How Do Artificial Sweeteners Affect Your Child's Behavior?

According to research as early as 1970, scientists were already showing the negative effects of aspartame on mental behavior--specifically aggression and depression. Dr. Louis Elsas, MD, Emory University, stated in his testimony before the U.S. Senate on November 3, 1987 how high levels of phenylalanine from aspartame found in the blood, become concentrated in the brain. This affects normal serotonin levels, which in turn, affects behavior and mood.

The rising numbers of mental disorders have gone unexplained until now. A diet of chemical foods means a diet of malnutrition, and when the body is starved of nutrients it becomes mentally and physically stressed. It is time to recognize diet sugar substitutes and chemical sweeteners as a cause of mental disorders and depression, especially among young users.

It's bad enough for adults to endure these maladies, but inflicting these difficulties on a child trying to grow and develop normally, is tragic beyond words.

Scientists have repeatedly proven that excess phenylalanine in the brain blocks the normal production of serotonin, which leads to emotional disorders such as depression, PMS, insomnia and sexual dysfunction--all modern epidemics.

"This proves especially dangerous for fetuses and infants," Elsas testified.

The Stats - Mental/Emotional Disorders Caused By Diet Chemicals

More than 51 million Americans have a mental disorder, creating severe illnesses more common than cancer, diabetes or heart disease. Twenty percent of families will be affected by severe mental illness in their lifetime, and 21 percent of hospital beds are currently filled with patients of all ages with mental illness, the leading reason for hospital admissions.

Some of the most prevalent disorders are:
1. Depression
2. Violence and aggression
3. ADD, AD/HD
4. Physical risks to the brain

Before NutraSweet came on the market in 1981, mental health costs remained relatively constant according to studies between 1971 and 1985. After 20 years of aspartame use, mental health costs have raised, and the use of psychotropic drugs has increased nearly 40 percent from 1985 to 1994. Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, and the third leading cause of death among people 15 to 24 years of age. By 1990, total economic costs of mental illness had amounted to $147.8 billion. More than 31 percent of those costs--$46.6 billion--were for anxiety disorders.

Today, one out of four patients seen in primary care units has a diagnosable mental condition--most commonly depression and anxiety--leaving the majority of the mental health disorders in America undetected and untreated. The treatment of depression and anxiety, alcohol and substance abuse, posttraumatic stress disorders (PTSD), schizophrenia and over 300 other mental diagnoses are treated in general medical practices. Mental disorders constitute up to 80 percent of the patient load in primary care.

According to the National Mental Health Association, it is predicted that approximately one in four Americans will suffer from a serious mental disorder in their lifetime, and preliminary studies indicate that one in five children/adolescents have a diagnosable mental disorder. In 1993, 11 years after the introduction of aspartame, the Center for Mental Health Services estimated the number of children suffering from mental disorders would climb from 7.7 million to 12.8 million. It has! These children have severe emotional or behavioral problems that significantly interfere with their daily functioning--at home, at school, and at work.

Sadly, these numbers are rising faster than the system can keep up. As a result, less than one-third of children under 18 years of age with a serious emotional disturbance receive mental health services, and many times the services they do receive are inappropriate. If counselors do not connect aspartame and the other chemical sweeteners with the rise in mental disturbances, how can they offer these children the help they truly need to heal?

Mental disorders do not discriminate; they strike consumers of all races and ages, incomes and social status. Though some conditions can be caused by genetics, emotional trauma or physical reasons, many cases of mental illness can be directly correlated to toxic food chemicals.

It is estimated that two-thirds of the population and 40 percent of American children are using products with aspartame. Neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock, M.D., writes in his book "Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills" that 50 percent of aspartame is the isolated amino acid phenylalanine that is neurotoxic and goes directly into the brain. It lowers the seizure threshold and depletes serotonin levels. When you lower serotonin, it triggers:

  • Manic depression

  • Bipolar

  • Mood swings

  • Anxiety

  • Suicidal tendencies

  • Panic attacks

  • Paranoia

  • Hallucinations

  • Addiction to drugs that increase serotonin, such as cocaine

Aspartame has been shown in consumer research to interact with most antidepressants. My advice - stop all aspartame use, and replace all the nutrients chemical diets deplete. Judge for yourself if you or your child returns to a normal state of mind once diet sweeteners are eliminated. Life is tough, no doubt, but a healthy individual can live day to day without the epidemic depression and suicide rates plaguing American society today - a society saturated with toxic food chemicals and diet sweeteners for the first time in recorded human history.

Posted October 2006 | Permanent Link

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