Friday, February 11, 2011

Neotame - Another Bad Sweetener

As if aspartame isn't bad enough - now we are subjected to a derivative of that.
It's called neotame and it's been around since 2002 - although its use has been limited.

N-[N-(3,3-dimethylbutyl)-L--aspartyl]-L-phenylalanine 1-methyl ester

Health advocate Dr. Mercola reports this:
Neotame is a chemical derivative of aspartame, and judging by the chemicals used in its manufacturing, it appears even more toxic than aspartame, although the proponents of neotame claim that increased toxicity is not a concern, because less of it is needed to achieve the desired effect.
Oh that's encouraging.. don't worry about the toxicity of this sweetener - because you only have to use a little of it ... isn't that just peachy.
Neotame is bad science brought to you by the Monsanto Company.

If Monsanto truly had nothing to fear with either of these artificial chemical sweeteners, they would have funded rigorous independent testing for safety. To date they have not, and they won't, because virtually every independent analysis of aspartame not conducted by Monsanto partners has revealed a long list of disturbing side effects, mostly neurological in nature.

Monsanto also has now sold the NutraSweet Company to someone else, but the approval of neotame came under Monsanto's ownership, and was most likely a result of Monsanto's cozy relationship with the FDA.
Isn't it heartwarming to know that we have government agencies truly hard at work looking out for us. Here we have a neurotoxin that's been approved for general use and not even adequately independently tested (if at all) - and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given it its blessing.

Dr. Mercola, and other natural health practitioners recommend that neotame be avoided... just like aspartame .. if you care about your health. I know for me, I get an immediate headache when I eat anything with aspartame - so I stay away from it. That stuff is poison.

Dr. Mercola continue with this:
But as if aspartame wasn't bad enough, NutraSweet (a Monsanto subsidiary at the time of neotame's approval) "improved" the aspartame formula, making neotame 7,000-13,000 times sweeter than sugar (sucrose) and 30-60 times sweeter than aspartame.
How did they do this?

In 1998, Monsanto applied for FDA approval for neotame, "based on the aspartame formula" with one critical addition: 3-dimethylbutyl, which just happens to be listed on the EPA's most hazardous chemical list.

So not only is neotame potentially more devastating to your health than aspartame, it is also approved for use in a wider array of food products, including baked goods, because it is more stable at higher temperatures.

What is 3-Dimethylbutyl?

Neotame is manufactured by combining aspartame with 3,3-dimethylbutyraldehyd, which was added to block enzymes that break the peptide bond between aspartic acid and phenylalanine, thereby reducing the availability of phenylalanine.

This eliminates the need for a warning on labels directed at people who cannot properly metabolize phenylalanine.

However, 3,3-Dimethylbutyraldehyde is categorized as both highly flammable and an irritant, and carries risk statements for handling including irritating to skin, eyes and respiratory system.

In other words, the NutraSweet company assures you that neotame is perfectly safe, while at the same time they manufacture neotame through a chemical reaction between aspartame and a substance that is highly flammable and a skin, eye and respiratory irritant (that must be handled with extreme caution by anyone involved in the manufacturing process).

Does this sound like something you want to put into your body?

It doesn't even sound like it should be for human consumption!
And what of the incestuous relationship between Monsanto and the tax funded government agency the FDA? Well let's just dig a little.

Many people actually consider the FDA to be a "subsidiary" of the Monsanto Company. It sounds impossible, but when you look at all the Monsanto executives who have gone through the revolving door between private industry and government oversight, a truly disturbing picture emerges of the foxes guarding the henhouse..

The FDA is packed by pro-business, pro-corporation advocates who often have massive conflicts of interest when it comes to protecting the health of the public.

In fact, the revolving door between private industry and government oversight agencies is so well established these days, it has become business as usual to read about scandal, conflicts of interest and blatant pro-industry bias, even when it flies in the face of science or the law.

