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Could aspartame be to blame for your tiredness?

From First for Women Magazine - 2005-07-04

Researchers have discovered that one in four American women has a sensitivity to aspartame.

This artifical sweetener, found in most diet beverages and more than 5,000 food products, contains aspartic acid, a naturally occuring neurotransmitter. While aspartic acid is generally harmless, for the 25 percent of American women with aspartame sensitivity, ingesting too much can overstimulate the nerves and wreak havoc with brain chemistry. "Just a sip of diet soda can bring on symptoms like headaches, sluggishness, anxiety, depression and irritability in women who are asparatame-sensitive," says Ralph Walton, M.D., medical director of the Safe Harbor Behavioral Health Center in Erie, Pennsylvania. "But since the symptoms are common, women ofetn fail to make the connection." Yet according to FDA reports, 85 percetn of reported adverse food reactions are aspartame-related. And iwth more than 70 percent of American women consuming artificially sweetened products daily, experts expect to see a rise in aspartame-linked concerns. Follow the steps below, and begin to releive your symptoms.

Step 1: Take this 30-second quiz

* Unexplained fatigue
* Headaches and/or dizziness
* Brain fog
* Tingling or shaking of extremities
* Mood swings and/or depression
* Panic attacks
* Rapid heartbeat and/or difficulty breathing

Step 2: ID the possible culprits

If you suspect you're aspartame-sensitive, check the lables of all products you consume. Aspartame, which may be listed as aspartic acid or phenylalanine, can be hidden in vitamins, prescription medications, toothpaste and breath mints. It's also sold under the brand names NutraSweet, Equal, Canderel and Spoonful.

Step 3: Flush your system

In addition to eliminating all aspartame sources from your diet, consider tkaing the supplement N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) to help rid your body of any traces and relieve symptoms. According to a study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 600 mg of NAC daily will boost production of glutathione, an antioxidant that destroys harmul free radicals produced by toxins ushc as aspartame.


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