I was born in Upper Michigan and learned there, living on a small farm amidst a panorama of seasons, to appreciate all of the beauties of God's creation. It was there that I developed an interest in creative art and writing. As a retired R.N. I now find time to explore my creativity and share it with others. I hope that I can inspire others to become more aware of all the everyday gifts in nature that are all around us.

Recently, I have been reading more about Aspartame, the artificial sweetener which is so abundantly used now adays. Other names are Equal, Nutrasweet and Spoonful. Aspartame is known by many in the medical profession, as the most dangerous substance on the market that is added to foods. Dr. Russell L. Blaylock, a professor of neurosurgery at the medical University of Mississippi, recently published a book documenting the damage that is caused by ingesting excessive amounts of aspartame. It is hard to understand why a product that is so harmful to the human body is still on the market.

Aspartame was accidentally discovered in 1965 , by a chemist at Searle Company, who was testing for an anti-ulcer drug. It was approved for for dry goods in 1981 and for carbonated beverages in in 1983. Originally, it was approved for dry goods in 1974 but research by a neuroscientist caused the FDA to put approval of Aspartame on hold in December of 1974. In 1985, Monsanto purchased G.D.Searle and made Searle pharmaceuticals and the Nutra Sweet Company separate subsidiaries.

The information on Aspartame is endless and gets quite technical but what it boils down to is that it is a toxic chemical and artificial sweetener found in diet soft drinks and a multitude of artificially sweetened foods. When the temperature of Aspartame reaches 86 degrees, it converts to wood alcohol and then into formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is in the class of poisons as cyanide and arsenic. Formaldehyde acts slowly over time and causes neurological damage to the body.

Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinsons and Fibromyalgia, brain tumors, Diabetes and Epilepsy are some of the diseases that are worsened by Aspartame use. The list of symptoms that long term use can cause are many, some of which are headaches/migraines,vertigo, hearing loss, brain lesions, seizures, irritabilty, fatigue, tachycardia, memory loss, joint pain, insomnia, anxiety attacks and so many more. The breakdown of Aspartame in the body evntually destroys neurons in a particular area of the brain.

If usage is stopped, there is some improvement noted.

I have gotten so that I read the very tiny print on containers and packaging of foods looking for the word “Aspartame”. I even found that some chewing gum and some brands of yogurt have it. Yikes! We may have to be more careful in our shopping and try to avoid those products that contain Aspartame, to the best of our ability.

Fortunately, the use of Stevia, as a natural sweetener, is starting to hit the markets. Stevia is a natural sweetener that comes from a plant grown in the rainforests of South America,and has been used for thousands of years there. It is now grown also in Asia and other areas. Japan has used Stevia as a non caloric sweetener for many years and uses more than any other country. Stevia is one hundred times sweeter than sugar and contains no calories. Hopefully, that will be the trend in the future.