Friday, June 27, 2014

Supporting Evidence for Aspartame-Alzheimer’s Link Emerges

English: PET scan of a human brain with Alzhei...
English: PET scan of a human brain with Alzheimer's disease (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
         By Dr. Mercola
Most public health agencies and nutritionists in the United States still recommend no- or low-calorie artificial sweeteners as an acceptable, and even preferred, alternative to sugar. This flawed advice can have very serious repercussions for those who follow it.
Artificial sweeteners of all kinds have been found to wreak havoc with your health in a number of different ways. Aspartame, which is perhaps the worst of the bunch, has a long list of studies indicating its harmful effects, ranging from brain damage to pre-term delivery.
Aspartame is also the number one source of side effect complaints to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with over 10,000 complaints filed and over 91 documented symptoms related to its consumption.
Most recently, studies are also starting to confirm lingering suspicions that artificial sweeteners like aspartame may play a role in the development of Alzheimer's disease, a serious form of dementia that is now thought to kill over half a million Americans each year.
The key mechanism of harm appears to be methanol toxicity—a much-ignored problem associated with aspartame in particular.
In a previous interview, toxicology expert Dr. Woodrow Monte (author of the bookWhile Science Sleeps: A Sweetener Kills1), explained the links between aspartame and methanol toxicity and the formation of formaldehyde. In light of the latest research, this interview is more relevant than ever, which is why I included it again.

Methanol Toxicity Leads to Persistent Alzheimer's Symptoms

A recently published two-part paper2, 3 highlights what Dr. Monte has been saying for many years now—that methanol acts differently in animals and humans. In this case, the researchers also discovered changes in effect between mice and rhesus monkeys.
Methanol-fed mice presented with partial "Alzheimer's disease-like symptoms," while rhesus monkeys fed a 3% methanol solution developed persistent pathological changes related to the development of Alzheimer's. According to the authors:
"A recently established link between formaldehyde, a methanol metabolite, and Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology has provided a new impetus to investigate the chronic effects of methanol exposure.
This paper expands this investigation to the non-human primate, rhesus macaque... [M]ethanol feeding led to persistent memory decline in the monkeys that lasted 6 months beyond the feeding regimen...
Most notably, the presence of amyloid plaque formations in the monkeys highlighted a marked difference in animal systems used in AD investigations, suggesting that the innate defenses in mice against methanol toxicity may have limited previous investigations into AD pathology.
Nonetheless, these findings support a growing body of evidence that links methanol and its metabolite formaldehyde to AD pathology." [Emphasis mine]

The Link Between Aspartame and Methanol Toxicity

The artificial sweetener industry (and makers of artificially sweetened products) has fervently claimed that aspartame is harmless, and that there's "no biological explanation" for the health problems reported by so many after consuming aspartame.
But as explained by Dr. Monte, there is indeed a biological and scientific explanation for aspartame's pathway of harm, and as the latest research suggests, it's related to the effects of methanol and formaldehyde, both of which are extremely toxic.
Aspartame is primarily made up of aspartic acid and phenylalanine—the latter of which has been synthetically modified to carry a methyl group. This is what provides the majority of the sweetness. That phenylalanine methyl bond, called a methyl ester, is very weak, allowing the methyl group on the phenylalanine to easily break off and form methanol.
You may have heard the claim that aspartame is harmless because methanol is also found in fruits and vegetables. However, in these whole foods the methanol is firmly bonded to pectin, which allows it to be safely passed through your digestive tract. This is not the case for the methanol created by aspartame. There, it's not bonded to anything that can help eliminate it from your body. That's problem number one...
Problem number two relates to the fact that humans are the only mammals who are NOT equipped with a protective biological mechanism that breaks down methanol into harmless formic acid. This is why animal testing of aspartame does not fully apply to humans.
According to Dr. Monte, the fact that methyl alcohol is metabolized differently in humans compared to other animals has been known since 1940. And according to the featured paper, rhesus monkeys do not appear to have the same defenses against methanol toxicity as mice do. This basically negates much of the animal research that has been used to "prove" aspartame's safety.

