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Old 08-26-2005, 06:54 AM   #1
Jason Simpkins
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Found this interesting article:

Athlete Alert - Aspartame And MSG In Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Contributed By Dr. Betty Martini
Mission Possible International


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."

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

Aspartame Toxiocity Center:
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Old 08-26-2005, 08:38 AM   #2
Seth Orell, Jr.
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Hmm. None of the evidence submitted comes from any peer-reviewed scientific journal (see Sites like & are not even close. I am skeptical about this - especially as it was posted on an open-PR website and advertises his books and movies.

My $0.02.
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Old 08-26-2005, 09:21 AM   #3
Jason Simpkins
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Yeah, true enough, but I was more interested in the part about exercise and it's effects on magnesium depletion in the body.

I have read that the intake of too much calcium can block magnesium absorption leading to some of the issues listed above. Makes me want to take a closer look at ZMA supplementation before bed on training days.


A lot of bodybuilders have tried prohormones, hoping to find a legal and effective way of increasing their testosterone levels. However, new research has surfaced indicating that prohormones may not be the best choice for athletes looking to enhance their anbolic hormone levels and muscle strength. In fact, there is an amazingly effective new sports performance product called ZMA that has been clinically proven to significantly increase both anabolic hormone levels and muscle strength in trained athletes.

ZMA is a scientifically designed, university laboratory tested anabolic mineral support formula. ZMA contains zinc monomethionine aspartame plus magnesium aspartame and vitamin B-6 in precise ratios. ZMAis patent pending all natural product that is manufactured utilizing a unique proprietary process, which significantly enhances the absorption and utilization of both zinc and magnesium.

ZMA is also the first nighttime anabolic formula developed specifically to enhance recovery by improving sleep efficiency. ZMA is a very effective sleep aid and is recommended to be taken 30-60 minutes before bedtime. Many athletes fail to realize how important it is to get a deep and restful sleep. Healing, tissue repair, anabolic hormone production and muscle growth are maximized during sleep, so quality sleep is extremely important to athletes.

An independent study of ZMA was recently conducted at Western Washington University under the direction of sports performance researcher, Lorrie Brilla, Ph.D. A group of 12 competitive NCAA football players who took ZMA nightly during an 8 week spring training program had over 30% increases in free and total testosterone levels compared to more than 10% decreases in the placebo group of 15. The ZMA group also had a slight increase in insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels compared to a 20% decrease in the placebo group. (1) In addition to measuring the anabolic hormone increases in the football players, Dr. Brilla measured their muscle strength and functional power increases.

Pre and post leg strength and power measurements were made using a Biodex isokinetic dynamometer. The players who took ZMA nightly during the 8 week period of intensive training had 2.5 times greater strength gains than the placebo group. The muscle strength of the ZMA group increased 11.6% compared to a 4.6% increase in the placebo group. The ZMA group also had two times greater functional power gains compared to the placebo group. The functional power of the ZMA group increased 18.2%, in contrast to 9.4% for the placebo group. (1,2)

According to Dr. Brilla, "This study shows that anabolic hormone and muscle strength increases can be induced in already strength-trained athletes by using a novel zinc-magnesium preparation."

Many world class athletes are reporting tremendous benefits from ZMA, in the gym, as well as on the athletic field. For example, more than 250 NFL players are currently taking ZMA. Lester Archambeau, starting defensive end for last years NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons, says he is "extremely satisfied with ZMA. ZMA definitely helps me recover! I can tell when I take it and when I don’t. There is no doubt that it makes me sleep better." And when it comes to the gym, the big Falcon claims, "I have much better endurance when taking ZMA." Bryce Paup, Jacksonville Jaguar’s multi-All Pro defensive end and 1995 Defensive Player of the Year (he led the NFL with 17.5 sacks) has also been taking advantage of ZMA. Paup says, "When I take ZMA, I sleep better and more soundly, and I feel more rested when I wake up." And when it comes to the football field, Paup claims, "The more I rest and the better I sleep, the better I perform on the field."

In addition to the professional football players, more than 25 IFBB pro bodybuilders have benefited from using ZMA. Flex Wheeler (1999 A r n o l d Schwarzenegger Classic Champion) says "I can’t believe how much better I feel using ZMA. I have greater output. I'm stronger in everything. I wake up very well rested, and my workouts have gone better!" Michael Ashley (1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Champion) claims "ZMA is the most effective recovery supplement I’ve used in my entire bodybuilding career! A deep and restful sleep is the secret to maximizing the anabolic process."

