an open stick of chewing gumI recently joined one of my dear friends for lunch where we spent most of the time talking about the health problems that she and her family were experiencing: chronic headaches, dizziness, drowsiness and decreased vision. They had sought the help of several specialists each with a different diagnosis, but none with solutions that worked. In desperation they had their home tested for molds and toxins, and were waiting for the lab results. As we got up to leave, she offered me some gum- which I immediately declined with my typical: “I don’t touch that stuff”.

I explained that the majority of gums had aspartame aka NutraSweet, as an ingredient, and I have a very severe reaction to aspartame. She told me that she knew all about the dangers of aspartame which is why she didn’t chew sugar-free gum. When I challenged her to read the ingredients- she was shocked to find aspartame listed along with corn syrup and sugar. She went on to tell me that she and her family had been chewing this gum for years and she never knew that it contained aspartame. We both wondered out loud if this could be the key to her families’ “mystery illnesses”.

We went to the drug store next door to the restaurant and read the back of every pack of gum on display, 100% of them had aspartame listed as an ingredient. Even gums that we have chewed since childhood now contain aspartame. Aspartame is now a hidden ingredient in many products where it was once, never found including:

  • Gum
  • Mints
  • Candy
  • Salad Dressings
  • Energy Drinks
  • Powdered Tea/ Drink Mixes
  • Dairy Products (including milk and yogurt)
  • Liquid Egg Products
  •  Processed Meats- hot dogs, sausages etc.
  •  Baby Formula
  •  Pet Products

It is essential to read the entire ingredients list of any product that you purchase. The Dairy Lobby has petitioned the FDA to include aspartame in milk WITHOUT having to label it as an ingredient, so, in the future, reading a label may not be enough to safeguard your family and loved ones. It is best to get your dairy products from a local source that is trustworthy or to switch to plant based alternatives that you can make at home. Aspartame poisoning is a very real and present danger to the health of young and old alike; it is up to you to educate yourself so that you can avoid the misery that many suffer as a result.


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