Methanol Acts as a Trojan Horse in Your Body

As explained by Dr. Monte, in humans, methanol ends up acting as a Trojan horse, allowing toxic formaldehyde to wreak havoc in some of your most sensitive areas, such as your brain. Here's how it works: both animals and humans have small structures called peroxisomes in each cell. There are a couple of hundred in every cell of your body, which are designed to detoxify a variety of chemicals. Peroxisome contains catalase, which help detoxify methanol.
Your cells also contain alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), which converts methanol to formaldehydeOther chemicals in the peroxisome in turn convert the formaldehyde to formic acid, which is harmless—but this last step occurs only in animals. Human peroxisomes cannot convert the toxic formaldehyde into harmless formic acid.
Certain locations in your body, particularly in the lining of your blood vessels, and in your brain, are loaded with ADH that converts methanol to formaldehyde. But since there's no catalase present, the formaldehyde does not get converted into harmless formic acid. As a result, the formaldehyde is free to do enormous amounts of damage in your tissues.
Symptoms of methanol poisoning include: headaches, ear buzzing, dizziness, nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances, weakness, vertigo, chills, memory lapses, numbness, and shooting pains in the extremities, behavioral disturbances, and neuritis. The most well known problems from methanol poisoning are vision problems including misty vision, progressive contraction of visual fields, blurring of vision, obscuration of vision, retinal damage, and blindness. Formaldehyde, in turn, is a known carcinogen that causes retinal damage, interferes with DNA replication, and may cause birth defects.

Processed Foods Are Also High in Methanol

As I've discussed in previous articles, processed foods should be avoided as a proactive Alzheimer's prevention strategy. In his book, Grain Brain, neurologist Dr. Perlmutter reveals how the toxic activity of sugar and carbohydrates in your diet promote Alzheimer's disease. But we can also add methanol to the list of reasons for avoiding processed foods. Not only do many processed foods contain artificial sweeteners, but when fruits and vegetables are canned, for example, the methanol becomes liberated from the pectin.
At room temperature, it only takes one month for 10 percent of the methanol to be released. After about six months, virtually all of the methanol is liberated. Dr. Monte is convinced that methanol and the subsequent conversion to formaldehyde from certain processed foods (see listing below), as well as all foods containing aspartame, are a major culprit in a variety of diseases, especially multiple sclerosis (MS).
Again, methanol can slip through your blood brain barrier, and your brain is one of the areas where you find alcohol dehydrogenase, which converts methyl alcohol to formaldehyde. This causes the destruction of myelin basic protein, which is one of the triggers for MS. Demyelination also plays a role in the development of Alzheimer's and several other brain-related diseases. According to Dr. Monte:
"We know that methyl alcohol is known to be a demyelinating agent... [T]he symptoms associated with the demyelination... are identical between multiple sclerosis, and methanol poisoning, and people who consume aspartame."
He believes many diseases can be prevented if we start avoiding methanol from all sources, and he even offers a methanol-free diet on his website.4 Items to avoid include:
CigarettesTomato sauces, unless first simmered at least 3 hours, no lid on pan
Diet foods and drinks with aspartameSmoked food of any kind, particularly fish and meat
Fruit and vegetable products and their juices in bottles, cans, or pouchesChewing gum, as most chewing gum in the USA contains aspartame
Jellies, jams, and marmalades not made fresh and kept refrigeratedSlivovitz and other fruit schnapps
Black currant and tomato juice products, fresh or processedOverly ripe or near rotting fruits or vegetables

