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phenyllalanine, excitotoxins, MSG, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, depletes serotonin, rosacea, binds to calcium in teeth problems,
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Jury rules against Monsanto
|How aspartame, sugar enhance onset of cancers
They are extremely sweet. They are used in making almost all processed foods and drinks, even children's medicines. But they may be doing more harm than good. Besides diabetes and obesity, several new studies have linked aspartame and sugar to various cancers. CHUKWUMA MUANYA writes.
ARTIFICIAL sweeteners are common articles on breakfast tables. They are used to sweeten meals from tea to pap. They are used in making diet soft drinks, confectionaries, and children vitamins.
Before now, artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sugar have been associated with obesity and diabetes. This strong link has made medical experts to recommend alternative and healthy options like honey and thaumatin (from the rhizome of Moi Moi leaf plant, Thaumatococcus danielli). Thaumatin has been rated the sweetest natural substance known to mankind.
The faking of honey by unscrupulous Nigerians by boiling crude sugar, sugar cane and starch, and selling them to unsuspecting buyers as 'original' has not helped matters. Critics say this may be contributing to the epidemic of diabetes in the country.
Previous studies supported by endocrinologists, nutritionists, naturopaths and medical doctors suggest that sugary drinks such as fruit juices and energy drinks are fueling the onset of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
But latest studies suggest that top artificial sweetener, aspartame, has been found in latest animal experiments to cause breast cancer, leukemia and lymphomas. Also, ten new studies have shown the link between sugar and increased cancer risk.
Aspartame, more commonly known as NutraSweet or Equal, is allegedly one of the most toxic substances being consumed today. The artificial sweetener, currently used in over 4,000 products worldwide, entertains a sordid past and has been one of the most tested and debated food additives.
While the manufacturer maintains that aspartame is not a danger to human health, the scientific studies do not necessarily agree. Unfortunately, aspartame is an approved product for mass consumption, in spite of overwhelming evidence that aspartame can have neurotoxic, metabolic, allergenic, fetal and carcinogenic effects.
In 1965, James Schlatter, a chemist for G.D. Searle, United States, was developing an anti-ulcer drug when he accidentally stumbled upon aspartame. Made up of aspartic acid (40 per cent), phenylalanine (50 per cent) and methanol (10 per cent), aspartame is 200 times sweeter than natural sugar.
Aspartame is a neurotransmitter in the brain, facilitating information from one neuron to another. Too much aspartame has been shown to allow an influx of calcium into the brain cells, triggering an excessive amount of free radicals, which kill the cells. Aspartame is referred to as an "excitotoxin" because of the nerve cell damage that it causes. Many chronic illnesses have been attributed to long-term excitotoxin exposure, including multiple sclerosis, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), memory loss, hormonal problems, hearing loss, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, hypoglycemia, dementia, brain lesions and neuro endocrine disorders. Often referred to as 'Lou Gehrig's Disease,' ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
Why does cancer love sugar? A study team at Duke University School of Medicine, United States, has suggested a possible reason why cancer cells like sugar so much.
Basically, according to the researchers, in healthy cells, certain growth factors regulate their metabolism and cell survival. When these growth factors are removed, there is loss of glucose uptake and metabolism, and the cells die.
However, they found that cancer cells are able to maintain glucose metabolism by using a protein called "Akt", which promotes glucose metabolism. This prevents cell death, even when the growth factors are not available.
A fertility expert at Medical Art Centre Maryland Ikeja, Lagos, and Joint Pioneer Test Tube technology in Nigeria, Prof. Oladapo Ashiru, told The Guardian in a telephone interview from Chicago, United States: "It is a fact that aspartame has been linked to cancer as well as low sperm count and hyper sensitivity reactions."
A diabetologist from the Diabetes Clinic, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Dr. Okeoghene Ogbera said aspartame does not cause cancer in man but in animals.
She said: " Sugars are known sources of energy and they also have an appealing taste. Sugar is rapidly digested and absorbed into the body, thus providing much needed energy".
"Though a high content of sugar or glucose unilaterally does not lead to the development of Diabetes mellitus and cancers, consistent ingestion of processed food products by people with risk factors for Diabetes mellitus and cancer places them at a higher risk for developing the disease."
However, there is actually a large volume of scientific evidence available, which shows the link between aspartame, sugar and increased cancer risk.
