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Aspartame: Fibromyalgia & Preterm Birth

April 30, 2013 by Michael Greger M.D. in News with 6 Comments

When we learned how bad butter was, the food industry responded by giving us margarine, which turned out to be even worse. When dietary guidelines told us to lower our fat intake in hopes that we’d pick up an apple, the food industry gave us fudge drizzled Snackwell cookies. Similar reasoning led to the billion-dollar diet soda industry.

A recent study profiled in my 2-min.video Diet Soda and Preterm Birth entitled “Intake of Artificially Sweetened Soft Drinks and Risk of Preterm Delivery: A Prospective Cohort Study in 59,334 Pregnant Danes” concluded that the daily intake of diet soda may increase the risk of preterm delivery. It probably wasn’t the caffeine or preservatives, since sweetened versions of the same sodas didn’t result in the same problem. So what is it?

They think it’s the toxic aspartame (Nutrasweet) breakdown products either affecting the mother’s uterus or directly affecting the baby’s developing nervous system. These are the same toxins (wood alcohol and formaldehyde) blamed for headaches associated with aspartame. If you watch my 2-min. video Aspartame-Induced Fibromyalgia, I profile case reports of fibromyalgia chronic pain sufferers cured by removing the artificial sweetener from their diets.

As far as I’m concerned, nontoxic treatments should always get precedence, and you can’t get much more nontoxic than removing processed foods from your diet! Alternately, many folks suffering with fibromyalgia symptoms may have been misdiagnosed and are actually suffering from an easily treated vitamin D deficiency. What’s the best way to treat that? See Vitamin D Pills vs. Tanning Beds, one of my dozen videos on vitamin D. I’ve got a bunch of previous videos on sweeteners including Is Nutrasweet Bad For You? 

Erythritol is probably A Harmless Artificial Sweetener.

Of course regular soda isn’t good for us either. High fructose corn syrup may contain mercury and have adverse effect on our children (Diet & Hyperactivity). See Food Industry Funding Effect for a discussion of how studies funded by soft drink (and dairy) corporations may be biased.

-Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here and watch my 2012 year-in-review presentation Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death.

Image credit: Steve Snodgrass / Flickr

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Dr. Michael Greger

About Michael Greger M.D.

Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

View all videos by Michael Greger M.D.

Related Posts

  • http://twitter.com/jzycaramel Tanesha Emm

    does this include sucralose?

  • http://twitter.com/CalvinLeman Calvin Leman

    I have no need for sweet anything from any product I can buy. I get 9 servings of fruits and vegetables from a smoothie of green leaves of most any edible plant with tomato, orange, apple, etc. for taste and sweet.

  • Dana

    I learned diet sode gives me the worst migraines. I stopped drinking diet soda or sweeting my drinks artificially. I prefer half a teaspoon of sugar if I can’t drink it unsweetened, and it doesn’t happen very often.

  • Kathleen

    I have never had an artificial sweetener. Something intuitively tells me eat whole foods, combined with the science supporting same. Sodas don’t tempt me, thank goodness. :)

  • http://www.abicana.com/shop2.htm Knut Holt

    Never eat or drink anything that have been altered from its natural condition. If you want to use some additional fat, use olive oil. It tasts like butter on the bread.
    http://www.abicana.com/health_information.htm

    • Thea

      Knut Holt: Consider this: it is a contradiction to say, “Never eat or drink anything that have been altered from its natural condition.” and then in the very next sentence encourage people to use olive oil. That stuff doesn’t grow on trees. :-)

      I would certainly use olive oil over butter. But I try to use no oils at all when I can. Because, like your first sentence implies, I’m trying to mostly eat whole foods – those that aren’t altered from their natural condition in a significant way. Olives grow in nature. Olive oil not so much. Peanuts grow in nature. Peanut oil not so much. Etc.

      I can’t figure out what your link has to do with the topic, but I hope I gave you something to think about.

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