The Neurotoxic Properties of Splenda

Another popular artificial sweetener is sucralose, sold under the brand name Splenda. Sucralose is a synthetic chemical created in a five-step patented process, in which three chlorine molecules are added to one sucrose (sugar) molecule. Some will argue that natural foods also contain chloride, which is true. However, in natural foods, the chloride is connected with ionic bonds that easily dissociate when ingested. In Splenda, they're in a covalent bond that does not dissociate.
And, since your body has no enzymes to break down this covalently bound chloride, harm can ensue... The reason why your body has no enzymes for this task is because, in nature, there are NO covalent chloride bonds to organic compounds—they only exist in synthetic, man-made form. Aside from Splenda, other examples of synthetic covalently bound chloride compounds include DDT, PCBs, and Agent Orange.
Previous research indicates that about 15 percent of sucralose is absorbed into your digestive system, and ultimately stored in your body fat. A 2008 animal study5 found that Splenda reduced the amount of beneficial intestinal bacteria by 50 percent, increased the intestinal pH level, and affected a glycoprotein that can have crucial health effects, particularly if you're on certain medications.
More recent research6 detailing Splenda's oxidative effects, suggests the sweetener may have neurotoxic properties, which doesn't surprise me in the least. The researchers, who assessed the effects of sucralose on water fleas, concluded that: "exposure to sucralose may induce neurological and oxidative mechanisms with potentially important consequences for animal behavior and physiology." As reported by
"Like so many novel patented chemicals released onto the market without adequate pre-approval safety studies, we do not know if this preliminary toxicological research will be applicable to human exposures. In fact, there are only 318 study citations on this chemical in existence since it first began to be researched in the 70's. This most recent study is the first in existence to look at its effect on the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, which is found in all animals.
This information deficit is all the more remarkable when you consider there are over 7,000 published studies in existence on either turmeric or its primary polyphenol curcumin, which is still not readily administered by the conventional medical establishment mostly due to 'safety concerns,' despite what the voluminous positive data on its relevance to over 600 health conditions indicates."

FDA Approval Means Little When It Comes to Ascertaining Safety

As previously noted by Dr. Janet Hull,8 many tend to excuse the negative health effects of aspartame simply because it has received the stamp of approval by the FDA. But as discussed in her article, "Abusing the FDA Approval Process,"9 the FDA requires that the industry do its own researchand actually places the burden of proof on the company making the product. Rarely is the industry research reviewed by independent researchers. Should you still be confused on this issue, thinking that the buck somehow stops at the FDA, FDA spokesman Theresa Eisenman recently clarified who is ultimately responsible for making sure a food product is safe, stating that:10 "Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that their food products are safe and lawful..."
But what company would really make a serious effort to find problems with the very products they want to capitalize on? Despite this illogical premise, the FDA trusts corporations to be honest in their research and evaluations. How likely do you think it is that this "honor system" will actually ensure that each product released to market is safe?
When it comes to artificial sweeteners, aspartame in particular, there's no doubt in my mind that the system has protected industry profits at consumers' expense. And we've not seen the last of it. Despite mounting evidence showing that artificial sweeteners as a group have adverse health effects, the FDA has just approved yet another artificial sweetener called Advantame,11, 12, 13 concocted from a combination of aspartame and vanillin, an artificial vanilla flavor.
Being 20,000 times sweeter than refined sugar, Advantame is the sweetest artificial sweetener so far. To put this into perspective, aspartame, sucralose, and saccharine range from 200 to 700 times sweeter than sugar. Also, as reported by the LA Times:14
"Like aspartame, advantame contains phenylalanine, which is metabolized with difficulty by people with a rare genetic disorder, phenylketonuria. But because of its intense sweetness, advantame would be used at much lower volumes than is asparatame. As a result, the FDA has declared that it can be safely consumed by those with phenylketonuria."

Having a Hard Time Giving Up Artificial Sweeteners?

When you consume artificial sweeteners, your brain actually craves more calories because your body receives no satisfaction on a cellular level by the sugar imposter. This can contribute to not only overeating and weight gain, but also an addiction to artificial sweeteners. To break free, I recommend addressing any emotional component of your food cravings using a tool such as theEmotional Freedom Technique (EFT). A version of EFT specifically geared toward combating sugar cravings is called Turbo Tapping. The video below with EFT practitioner Julie Schiffman also demonstrates how to use EFT to fight food cravings of all kinds.