A few examples include:

* FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, a former dental amalgam company executive, helped subvert a federal judge's order to label mercury fillings as a hazard to children and pregnant women.
* The FDA's top medical-device regulator, Daniel Schultz, resigned following internal dissent over decisions that his critics said were too friendly to industry.
* Janet Woodcock, the director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, was accused of a massive conflict of interest stemming from an ethics complaint filed by Amphastar Pharmaceuticals Inc.
* The agency's list of corruptions and collusions is now a mile long. And each piece of new legislation aimed to improve its function seems to do just the opposite—making the FDA even more dependent upon financial support by Big Pharma.

Cozy eh?
It's downright nauseating.
And as for neotame being helpful in the "war on obesity"...
One of the biggest marketing and PR tactics for man-made chemical sweeteners has been the claim that they help in the battle against obesity. Folks, they don't. They never have and they never will.

The research and the epidemiologic data suggest the opposite is true, and that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and neotame tend to lead to weight gain. As I've often said, there's more to weight gain or weight loss than mere calorie intake.

One reason for aspartame and neotame's potential to cause weight gain is because phenylalanine and aspartic acid – the two amino acids that make up 90 percent of aspartame and are also present in neotame -- are known to rapidly stimulate the release of insulin and leptin; two hormones that are intricately involved with satiety and fat storage.

Insulin and leptin are also the primary hormones that regulate your metabolism.

So although you're not ingesting calories in the form of sugar, aspartame and neotame can still raise your insulin and leptin levels. Elevated insulin and leptin levels, in turn, are two of the driving forces behind obesity, diabetes, and a number of our current chronic disease epidemics.

Over time, if your body is exposed to too much leptin, it will become resistant to it, just as your body can become resistant to insulin, and once that happens, your body can no longer "hear" the hormonal messages instructing your body to stop eating, burn fat, and maintain good sensitivity to sweet tastes in your taste buds.

What happens then?

You remain hungry; you crave sweets, and your body stores more fat.

Leptin-resistance also causes an increase in visceral fat, sending you on a vicious cycle of hunger, fat storage and an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and more.

Then of course there is the money end of it.
There's big money in cheap artificial sweeteners.
Artificial sweeteners cost a great deal less than real sugar, corn syrup or molasses, so the processed food and beverage industry saves money by using LESS of these man-made chemicals to create MORE sweetness in their products.

Neotame is manufactured from aspartame, and builds on aspartame's ability to provide more sweetness from less raw material, as it is 30-60 times sweeter than aspartame.

Unfortunately, one byproduct your body creates by breaking down aspartame is formaldehyde, which is extremely toxic to your health even in very small doses. The NutraSweet Company claims the addition of 3,3-Dimethylbutyraldehyde to aspartame makes it more stable at higher temperatures, and reduces the availability of phenylalanine. But nowhere do they discuss the formation of formaldehyde when your body breaks down aspartame, which is the main ingredient of neotame.

In a search of, the U.S. National Library of Medicine, which has over 11 million medical citations, neotame returns zero double-blind scientific studies on toxicity in humans or animals.

If neotame was indeed completely safe to ingest, you would think the NutraSweet Company would have published at least one double-blind safety study in the public domain? They haven't.

I'll be staying far away from this stuff.
Perhaps you should too.


Kim said...

An interesting fact I learned about when my mom's liver was failing is that red meat breaks down into ammonia during digestion.

Judy Aron said...

Which is probably a good reason to cut down on consumption of it.

Anonymous said...

Dr Mercola is a nut and cannot br trusted for health information.

Judy Aron said...

Really? and the AMA, FDA and Big Pharma and Monsanto can be totally trusted right?
Good grief.

Anonymous said...

If you are aware of the things Mercola has said in the past and his bizarre views then you know there is no comparison.

The AMA means nothing to me, just another special interest group.

FDA does good things and stumbles sometimes. The objective should be to reduce the stumbles not throw out everything they do.

Big Pharma has saved million and millions and millions of lives. You and I are probably alive today ONLY because of modern drugs. I thank god for big pharma, you should too!

Monsanto derangement syndrome (and McDonalds and Walmart derangement syndrome) is the illness of the conspiracy theorists. Seek help!

Judy Aron said...

