The Siren Song of Being Skinny

In Greek mythology, sirens lived on craggy islands, singing beautiful song to lure sailors to their deaths. Orpheus played his lyre to escape the temptation of the sirens by not hearing them.

Circe plugged the ears of his crew with wax, so they wouldn’t be enticed, and had himself tied to the mast so he couldn’t change course and head for the rocks.

Well, it all sounds pretty fanciful nowadays, but the fact is, we’re still crashing on the rocks because we listen to temptation. Oh, yes, indeedy! The sweet song of less-than-factual advertising still lures people to their deaths.

For example, after years of the FDA blocking aspartame from the markets, the Chairman of Monsanto, the politically-well-connected Donald Rumsfeld, managed to maneuver it through the bureaucracy to the market where it could be sold to thee and me.

Aspartame advertising used the siren song of weight loss. Even the original sirens had no song that could attract as huge an audience as the aspartame ads.

And all these years later, the ads are still tempting listeners, crashing them on the rocks of poor health.

Think I’m exaggerating? Many patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis actually have aspartame poisoning–which could be resolved by avoiding aspartame (and other sugar-free sweeteners, too, but here I’m talking about aspartame).

One woman, in constant pain, barely able to walk, was on 24 different prescriptions–none of which seemed to help. Thinking she was dying, she put all her assets into her daughter’s name. Doctors didn’t know what was wrong with her, but thought it might be MS.

And here’s where the serendipity shows up. Her sister, Rhonda Gessner, called to ask about her most recent rounds of tests. Hearing about the MS suggestion, Rhonda recalled an article an attorney friend had sent her about the perils of aspartame.

At Rhonda’s strong suggestion, her sister stopped drinking diet sodas. 32 hours later, she could walk. Her muscle spasms stopped. She was on her way.

As it happens, aspartame is a slow stroll to sickness and death. And, while aspartame may be the worst of the lot, you want to avoid anything–soda, gum, candy, anything–labeled “sugar free.”

Research says our current plagues of multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus, fibromyalgia, and tinnitus are driven, in large part, by aspartame. And non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and leukemia seem to be related, too.

And when you consider the main ingredients of aspartame, the damage they do isn’t at all surprising.

The three main ingredients of aspartame are aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol.

Aspartic acid is the amino acid, aspartate. Accompanied by its balancing aminos, as happens in nature, aspartate isn’t a problem. But without proper balancing, aspartate is an excitotoxin, which means it revs up body parts to toxic levels. And its main target is our hypothalamus, part of the brain and controller of both our endocrine system and our nervous systems.

So, you take a major body part, important as all get out, then crank it up until it can’t begin to do what it needs to do to keep us healthy. How can this be a good thing?

But, wait, there’s more. While the hypothalamus is all but down for the count, another amino acid, phenylalanine steps up to the plate to whack us some more. Phenylalanine depresses levels of the neurotransmitter, serotonin, and low levels of serotonin lead to depression. The more phenylaline ingested, the greater the depression.

You might get a prescription for an antidepressant, but they don’t aim at phenylalanine, the cause of the problem. And, since antidepressants are fluoride-based these days, taking them makes things worse.

And then there’s methanol. A single, one-liter bottle of soda sweetened with aspartame contains more than seven times the suggested daily maximum of methanol intake. And lots of soda drinkers guzzle down a lot more than that.

Adding to the mess, the human body, unlike all other animals, has no way to metabolize excess methanol. Studies imply that humans are directly comparable to other animals in handling methanol, but that simply isn’t true. And can’t be made to be true. Or compensated for.

And here’s a real kick in the shins: Aspartame (and the others) actually make you gain weight.

Why, you might ask, didn’t we know all this a long time ago? Because sugar-free sweeteners take time to work their woe, and studies were kept short enough to avoid the truth. But a 22-year-long study was released in 2012, and at last we know, without any doubt, we’re dealing with poison.

But don’t expect headlines. The aspartame (et al) people spread their money around wide and thick, so you’re not likely to hear the truth about this mess from the usual suspects.

Now that you know the truth, please be kind to your wonderful self and “Just say no.”

God is good,
Bette Dowdell

About the author: Bette Dowdell defines determination. A drunk driver caused a concussion, which put her into a really deep health ditch, when she was a baby. Her endocrine system, the thyroid and the rest of the gang, which controls all of health, dragged along, out of balance and out of sorts, but doctors didn’t help. So, she got her Oh-Yeah! attitude in gear and researched her way out. Along the way, her fascination with how our bodies work grew, and grew, and grew, so Bette’s still researching. Subscribe to her free health e-mails at

The content of the Too Pooped To Participate blog is provided as general information only.

© by Bette Dowdell. All rights reserved

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