If you still have cravings after trying EFT or Turbo Tapping, you may need to make some changes to your diet. My free nutrition plan can help you do this in a step-by-step fashion. As for safer sweetener options, you could use stevia or Luo Han, both of which are safe natural sweeteners. That said, if you struggle with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or extra weight, then you have insulin sensitivity issues and would likely benefit from avoiding ALL sweeteners.
Last but not least, if you experience side effects from aspartame or any other artificial sweetener, please report it to the FDA (if you live in the United States) without delay. It's easy to make a report — just go to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator page, find the phone number for your state, and make a call reporting your reaction.

Federalist Papers No. 45. The Alleged Danger From the Powers of the Union to the State Governments

Considered For the Independent Journal. Saturday, January 26, 1788

HAVING shown that no one of the powers transferred to the federal government is unnecessary or improper, the next question to be considered is, whether the whole mass of them will be dangerous to the portion of authority left in the several States.
The adversaries to the plan of the convention, instead of considering in the first place what degree of power was absolutely necessary for the purposes of the federal government, have exhausted themselves in a secondary inquiry into the possible consequences of the proposed degree of power to the governments of the particular States. But if the Union, as has been shown, be essential to the security of the people of America against foreign danger; if it be essential to their security against contentions and wars among the different States; if it be essential to guard them against those violent and oppressive factions which embitter the blessings of liberty, and against those military establishments which must gradually poison its very fountain; if, in a word, the Union be essential to the happiness of the people of America, is it not preposterous, to urge as an objection to a government, without which the objects of the Union cannot be attained, that such a government may derogate from the importance of the governments of the individual States? Was, then, the American Revolution effected, was the American Confederacy formed, was the precious blood of thousands spilt, and the hard-earned substance of millions lavished, not that the people of America should enjoy peace, liberty, and safety, but that the government of the individual States, that particular municipal establishments, might enjoy a certain extent of power, and be arrayed with certain dignities and attributes of sovereignty? We have heard of the impious doctrine in the Old World, that the people were made for kings, not kings for the people. Is the same doctrine to be revived in the New, in another shape that the solid happiness of the people is to be sacrificed to the views of political institutions of a different form? It is too early for politicians to presume on our forgetting that the public good, the real welfare of the great body of the people, is the supreme object to be pursued; and that no form of government whatever has any other value than as it may be fitted for the attainment of this object. Were the plan of the convention adverse to the public happiness, my voice would be, Reject the plan. Were the Union itself inconsistent with the public happiness, it would be, Abolish the Union. In like manner, as far as the sovereignty of the States cannot be reconciled to the happiness of the people, the voice of every good citizen must be, Let the former be sacrificed to the latter. How far the sacrifice is necessary, has been shown. How far the unsacrificed residue will be endangered, is the question before us.
Several important considerations have been touched in the course of these papers, which discountenance the supposition that the operation of the federal government will by degrees prove fatal to the State governments. The more I revolve the subject, the more fully I am persuaded that the balance is much more likely to be disturbed by the preponderancy of the last than of the first scale.
We have seen, in all the examples of ancient and modern confederacies, the strongest tendency continually betraying itself in the members, to despoil the general government of its authorities, with a very ineffectual capacity in the latter to defend itself against the encroachments. Although, in most of these examples, the system has been so dissimilar from that under consideration as greatly to weaken any inference concerning the latter from the fate of the former, yet, as the States will retain, under the proposed Constitution, a very extensive portion of active sovereignty, the inference ought not to be wholly disregarded. In the Achaean league it is probable that the federal head had a degree and species of power, which gave it a considerable likeness to the government framed by the convention. The Lycian Confederacy, as far as its principles and form are transmitted, must have borne a still greater analogy to it. Yet history does not inform us that either of them ever degenerated, or tended to degenerate, into one consolidated government. On the contrary, we know that the ruin of one of them proceeded from the incapacity of the federal authority to prevent the dissensions, and finally the disunion, of the subordinate authorities. These cases are the more worthy of our attention, as the external causes by which the component parts were pressed together were much more numerous and powerful than in our case; and consequently less powerful ligaments within would be sufficient to bind the members to the head, and to each other.
In the feudal system, we have seen a similar propensity exemplified. Notwithstanding the want of proper sympathy in every instance between the local sovereigns and the people, and the sympathy in some instances between the general sovereign and the latter, it usually happened that the local sovereigns prevailed in the rivalship for encroachments. Had no external dangers enforced internal harmony and subordination, and particularly, had the local sovereigns possessed the affections of the people, the great kingdoms in Europe would at this time consist of as many independent princes as there were formerly feudatory barons.
The State governments will have the advantage of the Federal government, whether we compare them in respect to the immediate dependence of the one on the other; to the weight of personal influence which each side will possess; to the powers respectively vested in them; to the predilection and probable support of the people; to the disposition and faculty of resisting and frustrating the measures of each other.