To "Anonymous":

Mercola bizarre? I believe your views are bizarre. His views are shared by many other people - medical practitioners included. Much of what Mercola writes about has been written about by others as well, and backed by documented studies. I don't find his views bizarre, nor do I need to defend him to you. However, I find your trust in government agencies, like the FDA, that has partnered with corporations that have produced products knowingly that are dangerous and deadly, to be very bizarre.

The FDA "stumbles"? You mean when they bless medicines that give people diabetes? or when they knowingly bless medicines that kill them? The FDA is corrupt and in bed with entities that they should be investigating. They have knowingly allowed very bad "medications" to be sold and have blocked good medicines that could help people, all the while aiding and abetting Big Pharma's greed.

Modern drugs.. oh you mean the ones that destroy your liver or the ones that give you Cancer? Oh wait, maybe you mean the ones that give you diabetes and the ones that have undesirable and dangerous side effects. I am alive today because I stay away from the crap that is being peddled, like Lipitor and Prilosec and flu shots, and pushed on consumers who are used like guinea pigs. Don't go there with me Anonymous, because the minute I got off the crap I was at one time taking, my health improved. I would go to a Dr. Mercola or a naturopath first before I went to anyone else for preventative medicine.

I might ask - what medications are you taking? I am 54 and I don't take anything except for vitamin supplements. Most people my age are taking 2 and 3 prescriptions. I'll wager they have unpleasant side effects along with them.

Monsanto is an unscrupulous company that seeks to control our food production and supply and inject their poisonous concoctions into our crops. If you approve of what they do then it is not I who is deranged.

I invite you to believe what you will - keep eating crap and taking poison meds - that's your choice - but do me a favor and don't attack my views and call them deranged. It really is rude and shows a lack of open-mindedness, especially coming from someone who can't even put their real name to their comments.

Don't bother commenting - chances are it won't make it through comment moderation.

Anonymous said...

Dr Mercola has been indicted for makoing false claims about his snake oil and for selling dangerous "snake oil".

I am 67 and have never taken vitamins or supplements in my life. Do you really believe they are necessary?

I believe in science not naturopaths.

New drugs (all drugs) can indeed have side effects. But new drugs have saved literally millions and millions of lives. The most deadly drug (i.e kills the most people every year) is aspirin followed by Tylenol.

Talk about lack of open mindedness! You don't want a debate on the issues.

Monsanto simply sells an improved strain of seed. Some farmers love them and use them some do not. Without the green revolution 100's of millions would have died. Without new and better plants in the future 100's of millions will die. Like it or not the future is coming and we need to prepare for it.

Judy Aron said...

I will be happy to debate the issues as long as people aren't saying my views are "deranged" etc. because I do not agree with you doesn't mean I am deranged or in need of help.

Now back to your response.
The FDA has also been indicted .. so has Monsanto .. so what's your point? FDA. Big Pharma, Monsanto et. al. have knowingly put products on the market that KILL people!

And yes, I do believe vitamins and supplements are helpful, especially with the erosion of nutritive value in most of our foods.

Funny thing - naturopaths believe in science.. most take more science and anatomy and physiology classes than most physicians. They understand more fully the workings of the human body and how the food we eat, or the herbals we can use topically can be used as medicine.

Any drug is deadly if you misuse it. My point is that the institutions that you hold most esteemed have knowingly lied and put drugs into the hands of the public that will make them sicker and even give them other diseases so that they can sell them more drugs.

What is so interesting to me is that most people are going back to organic and natural means of taking care of their bodies. So called "modern medicine" is based on the chemistry of herbal remedies and botanicals.

Hate to break it to ya - but Monsanto doesn't just sell "improved strains of seeds" - they are controlling the food supply - and if you truly want to prepare for the future then you better wise up to their agenda.

Listen - feel free to call people like Mercola quacks - I remain open-minded - and so far naturopathic remedies have worked quite well for me and my family.

Ellery said...

Hard to find seed now a days that is not gm and sold by Monsanto. Hm... Monsanto = "My saint" Never took Latin, but looks like false advertising to me.

