Aspartame (E951) detox?

I went to a talk recently with Damian Kristof, an Australian naturopath practicing in both Australia and New Zealand. Like many before him he had a wee rant on the evils of nutrasweet and it’s active ingredient Aspartame. Given that my diet coke consumption is epic I decided that perhaps I needed to find out more…

Ok, so a total lack of consensus. I left out the people trying to sell detox programmes etc but one did claim that it would take 60 days to be aspartame clean. Yikes!

Well, it never hurts to have a clean up every so often so here goes. Today is officially day #4 which is quite major for me. Day #60 is the 5th October. Lets see how I go.


Recent Comments



  1. August 21, 2005

    Hi Sarah, hows day 15 going? i have found it takes about 7-14 days for the real bad stuff to be out of the way… how are you feeling?


  2. August 22, 2005

    Aaaaah, how did he know I fell off the wagon? Couldn’t resist having a glass with friday night F&C and then yesterday I let myself get really thirsty, was feeling low & “what the hell”-ish. But that’s not bad and while that means I’m not “clean” 2 glasses in 15 days aint bad when I used to drink a litre every day.

    So long as I keep drinking water like a mad thing it’s not too bad – and since Damian reckons I should be drinking 2.6 litres a day anyway I’m just meeting that target. 2.6 litres is alot of water!!! Whatever happened to 8 glasses a day?

  3. Elizabeth Klein
    September 10, 2005

    hi there,

    I am a chronic diet coke drinker and want to detox. Could you perhaps email me information about your detox? i would be very appreciative!!! Thank you!! It would be good to keep in touch and see how you are doing on your road to health!


  4. September 29, 2005

    I’ve just been sent an email newsletter by Kathy Smith (it’s an opt in one I’ve been getting for years, but rarely have time to read) extolling the virtues of Xylitol.

    Feeling rather cynical I googled for Xylitol to see what I could find. Sure enough there’s plenty of noise out there. What is heartening is that it does seem to be good.

    Wikipedia: Xylitol

    The Healthy Sweetener Use Guide on a Aspartame / Nutrasweet Detoxification site lists Xylitol under “Sweeteners to Use”.

    Intro to a book promoting Xylitol: Unlike sugar, xylitol does not require insulin to be metabolized. Xylitol is an all-natural sugar substitute derived from birch tree bark or from corncobs. It is teaspoon-for-teaspoon as sweet as sugar, and has the added quality of binding to saliva, leaving a sweet taste lingering in the mouth.

    How Sweet it is: Manufacturers can be exceptionally sneaky. (Oh! Big Surprise!) For example, there is one of the “good sugar substitutes” called Xylitol. This beauty “called ‘wood sugar,’ is the alcohol form of xylose. It occurs naturally in straw, corncobs, fruit, vegetables, cereals, mushrooms, and some seaweeds. For use in food manufacturing, xylitol is extracted from birch wood chips. Xylitol is used as a sweetener in chewing gums and other dietetic products.”

    Unfortunately, the good reputation of xylitol is now being used to deceive consumers. Trident Sugarless Gum, for example, includes in big letters xylitol, but also contains either aspartame or sucralose in small letters. One must wonder on what basis 4 out of 5 dentists are recommending Trident to their patients who chew gum.

    but all those grand endorsements are rather undone by:

    Foods Potentially Poisonous to Pets: Candy (particularly chocolate, which is toxic to dogs, cats, and ferrets, and any candy containing the sweetener Xylitol)

    THE DANGERS OF XYLITOL: XYLITOL is a sweetener found in certain sugar-free chewing gums and candies. Dogs that ingest large amounts of these can develop a sudden drop in blood sugar, which can cause depression, loss of coordination and seizures. Symptoms develop rapidly, usually within 30 minutes of ingestion. This is a medical emergency and the pet should be taken to a veterinarian. Better yet, keep candy out of the pet’s reach!

    Dr. Kendra Reynolds – D.V.M.

    Caremark Xylitol Safety Issues

    Xylitol is believed to be safe, but doses higher than 30 g per day can cause stomach discomfort and possibly diarrhea. In studies, children taking xylitol syrup tended to have more such side effects than those using other forms of xylitol, possibly because it reached the stomach in a more concentrated dose.

  5. October 3, 2005

    Hey Sarah… are you still going? or have you stopped? I’d reccommend a great book to read Changing Habits Changing Lives by Cindy O’Meara… very good read… it explains in more detail the things that i talked about at the health talk. 🙂

    i hope you are well


  6. March 23, 2006

    well I think that detox is a good remedy to clean your body and it’s legal… It can help to get rid of different illnesses…

  7. Sharon
    August 25, 2006

    Xylitol does NOT have the same effect in humans as it does in dogs.

    Its perfectly harmless to people, but yes, if you take more than 6 spoonfuls a day it may have a laxative effect like figs or plenty of other food stuffs.

    Its a very good options for people who cannot eat sugar.

    Anyone have experience of Stevia? When I first found out about it I thought it sounded amazing but then I realized why its not available in Europe, I wondered if there is something to the studies relating to Stevia as a mutigen. But if so, why is it so widely used in Japan?

  8. February 24, 2007

    Keep up the good work. That Diet Coke can be hard to kick, but if you don’t … it will kill you!

    I don’t know why there’s not warning labels on that stuff, like on cigs!