The State governments may be regarded as constituent and essential parts of the federal government; whilst the latter is nowise essential to the operation or organization of the former. Without the intervention of the State legislatures, the President of the United States cannot be elected at all. They must in all cases have a great share in his appointment, and will, perhaps, in most cases, of themselves determine it. The Senate will be elected absolutely and exclusively by the State legislatures. Even the House of Representatives, though drawn immediately from the people, will be chosen very much under the influence of that class of men, whose influence over the people obtains for themselves an election into the State legislatures. Thus, each of the principal branches of the federal government will owe its existence more or less to the favor of the State governments, and must consequently feel a dependence, which is much more likely to beget a disposition too obsequious than too overbearing towards them. On the other side, the component parts of the State governments will in no instance be indebted for their appointment to the direct agency of the federal government, and very little, if at all, to the local influence of its members.
The number of individuals employed under the Constitution of the United States will be much smaller than the number employed under the particular States. There will consequently be less of personal influence on the side of the former than of the latter. The members of the legislative, executive, and judiciary departments of thirteen and more States, the justices of peace, officers of militia, ministerial officers of justice, with all the county, corporation, and town officers, for three millions and more of people, intermixed, and having particular acquaintance with every class and circle of people, must exceed, beyond all proportion, both in number and influence, those of every description who will be employed in the administration of the federal system. Compare the members of the three great departments of the thirteen States, excluding from the judiciary department the justices of peace, with the members of the corresponding departments of the single government of the Union; compare the militia officers of three millions of people with the military and marine officers of any establishment which is within the compass of probability, or, I may add, of possibility, and in this view alone, we may pronounce the advantage of the States to be decisive. If the federal government is to have collectors of revenue, the State governments will have theirs also. And as those of the former will be principally on the seacoast, and not very numerous, whilst those of the latter will be spread over the face of the country, and will be very numerous, the advantage in this view also lies on the same side. It is true, that the Confederacy is to possess, and may exercise, the power of collecting internal as well as external taxes throughout the States; but it is probable that this power will not be resorted to, except for supplemental purposes of revenue; that an option will then be given to the States to supply their quotas by previous collections of their own; and that the eventual collection, under the immediate authority of the Union, will generally be made by the officers, and according to the rules, appointed by the several States. Indeed it is extremely probable, that in other instances, particularly in the organization of the judicial power, the officers of the States will be clothed with the correspondent authority of the Union. Should it happen, however, that separate collectors of internal revenue should be appointed under the federal government, the influence of the whole number would not bear a comparison with that of the multitude of State officers in the opposite scale. Within every district to which a federal collector would be allotted, there would not be less than thirty or forty, or even more, officers of different descriptions, and many of them persons of character and weight, whose influence would lie on the side of the State.
The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.
The operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in times of war and danger; those of the State governments, in times of peace and security. As the former periods will probably bear a small proportion to the latter, the State governments will here enjoy another advantage over the federal government. The more adequate, indeed, the federal powers may be rendered to the national defense, the less frequent will be those scenes of danger which might favor their ascendancy over the governments of the particular States.
If the new Constitution be examined with accuracy and candor, it will be found that the change which it proposes consists much less in the addition of NEW POWERS to the Union, than in the invigoration of its ORIGINAL POWERS. The regulation of commerce, it is true, is a new power; but that seems to be an addition which few oppose, and from which no apprehensions are entertained. The powers relating to war and peace, armies and fleets, treaties and finance, with the other more considerable powers, are all vested in the existing Congress by the articles of Confederation. The proposed change does not enlarge these powers; it only substitutes a more effectual mode of administering them. The change relating to taxation may be regarded as the most important; and yet the present Congress have as complete authority to REQUIRE of the States indefinite supplies of money for the common defense and general welfare, as the future Congress will have to require them of individual citizens; and the latter will be no more bound than the States themselves have been, to pay the quotas respectively taxed on them. Had the States complied punctually with the articles of Confederation, or could their compliance have been enforced by as peaceable means as may be used with success towards single persons, our past experience is very far from countenancing an opinion, that the State governments would have lost their constitutional powers, and have gradually undergone an entire consolidation. To maintain that such an event would have ensued, would be to say at once, that the existence of the State governments is incompatible with any system whatever that accomplishes the essential purposes of the Union.
Jamestown Settlement - Jamestown Fort
Jamestown Settlement - (Photo credit: Battleofthehook)
Learn more about American History.  Visit Jamestown, Yorktown and Colonial Williamsburg Living Museums in Virginia.

