Q & A with Dr. Hull

To: Dr. Janet Starr Hull
Subject: acesulfame potassium (Ace-K)

Q: I drink Propel which contains "acesulfame potassium." Can you give me a realistic idea of what the incidence of lung and breast cancer is using this artificial sweetener. I also have MS which I believe is not affected. Correct??

A: Thank you for your inquiry. I am not a fan of man-made chemical food additives in any form, but am realistic concerning the abundance of them in our foods and drugs. It is important to research them all so to know how to "prioritize your poisons." It is best to use the chemicals with less harmful effects opposed to those we know are more acutely (and chronically) harmful.

I have included some information from the FDA Final Rule report on Ace-K I feel is pertinent. I also want to alert you to the fact that Ace-K is used in, what I call, "sweetener blends." It is not as tasty in isolated form, more expensive as an exclusive sweetener substitute, and chemically blends well with the other chemical sweeteners, such as aspartame and sucralose. So, it is important to realize when you use Ace-K, you most likely have other chemical sweeteners included in the product, which are now being commonly proven to cause the symptoms you have inquired about. I would check the list of 92 symptoms reported from aspartame use submitted by the FDA in 1992 found on my SweetPoison.com website, and research the toxic side-effects of chlorine, found in Splenda®' and generic sucralose.

Methylene chloride (used in the manufacturing of Ace-K) is a known carcinogen.

Chlorine found in Splenda is also a known carcinogen. Aspartame has been documented in case studies to mock MS symptoms.

As an environmental toxicologist, I personally, would NOT take the risk of exposing my health to methylene chloride in any manufactured food product, nor would I expose or recommend exposure for a child or a fetus. But this is a decision for the individual once all the data has been presented. I recommend erring on the side of caution and see if removing ALL food chemicals and artificial sweeteners also removes health symptoms, such as MS. See below for the FDA Final Rule on acesulfame potassium.


Janet Hull
Final Rule Report acesulfame potassium

Federal Register: December 31, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 250)

Rules and Regulations

Page 75411-75413
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access
DOCID: fr31de03-15

III. Evaluation of Safety for the Petitioned Uses of the Food Additive

To determine whether ACK can be safely used as a general-purpose sweetener and flavor enhancer, FDA focused its evaluation on whether human exposure to ACK from these uses would exceed the ADI of 15 mg/kg bw/d, and on the potential health risk from exposure to the primary hydrolysis products, AAS and AAA, and the impurity, methylene chloride.

B. Methylene Chloride
Methylene chloride, a carcinogenic chemical, is a potential impurity in ACK resulting from its use as a solvent in the initial manufacturing step of the sweetener. Data previously submitted in FAP 0A4212 show that methylene chloride could not be detected in the final product at a limit of detection (LOD) of 40 parts per billion (ppb) as discussed in the July 6, 1998, final rule (63 FR 36344 at 36346). In the past, FDA has assumed that methylene chloride is present in ACK at the LOD of 40 ppb (worst-case scenario) and has evaluated its safety by performing a risk assessment for methylene chloride based on this level. No new information has been received to change FDA's previous risk assessment for methylene chloride. Moreover, FDA does not expect that methylene chloride will be present in ACK due to the following [Page 75413] factors: (1) The multi-step purification process used in the manufacture of ACK and (2) the volatility of methylene chloride (Ref. 1).

To: Dr. Janet Starr Hull
Subject: Why contact the FAA?

Q: Why would a person need to contact the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) concerning aspartame? I understand the idea of registering a complaint with the FDA and the NutraSweet Company about aspartame poisoning, but why the FAA?

A: Good morning.

As I write in my book Sweet Poison there have been serious concerns about pilots who consume aspartame because, despite the FAA's claims of thorough physical examinations, they do not consider "food" a threat to a pilot's in-flight abilities.

Pilots are not likely to report in-flight episodes related to aspartame consumption because the threat to their livelihood is extensive. If medical approval to fly is taken away from them by the FAA, it is hard to reinstate, even if it is a case of aspartame poisoning. Plus, who wants to fly with a pilot who is experiencing vertigo or blacks-out while in the cockpit because of aspartame? Not I.

To: Dr. Janet Start Hull
Subject: It's all in the timing.

Q: Is it possible the affects of using aspartame will not be evident until years to come, or are the affects on a person's health and body more immediate?

A: The effects of aspartame can be felt immediately in the body. People do not know to connect their migraines, hormonal problems and lack of libido, their weight gain, skin rashes, and emotional outbursts to their diet products. They go to their doctor for help, and because the information given to the medical community has been managed by the corporations marketing these products, many traditional doctors are clueless to this issue. Most toxins affect the body within hours, just like eating a rancid or spoiled dish will create acute vomiting.

A point to remember, though, if you ingest diet products daily, they can also accumulate within your body and create health problems in years to come. So, to answer your question, aspartame and diet chemicals can create both immediate and long-term health reactions.

To: Dr. Janet Starr Hull
Subject: Eat the real thing.

Q: I was wondering if you have done any research on the drink Fuze® produced by Fuze Beverage, LLC. My mom recently had what the doctor called a "heart episode" and the doctor said it was probably caused by the ingredient Citrimax® that is in the Fuze drink Slenderize®. If you have found some supporting documentation that states this ingredient Citrimax is detrimental to hearts, could you please forward it to my email. Thank you.

A: It appears to be a safe product, but try to limit yourself to merely one serving a day. Unlike "forced" sweetness, sugar should be eaten in the origin of its food matrix only. So if she wants to eat the Cambogia fruit (of origin), this will not cause weight gain and would be a natural sugar fix, but the problem lies in the fact that man has taken what worked in nature, removed it from its source of origin, manufactured it into an isolated form, added an amino acid and other ingredients also from the fruit, and marked it as a natural sugar additive. This typically overloads the body with this specific sugar, which is ultimately an unnatural amount of sugar. I suggest not using the product more than you would sit down and eat a piece of its fruit.

To: Dr. Janet Starr Hull
Subject: Where to get your vitamins

Q: I recently had a hair analysis and have received your information about detoxing, etc. I have tried to locate Empirical Labs online to no avail. They are not at the address you gave me and when I type in Empirical Labs, I get electronic and computer equipment. Any suggestions? Thanks.

A: Empirical Labs is a great laboratory, but they are not a retail establishment with a web presence. They are the creator and supplier of my detox line, hand-grinding the vitamins and putting them into vegetarian-safe capsules**. So, it's best to visit my vitamin Web page for information on my product line. To make it easier for people to access the supplements, we are now selling the detox vitamins from our site. You can order via check, credit card or paypal.

**Note: Lithium is currently available in gelatin capsules. Veggie caps will be coming soon!

Posted May 2006 | Permanent Link

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