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Diet Drinks Linked To
Diabetes & Heart Disease

Carol Guilford
LOS ANGELES, CA -- A new report about the effects of drinking one regular or diet cola a day has been released.  Dr. Ramachandran Vasan, professor at Boston University School of Medicine was senior author of the investigation, part of The Framingham Heart Study that has been following the cardiac health of residents in a Massachusetts town, since 1948. The results of the research are published in Circulation, the Online Journal of the American Heart Association,  July 23,  2007.
6,039 middle-aged participants without "metabolic syndrome", an umbrella term for excess waist circumference(obesity), hypertension and glucose intolerance (pre-diabetes) who daily drank one soft drink of any kind, in a 4-year follow-up, had a 50% higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome than those who didn't drink 1 soda (12-ounces) a day. 
The link to diet soda found in the study was "striking" says Dr. Vasan, because it shows artificially sweetened diet sodas could be harmful. "That association was evident even when the researchers accounted for other factors, such as levels of saturated fat, calorie intake, smoking and physical activity."  
In calling into question what the ingredient in diet soda could be to cause metabolic syndrome-the artificial sweetener,aspartame, (Equal, NutraSweet) on the market since 1982, appears not to have been considered as a possible cause by researchers, led by Dr. Ravi Dhingra of Harvard Medical School.   
In 1993, the FDA, under the Freedom of Information Act revealed 92 symptoms caused by aspartame,from headache to seizures to death. Blood glucose disorders, an indication of metabolic syndrome is No. 63 on the list. 
The results of the new Framingham study comes on the heels of the Ramazzini Cancer Research Institute's eight year study on experimental rats. Dr. Morando Soffritti who heads the Institute found aspartame causes cancer, especially lymphoma, leukemia and breast cancer.  
The FDA continues to assert aspartame safety despite Dr.Soffritti's findings,reminiscent of their stance, in 1996, when Dr. John Olney found aspartame linked to the increase of brain tumors.  Aspartame, the chemical sweetener, is now in 6,000 products, including chewing gum, not labeled as sugar-free.  
Recently, 12 eminent USA toxicologists wrote to Andrew von Eschenbach, commissioner of the FDA, regarding the Ramazzini cancer study results.
"In light of the new aspartame study,which extends and corroborates the finding from an earlier (Ramazzini) study, we urge the FDA to immediately commence a careful review of the new study."
One of the writers of the letter to the FDA,Dr. Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest,(CSPI) called on the food industry, the Food Products Association/Grocery Manufacturers to voluntarily switch to other sugar substitutes. 
"Switching to safer ingredients now could be a wise precautionary action. Considering how widely aspartame is consumed by young children, as well as adults, in the United States and abroad, it is essential that this review be done as expeditiously as possible. If that review confirms that aspartame caused cancer in the laboratory animals, the FDA must invoke the Delaney amendment and revoke its approval for the artificial sweetener. But consumers, particularly parents, shouldn't wait for the FDA to act. People shouldn't panic, but they should stop buying beverages and foods containing aspartame."
Early studies of aspartame by the pharmaceutical company, G.D. Searle who owned the patent for the artificial sweetener were investigated by the late FDA toxicologist, Dr. Adrian Gross.  Dr. Gross ascertained diketopiperazine,the break-down of phenylalanine, 50 percent of the aspartame molecule, caused brain and mammary tumors in the experimental animals. 
According to Dr. Gross: "The manufacturer lied and didn't submit the real nature of their observations...they took great pains to camouflage these shortcomings of the study...and they did other terrible things for instance,animals would develop tumors while they were under study...Well, they would remove these tumors from the animals(and put them back into the study)."  
For we anti-aspartame consumer activists, it is a necessary task to spread the truth about aspartame to an exposed population.
Aspartic acid (40% of the aspartame molecule) causes holes in the brains of mice, Dr. John Olney told G.D. Searle. Free methanol, wood alcohol, poisonous without the antidote ethanol found in natural food, is 11% of the molecule.
The aforementioned phenylalanine, 50% of the molecule, is an amino acid isolated from the chain of 21 other amino acids in nature. According to neurosurgeon, Dr. Russell Blaylock ("Excitotoxins:The Taste That Kills"), phenylalanine crosses the blood brain barrier, depleting serotonin,necessary for mental stability.
"Oh,we're all going to die anyway", is a frequent phrase this writer/researcher has heard in the last 10 years.
Championing the evidence of the Framingham study and the Ramazzini Cancer Institute are my colleagues- former judge, Mary Nash Stoddard ("Deadly Deception: Story of Aspartame"), author/columnist David Lawrence Dewey, Dr. H.J. Roberts("NutraSweet:Is It Safe?"), Dr. Janet Hull("Sweet Poison"), toxicologist Dr. Hildegarde Staninger, Bryant Holman, list owner of the aspartame support group on Yahoo and researchers, Sh0shanna Allison, Rich Murray and Mark Gold. 
Carol Guilford is an LA-based writer and the author of "The New Cook's Cookbook", "THE Diet Book", "Carol Guilford's Main Course Cookbook" and "The Easiest Cookbook."
Shoshanna Allison contributed to this article.



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