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Thursday, August 05th, 2010
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Human Touch

by Jaime Tam

Are you the type of eater that reads the labels of the packaged products you consume?

Have you ever checked out the ingredients list and wondered what all those hard to pronounce, big words that seem to go on and on down the side of the container, box or packaging are?

What in the world are we eating and why aren’t we Americans more informed about the chemicals we are consuming, like aspartame, among many other fat and sugar substitutes? Believe it or not, aspartame is the leading ingredient that contributes to America’s weight issues!  This illusive chemical is added to many of our food products, despite the fact that it is fully capable of deteriorating the natural integrity and function of our digestive system, and further, is known to increase levels of depression in teenagers and adults.

artificial sweetnersThere are logical reasons to explain the fattening and bloating effects of aspartame. When you ingest the toxic chemical aspartame, it is absorbed through the intestines and passes immediately to the LIVER where it is taken inside via the liver filter. The liver then breaks down, or metabolizes aspartame to its toxic components – phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol. This process requires a lot of energy from the liver which means there will be less energy remaining in the liver cells. As a result, the liver cells will have less energy for fat burning and metabolizing, and the excess fat is stored. Excess fat may build up inside the liver cells causing a “fatty liver,” making it extremely difficult to lose weight. Any time that you overload the liver you will increase the tendency to gain weight easily. Aspartame also causes weight gain by other mechanisms – Causes unstable blood sugar levels, which increases the appetite and causes cravings for sweets/sugar. Thus it is particularly toxic for those with diabetes or epilepsy. It can also cause fluid retention giving the body a puffy and bloated appearance and can increase cellulite.

Intuitively, I always knew that the introduction to low calorie substitutes, which make up a large percentage of our food products today, has been a big mistake and a major misconception to the American mind and American diet. Something didn’t seem right when ice creams, sodas, cookies, and chewing gums turned sugar and fat free. Aren’t these delectable treats supposed to be made of sugar and fat? Isn’t the human body naturally designed to break these down? These sugar free, fat free products do more harm than good.

In my research I found that aspartame has made its way into the marketplace in such a big way that even products like Wrigley’s regular chewing gums now include aspartame (NutraSweet®). Not just the sugar- free brands of of gum, but Doublemint and Juicyfruit, are also now laced with these artificial chemical sweeteners.

Looking into this catastrophe more I then uncovered the following information:

  • Dr. Richard Wurtman, of M.I.T. testified that (isolated) phenylalanine lowers the serotonin level in the brain.  Wurtman demonstrated aspartame can significantly increase brain phenylalanine levels, linking these neurochemical changes to seizures and mood disorders.
  • Aspartame is 50 percent phenylalanine, an amino acid. In nature, such as in meat and milk, phenylalanine is linked to a chain of other amino acids, necessary for normal human growth and development. In aspartame, phenylalanine is “isolated” and genetically engineered, artificially separated from the rest of the protein chain. (“Brain Cell Damage From Amino Acid Isolates” by James Bowen, M.D and Arthur M. Evangelista, former FDA Investigator)
  • According to The College of Physicians in the United Kingdom, the phenylalanine in aspartame depletes serotonin, a brain chemical that regulates emotion.
  • Neurosurgeon, Dr. Russell Blaylock, “Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills”, tells us both glutamate (MSG) and aspartame (NutraSweet®) can stimulate neurons (in the brain) to become extremely excited, causing these cells to deteriorate and die, resulting in brain damage of varying degrees.
  • Dr. Janet Hull, author of “Sweet Poison” also reports the chemicals in aspartame block normal serotonin production in the brain and that serotonin levels are generally lower in depressed individuals. Studies have said that over 90 different health side effects are related to consuming aspartame, even in small quantities. Aspartame is a low-calorie sweetener used in foods and beverages all around the world. We generally link aspartame to diet sodas. It is about 200 times sweeter than sugar. Aspartame breaks up into solution and can travel throughout the body and deposit in any tissue. The body digests aspartame unlike saccharin, which does not break down in human bodies. There are many effects that aspartame has that relate to everyday bodily functions.
  • Aspartame can affect your eyes, ears, brain, state-of-mind, chest, skin, stomach, and more. It can also trigger many different illnesses such as, epilepsy and ADD. Aspartame can change the ratio of amino acids in the blood, lowering the levels of serotonin, dopamine, and adrenaline. This means that aspartame symptoms usually cannot be detected in lab tests. Now, there are many people who dispute these claims, but certified doctors have made a lot of progress in this field, exposing more and more people to the side effects. The most common effects associated with this artificial sweetener are headaches and tiredness, among many others.

Although artificial sweeteners save you calories, there’s growing evidence that they can increase your appetite for sweets and other carbohydrates, causing you to eat more as the day goes on. Therefore, you don’t really save any calories at all. Also, studies have shown that artificial sweeteners can stimulate high insulin levels in your body too, which again can promote fat storage.

With all that being said, it’s fair to say that the increased levels of obesity and the deterioration of our health as a whole, has much to do with the introduction of these falsified slimming products. We need to educate ourselves with what we are putting into our bodies and feeding to our children. It’s time to pay attention. Making smart, conscious choices on what we are eating must be done each day!
If this is the only body we get… let’s treat it like a temple. Nourish your health with REAL food and don’t fall for the gimmicks that are leading our country into an unnecessary health crisis. And don’t forget to exercise, sleep well, and get regular massages for a balanced body and mind.

Heal & Inspire!
Jaime Tam (Jada Fire)
www.jaimetam.com|www.expressiveyogadance.com
www.barefootsanctuary.com
702.543.1018- Skype
jaime@jaimetam.com
“When It Gets Dark Enough, I Can See the Stars”