The Risks of Neotame and
How You Can Curb Your Sweet Tooth

Neotame is a relatively new artificial sweetener that has yet to become a household name like aspartame (Nutrasweet), sucralose (Splenda) and saccharin (Sweet ‘n Low).

Neotame, a chemical derivative of aspartame that some experts believe may be even MORE toxic, is approved for use in soft drinks, baked goods, chewing gum, confections and more.

This high-intensity sweetener was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 as an artificial sweetener and flavor enhancer. It’s called high-intensity because it’s considerably sweeter than other sugar substitutes out there: depending on its use, the FDA says it’s 7,000 to 13,000 times sweeter than sugar. For comparison, sucralose (Splenda) is 600 times sweeter than sugar.

Neotame looks like white powder and has been approved for use as a tabletop sweetener as well as for use in products like baked goods, soft drinks and other beverages, chewing gum, confections and frostings, frozen desserts, gelatins and puddings, jams and jellies, processed fruits and fruit juices, yogurt-type products, candies, toppings and syrups.

However, caution is warranted, as neotame is a chemical derivative of aspartame that some experts believe may be even MORE toxic.

What Makes Neotame Potentially Dangerous?

Aspartame is the most complained about additive in U.S. history, responsible for approximately 80 percent of all food-related adverse reactions reported to the FDA. Neotame is based on aspartame, which is made up of three different compounds that all separately caused dangerous effects in both lab animals and humans. Tumors, holes growing in brains, liver damage, and even death happened in testing and experiments. Here is a breakdown of the three ingredients.

  • Phenylalanine: An amino acid necessary for neurotransmitter production. However, according to nutritionist Robert L. Pastore, PhD, “Pregnant women, those with anxiety attacks, individuals with high blood pressure, people with phenylketonuria and pre-existing pigmented melanoma should avoid its supplementation.”
  • Aspartic acid: Too much of this substance is “suspected to cause brain damage in fetuses, and high doses have been found to destroy brain cells in experimental animals,” says Pastore.
  • Methanol (methyl alcohol, wood alcohol): This substance is converted to formaldehyde and formic acid, which have a toxic effect on the thymus gland. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, producing cancer of the throat, pharynx and lung, according to Pastore.

Neotame is comprised of these three agents as well as 3-di-methylbutyl, a neurotoxin that has been listed on the EPA’s list of most hazardous chemicals. It causes cells to die at a fast pace.

The company that produces Neotame tested the sweetener, but they only did single-day studies on humans rather than testing the long-term effects it has on the subjects’ physical health. There were a handful of independent researchers who worked on the effects of Neotame, though. These groups have found that the original industry tests were based on ill-conceived research methods designed to make Neotame appear safe.

In a 1998 letter to the FDA, H.J. Roberts, M.D., author of Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic, called neotame a synthetic variation of aspartame (but, it’s about 40 times more potent), and said in his professional opinion, ” … This chemical poses a potential major health and environmental hazard to the American public.” He goes on to say:

“In my opinion, there is already sufficient evidence for aspartame products to be withdrawn from the market as an “imminent public health hazard” NOW! I have documented severe neurological, intellectual, psychiatric, metabolic, endocrine, allergic and other reactions to aspartame products in hundreds of patients. Moreover, there is considerable reason to invoke aspartame and its metabolites as a cause of significant contributory factor in the aggravation of precipitation of diabetes and its complications, multiple sclerosis, brain cancer, and the acceleration of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Be aware that neotame does not have to be labeled on food packages. Some animal feed companies have even substituted neotame for molasses, so cows and other livestock often ingest neotame before they wind up on your dinner plate.

Is Your Body Craving a Toxin?

Even if you don’t want to ingest neotame, if you eat processed and prepared foods, especially those that claim to be sugar-free or low-carb, you could very well be consuming this potentially toxic substance (even if it’s not listed on the label). Artificial sweeteners like aspartame and neotame are not a dieter’s best friend, because they interfere with the release of hormones like insulin and leptin, which help regulate your metabolism.

Studies actually link the consumption of artificial sweeteners with weight gain, not loss, and while they may satisfy your sweet cravings temporarily on the surface, your body will not be fooled. The end result is MORE sweet cravings and often increased body weight and body fat.

Once you crave fake artificially sweetened foods at a cellular level, it is difficult to break the addiction. Again, artificial sweeteners are a bargain for food producers, as they cost significantly less than real sugar. They are not a “bargain” for your health, however, but there is some good news if you’ve been consuming these and other toxic food additives.

Detoxing the Toxins

A high-protein snack such as a hard-boiled egg can help keep your stomach satisfied and cut down on sugar carvings.

When your body has become addicted to processed foods, breaking from the cycle is difficult. However, there are supplements that may help your body detoxify and become re-balanced. Leading providers of whole food supplements make several all-natural supplements that support healthy sugar levels while cleansing the body of dangerous and addictive toxins.

Curb Those Sugar Cravings!

Taking vitamin supplements isn’t the only way to curb sugar (both natural and man-made) cravings. Eating sugar creates a short-lived “high,” which we come to crave, but giving into the craving can be detrimental to your body. Combining vitamin supplements with these suggestions will help you create a healthier body as well as a healthy lifestyle.

  • Avoid artificial sweeteners. The fact that artificial sweeteners rewire our cellular chemistry to crave sugar even more is reason enough to stay away. Artificial sweeteners wreak havoc on the body and mind, creating an addiction to man-made sugar.
  • Get up and move around. The “high” that accompanies eating sweets is caused by a rise in serotonin, the “feel good” chemical. Taking a short, brisk walk (especially in the sunlight) triggers the same chemical response that a chocolate bar does. And instead of indulging in a high-calorie treat, you just burned off a few hundred calories!
  • Eat high-protein and fiber meals regularly. Eating sporadically throughout the day will cause a metabolism crash. This triggers your body to crave something that will provide a rush of energy, like the sugar rush after eating a cupcake topped with extra icing. Both protein and fiber make your body feel fuller longer while helping keep blood sugar levels stable. Even if you can’t eat a full meal, grab a hard-boiled egg, piece of chicken, a small handful of nuts, or other high-quality protein source instead of the closest sugary snack.
  • Chew a piece of gum. There is strong evidence to suggest that the act of repetitive chewing will cause a person to stop feeling hungry. Substituting a piece of gum will help eliminate the feelings of hunger. The small amount of sugar will also satisfy the part of your brain longing for something sweet. (Be careful, though, as many chewing gums contain artificial sweeteners, including neotame.)
  • Indulge once a day. Trying to quit eating sweets all together might be difficult for someone with an addiction to sugar. Rather than going cold turkey, treat yourself at the end of each day with a small sweet snack, such as a piece of fruit.

Sources Neotame: 13,000 times sweeter than sugar and even more toxic than Aspartame

Farm Wars: USDA certified organic’s dirty little secret: Neotame

Dr. Hugo Rotier: Sugar, an addictive toxin: can you hear me now?

WebMD: 13 Ways to Fight Sugar Cravings Five Ways to Curb Sugar Cravings FAST! How Sweet It Is: An Examination of Alternatives to Sugar

The Threat of Neotame