A new study on aspartame conducted by the Ramazzini Foundation reveals that aspartame causes a dose-dependent increase in cancers (lymphomas, leukemias and breast cancers) when consumed at levels approaching those consumed by humans in diet soft drinks.
Specifically, the study shows a significant dose-related increase of malignant tumor-bearing animals in males, in particular in the group treated at 2000 ppm; a significant increase of the incidence in lymphomas/leukemias in males treated at 2000 ppm and a significant dose-related increase of the incidence of lymphomas/leukemias in females, in particular in the group treated at 2000 ppm; a significant dose-related increase of the incidence of mammary cancer in females, in particular in the group treated at 2000 ppm.
The researchers conclude: "The results of this carcinogenicity bioassay not only confirm, but also reinforce the first experimental demonstration of (aspartame's) multipotential carcinogenicity at a dose level close to the acceptable daily intake (ADI) for humans. Furthermore, the study demonstrates that when lifespan exposure to aspartame begins during fetal life, its carcinogenic effects are increased."
The study, entitled "Lifespan Exposure to Low Doses of Aspartame Beginning During Prenatal Life Increases Cancer Effects in Rats" has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), the most widely-read environmental science journal in the world.
This is the second study conducted by the Ramizzini Foundation documenting the cancer-causing effects of aspartame in animals. Most sane people, when faced with such evidence, would ask the obvious questions: Could aspartame also cause cancer in humans? Should review the safety of aspartame be reviewed just in case?
A study conducted by Harvard Medical School, United States, found that women who ate the most foods with high glycemic load - the glycemic index, or GI, of a food gives an idea of how quickly sugar (more specifically, glucose) levels in the blood rise after eating it - had almost three times the risk of getting colorectal cancer in the future, compared with women who ate lesser amounts of such foods.
Typically, processed foods made from refined grains and refined sugar, including candy bars, cakes, cookies and other snacks, are high glycemic foods
"We find a very straightforward and clear association between high-glycemic foods and the risk of colorectal cancers," said lead researcher Dr. Simin Liu.
This study involved some 40,000 American women.
Another study at Harvard University found that middled aged men whose diets tended to increase blood sugar levels quicker, that is those who ate more high GI foods, had a 32 per cent higher chance of getting colorectal cancer over a period of 20 years.
The study, which involved more than 50,000 men, also found that this effect seemed to be more pronounced in heavier men.
The Women's Health Study in the United States found that those who consumed a diet, which raised blood sugar levels more had a 135 per cent higher risk of getting breast cancer in the seven-year period of the study.
The Iowa Women's Health Study in the United States looked at some 23,000 post-menopausal women. It found that those who consumed a diet, which raised blood sugar levels more had a 46 per cent higher risk of getting endometrial cancer over a period of 15 years.
Another study in Italy carried out on women with endometrial cancer found that those who consumed a blood sugar-raising diet had a 110 per cent higher risk of getting this disease.
In a study, which followed almost 90,000 US women participating in the Nurse's Health Study for a period of 18 years, it was found that women with a high glycemic load intake had a 53 per cent higher risk of getting pancreatic cancer. A similar increase in risk, 57 per cent, was observed for fructose intake.
Further, the study also found that women who were heavy and with low levels of physical activity experienced greatly enhanced risk. Women in this group with high glycemic load had 2.67 times the risk of their counterparts with low glycemic load intake!
A study carried out by Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden and Central Hospital in V?ster?s, Sweden followed almost 78,000 Swedish men and women with no previous diagnosis of cancer or history of diabetes for a mean period of more than seven years. The subjects were aged from 45 to 83 years.
The study found that consuming added sugar, soft drinks, sweetened fruit soups or stewed fruit increased the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Those who ate the most sugar had a 69 per cent higher risk compared with those who ate the least sugar. The corresponding higher risk for soft drinks was 93 per cent, while for sweetened fruit soups or stewed fruit it was 51 per cent.
The study concluded that "high consumption of sugar and high-sugar foods may be associated with a greater risk of pancreatic cancer".
An Italian study examined the habits of men aged 46 to 74 who had prostate cancer and compared their dietary choices to similar men who did not contract the disease. The study found that those men whose diets were more likely to increase blood sugar levels had a 57 per cent higher risk of getting prostate cancer.
