Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Seeing red

Chairman Bill has been blogging recently about conspiracy theories, medical quackery and pseudo science. It reminded me of a post I read the other day on a forum that is designed to give information to residents and guests staying in the region around the land. This post appeared under the title 'Food and Wine' and was a tirade against the artificial sweetener aspartame, copied by all accounts from an American website. The title of the post was 'sweet poison' and basically went on to blame every medical complaint known to man on the use of this particular substance. I found most of it vaguely amusing until I got to this part.

"In the keynote address by the EPA, it was announced that in the United States in 2001 there is an epidemic of multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus. It was difficult to determine exactly what toxin was causing this to be rampant. I stood up and said that I was there to lecture on exactly that subject. I will explain why Aspartame is so dangerous: When the temperature of this sweetener exceeds 86 degrees F, the wood alcohol in ASPARTAME converts to formaldehyde and then to formic acid, which in turn causes metabolic acidosis.. Formic acid is the poison found in the sting of fire ants. The methanol toxicity mimics, among other conditions, multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus. Systemic lupus has become almost as rampant as multiple sclerosis, especially with Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi drinkers.

The victim usually does not know that the Aspartame is the culprit. He or she continues its use; irritating the lupus to such a degree that it may become a life-threatening condition. We have seen patients with systemic lupus become asymptotic, once taken off diet sodas."
Well, as one of the writer's so called 'victims' of a disease very similar to lupus I can say that it is this kind of unhelpful b*llocks that really p*sses off people with lupus and other auto-immune diseases. Auto-immune diseases are not caused by a toxin but by the body's immune system malfunctioning and starting to attack and destroy healthy cells. The exact mechanisms are still a little unknown but there is definitely a genetic component. And.. yes.. there are more people being diagnosed with all these diseases but this is not due to artificial sweetener but to the fact that more doctors know about auto-immune diseases and diagnosis is easier (and there are many more treatments available). My grandmother (who lived until she was 98) would get a rash on her face in the sun. This was almost certainly lupus but when she was young no one knew what it was and so she was never diagnosed. My own illness was only identified in 1976 so before then the numbers of cases were obviously limited.

Auto-immune disorders are characterised by flares and remissions and so if anyone did feel 'cured' after stopping the diet coke then I would guess that it was most likely due to a natural remission or placebo!

I can only hope that no one with lupus is stupid enough to believe that cr*p and stop their medication in order to try the aspartame free cure! If it was really that easy to cure lupus don't you think we would all have done it by now!

I would like to conclude my moan by saying that personally, I have never really seen the point of artificial sweeteners myself and never drink coke or fizzy drinks unless they contain alcohol (now there is a proven poison!)

On a totally different note, Ian got an email from his agency today telling him that it was company policy that if he became ill with swine flu he must stay off work until he is better. Now as the only way you can be sure that you have swine flu and not the more common illness of man flu, is to have a blood test, and these are not being carried out routinely this seems to be an order that is impossible to enforce! (Of course man-flu would require a week off work anyway!)

1 comment:

Chairman Bill said...

A week? More like a year!

Then there's the rehabilitation, of course.