Aspartame gets put into a new light


It has been discovered that aspartame could actually prevent weight loss, not promote it

Aspartame is a controversial addition to our eating habits. For a long time, it has been debated whether it is beneficial, somewhat neutral or plain and simply bad for human consumption. The general population, however, tends to attribute negative effects to this ingredient, even though it is largely used in a wide variety of products. And even though the FDA has approved it for general use, with certain limitations, of course.

The recommended dose has been established at about 50 mg per kilogram of body weight, beyond which unwanted effects may occur. It is basically an artificial sweetener used in a lot of foods and beverages and it has been associated with an increased risk of obesity in both the US and abroad. Surprisingly enough, yogurt contains it, among other obvious products like soda and certain sweets.

The side effects, in the case of exaggerated consumption, have been identified as being quite dangerous in some cases, especially when combined with pre-existent diseases that may be worsened by this additive. Two known effects, not necessarily linked to aspartame consumption, but known to be sensitive to it are phenylketonuria and tardive dyskinesia.

Phenylketonuria occurs when there is too much phenylalanine (a known aspartame compound) in the patient’s blood. This disease occurs when their organism cannot efficiently process phenylalanine and it gets worsened when this artificial sweetener is included into alimentation because it equals with poisoning.

The other one, tardive dyskinesia, only occurs in people suffering from schizophrenia as an effect of the specific medication. It has been proven, however, that adding aspartame into the regular diet could worsen the symptoms caused by the disease. Other unproven, but largely believed effects of this ingredient include: depression, dizziness, ADHD, headaches and even cancer. And, as the topic suggested, weight loss.

The recent discoveries, however, tend to inform this last assumption.

Aspartame seems to prevent weight loss

Several researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital have identified curious effects in relation to aspartame consumption, mainly weight loss. The report they put together has been published online and it shows that phenylalanine, a byproduct obtained after the aspartame digestion, hinders the action of diabetes repelling enzymes, as well as with those playing active roles in preventing cardiovascular diseases.

During the latest researches, it has been discovered that including aspartame into the regular eating habits could affect the organism in a negative way. The noticeable effect took place at the gut level, where this food additive has shown to block the activity of an intestinal alkaline phosphatase, also called IAP. This is an enzyme only found in the digestive tract, which is known to prevent obesity and remove the risk of developing diabetes over time.

The new findings suggest that aspartame may actually promote weight gain, instead of preventing it and that those who consume it regularly could be at risk of becoming obese, even when cutting all the sugars from their foods. These effects were observed to all of the test subjects which were fed with aspartame enriched water during the studies, as opposed to those who only received plain water. The ones in the first category were shown to have developed abnormal levels of glucose and they gained more weight than the others, even if the weight gain effect was slightly different.

On a larger scale, however, scientists warn that the effects could be largely increased and that the population may be at risk of developing serious weight problems due to the consumption of this ingredient. This alarm signal is meant especially for those who think artificial sweeteners are healthier than sugar, which is actually false like the studies have already proven.

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