Virginia Codes That Affect All Horse Owners In The State, 2 VAC 5-70-20 Coggins Certificate

English: "Golden girl" – Horses (unk...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Code:

2 VAC 5-70-20. Testing requirements for horses exhibited at shows, fairs, or other exhibitions in Virginia
All horses assembled at a show, fair, race meet, or other such function in Virginia, must be accompanied by a report of an official negative test for equine infectious anemia conducted within 12 months prior to such event. The person in charge will ensure that a copy of the official negative test results accompanies each horse in the event, and shall make such reports available for inspection by a representative of the State Veterinarian upon request. The person in charge shall exclude any horse which is not accompanied by a negative test report.

Now for further state interpretations:

Instructions to Equine Event Managers:
The State Veterinarian’s Office will continue to contact equine event managers as we have in previous years to ensure that all participating horses have a valid negative Coggins.
Any organized equine show, sale, exhibition, contest, fair, trail ride, parade, wagon train, charity or social event, or any other occurrence at which any number of horses of more than one (1) owner are gathered, is considered to be an equine event and proof of a valid negative Coggin’s is required. A valid test is one which has a negative result from blood drawn less than one (1) year from the event date and matches the horse presented. One person should be designated by the organization to serve as the equine event manager. Additionally, the event manager is subject to notification prior to the event from the State Veterinarians Office to provide documentation in the form of a report, that each horse at the event has a valid negative Coggin’s test.

2VAC-5-70-20 of the regulation entitled “Health requirements governing the control of equine infectious anemia in Virginia” states that:

The person in charge will ensure that a copy of the official negative test results accompanies each horse in the event or activity, and shall make such reports available for inspection by a representative of the State Veterinarian upon request.  The person in charge shall exclude any horse which is not accompanied by a negative test report.

You want to read the above very very closely.  Anywhere there are a number of horses from more than one owner are gathered, is considered to be an equine event.  That means riding in public for pleasure or as a form of transportation and you should even pass another rider from another farm or stable, then you have just created an event where a coggins is required.  Said coggins must be less than one year old.  The distance between riders and or horses or equine is not at all specified and wide open to interpretation causing a great deal of confusion.  

  That would also seem to mean that you can not even take a horse off of your own property without the potential of possibly meeting another horse in public without a coggins in pocket.  Again, read the code very closely.  EIA has not been a real issue from what we know for many years.  But the requirements are becoming more stringent anyway.  Though the reasoning is stated for safety reasons, it could also be the start of the death blow to even wanting to own any form of equine which is going to cause some very serious issues as we move forward.  Unintended consequences.  God put man above all animals and foul and man puts animals and foul above his fellow man.  Brilliant concept there don't you think?