You know… that Blog?

What are you giving your kids?

Written By: Jenn - Nov• 18•10

I’m going to do a bit of a rant here, even though I’m usually very upbeat and avoid going on and on about things that bother me… oh, who am I trying to kid! You know me better than that by now.

I’m going to rant again. Just read it.

Who among my readers drinks diet drinks (ie Diet Coke, etc.) or eats foods sweetened with Aspartame? I bet a lot of you raised your hand. Well, mentally anyway. If you really raised it when no one else can see, that’s a different subject altogether.

I bet the second you read “aspartame” at least some of you rolled your eyes, thinking “oh man, another one. I’ve heard it all before, and the bottom line is that it’s SAFE.”

It’s not safe, folks. It’s not safe at all.

Back in the day – and by that I mean my youth… and by that I mean 1982 up until about 8 years ago… are you with me so far? good – I was a very happy Diet Coke addict. I loved the stuff. I went through a couple cases a week, cracking my first one in the early morning (I’m not a coffee drinker) and having my last with dinner (because the caffeine wouldn’t let me sleep if I had anything later than that) with at least half a dozen in between.

So I’ve established that I was a heavy-duty (diet) coke addict. Swell.

All was fine for a long time, and I went my merry way… got married, traveled, started a business, and had a baby. Life was humming along nicely until the Teen was about 8 years old. So that was the span of 20 years, give or take. When the Teen was about that age, I started to notice things changing for me. Try as I might, I couldn’t conjure important memories of when she was a baby – I couldn’t remember her taking her first steps. I couldn’t remember her saying “mama” for the first time… the first time she said “I love you” clearly. So many other cherished memories… gone. It wasn’t overnight that this happened, but it was around the 20th year of addiction that I started to notice things were amiss. It was as if those memories had been erased. I was troubled by that, but chalked it up to stress, moving to a new town, a bunch of things. I was pretty sure it would resolve itself and I’d be right as rain again once things settled down.

But then I also noticed that I was getting a lot of headaches. Retaining new information was really hard – I had to make lists for everything, and take notes. I’d never really had to do that before, even though I really LIKE making lists. Suddenly they were the only way I could function on a daily basis. I was constantly forgetting what tasks I needed to accomplish. Man, stress is doing a number on me! I thought. But the terrible heart burn that wouldn’t go away coupled with everything else? I felt like I was falling apart! One day I overheard someone talking about aspartame and how it was causing brain tumors and other health issues in lab rats, and the light bulb went on over my head.

An “A HA!” moment of epic proportions. I didn’t want to believe it though. Diet Coke was my addiction. I loved it! How could it be making me sick??

I started to read everything I could on Aspartame. What I read was beyond shocking to me. So many symptoms in the long list of possibles for Aspartame Poisoning were things that I was experiencing!

Want a break down using that list?

Eye: Out of the 7 possible side effects, I had 2. “Decreased tears” and “trouble with contact lenses”

Ear: 1 out of 3. “severe intolerance of noise”

Neurologic: 4 out of 11. “headaches, migraines (some severe)”, “confusion, memory loss, both (Mostly memory loss)”, “paresthesia or numbness of the limbs”, and “severe drowsiness and sleepiness”

Psychological/Psychiatric: 2 out of 7. “Irritability” and “insomnia” (although my husband may suggest I also had aggression… jerk… which would make that 3 out of 7)

Chest: 1 out of 3. I was very short of breath sometimes, usually during the summer, which I chalked up to heat at the time.

Gastrointestinal: 2 out of 4. “abdominal pain” and “pain when swallowing” (no wonder; it ate the lining of my stomach and esophagus)

Skin and Allergies: 1 out of 4. “itching without a rash”

Endocrine and Metabolic: Here I’m not sure if I can blame all or some on Aspartame, so I’m going to leave that one. I suspect my issues are related though – almost have to be, given everything else.

The CFIA and FDA have both cleared Aspartame for safe human consumption. They downplay every other study that has been done with contrary results. Ignore them if you will, but what about the proof that is right in front of you? Can so many people saying the same thing be ignored so widely? Apparently, yes. Because these federal agencies are totally without fault, and unaffected by profit and political agenda. Right? Riiiiight.

