- Over 460,000 people per year are now dying of a disorder
called of sudden cardiac death according to CDC statistics.
- This is a condition striking otherwise healthy people,
who have experienced no obvious symptoms of heart disease prior to their
deaths. An alarming number of these deaths are occurring in young athletes,
both in high schools, colleges, as well as among professional athletes.
- While cardiologists have found coronary disease and suspect
previous scars from silent heart attacks in a number of these individuals,
one mechanism is getting no attention at all, and that is excitotoxic damage
caused by food additives and the artificial sweetener aspartame. This is
despite growing evidence that the excitotoxic mechanism plays a major role
in cardiac disease.
- Previously, it was thought that excitotoxin food additives,
such as monosodium glutamate and aspartic acid in aspartame, cause their
damage in the cardiovascular centers in the brain stem and/or by over stimulating
sympathetic centers in the hypothalamus of the brain. Both of these mechanisms
have been shown to result in sudden cardiac death in experimental animals.
- A particular deadly combination occurs in young athletes,
which includes low magnesium intake, high calcium intake, low intake of
omgea-3 fatty acids and excitotoxin food additives. Strenuous exercise-
especially in extreme heat is known to deplete the body's magnesium stores,
as is consumption of carbonated drinks and taking calcium supplements.
In addition, adrenalin secretion, increased during exercise, increases
heart muscle irritability and magnesium loss as well.
- When calcium supplements are taken in the face of existing
magnesium deficiency, both magnesium and calcium is driven into the bones,
resulting in a sudden magnesium depletion crisis. Low magnesium is known
to produce both seizures and cause sudden cardiac arrest. In a classic
experiment, it was found that stressing animals who were magnesium deficient
resulted in an almost 100% mortality from sudden cardiac arrest. Adding
magnesium cut mortality dramatically.
- A considerable amount of evidence has shown that low
omega-3 fat intake significantly increases the risk and severity of cardiac
arrhythmias, the main cause of sudden cardiac death. Likewise, a number
of studies have shown that Americans are significantly deficient in these
- Finally, recent research has shown that the brain is
not the only tissue having glutamate receptors.
- Numerous glutamate receptors have been found within the
heart's electrical conductions system, as well as heart muscle. When an
excess of food-borne excitotoxins, such as MSG, hydrolyzed protein, soy
protein isolate and concentrate, natural flavoring, sodium caseinate and
aspartate from aspartame, are consumed, these glutamate receptors are over
stimulated, producing cardiac arrhythmias.
- When magnesium stores are low, as we see in athletes,
the glutamate receptors are so sensitive that even low levels of these
excitotoxins can result in cardiac arrhythmias and death. This is especially
so when combined with the other factors mentioned. Under such condition,
free radicals and lipid peroxidation products build up within the muscle
cells, leading to the same outcome.
- High consumption of aspartame adds an additional cardiac
muscle toxin, methanol. A number of studies have shown that consuming aspartame
and MSG (and similar excitotoxins) together greatly magnifies the toxicity.
Young people live on junk foods, most of which contain a number of excitotoxin
additives. Several studies have shown that the levels beings consumed by
our youth equal those causing the damage in experimental animals. Humans
are 5X more sensitive to these toxins than any animal.
- These same factors operate in older individuals as well.
Most over age 50 years are depleted of magnesium, have low omega-3 fat
intakes, are under stress and take a number of medications that worsen
nutrition, especially magnesium levels. Because they are more likely to
also have coronary artery disease and other medical conditions, their risk
of sudden cardiac death is even higher.
- Both athletes and those over age 45 years should take
magnesium supplements, antioxidants, omega-3 oils, eat more vegetables
and avoid foods and artificial sweeteners containing excitotoxins such
as aspartame and MSG. This will do a lot more than trying to rescue a person
with an external defibrillator after the fact.
- Dr. Blaylock's web site is www.russellblaylockmd.com
He is author of Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills and Health & Nutrition
Secrets to Save Your Life. He can be seen in the movie, Sweet Misery:
A Poisoned World on aspartame. You can get a copy from firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dr. Betty Martini, Founder, Mission Possible Intl, 9270
River Club Parkway, Duluth, Georgia 30097 770 242-2599 www.dorway.com