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You'll believe anything you read won't you? The real conspiracy here is by those opposing aspartame.The fact of the matter is that aspartame is perfectly safe used as directed in healthy people. But a small part of the population is simply unhealthy. They have serious problems with sufficient intake of (the vitamin) folic acid (folate), with genetic enzyme abberations in certain folate and related enzymes (as high as 30% of Caucasians), and possibly related problems with the linked vitamin B12. Aspartame is not the problem, it is these problems that underlie all responses with aspartame and that includes headaches and these problems can cause dozens of cancers and diseases. Those experiencing a problem with aspartame are likely at risk of folate deficient cancers and disease, regardless of whether they consume aspartame or not. It is lack of these problems that make the majority of people by far unrsponsive to this substance. Check out this scientific paper for the real facts about folateinsufficiency, http://www.bmj.com/cgi/reprint/328/7433/211.Regards, John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology and Nutrition)(FYI, I have no connection to aspartame, the aspartame industry, nor any related industries)
That is so very interesting to me! Thank you for the post. No sir, I do not believe everything I read including your post. I am intrigued though and would like to know more. I was taking a prenatal vitamin at the time of my methanol poisoning from Crystal Light which contained folic acid. Should that have protected me or would a genetic enzyme abberation cause the folic acid to just pass through my system without helping? All I know is that as soon as I stopped drinking the crystal light (6-8 a day) I could see better, think better, speak normally, the buzzing in my body went away and I could walk. This incident was the absolute scariest 3 weeks of my life and I will never touch aspartame again. Could vitamin intake problems cause memory issues and foggy thinking? Ever since my aspartame incident, I have not had the same mental clarity I have enjoyed my entire life. I used to be a smart cookie (valedictorian and all) and now I find it hard to formulate and express my thoughts and my memory is absolutley shot.I definately do not subscribe to any conspiracy theories. I have heard some good ones like the government is trying to make us all stupid with aspartame so they can control us. It would be nice, though, to think there is a reason for all of the idiocracy demonstrated by people in the world. I do believe that we need to figure out what is happening so what happened to me does not happen to anyone else. Please keep posting...I want more info.
P.S. Dr. Garst, do you really believe that 30% of Caucasians potentially having adverse reactions to aspartame b/c of genetic enzyme abberations is a small part of the population? If this is what the problem is, we must do something to help that 30%...that 30% could be me or my children! I will look at the paper.
Shane Shirly Smith:I have waited a week without your posting my reply. Why don't you post the answer I sent! It is NOT "30% of Caucasians potentially having adverse reactions to aspartame" it is "30% of Caucasians potentially having adverse reactions to folate deficiency". Aspartame is perfectly safe used as directed, but many people are deficient in folate and banning aspartame will have no bearing on that problem. That is why experts from no country have banned it! Stop posting hersay as if it has merit and listen to the experts!John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology and Nutrition)
Dr. Garst, I published your post immediately as I was very intrigued by what you wrote. I do believe I was still on a prenatal vitamin when I had my reaction to aspartame which contained a 1000 mcg of folic acid. How much folic acid is needed to counteract the genetic enzyme abberations? Can a person just get a blood test to measure levels of folate and B12? What should those levels be? Have you done any studies aboout the effects of aspartame on people with folate deficiencies?
Shane Shirly Smith:The folate enzyme system is very complex and somewhat strange. Most every step along the way is highly regulated. And as such, many of the enzymes in those steps are subject to problems and folate availability. While the normal supplement is 400 microg/day, pregnancy is a complex issue, so your 1000 microg/day is reasonable. But folate and iron are interlinked and you cannot just take a tablet or a supplement one day and expect that to be sufficient; you must take folate continuously to have a supply built up to make sure it gets through all the needed steps in the proper amounts. Then there are drugs that deplete it (which is part of the reason you need the supplements). How much depends on the individual and the abberation. Yes you should be able to get these vitamins measured, but for better answers to your overall questions go here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez and after that loads, copy these numbers into the search line (separated by the commas) 17435446,18585451,16140718,15591564 and change Display 'summary' to Display 'abstract' and press GO. Real answers to your questions are in the first paper. The second is useful too, but unfortunately both papers are likely only available from (medical) libaries. The last two references are useful and available; if you click on the free rectangle you can actually read those papers for some better understanding. No one has looked at aspartame relative to these issues, but aspartame is not a problem. You drink more methanol in juice that you get from aspartame. Regards,John E. Garst
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