The headlines scream: "Dramatic Increase in Teen Suicide", "American Girls' Suicide Rates Spike" and "Suicide Rates Up In US Girls."
After a decade of decline, the suicide rate for girls ages 10-14 rose 76% percent in 2004, the biggest spike in 15 years. The CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control reports suicide rates among older teen girls, those aged 15-19 shot up 32%.
"In surveillance speak, this is a dramatic and huge increase," in pre-teen and teen suicide, said Ileana Arias, PhD, the Center's director. At a news conference, Dr. Arias reported hanging and asphyxiation rather than firearms and poisoning are becoming much more common as methods to commit suicide among 10-14 year olds.
The suicide rate had declined by 28% between 1990 and 2003 before the dramatic jump in 2004.
Guess what happened, circa the turn of the century? Breath strips with aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet) made their way into the marketplace. Plus, without informing its customers, The Wrigley Company put aspartame, the artificial chemical sweetener in all of its gums, not just the sugar-free kind-now gums such as Doublemint and Juicyfruit are laced with aspartame.
In 1993, under the Freedom of Information Act, the FDA released 92 symptoms caused by aspartame, reported by 10,000 consumers. No. 3, on the list is change in mood quality or level-in other words, depression.
With chewing gum added to the copious amounts of aspartame-laden diet sodas consumed by young women, one can virtually hear a death knell.
In 2001, Mary Nash Stoddard, founder of the Aspartame Consumer Safety Network wrote: "Aspartame (aka NutraSweet, Equal), as shown in the literature, can be a powerful, mind-altering drug-driving some over the abyss into dark, sinister depressions they can not shake, even with the use of anti-depressants. Suicide, for many individuals may seem to be the only way out."
Aspartame is 50 percent phenylalanine, an amino acid. In nature, such as in meat and milk, phenylalanine is linked to a chain of other amino acids, necessary for normal human growth and development. In aspartame, phenylalanine is "isolated" and genetically engineered, artificially separated from the rest of the protein chain.
( "Brain Cell Damage From Amino Acid Isolates" by James Bowen, M.D and Arthur M. Evangelista, former FDA Investigator)
According to The College of Physicians in the United Kingdom, the phenylalanine in aspartame depletes serotonin, a brain chemical that regulates emotion.
In "Aspartame Disease; An Ignored Epidemic", Dr. H. J. Roberts observed in 1500 patients that aspartame induces depression and suicidal thoughts. "The rate of suicide among teenagers is increasing." One victim of aspartame poisoning wrote to him, "Someone needs to check the teenage suicidal tendency and see how much (aspartame) they consume."
Neurosurgeon, Dr. Russell Blaylock, "Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills", tells us both glutamate (MSG) and aspartame (NutraSweet) can stimulate neurons (in the brain) to become extremely excited, causing these cells to deteriorate and die, resulting in brain damage of varying degrees.
Dr. Janet Hull, author of "Sweet Poison" also reports the chemicals in aspartame block normal serotonin production in the brain and that serotonin levels are generally lower in depressed individuals.
"NUTRASWEET" - HEALTH AND SAFETY CONCERNS HEARING
COMMITTEE ON LABOR AND HUMAN RESOURCES UNITED STATES SENATE HUNDREDTH CONGRESS FIRST SESSION ON EXAMINING THE HEALTH AND SAFETY CONCERNS OF NUTRASWEET (ASPARTAME) NOVEMBER 3, 1987:
Dr. Richard Wurtman, of M.I.T. testified that (isolated) phenylalanine lowers the serotonin level in the brain. Wurtman demonstrated aspartame can significantly increase brain phenylalanine levels, linking these neurochemical changes to seizures and mood disorders.
At the same hearing, biochemical geneticist, Dr. Louis J. Elsas told the committee, headed by Senator Howard Metzenbaum, his funding for a research grant to study the effects of phenylalanine on human brain function was revoked. Senator Metzenbaum asked Dr. Elsas if it is a fact that if the information or the research is not going to be supportive of their position, sometimes one does not get financed by organizations such as the International Life Sciences Institute, NutraSweet and others.
Elsas: Sir, I think that is very cogent and appropriate.
Metzenbaum: Thank you very much. Would you agree with that, Dr. Wurtman?
Wurtman: Yes sir, Senator Metzenbaum.
Health officials say they can't explain the disturbing, rising suicide rate in teens. The medical establishment will blame anything and everything, except aspartame for the surge of teen suicides, such as "Oh, there's a "game using the hands, robe or fabric to choke another child until he or she loses consciousness."
On July 25, 2007, Dr. Michael Jacobson, head of the CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest) and 12 other eminent doctors, scientists and Professors of Medicine, declared in a letter to Andrew von Eschenbach, Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration: "An important new long-term animal feeding study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, from the Cesare Maltoni Cancer Research Center at the European Ramazzini Foundation of Oncology and Environmnental Sciences in Italy raises anew serious questions about the safety of the artificial sweetener aspartame."
The study, headed by Dr. Morando Soffritti found "Dose-dependent increases in total malignant tumors, lymphomas/leukemias and mammary carcinomas were observed in male and/or female rats."
The letter to Commissioner Eschenbach explains that the low dose given to some of the experimental animals was "equivalent to a 50-pound child's drinking about 2 cans of diet soda a day" and this low (20 mg/kg) dose is "something that about 5 percent of American teenagers actually consume."
(Jacobson M. Liquid Candy-Supplement (Center for Science in the Public Interest, 2005)
The FDA, as usual, summarily rejected expert, critical information about aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet) and continues to insist the neurotoxic "food additive" is safe. The opinion of the Food and Drug Administration, in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence is nonsensical.
To save our teenagers from suicide, must we plant a burning bush outside the Maryland headquarters of the FDA?
Carol Guilford is an LA-based writer and author of "The New Cook's Cookbook" "The Diet Book" , Carol Guilford's Main Course Cookbook and "The Easiest Cookbook"