I’ve been warning people about Aspartame for years now. I forbid it in my house, and have schooled my kids not to go anywhere near it. I talk about it whenever I have an opening, and generally it’s to absolutely no avail. People roll their eyes or smile woodenly until I shut up, and still they buy their cases of diet coke and go on as if I’d said nothing at all. Frustrating. What has been even worse though, is that people in my own family have chosen to ignore what I’ve been talking about. My own brother STILL gives his 2 kids diet coke “as a treat”, and that just boggles my mind. “Here kids, have a can of poison! Love you!”

Today a friend of mine shared a YouTube link on facebook that was the catalyst for this post, and I’m going to share it with you. It’s 10 minutes long, so go pee first and grab a glass of water.

Note: I have to say that while it validates so much of what I’ve been saying all these years, he also goes into some crack-pot conspiracy theory about reducing the population of the world by introducing poison via soft drinks and diet foods. That lost him some credibility as far as I’m concerned, but the general message in the video is still valid.

Friends, if after reading this post and watching that video you can still put food or drink laced with Aspartame into your bodies – or worse, give it to your children – then nothing I can ever say will change your mind. And you’ll probably find out the hard way. I hope with all my heart that you don’t.

In my opinion it is akin to driving around with no seat belts. It may be that nothing will happen to you or to your kids… but what if something DOES happen, and it was entirely preventable? Was it worth drinking that Diet Coke?

A few final notes: While I keep going on about Diet Coke, it’s because that was my chosen addiction. Let me clarify by saying I still buy Coke products; regular Sprite and Coke are definitely allowed in my house, in moderation. It’s not just the Coca Cola Corporation that is the problem here. They’re one huge, world-wide company that has been using this product for almost 30 years. But they’re only one of many. Changing their tune would be costly in more ways than just changing the recipe of a best-seller (and if you remember “new” Coke, you’ll recall what a whopper of a mistake that was for them!) It would cause huge ripples around the world if they stopped using Aspartame now. Are they willing to do that? Not any time soon, I’m sure, and surely not until people start doing their homework, and refuse to buy products that could potentially harm them. You can still buy cigarettes, after all, and we know with a certainty that they cause cancer. So can Aspartame. But Aspartame is everywhere! Try finding calorie reduced food or drink or even gum that isn’t laced with it. Hard to almost impossible.

I tend towards products that use Splenda as a sweetener, or avoid diet products entirely. They’re not necessary and we don’t need them, after all. Water will always be the best thing for you to drink, and fresh fruits, veggies and lean meats will always be the best choices for meals. Sweeteners don’t help keep weight off anyway – look at the rising percentages of obese children and young adults in our societies today. Inactivity is the culprit! That’s another post for another time though, and I’m not the person to be preaching about it.

There are tons of Aspartame facts out there if you want to google for them. I won’t bother listing them here. All I ask is that you think about what you’ve read and seen here today before you ingest another ml of aspartame. Do your homework. You owe it to yourself, and to those you love.

And of course, it goes without saying that I’m not a doctor, scientist, or corrupt politician or CEO, nor do I play any one of those characters on TV. This post, since it’s on MY BLOG, is my opinion and stance on something I consider very dangerous. My personal experience with Aspartame has been horrific. In the 8 years that I’ve been without it in my system, I have slowly regained some but not all of my lost memories. I have regained the ability to function with mental clarity. I don’t get the frequent headaches I had. Some things may never go back to the healthy state they were in my youth, which I will continue to deal with. But I firmly believe that I have a future to look forward to only because I stopped ingesting Aspartame.


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  1. quilly says:

    I quit drinking aspartame laden drinks (for me Diet Dr. Pepper & Diet Pepsi) for those very same reasons. I couldn’t retain a thought or speak in full sentences. It wasn’t until I broke out in hives — in my mouth and down my throat — that I decided to look at my foods. I did an online search on aspartame and just about fainted. I haven’t had a diet drink in over a year. I have regained my ability to speak in complete sentences, but I am often surprised when someone tells me this or that story that involves me and I have very fuzzy or no recollection of it. I used to be able to give play-by-play recitals of conversations years after participating in them.

  2. I would not drink that stuff anyway, sweetener tastes disgusting. I always avoid the low sugar drinks because it usually means it’s got sweetener in it – I can take it with one sip – yuck.

    I think having sweetener that’s produced from sugar for diabetic people must make the transition from eating sugar to cutting it, out as some people I know had to, easier. But for the majority of people there’s no need for it. Just have less sugar!

    I’d rather eat the natural sugar anyday over sweetener. There’s a lot of people here who seem to avoid sweeteners, for our brownies and guides I never buy the ‘with sweeteners’ version.