A large study carried out by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea tracked almost 1.3 million Korean men and women, aged between 30 and 95 years, for a period of 10 years.
The study found that those with the highest fasting glucose levels were more likely to die from all types of cancer combined. For the men, the strongest link was found for pancreatic cancer, while significant links were also reported for oesophagus, liver and colorectal cancers. For the women, the strongest associations were for liver and cervical cancers.
All in all, besides being more likely to die from cancer, those with highest fasting blood glucose levels also had higher risk of developing cancer.
And obesity had a part to play, too. "This study provides more information on glucose intolerance, an emerging cause of cancer. It points to increased cancer risk as another adverse consequence of rising obesity around the world," concluded Sun Ha Jee, leader of the study.
Another thing to note - the study participants were said to be substantially leaner than the typical population in Western countries, as mentioned by the study team.
A study carried out at Umea University Hospital in Sweden looked at almost 65,000 people in northern Sweden for a mean period of eight years.
The study found that women with the highest blood sugar levels had a higher risk of getting cancer before the end of the study period. This group of women also had higher risk of endometrial cancer, while those below 49 years of age had higher risk of breast cancer. In addition, both men and women who had the highest levels of blood sugar had higher risks of pancreatic cancer, urinary tract cancer, as well as malignant melanoma.
These results led Prof. Par Stattin, part of the study team, to state that keeping blood sugar levels within the normal range "may reduce cancer risk".
According to Dr. Russell L. Blaylock in Excitotoxins, "when your stomach processes DKP, it produces a compound very similar to N-nitrosourea, a powerful brain tumor-causing chemical. In addition, aspartame contains methanol, which the body breaks down into formic acid and formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is one of the main substances pumped into a dead body during the embalming process.
"Now, when I am dead, the morticians can pump formaldehyde into my body. Before then, however, I do not want to be pumped full of any chemical used in the embalming process, and I am sure you do not, either. According to Blaylock, formaldehyde accumulates near DNA and causes serious damage. "Drinking even one diet cola a day can cause formaldehyde buildup in cells, so that the amount of the toxin increases daily," he writes in Health and Nutrition Secrets.
Phenylalanine is an amino acid normally found in the brain. Human testing has shown phenylalanine levels in the blood are increased significantly in those who chronically use aspartame. Excessive levels of phenylalanine in the brain can cause the levels of serotonin to decrease, which can lead to depression, schizophrenia and make one more susceptible to seizures.
Studies conducted on rats by G.D. Searle found phenylalanine to be safe for humans. However, Louis J. Elsas, Director of Medical Genetics and Professor of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine told the U.S. Senate in 1987 that, "Normal humans do not metabolize phenylalanine as efficiently as do lower species such as rodents and thus most of the previous studies on aspartame effects on rodents are irrelevant." Unfortunately, this fell on deaf ears and failed to garner additional testing.
By far, the most controversial ingredient in aspartame is methanol (aka wood alcohol). A United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assessment of methanol states that it is "considered a cumulative poison due to the low rate of excretion once it is absorbed. In the body, methanol is oxidated to formaldehyde and formic acid; both of these metabolites are toxic." This oxidation occurs when methanol reaches 86 degrees F (30 degrees C).
A product broken down from aspartame is a known carcinogen and causes retinal damage, birth defects and interferes with DNA replications.
The EPA recommends a consumption limit of 7.8 mg/day. A 1 Liter aspartame sweetened beverage contains about 56 mg of methanol, seven times the EPA limit.
The most common maladies related to methanol poisoning are vision problems including misty vision, progressive contraction of visual fields, blurring of vision, obscuration of vision, retinal damage and blindness.
Ashiru said: "Based on the findings of the above mentioned studies, we can conclude that sugar feeds cancer. The truth is, sugar feeds all cells in human bodies. It therefore cannot be all bad. Two things we must take note of, however, is the amount and the type of sugar, which is consumed.
"Consuming too much sugar causes human bodies to produce excessive amounts of insulin. And insulin itself encourages the growth of cells, something, which is good for healthy cells, but not cancerous cells.
"The other key point is to avoid simple sugars. Broadly speaking, processed and refined foods, including soft drinks, sugary beverages, candy bars, cakes, other desserts, as well as other snacks, contain high amounts of simple sugars. These are high GI foods, which can cause insulin levels to spike.