  9. June 6, 2007

    Diet Coke

    And just incase you needed more info…

    Caution: Some soft drinks may seriously harm your health

    A new health scare erupted over soft drinks last night amid evidence they may cause serious cell damage. Research from a British university suggests a common preservative found in drinks such as Fanta and Pepsi Max has the ability to switch off vital parts of DNA.

    The problem – more usually associated with ageing and alcohol abuse – can eventually lead to cirrhosis of the liver and degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s.

    The findings could have serious consequences for the hundreds of millions of people worldwide who consume fizzy drinks. They will also intensify the controversy about food additives, which have been linked to hyperactivity in children.

    Concerns centre on the safety of E211, known as sodium benzoate, a preservative used for decades by the 74bn global carbonated drinks industry. Sodium benzoate derives from benzoic acid. It occurs naturally in berries, but is used in large quantities to prevent mould in soft drinks such as Sprite, Oasis and Dr Pepper. It is also added to pickles and sauces.

    Sodium benzoate has already been the subject of concern about cancer because when mixed with the additive vitamin C in soft drinks, it causes benzene, a carcinogenic substance. A Food Standards Agency survey of benzene in drinks last year found high levels in four brands which were removed from sale.

    Now, an expert in ageing at Sheffield University, who has been working on sodium benzoate since publishing a research paper in 1999, has decided to speak out about another danger. Professor Peter Piper, a professor of molecular biology and biotechnology, tested the impact of sodium benzoate on living yeast cells in his laboratory. What he found alarmed him: the benzoate was damaging an important area of DNA in the “power station” of cells known as the mitochondria.

    He told The Independent on Sunday: “These chemicals have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it: they knock it out altogether.

    “The mitochondria consumes the oxygen to give you energy and if you damage it – as happens in a number if diseased states – then the cell starts to malfunction very seriously. And there is a whole array of diseases that are now being tied to damage to this DNA – Parkinson’s and quite a lot of neuro-degenerative diseases, but above all the whole process of ageing.”

    The Food Standards Agency (FSA) backs the use of sodium benzoate in the UK and it has been approved by the European Union but last night, MPs called for it to investigate urgently.

    Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat chair of Parliament’s all-party environment group said: “Many additives are relatively new and their long-term impact cannot be certain. This preservative clearly needs to be investigated further by the FSA.”

    A review of sodium benzoate by the World Health Organisation in 2000 concluded that it was safe, but it noted that the available science supporting its safety was “limited”.

    Professor Piper, whose work has been funded by a government research council, said tests conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration were out of date.

    “The food industry will say these compounds have been tested and they are complete safe,” he said. “By the criteria of modern safety testing, the safety tests were inadequate. Like all things, safety testing moves forward and you can conduct a much more rigorous safety test than you could 50 years ago.”

    He advised parents to think carefully about buying drinks with preservatives until the quantities in products were proved safe by new tests. “My concern is for children who are drinking large amounts,” he said.

    Coca-Cola and Britvic’s Pepsi Max and Diet Pepsi all contain sodium benzoate. Their makers and the British Soft Drinks Association said they entrusted the safety of additives to the Government.

    October 26, 2007


  11. March 1, 2008

    Way to go Sarah on your detox regime. Aspartame is as bad as sugar minus the sweetness. It won’t cause diabetes but will give you something else. The best would be to avoid soft drinks totally and go for fruit juices without sugar. That’s how i do it.

  12. Jane
    March 3, 2008

    Now this is scary. I struggled to ditch the diet coke and really didn’t feel any better on or off the stuff. Then I was prescribed Loxamine (Arapax) and diet coke started making me feel unwell. It was painless to quit and now I can’t even drink a glass of the stuff – it tastes foul. I definately feel better off it.

    So, could diet coke addiction be a symptom of depression?

  13. April 13, 2008

    I have been a 7-8 can and sometimes bottle of Diet Coke drinker a DAY for nearly 10 years. My health over the last two years has not been good. Extreme headaches and migraines, joint pain, jitterness, fatigue and overall just feeling like crud. People can say that sugars, arificial sweetners, caffeine and other ingredients are not addicting or bad for you, but when your body tells you something, it’s time to list. I have shared my whole story on my blog, and how I broke that addiction in 5 days with no withdrawal symptoms at all.

  14. Lorrainepttsfld2
    August 18, 2009

    I have Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, PTSD, Panic attacks, anxiety attacks, depression, COPD, Bipolar disorder, asthma, mood swings, insomnia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, overweight, swelling over entire body, pain over entire body, trouble standing from a chair, trouble getting out of bed. A friend of mine emailed me info about Aspartame on August 7 2009. Today is August 17 2009. I can get out of a chair with no problem, I can get out of bed, I’m not swollen, I’ve lost weight, my knees, ankles, feet, fingers, neck no longer hurt. I no longer have the twitch in my right elbow and left side. I’m not grumpy. I still have severe pain in my hips, back, shoulders and elbows. I could not walk 100 feet. I can now. Further than that!!!! I was drinking Diet Polar Orange Dry by the 6 pack or more daily for a few years. I’m all set with that now. I still have a case. I’m going to give it away. I”m not going to waste it. Now I know what was worsening my fibro and osteo and all my other health problems. Aspartame. STOP USING IT!!!!!!

  15. August 18, 2009

    Lorraine! That is so scary, thank you for posting your personal story. I really appreciate that you took the time to do so.

    Every so often I read articles in the media reassuring us that Aspartame’s ok. Personal experience tells us that’s not the case.

    Keep clean, and just like with any other substance abuse remember that it’s one day at a time. Put bad days behind you. If you stumble, pick yourself up and keep going.

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