Thanks for post.

Anonymous said...

To say “Big Pharma, Monsanto et. al. have knowingly put products on the market that KILL people!” begs the question. Food producers have knowingly put products on the market that kill people i.e. peanuts and shellfish. Naturopaths, health food advocates and health stores have also knowingly put products on the market that kill people, i.e. ephedra, St. John’s Wort, glucosamine, Zhong gan ling, Pennyroyal, and the list of deadly supplements goes on and on. Additionally I could give you a long list of naturopaths who have been imprisoned for treating sick people with fake drugs and the patient died for lack of proper treatment. The fact is that big pharma creates drugs to treat illnesses and they tests those drugs for safety but “big lawfirm” uses tricks and ploys to sue big pharma for billions. The primary ploy used is to flood the media with half truths and outright lies about a product and then after tainting the jury pool bring the drug company into court in rural Mississippi where the jurors are indigents with little or no education. Big Lawfirm wins millions (sometimes billions) and big pharma passes on the cost to the consumer. So who loses?? The worst part is we are all subjected to the lies and half truths that the law firms put into the popular media and that creates the belief that big pharma is bad. I can guarantee you that big pharma does NOT produce a drug with the intent of causing harm and that the FDA does NOT approve a drug with the intent of causing harm. Medicine and it’s effects is a very complex field made more difficult by the diversity of individual characteristics and differences. What might cure me might put you at risk.

There is no substitute for the scientific methodology where the best efforts are used to test, gather evidence and subject it to peer review. It’s not perfect but it is far superior to alternative methodologies and that is especially true when compared with the superstition based alternatives and pseudo-science. It is immoral to claim that some herb will cure you or prevent you from getting ill unless there is viable and irrefutable scientific proof. There have been a few herbs and ancient cures that have been valid but for the most part where this is true they have been proven and incorporated into conventional medicine. The fact that a herb or supplement remains outside of conventional medicine implies that they are not proven to be of any value. It is certainly possible that some herb or alternative therapy may prove to be of value someday but until they meet that standard a reasonable person should reject them.

Judy Aron said...

FDA blessed:

Accutane Many lawsuits filed against Hoffmann-La Roche, due to reports of suicide, birth defects & fetal death, links to inflammatory bowel disease and lupus

Actos prescribed to help control blood sugar it can cause liver damage

Advair used to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), may cause swelling, rash, hives and extreme asthmatic episodes

Avandia 2007, New England Journal of Medicine reports that this diabetes drug may pose risks to the heart

Bextra (like Vioxx & Celebrex)is a COX-2 inhibitor. Bextra, used to treat osteoarthritis & rheumatoid arthritis, may be responsible for increased risk of heart attack.

Celebrex the world's most prescribed drug for arthritis, has been linked to an unsafe risk of heart attack and stroke

Dostinex produced by Pfizer, has been linked to Valvular heart disease at higher doses

Duragesic Pain Patch is a strong narcotic pain killer and was linked to patient deaths.

Fosamax produced by Merck, prescribed for bone-related conditions. Studies suggest it increases the risk of osteonecrosis (ONJ), an infection and eventual rotting of the jawbone.

Gadolinium a contrast dye used during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), has been linked to nephrogenic systemic fibrosis/nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy (NSF/NFD), a disease that can lead to death in patients with kidney disorders

Ketek an antibiotic used for bacterial infections in adults. Manufactured by French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis, it was linked to potentially fatal liver damage

Ortho Evra hormonal contraceptive skin patch has side effects & has been linked to blood clots in legs and lungs, which can lead to heart attack or stroke

Paxil manufacturer SmithKline Beecham had to put a warning on its label about the risk of child suicide. Paxil may also increase the risk of birth defects if taken during pregnancy.

Permax, a drug used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease and Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). In 2003, reports of heart valve problems began to surface. In 2007, Eli Lilly pulled Permax off the market.

Redux. An obesity drug manufactured by Wyeth-Ayerst, recalled in 1997 after it was linked to primary pulmonary hypertension.

