Gone are the days when sugar is the only way to make food and beverages sweet. As science and technology marched on, new kinds of sweeteners have been discovered. Among them is aspartame. Anyone whose food and drinks contain it gets to satisfy their sweet cravings without having to worry about taking medicine for diabetes in the long run.
Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, it is! Aspartame may be sweet to the tongue, but not to the rest of the body. The following are the negative effects of this sugar substitute.
If you’re fond of eating sugary food items, chances are you’ll be able to chomp on the stuff more easily as compared to people who are not. This is because you got used to it. Now imagine getting used to something that is two hundred times sweeter than sugar.
Exposure to high-intensity sweeteners like aspartame makes your taste buds less receptive to natural sources of sweetness. It will also make you look for sweeter foods, defeating aspartame’s main purpose which is to reduce sugar consumption.
Other than letting you enjoy your food and drinks as well as detecting any of its chemical properties, your sense of taste also helps in the digestion process by sending out signals to the gastrointestinal tract.
Among the different tastes, sweetness tells your gut to prepare receiving something high in caloric content. However, with aspartame, the gut becomes confused, as the signal it receives tells that the food is high in calorie even though it’s not. This causes the gut to fail utilizing the food properly and to send mixed-up hunger signals. All of this could happen because of aspartame.
Ever noticed how you easily feel like you’ve had enough when it comes to sweet foods? That is because they are high in sugar, which means they are sweet and dense – two qualities that tell the brain when a food item is high in calories.
But when aspartame comes into play instead of regular sugar, things get convoluted. Foods with artificial sweeteners like aspartame have thinner consistency and texture, making them less satisfying. And because they’re less satisfying, you’ll tend to eat more. And when you eat more, you’ll have more sugar, which, once again, defeats the purpose of using an artificial sweetener.
Aspartame is made of 40% aspartate, which is also a neurotransmitter, a substance used by the nervous system to send signals from one neuron to another. And too much aspartate kills neurons by letting in too much calcium.
Because of that effect, long-term exposure to aspartate can cause a wide plethora of neurological disorders such as memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, brain lesions, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia.
So, next time you want to take a gulp of that seemingly amazing soda that tastes so sweet without that rather problematic sugar you’re trying to avoid, check if it has aspartame. You wouldn’t want something as dangerous as that in your system.