  3. Nessa says:

    I think “fake” anything is bad for you.

  4. Tortuga says:

    The first three letters in the word “diet” are exactly why I don’t drink diet anything.

  5. Betty says:

    So who do I blame my memory loss on? ´Cause we didn´t have diet Coke here till about last year. Oh yeah. Menopause. :)

  6. Sandra says:

    As much as I hate to admit it, I know you’re right. Alas, I still have my memory, and until I lose some of it, I need that carbonated kick to get me going in the afternoon.
    I hate it when other people are right though, I totally know you’re right…ugh!

  7. Jim says:

    Hi Jenn (please note I wrote it right this time!!) ~~ I enjoyed reading this. I USE IT FOR ARTHRITIS MEDICINE.

    Most of all you read about aspartame is probably right, FOR SOME PEOPLE.

    Also, aspartame chemicals stay in your system for quite a long time, over a year according to one “purge your body” ‘expert’ whose lectures I attended. Of course he was selling his own chemicals and a ‘system.’

    I read in Dr. Graedon’s home remedy column in our local paper, The Houston Chronicle, that aspartame has been touted by some Diet Coke drinkers as a pain killer, especially for arthritis.

    From Dr. Graedon’s Web site: ( )
    “He (a scientist, not a medical doctor to my knowledge) organized a placebo-controlled trial involving aspartame (aka Equal, NutraSweet) and confirmed that doses of 76 to 152 mg did indeed provide pain relief, roughly comparable to anti-inflammatory agents.

    “This research was published in the very respectable scientific journal, Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.*”

    “*Edmundson, A. B., and C. V. Manion. “Treatment of Osteoarthritis with Aspartame.” Clin. Pharmacol. Ther. 1998; 63:580-593.”

    – – – – –

    As Mrs. Jim and I sometimes where sharing a can of Diet Coke a day I got to thinking about what I had read. Very often my right shoulder would hurt so bad that it would wake me up after about two hours if I were sleeping on it. I would have to turn over onto the side that I don’t like to sleep on. SO I DECIDED TO TRY DIET COKE FOR MY SHOULD PAIN.

    I called the Coca Cola people to see how much aspartame is in a twelve-ounce can. I believe it was in the high 300 mg range, they knew and quoted an exact number.

    That fit my half can fine and so now I try to drink at least a half can of Diet Coke a day. I now sleep on my right side for most of the night. If I miss my ‘shot’ of Diet Coke generally my right shoulder and sometimes my right thigh hurt so bad that I can not even go to sleep laying on my right side.

    I have been doing this now for about ten years and will not stop. Of your list of reaction symptoms there is one that might fit me. I do itch without a rash, all the time. Especially around heavily perfumed people.

    My DERMATOLIGIST has diagnosed me with dermatitis from that but also on sores that break out. I believe this has been going on before I ever tasted Diet Coke.

    Thanks for your excellent article, Jenn. But I won’t stop using my Diet Cokes as a chronic pain relief.

    • Jenn says:

      Sorry you have pain, Jim… can’t believe you’d have to use poison to get relief from it though! As I had pain from what it was doing TO me, it doesn’t compute, but I guess in the end we have to do what we think is right for us… right? Keep an eye on the other stuff that could happen, I’d sure hate to lose you (even though you forget my name all the time!! Hrmmm memory loss was definitely one of my symptoms…)

  8. Jim says:

    Make that in the high 200 mg range. Sorry about that. Jim

  9. Amber says:

    I know it’s bad for me. But I need it to function. I don’t drink coffee, therefore I get my caffeine from diet Coke. I’d be lost without it.

    • Jenn says:

      That’s exactly how I felt about it, until that “Aha” moment when I figured out it was on its way to killing me…

  10. Broot says:

    Yeah it’s always made me sick, so I never got into the whole asparatame thing. And I don’t let the kids have it either. Lots of people used to look at me askance for not having diet stuff in my house (cuz I’m overweight, ya know) but I got that Chemical Maze book ( ) and I keep all the super bad additive stuff out of my house as much as possible. (I don’t ban it entirely – just as much as I can with a heavy emphasis on keeping the super bad stuff out)

    Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog today. It made me smile, and made my day. :)

  11. PinkLady says:

    this is quite scary especially that aspartame-laden drinks/products abound in the market. i don’t really encourage it at home because i never trusted it. i also don’t like its artificial taste. thanks for your very enlightening post.