Friday, 3 April 2009

Diet drinks

Today topic is Diet Drinks.

Zero Calories drinks: serial killers.

One of my ex flatmates used to drink more than a litre of Diet Coke a day.
He would wake up and rush to the fridge to swallow down a quarter of a diet drink as first thing in the morning. And, he is a very moody guy.
Any thing I said to him were words to the wind- so I would just observe.
Its very hard to talk to people who are addicted to substances, I learnt. And I am afraid those substances include diet drinks or diet foods.
What was it in that Diet Coke that would make him drink it like water?
One day he came to me and said proudly “look at this” as he showed to me this can of Coke. The writing said “Zero Calories”. Great, I thought, so now that he is not having even those 50 Kcal per bottle, he will be drinking countless litres a day.
So he did indeed. He bought the product on the market together with its promise: drink it as much as you want, there are no calories here: Zero! Zero!
But is health and nutrition all about Calories? What is inside those drinks? We are saving the sugar, but are we taking any other risks? And most of all, are we aware of them?
Are those drinks really addictive? What kind of addiction? Psychological, physical?
Does Our Government protect us? What about the well-known American FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) that is supposed to look after the safety of what we buy?
Are we save? Are our children safe? Or in order to spare some Calories, are we simply drinking to our own death?
Diet drinks and foods contain artificial sweeteners, which have been on the market since 1983 when aspartame- the first one- was launched. In a matter of few years, aspartame would be found in more than 9,000 products.
The introduction of aspartame cleverly responded to the increase in the average body size, especially in the US and to the panicking desire to cut off calories from the diet.
Shrink yourself – no matter what.
The introduction of artificial sweeteners did not lead to a decrease in the obesity, but instead, it has been followed by a worrying increase in the rate of brain tumours and neurological disorders. Yes, you understood well: tumours and neurological diseases, such as paralysis and multiple sclerosis. And just to mention few more: eyes bleeding, seizures, loss of short-term memory, fatigue, headache, and mood swings.
Here the wonder: was my flatmate naturally moody or was that 1-2 Litres of Diet Coke a day that was making him so up and down and occasionally aggressive in his behaviour?
So I investigated.
Aspartame is made of aspartic acid (40%), phenylalanine (50%) and methyl esther (10%).
Aspartic acid is an excito-toxin, similar in its effects to the well-known MSG (which causes mental retardation); phenylalanine is an amino acid (normally in food amino acids are present maximum as 40%, in the aspartame composition the normal ratio is dangerously changed) and methyl esther gets converted into methanol, which is highly toxic for the body.
On over all, aspartame acts at the level of synaptic transmission (= transmission between neurons, nerves, organs), the synthesis of DNA and proteins. Or in other words, you save the sugar and the Calories, but you get the toxic effects on your organs, in particular your brain and your nervous system.
Highly recommended is the video Sweet Misery edited in 2006: a lady from Arizona, after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, came across an article mentioning the damage caused by aspartame, so she made her research around the country, interviewing doctors and investigating on the FDA.
Because at the end of the day the question is: how can we be safe? Is the government protecting us? In this truly shocking video you will be presented a very unpleasant truth about the corruption around the approval of aspartame.
Check it out, you will be hit painfully. And I guarantee that you won’t reach for that diet drink this time, while watching this video.
I reckon, we stay away from any thing that we can’t pronounce, let alone understand.

Choose a healthy fruit juice next time, get some nice natural sugar to fuel your cells, and balance your daily Calories account with some serious physical activity, not the illusion sold with poisoning diet beverages.

Happy health to all,
Dr Stefania Licari, MD