Contributed By Dr. Betty Martini
Mission Possible International

Posted: 15 April 2005

Originally Posted At:

Neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock, M.D. explains the relationship between sudden cardiac death, especially in athletes, and excitotoxic damage produced by food additives and artificial sweeteners.

(PRWEB) April 14, 2005 -- Dr. Russell Blaylock, an author and neurosurgeon, explains the relationship between sudden cardiac death, especially in athletes, and excitotoxic damage caused by food additives and artificial sweeteners. -- By Russell L. Blaylock, M.D.

Over 460,000 people annually die of a disorder called sudden cardiac death, according to CDC statistics. This condition strikes otherwise healthy people who have experienced no obvious symptoms of heart disease prior to their abrupt deaths.

An alarming number young athletes are included in these deaths, in high schools and colleges as well as among professional athletes. While in some of these individuals cardiologists found evidence of coronary disease and scars from earlier silent heart attacks, there is one mechanism that's getting no attention at all: the excitotoxin 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 excitotoxic 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 mechanisms have resulted in sudden cardiac death in experimental animals.

A particularly deadly combination occurs in young athletes: Low magnesium intake, high calcium intake, low intake of omega-3 fatty acids and excitotoxins in food additives. Strenuous exercise, especially in extreme heat, depletes the body's magnesium stores, as does consumption of carbonated drinks and taking calcium supplements. Also adrenalin secretion, increased during exercise, intensifies heart muscle irritability and further loss of magnesium as well. When calcium supplements are taken in the face of an existing magnesium deficiency, both magnesium and calcium are driven into the bones, producing a sudden magnesium-depletion crisis.

Low magnesium produces seizures and causes sudden cardiac arrest. In a classic experiment it was found that stressing magnesium-deficient animals resulted in an almost 100% mortality from sudden cardiac arrest. Adding magnesium reduced mortality dramatically. A considerable body 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.

A number of studies have shown that Americans are significantly deficient in these protective fats. Finally, recent research has shown that the brain is not the only tissue having glutamate receptors. Numerous glutamate receptors have been found both within the heart's electrical conduction system and the heart muscle itself.

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 eroxidation 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 excitotoxic additives. Several studies have shown that the levels consumed by our youth equal those that cause damage in experimental animals. Humans are 5X more sensitive to these toxins than any animal.

The same factors operate in older individuals. Most people over age 50 years are depleted of magnesium, have low omega-3 fat intakes, are under stress and take a number of medications which compromise nutrition, especially magnesium levels. Because seniors are more likely to have coronary artery disease plus other medical conditions, their risk of sudden cardiac death is even higher.

Both athletes and those over age 45 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 accomplishes a lot more than attempting to rescue a victim with an external defibrillator after the fact.

Dr. Blaylock's web site is He is author of "Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills and Health & Nutrition Secrets to Save Your Life." He can be seen in the movie on aspartame, "Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World."

Copies are available from [Also see the page at:]

Case histories now being taken on aspartame and brain tumors from New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Mississippi in the last three years. Send to Also, The FDA blamed deaths on ephedra and removed it from the market. The FDA records on ephedra were reviewed by the renowned neuroscientist Dr. John Olney who founded the field of neuroscience called excitotoxicity and tried to prevent the approval of aspartame and said ephedra is safe.

In the movie, "Sweet Misery," Diane Fleming is interviewed from prison. Her husband, an aspartame addict, who played basketball several times a week, died and she was charged with his death. Several experts have written affidavits that Charles Fleming died from aspartame.


Dr. Betty Martini
Founder, Mission Possible International
9270 River Club Parkway
Duluth, Georgia 30097

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