While zinc and magnesium deficiencies are common in the general population, deficiencies of these minerals are even more prevalent in athletes. Research shows that rigorous exercise and stress results in significantly greater bodily losses of zinc and magnesium.

For example, in a study called "Serum Zinc in Athletes in Training," blood (serum) zinc levels were determined in 160 training athletes, 103 males and 57 females. In 23.3% of the males and 43% of the female athletes, serum zinc levels were significantly below the "normal range." (3)

In another study of strenuously trained men called "Magnesium, Zinc and Copper status of 270 US Navy Sea, Air and Land (SEAL) trainees" conducted by the US Department of Military Medicine, it was shown that the blood concentrations of magnesium and zinc were significantly below the "normal range" for 23% and 24% of the trainees, respectively.(4)

Furthermore, in 1998, BALCO Laboratories tested the mineral status of over 250 NFL players, including the entire Denver Broncos Super Bowl championship team, as well as the entire Miami Dolphins team. Over 70% of the football players were either depleted or deficient in both zinc and magnesium.

The NCAA football players in the ZMA study also had reduced baseline blood levels of both zinc and magnesium. However, eight weeks of ZMA supplementatio was very effective in optimizing their levels of these minerals, which resulted in dramatic increases in the anabolic hormone levels and muscle strength of the athletes. (1)

ZMA is rapidly becoming the preferred natural testosterone boosting supplement by many athletes who were previously using prohormones. ZMA has two very important advantages over prohormones. First, ZMA doesn’t need to be cycled, because ZMA will not suppress your own endogenous production of testosterone. ZMA may be taken on a continuous basis, while the prohormone proponents suggest that they be cycled. Secondly, since ZMA is not a prohormone or hormone precursor, it is not banned by any athletic organizations.

In conclusion, I’m optimistic that the science of ZMA will eventually help to establish an entirely new category of all natural sports performance products called "Nighttime Anabolic Formulas" or "Sleep and Recovery Aids". I believe that as more athletes begin to truly understand the process of maximizing recovery, healing, tissue repair, anabolic hormone production and muscle growth, they’ll be rapidly spreading the "recover as you sleep" gospel of ZMA.

ZMA was developed by Victor Conte, founder and director of BALCO Laboratories in Burlingame, California, which has been conducting sports nutrition research for more than 16 years. BALCO specializes in mineral and trace element assessment and performs research with elite Olympic and professional athletes. Victor routinely provides consultation for several hundred elite athletes from a variety of sports including bodybuilding, football, basketball, tennis, hockey, track and field, swimming, and soccer.

ZMA is a trademark of SNAC System, Inc. in Burligame, CA and is a patent pending formulation.

Brilla LR, Conte, V. A novel zinc and magnesium formulation (ZMA) increases anabolic hormones and strength in athletes. Sports Med Train and Rehab (in press). Abstract presented November 14, 1998 at the 18th Annual Meeting of the S.W. Chapter of the ACSM.

Brilla LR, Conte, V. Effects of zinc-magnesium (ZMA) supplementation on muscle attributes of football players. Med and Sci in Sports and Exercise, Vol. 31, No. 5, May 1999

Haralambie G, et al. Int J Sports Med, 1981, 2:135138

Singh A, et al. Am J Clin Nutr, 1989 Apr, 49:695:700

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Old 08-26-2005, 10:19 AM   #4
Scott Kustes
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I take ZMA and love it. I can tell that I get deeper sleep (along with some STRANGE dreams) and feel better the next day. It is my only supplement, besides fish oil, which doesn't really count. I believe Dan John said that a mineral supplement is the most important supplement.
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Old 08-26-2005, 11:14 AM   #5
Seth Orell, Jr.
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I've noticed that some Melatonin supplements have a calcium base and often include some B vitamins. I wonder if they also contain Zinc and/or Magnesium? I know it will both encourage sleep and give you whacky dreams. If the Calcium can contribute to Magnesium depletions, it may not be a bad idea.

I say this from my own - anecdotal - experience with Melatonin, which is the only supplement I take (at night, to sleep). I'll look into this more. Thanks for the info.
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Old 08-26-2005, 01:00 PM   #6
Jason Simpkins
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Here's some more info:
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