it’s okay, people. the diet coke isn’t going to kill me.

Aspartame-3D-ballsI drink quite a bit of diet coke. Probably two cans, each day that I work. I’m forever being told by people “that’ll give you brain cancer you know” or “that stuff’s gonna kill you!”

I admit, it’s not the best habit to be drinking some kind of synthetic beverage a couple of times a day. It’d probably be more healthy if I drank water instead. However, water doesn’t taste fizzy and delicious so I choose the browner, tastier option. There are several fronts on which people base their concern but certainly the most adamant opposition is due to the use of aspartame as an artificial sweetner. Here’s a quote from the FDA in 1999: “[aspartame is] one of the most thoroughly tested and studied food additives the agency has ever approved.” Just putting that out there, to begin with.

Over the next little while, I’m going to try and bust up some myths using a collection of theoretical biochemistry and citation of empirical studies. I want to debunk the toxicity of each of the first-order metabolic products of aspartame – methanol, phenylalanine and aspartic acid.

I’ve half-written and half-researched methanol thus far. I intend not only to quote the numerous studies and facts everyone else does, but also to show theoretically that the amount of methanol produced from the metabolism of aspartame is far from enough to overcome the blood’s various pH buffering mechanisms. It is metabolic acidosis which leads to the typical symptoms of methanol poisoning.

If I’m not bored after debunking aspartame, I’ll treat you to a couple of other debunkings I’ve come across – like the one about how caffeinated beverages dehydrate you.

Stay tuned! I’m on my little high-horse!

shitty days and new toys

edirol_fa66_fbGod damn I had an arse day yesterday. 8 or so hours of slightly incoherent, fragmented teaching on 5 hours of sleep. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing worse than trying to teach a class when feeling confused and tired.

On the plus side, I bought the delightful Edirol FA-66 firewire soundcard you see to your right over the weekend. Now I just have to wait for it to be shipped. Toys! Oh and I bought a new wardrobe, but that’s far less exciting.

Edit: Okay, there are worse things. But it’s still pretty bad.