Rezulin. This drug was "fast-tracked" rather than undergoing a full clinical trial. The maker of Rezulin, Warner-Lambert, failed to complete a subsequent study designed to determine whether the drug could cause heart problems. Several patients died while using Rezulin, and many successful lawsuits were filed.

Risperdal. Risperdal is a popular drug prescribed for schizophrenia. It has been linked to stroke and/or stroke-like events in elderly patients.

Judy Aron said...

FDA blessed:
Serevent. Produced by GlaxoSmithKline, Serevent is a very popular asthma treatment that comes in the form of an aerosol spray. Has caused severe asthmas attacks in some patients.

Seroquel. A "second generation" antipsychotic used to treat schizophrenia. It may increase the risk of unwanted pregnancy and has other potential side effects, some of them fatal.

Tequin, an antibiotic often prescribed. Taking Tequin may increase a patient's risk of developing high blood sugar or low blood sugar.

Trileptal. Used to treat partial seizures, Trileptal can lead to dangerously low levels of sodium in the blood. Trileptal can cause serious allergic reactions and multi-organ sensitivity.

Vioxx was an extraordinarily popular drug belonging to a class of anti-inflammatories called COX-2 inhibitors. In September 2004 Vioxx was taken off the market by its manufacturer, Merck, after it was linked to an increased risk of heart problems and stroke.

Zelnorm. Zelnorm was a drug used for constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. Its manufacturer, Novartis AG, stopped distribution after a report linking it to cardiovascular risks, including heart attack.

Zyprexa. Produced by Eli Lilly, it is an antipsychotic drug that has come under scrutiny for side effects such as weight gain and diabetes.All these drugs were "tested" and given the blessing of FDA and in some cases are still on the market with some stupid warning on the labels so FDA can cover it's ass.

The fact that you defend the makers of these poisons and the FDA that blesses them is incredible.The FDA has fast-tracked "medicine" because of $$$$.

Herbals work for millions of people around the world.

What makes you think that herbalists and naturopaths do NOT study and employ "scientific methodology"? I wager they know more about the holistic working of the human body than most licensed physicians.

Any reasonable person would reject an agency that helped fast track these poisons.

Anonymous said...

Lets be clear. You list 20 or so drugs that have either had negative press and/or been the subject of lawsuits. Is it your contention that any of these drugs were produced to intentionally cause harm? Is it your belief that the FDA intentionally approved these drugs to cause harm? Are these drugs effective when used as prescribed?
You cited Vioxx as an example of a drug “taken off the market by its manufacturer” and it was linked to an increased risk of heart problems and stroke”. This drug is a great example of how the legal system is allowed to destroy our infrastructure. Vioxx is an effective and safe drug when used as prescribed. But like any drug it has side effects and can be misused. Aspirin has caused more death then vioxx and it does it in exactly the same manner. Drugs are dangerous. Tylenol is one of the most deadly drugs on the market it can and does destroy your liver. Vioxx was less dangerous then either of these drugs. Vioxx was not the target of lawsuits because of it’s unintended side effects it was the target of lawsuits because big lawfirm was able to fill the media with misinformation about the drug and then take it to a court in Mississippi and put it in front of jurors who never even graduated from high school. The firm took it off the market NOT because it was a bad drug but simply because the system is rigged and they could not win in court. The loser is you and I who now have one less source of relief from pain. Do not confuse the game the lawyers play to become millionaires with anything like justice and honesty. Our lawmakers have traded huge amounts of money to write laws to benefit lawyers. They are prostituting the system and this is not something you or anyone should point to with pride.

Whenever you talk about drugs and their side effects it is critical that you understand everything we eat and drink has unintended side effects. 50% of the population cannot drink milk because of the side effects. 20% of our population cannot eat wheat for the same reason. Ditto for salt. Peanuts and shellfish can cause almost instant death for a small minority of people. To simply point to a handful of people having side effects from a drug or food as “proof” that the drug or food is bad puts you in the same category as the jury pool in Mississippi.

