The Aspartame-Phenylalanine Connection

This blog is for my dear diet-soda dependent friend, who shall remain unnamed. You know who you are!

An article posted by the University of Maryland Medical Center (, describes phenylalanine as “an essential amino acid (a building block for proteins in the body), meaning the body needs it for health but cannot make it. You have to get it from food.” Those who regularly consume the artificial sweetener aspartame, which is added to many diet foods and diet sodas, get plenty of phenylalanine, because it makes up 50 percent of the sweetener. That should be good. Right? Wrong.

Dr. Janet Starr Hull, whose doctorate is in nutrition, writes on her Sweet Poison website ( “Phenylalanine is a hidden danger to anyone consuming aspartame. Most consumers don’t know that too much phenylalanine is a neurotoxin and excites the neurons in the brain to the point of cellular death.” She lists 92 aspartame side effects, none of which sound pleasant at: My friend and other diet food/drink fans might be surprised by the familiar symptoms they find on the list.

Dr. Joseph Mercola,, says “Aspartame is, by far, the most dangerous substance on the market that is added to foods.” According to him, “Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Many of these reactions are very serious including seizures and death.

“A few of the 90 different documented symptoms listed in the report as being caused by aspartame include: Headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability, tachycardia, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain.”

In addition, the following chronic illnesses can be triggered or worsened by eating or drinking aspartame: Brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia, and diabetes.

He writes: “many people who have eaten large amounts of aspartame over a long period of time … have been shown to have excessive levels of phenylalanine in the blood. … “Excessive buildup of phenylalanine in the brain can cause schizophrenia or make one more susceptible to seizures.”

Scary, huh? “Seize” the moment and reach for a glass of water instead of another can of diet pop. Your brain will thank you. Becky


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