As part of my attempt to raise awareness I have interviewed two doctors.I have decided to allows the readers again to assess what they think of the advice they give (as I have with the ingredients).
Dr Karuna Chatturvedi is a dietician at Apollo Hospital. “I have seen several patients over the past few years complaining of chronic fatigue and frequent headaches. What is common amongst them all is that artificially sweetened food, through aspartame makes up a huge component of their daily intake.”
She feels aspartame is extremely dangerous for health and wellbeing. “I always discourage my patients from sweetened or sugar-free beverages and desserts. It’s best to consume natural products,” she says.
Dr Shailesh Patel, a doctor at NHS feels the EFSA’s move is a step in the right direction. “Aspartame is injurious to the brain and can cause miscarriages and underweight babies to pregnant women, as well as several other birth defects,” he says.
Dr Patel believes the problem for which aspartame is still on the market is that it has not been possible to yet prove the dangers in cause and effect of it. “But we have seen studies in which mice have developed cancer as a result of consumption of aspartame. So we can conclude its danger.”
“Amongst the widely believed hypotheses is this. Aspartame is digested and metabolized becoming methanol, this becomes itself formaldehyde, which can have toxic effects such as cancer and blindness,” says Dr Patel.
In March this year, it was reported that Coca Cola and PepsiCo are making changes to the production of “a certain ingredient” in their cola to avoid putting a cancer warning on their drinks.
This was to get around California’s new regulations to reduce the amount of a chemical called 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MI. This chemical was added to the list of chemicals covered by California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, also known as Proposition 65 in January.
High levels of that chemical have been linked to cancer in animals.
In news reports, both Coke and Pepsi have said that consumers will not notice any change in taste of the drinks.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) in the US found unsafe levels of the chemical in cans of Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, Dr Pepper and Whole Foods Markets Inc’s 365 Cola.
Now all this does come as a slap on to the FDA’s face, which still claims the drinks are safe. Reports cite FDA officials saying that consumers have to drink “well over a thousand cans of soda a day to reach the doses administered in the studies that have shown links to cancer in rodents”.
There does exist a way to lower your sugar intake. And you can eat desserts too.
One thing is, instead of eating chocolatey cakes, you should create your own yoghurt parfaits. Try natural yoghurt and fill it with strawberries, cherries and other delicious fruits, such as mangos and pineapples.
Another thing you can do is instead of drinking soda, you can drink fruity drinks. And snack on wholesome cereal bars instead of sugary foods.
Watch this video highlighting the cases of aspartame!