ADD By Any Other Name

Not only is the handwriting on the wall, it's scrawled all over our children - "chemicals are hurting us!"

Hyperactivity has existed since humankind began, but it hasn't always been called the same thing. Various names have been used in the past to describe attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) and they are not all bad - think of labels such as enthusiastic, creative, non-conformist, daydreamer, eccentric, high-energy, dedicated, obsessive, Type-A.

So, why the name change? No particular reason, really. The American Psychiatric Association publishes the official guidelines for naming and diagnosing mental disorders. The reference book "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" is regularly updated as scientists deal more and more with unidentified modern diseases. Research in the late 1980s began to show changes in "attention deficit," so it was simply renamed for more modern times.

To date, no one has identified the cause for this "mental alteration." Here is yet another example of an increasing health symptom (particularly among children) with no known cause or cure. Once again, it's time to examine our modern diet of chemical sweeteners and food additives for the mental influences they have on human behavior.

So, can ADD, AD/HD be caused by artificial sweeteners? You bet. Just look around. The increases in AD/HD (and the label) are perfectly timed with the introduction of the artificial sweetener NutraSweet/Equal® in 1981. After over 20 years of use, and now with the current blending of artificial sweeteners, I predict the impact of this already existing problem will continue climbing to devastating levels.

There is no simple test, like a blood test or a written test, to determine whether a child has AD/HD. This is true of many medical conditions, as there is no "test" for a simple headache, yet anyone who has had a headache knows it's real. Usually in these cases, the health "symptoms" are a reaction to a cause that cannot be "seen" - a chemical cause such as artificial sweeteners.

I have many clients with obvious health symptoms - headaches, sleeplessness, numbness in their arms and legs, vertigo, depression - but no medical tests previously done, such as MRIs, CAT scans, or blood or urine tests, show any physical reason for their symptoms. Most traditional medical doctors are puzzled at this, but simply blame the symptoms on stress, prescribe medication and send them home to deal with it. If only they knew to look at their patients' diets and the amount of artificial sweeteners they use as one of the probable causes. This is the same frustration a child feels when diagnosed with, and treated for, AD/HD who is merely reacting to artificial sweeteners or other food additives.

Here's a perfect example: according to a June 1997 American Medical Association (AMA) study, "AD/HD is one of the best researched disorders in medicine, and the overall data on its validity are far more compelling than that for most mental disorders and even for many medical conditions."

One of the best researched disorders they state, yet the cause remains illusive to traditional medicine? What's wrong with this picture? It's time to recognize artificial chemical sweeteners as one of the root causes for AD/HD, because the evidence lies in the sweetener chemicals right in front of us. We need to offer these kids the proper help they need! No more drugs, no more ostracizing, NO MORE ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS!

In this ever-continuing web of confusion over which chemicals are causing which health reactions, it is best to return to natural sweeteners and whole foods, especially during pregnancy and during childhood development. Better safe than sorry when it comes to our children.

Dr. Diana Dow-Edwards, PhD, SUNY Health Science Center in Brooklyn, New York, investigated evidence of mental retardation and developmental disabilities in guinea pigs by administering aspartame to laboratory guinea pigs during pregnancy. Since brain development occurs in the womb in both guinea pigs and humans, the results of her investigations are applicable to people.

Dow-Edwards' research evaluated the harmful influences of moderate doses of aspartame administered to pregnant mothers, especially those with liver problems because all chemical sweeteners are metabolized in the liver. She concluded from her studies that using moderate quantities of aspartame during pregnancy could produce a dramatic increase in the number of offspring born with diminished brain function.

Not only does this study impact the use of aspartame, but it also includes the sweetener blends. Where aspartame penetrates, so follows the chlorine in sucralose. Even though corporate marketers claim, "the chlorine atoms in Splenda are so tightly bound they do not break down inside the body," when sucralose is blended with aspartame, the chlorine in sucralose can be ushered into the brain aside its chemical counterpart.

Holes in the brain are a big deal: As early as 1970, Dr. John Olney, research psychiatrist at the Department of Psychiatry at Washington School of Medicine, pioneered proof of aspartame's dangerous entry into the brain.

He informed G.D. Searle Pharmaceuticals (the developer of aspartame and founder of The NutraSweet Company), warning them that the aspartic acid in aspartame caused holes to form in the brains of his laboratory mice. Olney proved that excess aspartic acid in the brain destroys brain neurons. He established that approximately 75-percent of the neural cells in any particular area of the brain could be killed before any clinical symptoms of a chronic illness are even noticed.

"Neural cell damage can occur from excessive aspartic acid allowing too much calcium into the cells, triggering excessive amounts of free radicals, which kill brain cells," Olney stated.

Russell L. Blaylock, M.D., provides over 500 scientific references in his book "Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills," proving that excess free excitatory amino acids (aspartic acid and phenylalanine found in aspartame) cause serious chronic neurological disorders along with a host of acute physical symptoms.

"The risk to infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with certain chronic health problems caused by excitotoxins is great," he writes.

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) states, "The existence of evidence of potential responses to aspartame between males and females suggests a neuroendocrine link, and should be avoided by women of childbearing age and by individuals with affective disorders."

The FDA has recorded in their files the following mental symptoms related to aspartame use:
1) Depression
2) Anxiety attacks
3) Fatigue/malaise
4) Sleep problems
5) Vision problems
6) Headaches/migraines

The evidence is clear that artificial sweeteners negatively affect the human brain. Before you commit your child to toxic medications to control bad behavior, try eliminating the toxic chemicals in their diet first. You might be pleasantly surprised at the results.

Posted November 2005 | Permanent Link

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