I hardly ever drink soda of any kind, but recently started drinking a diet soda that I enjoy. After starting to drink this soda, sweetened with aspartame, and started to feel unhappy and depressed but didn't know why.  Not until someone mentioned to me that aspartame has been linked to depression did I put 2 and 2 together.People in my inner circle who see me regularly started making comments to me like, "What's wrong?", "Is something bothering you?".  I would say no and we'd drop it, but when someone very very close to me, finally said, "OK, what's going on here?", I came to the conclusion that I was indeed showing an outward change.

I also recognized that I didn't have the clarity that I was used to having.  Didn't laugh as much either.  Things that used to be fun, all of a sudden, weren't.

A friend saw me have a diet drink and knowing that I hardly ever do, asked when had I started drinking them.  I explained that I had bought 6 liters and had started to keep them on hand at home.

That's when he made the statement about aspartame causing depression.  And coupled with the comments friends had been saying, I thought I'd do some research on aspartame and it's link to depression.

Aspartame is 220 times sweeter than sugar.  It contains phenylalanine and aspartic acid.  Both are amino acids.  To me amino acids sounds like a good thing.  Not so fast.

Phenylalanine is a neurotoxin that inhibits the function of neurons and block the release of neurotransmitters.  These are chemicals in the brain that are responsible for mood.  Also, when we ingest aspartame it goes straight to the brain and affects serotonin levels.

The Department of Psychiatry at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine asks that people with mood disorders refrain from consuming products with aspartame.  The affects of aspartame include feelings of sadness, agitation, restlessness, fatigue, worthlessness, guilt or irritability.

I have not had aspartame in about 3 days now and can already feel a difference in my mood.  I would invite you to consider limiting your consumption of diet drinks and extend this information to your family and friends.  Find out more.

[Via:  livestrong.com]