"On the other hand, natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables are so much safer and better for health. Even fresh fruit juice, despite its high sugar content, is great for health. On top of that, healthy whole foods come with a wide concoction of vitamins and minerals, something which refined sugar is totally devoid of.
"When one's insulin levels suddenly increase, the level of sugar in the blood can suddenly crash. This, then, can cause one to feel intensely hungry. People then eat more, and feel hungry again soon, and the cycle keeps going."
Ogbera said: "Further, because of their lack of nutrition, foods with a lot of simple sugars are basically empty calories. When the body's nutritional needs are not met, it continues to crave for food, which again explains the non-stop eating and feasting.
"The more refined sugars one eats, the fatter one becomes, yet the more malnourished one can be. It is a huge paradox, and a dangerous one at that.
"Refined sugar is devoid of important nutrients, causes obesity, causes cavities, and also increases cancer risk. If you or a loved one are battling cancer, or are serious about avoiding the disease, you may want to take note of your intake of this common yet dangerous substance."
|follow up, the act of following up. 2. an action or thing that serves to increase the effectiveness of a previous one, as a second or subsequent letter, phone call, or visit. 3. Also called follow. Journalism. a. a news story providing additional information on a story or article previously published. b. Also called sidebar, supplementary story. a minor news story used to supplement a related story of major importance. Compare feature story (def. 1), human-interest story, shirttail. –adjective 4. designed or serving to follow up, esp. to increase the effectiveness of a previous action: a follow-up interview; a follow-up offer. 5. of or pertaining to action that follows an initial treatment, course of study, etc.: follow-up care for mental patients; a follow-up survey. fol·low –verb (used with object) 1. to come after in sequence, order of time, etc.: The speech follows the dinner. 2. to go or come after; move behind in the same direction: Drive ahead, and I'll follow you. 3. to accept as a guide or leader; accept the authority of or give allegiance to: Many Germans followed Hitler. 4. to conform to, comply with, or act in accordance with; obey: to follow orders; to follow advice. 5. to imitate or copy; use as an exemplar: They follow the latest fads. 6. to move forward along (a road, path, etc.): Follow this road for a mile. 7. to come after as a result or consequence; result from: Reprisals often follow victory. 8. to go after or along with (a person) as companion. 9. to go in pursuit of: to follow an enemy. 10. to try for or attain to: to follow an ideal. 11. to engage in or be concerned with as a pursuit: He followed the sea as his true calling. 12. to watch the movements, progress, or course of: to follow a bird in flight. 13. to watch the development of or keep up with: to follow the news. 14. to keep up with and understand (an argument, story, etc.): Do you follow me? –verb (used without object) 15. to come next after something else in sequence, order of time, etc. 16. to happen or occur after something else; come next as an event: After the defeat great disorder followed. 17. to attend or serve. 18. to go or come after a person or thing in motion. 19. to result as an effect; occur as a consequence: It follows then that he must be innocent. –noun 20. the act of following. 21. Billiards, Pool. follow shot (def. 2). 22. follow-up (def. 3). —Verb phrases23. follow out, to carry to a conclusion; execute: They followed out their orders to the letter. 24. follow through, a. to carry out fully, as a stroke of a club in golf, a racket in tennis, etc. b. to continue an effort, plan, proposal, policy, etc., to its completion. 25. follow up, a. to pursue closely and tenaciously. b. to increase the effectiveness of by further action or repetition. c. to pursue to a solution or conclusion. —Idiom26. follow suit. suit (def. 13). fol·low·a·ble, adjective —Synonyms 3. obey. 4. heed, observe. 8. accompany, attend. 9. pursue, chase; trail, track, trace. 19. arise, proceed. Follow, ensue, result, succeed imply coming after something else, in a natural sequence. Follow is the general word: We must wait to see what follows. A detailed account follows. Ensue implies a logical sequence, what might be expected normally to come after a given act, cause, etc.: When the power lines were cut, a paralysis of transportation ensued. Result emphasizes the connection between a cause or event and its effect, consequence, or outcome: The accident resulted in injuries to those involved. Succeed implies coming after in time, particularly coming into a title, office, etc.: Formerly the oldest son succeeded to his father's title. —Antonyms 1. precede. 2, 3. lead. 4. disregard. 9. flee. news follow up|