Herbals DO NOT work for millions of people. In general either they are not sick but are psychotic and NEED something to salve their psychosis or they are simply deluded. In 99% of the cases where one of these herbs becomes popular enough to attract an actual study the herb is proven to have no value at all. Most of these herbs were originally made popular by ignorant tribes people who believed throwing virgins into volcanoes would appease the gods. Any intelligent person would demand proof of efficacy before putting strange substances in their bodies.

Drugs in the U.S. are not fast tracked, in fact arguably the incredibly long time it takes to get a drug to market causes 10’s of thousands of deaths every year. There are real criticisms that could be made about the FDA and pharmaceutical companies but you haven’t even come close to any legitimate ones yet.

Judy Aron said...

Yes, Anonymous - let's be clear. Some of those drugs WERE INDEED "fast tracked" to get on the market even though they were known to cause deadly side effects. Test results were hidden or skewed. Some of these drugs were KNOWN to create other illnesses for which (surprise) the drug manufacturer had medication for. These companies even use the poor and incarcerated as guinea pigs to test their drugs. All of this has been documented. Whistleblowers have spoken. You can ignore those facts, but that doesn't make your position correct.

The loser is the public when drugs KNOWN to be deadly are put into the marketplace. The drugmakers factor the cost of lawsuits into their price, and they fully expect a certain percentage of people to die or be made sicker from their product. It's part of their "cost of doing business". You think that's good medicine? Wow. Let's hope you aren't one of the percentage of people who die from their crap... then again, perhaps you like playing Russian Roulette.

Sure, everything is deadly if mis-used, but my point is that there are drugs being created by these companies that have KNOWN problems - and for the sake of profit they are blessed by the FDA and unleashed on unsuspecting ill people. Now THAT's a racket!

Herbals DO work for millions. Just because YOU say they don't doesn't make it so. You don't believe in it - fine - but shame on you for disparaging people who have found them to work. It doesn't make them "delusional" or any other pejorative term that you wish to use. Calling them so weakens YOUR position and certainly does not add to your credibility. You can not just dismiss the millions who are helped by naturopathic medicine and then pretend to know what you are talking about.

Go ahead and trust the drug makers and the FDA - that's your prerogative. I and millions of others don't - and I wouldn't feel too bad about it because that just means there is more poison for YOU to take.

You make me laugh saying that indigenous people are ignorant. They know more about botanicals and their environment than you could ever hope to know. You are incredibly condescending. I do believe there is a drug for that.

Anonymous said...

Less then 100 years ago 5 out of 10 children died before the age of 5 and 3 out of the remaining 5 died before they were 21. Most of these deaths were the result of illnesses we no longer worry about thanks to drugs that were created by paharmaceutical companies. During that time when 80% of the people were dying from treatable conditions. It wasn't botanicals that saved them. This religious like devotion to indigenous herbal knowledge and the non-medicinal qualities of naturopathy is nothing more then a fad, a hobby of the indolent who thanks to modern science are healthy and free to waste their time on crazy ideas. You are of course free to bury your head in your biases and superstition. I would recommend that you take some college level science classes, perhaps biology or zoology to get a basic understanding of this subject. I think you should divorce yourself from the black arts and mythology you seem to prefer.

I can tell you unequivocally that I do not believe the FDA has ever approved a drug that they knew should not have been approved or that they approved a drug so a pharmaceutical company can make a profit.

Judy Aron said...

I can tell you unequivocally that you are uneducated to the facts:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had evidence before approving the cholesterol drug Crestor that it caused an increased incidence of rhabdomyolysis (severe muscle deterioration), yet the agency approved it anyway.

There's a ton more of these reports - The FDA in fact HAS put deadly drugs on the market that they knew were deadly. It's all about the money. You don't wish to believe it that's your problem.

Anonymous - just so you know - I won't be posting your FDA propaganda crap anymore.

I don't entertain shills.
How about THAT crazy idea?

Judy Aron said...

Dr. Luc Montagnier, the French virologist who won the Nobel Prize in 2008 for discovering the AIDS virus, has surprised the scientific community with his strong support for homeopathic medicine.

Hey anonymous - I guess this guy is a lunatic too ...