Would you drink formaldehyde by choice? No? What if I sweetened it for you, sweetened it with something 200 times sweeter than sugar? Still no? Well what if I flavored and sweetened it for you and here’s the real kicker, added in a high concentration of synthetic caffeine? You need caffeine to get through your busy day right? Oh…still no? Because it’s formaldehyde right? Damn. You. Are. Smart. Or are you?
Did you know that while formaldehyde isn’t an actual ingredient in your favorite beverage, it may be created in your body by the ingredients in your favorite beverage (well one ingredient, the sweetener…aspartame)? Yep. It’s true. If you don’t drink diet soda (or calorie free drinks), you’re probably in the clear here. Congratulations! But if you do, then I hate to break it to you, but you have been filling your body with a synthetic compound that when broken down in your bloodstream, creates formaldehyde. Formaldehyde like what we use to preserve corpses formaldehyde. Scary right?!
The FDA has deemed aspartame and other artificial sweeteners as safe for human consumption but did you know the studies conducted to deem these products safe, were conducted by parties hired by Searle (the pharmaceutical company that discovered, marketed, and named aspartame) and for them? Do those sound like unbiased studies designed to produce results focused on the health and safety of the general public? No? I didn’t think so either. Those to me sound like studies, conducted to say studies were conducted, so the government would allow Searle to release their product. Not only were the studies conducted by Searle and conducted in a shady manner, but the validity of the studies was also questioned by the government on multiple occasions (read the timeline here) and the only reason aspartame was ever approved was because of some very questionable appointments and moves made by Searle.
Now on to why aspartame is dangerous to the human body. When consumed, aspertame is naturally broken down into it’s 3 components (aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol). These 3 components are released, where in 11 areas of the human body, methanol is converted into formaldehyde. In animals formaldehyde is then broken down and detoxified into formic acid. In the human body, formaldehyde remains formaldehyde. Our bodies aren’t capable of breaking it down into formic acid. There have been studies conducted that state formaldehyde is broken down into formic acid, and that formic acid is safe (and that methanol is contained in fruits and vegetables…which it is…but bound to pectin which allows it to be excreted in-tact through your natural elimination process aka poops). But those studies have been refuted here and here. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. Read about it’s effects here (cancer, dna replication, birth defects, etc). The remaining two components of aspartame (aspartic acid, and phenylalanine) are amino acids which occur naturally in foods in a low percentage profile (5ish percent) and in balance with other amino acids. In aspartame, these two amino acids exist in a 50%/40% profile in combination with 10% methanol. This unnatural balance allows the amino acids to attack your cells and cross the blood-brain barrier (excitotoxicity). Bad. For. You.
So I’m angry with Diet Coke. I’m angry that they exist and have hooked so many people to their chemical elixir. Their caffeinated, chemical treat. Yes Diet Coke, I’m talking about you. You nasty brown poisonous sludge.
I guess I’m not being fair by just calling out Diet Coke, because really all diet soda is the same. And in all honesty it’s not the soda that’s the problem, it’s the aspartame and other “rebranded” artificial sweeteners like sucralose used in the soda that’s the problem. I do however majorly blame the soda companies for peddling this shit to the masses and getting them addicted, without educating them about what’s going into their bodies. It’s not “happiness” you’re drinking (though it may feel like it due to it’s crack-like functionality). It’s poison.
If you’re drinking diet beverages please…for the love of God, stop. Stop because I care about the quality of your existence, even if you think I’m a crazy nut.