first heard the word "excito-toxin" from the anti aspartame activists.
I didn't think it was a real word. Turns out it IS a real word -
chemicals causing neurons to overfire until they are literally worn out,
causing them permanent damage or cell death. The body does not deal
well with many of the synthetics we consume. Dr Blaylock, a
neurosurgeon describes in the following article, a combination of factors
which could be the cause of some of the sudden cardiac deaths seen from time
to time in athletes.
Sudden cardiac Death : The Role of Aspartame. MSG
and Other Excitotoxins
By Russell L. Blaylock, M.D.
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
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
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
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 protective fats.
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
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
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.