Aspartame, a sweetener introduced in 1981 to replace sucrose, was shown to increase anxiety in a recent study on mice—and the effect could be seen in two generations of the animals’ offspring.

Researchers at Florida State University noted that the artificial sweetener could be found in 5,000 diet foods and drinks, and is consumed by adults and children of all ages. About 5,000 metric tons of the sweetener is produced each year. The study was published in the National Academy of Sciences.

When you ingest the ingredient, it becomes “aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol, all of which can have potent effects on the central nervous system,” the school said. 

Pradeep Bhide, a co-author of the study and a head of the school’s Development Neuroscience Department, said the study should push researchers to look back at the environmental factors behind anxiety and how aspartame’s impact could have a generational effect.

“Epigenetic changes produced by aspartame or other environmental influences in germ cells,” Bhide said, “are believed to mediate transfer of the epigenetic changes to somatic cells—e.g., brain, liver, heart, etc.—and germ cells—egg and sperm—of the descendants in the next generation.”

The study was sparked by other research on the “transgenerational effects” of nicotine on mice.

“We were working on the effects of nicotine on the same type of model,” he said. “The father smokes. What happened to the children?”

The mice that ingested the aspartame-laced water exhibited a “robust anxiety-like trait” when placed in maze tests. Sara Jones, the doctoral candidate who led the study, said the reaction was more pronounced than what researchers were expecting.

“Usually you see subtle changes,” she said. 

The researchers looked into the sweetener’s impact on the nervous system and said they found significant changes in the amygdala, a part of the brain associated with the regulation of anxiety.

Jones said it would be interesting to investigate if aspartame’s effects could “be passed down to further generations beyond the grandchildren of the exposed individual. Additionally, it would be interesting to conduct studies on the sperm, to better understand the mechanism underlying the findings.”

Medical News Today noted that aspartame was invented accidentally in 1965 by James M. Schlatter, who licked his fingers while working on a medication for ulcers, and discovered his compound’s exceptional sweetness. (It is 200 times sweeter than table sugar.) Aspartame can now be found in Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi, Diet Dr. Pepper, and other similar beverages.

TRENDPOST: While government health “officials” keep pushing Americans to roll their sleeves up to take the COVID-19 vaccine, they hardly mention how to live a healthy lifestyle grounded on diet and exercise. (See “3 JUNK FOODS FOUND TO BE ‘GATEWAYS’ TO POOR EATING HABITS, LIKE JUNK FOOD? SWALLOW THOSE FAST-FOOD ‘PLASTICIZERS,” and “JUNK FOOD JUNKIES: AMERICAN TEENS WILL KEEP BLOATING.”)

For years, The Trends Journal has been offering solid research into developing healthy eating habits, which not only help maintain a proper weight but can quickly improve one’s emotional state of mind. 

In October 2019, we published definitive proof that the Mediterranean diet, which includes natural foods without excess saturated fat and chemical additives, as a helpful guide. (See our article, “YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT: ‘MEDITERRANEAN’ MOOD SWING.”)

In October 2019, months before the COVID War began, we wrote in The Trends Journal: Yes, there will be a continuing growing market in sectors such as organic, plant-based, and juicing, however, it will account for but a small percentage of the total population’s addiction to junk/fast/low-quality food. For OnTrendpreneurs®, a huge market exists for new, innovative weight loss/fitness products and programs.

(For more, see our article, “READY TO EXPLODE, READY TO IMPLODE.”)

The COVID-19 outbreak showed the country the importance of maintaining a healthy weight, balanced diet, and active lifestyle. Americans who are obese are at a much greater risk of COVID-19 complications than someone in a normal weight bracket.

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