Oddly enough, these side effects sound similar to those of  many prescription drugs. The more interesting fact is that the substance shown to cause the adverse reactions above, aspartame, has been approved for foods that many Americans eat multiple times a day.

In addition to the terrible reactions that aspartame has been linked to, it has also shown to worsen the symptoms of some serious health conditions, including:

diabetes, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s, just to name a few.

Aspartame is a largely disputed additive and has been the focus of more than 200 studies. Despite all of the negative reaction, the FDA continues to approve it as safe for food and beverages. Diet Coke Can - Aspartame

Let’s take a brief look at what this nasty additive is made up of.

1. Phenylalanine (50% of aspartame) – When ingested with other carbohydrates, phenylalanine often builds up in the blood. Over time, negative side effects emerge and continue to worsen as the amount of phenylalanine in the blood increases. Recently, one man performed a study where he consumed 6-8 aspartame-sweetened drinks per day. At first, he experienced memory loss and headaches. Over time, he experienced violent mood swings and rages. If the amount of phenylalanine in the brain increases enough, it can lead to schizophrenia and seizures.

2. Aspartic Acid (40% of aspartame) – Consumption of aspartic acid has been linked with serious neurological disorders. When consumed, aspartic acid leads to a release of free radicals within the neurons and kills cells. Although adults have a blood-brain-barrier to protect against toxins, not all areas of the brain are protected and some aspartate can pass through. Shockingly enough, 75% or more of cells in a certain region of the brain may die before chronic illness or clinical symptoms are present. Pregnant women, infants, and the elderly populations are even more susceptible to the risks of aspartic acid.

3. Methanol (wood alcohol/poison, 10% of aspartame) – This is known as a deadly poison. As humans, we are more sensitive to the effects of methanol since we lack necessary enzymes. When ingested, it breaks down into formaldehyde (a known neurotoxin). Effects that may be experienced during methanol poisoning include, misty vision, chills, vertigo, numbness and tingling, ear buzzing, dizziness, and digestive upset.

Sounds like a recipe for disaster, and as American’s continue to slug down these calorie-free drinks and chomp on sugar-free treats, the symptoms listed continue to ruin their lives and they are none-the-wiser.

Do yourself a favor and study the foods you put into your body. Are they laden with chemicals? Are you willing to be a test dummy as the government continues to watch symptoms arise?

This article was created thanks to the information found on Dr. Mercola’s website. For more information on aspartame visit http://aspartame.mercola.com/. Dr. Mercola and his team have a wealth of valuable information about aspartame and the dangers it presents.