By Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum.
George Carlin was known as a great stand up comic. Carlin hosted the first broadcast of "Saturday Night Live" in October 1975. He starred as a cabdriver in his own sitcom, "The George Carlin Show" which ran from 1993 to 1995. Carlin had a very bad habit, he was addicted to Diet Coke with aspartame. He suffered several heart attacks, one at Dodger Stadium during a baseball game. He died of heart failure on Sunday, June 22nd.
In a nutshell aspartame (NutraSweet/Equal/E951/Canderel, etc.) triggers an irregular heart rhythm, interacts with cardiac medication, virtually all medication for that matter because of damage to the mitochondria or life of the cell, damages the cardiac conduction system and causes sudden death.
On 2/5/08 the New York Times published an article on a new study: "Symptoms: Metabolic Syndrome Is Tied to Diet Soda" Wrote Nicholas Bakalar, "Researchers have found a correlation between drinking diet soda and metabolic syndrome - the collection of risk factors for cardiovascular disease"... "This is interesting," said Lyn M. Steffen, an associate professor of Epidemiology at the University of Minnesota and co-author of the paper" .. Further she said, "Why is it happening? Is it some kind of chemical in the diet soda, or something about the behavior of diet soda drinkers?" I called Dr. Steffen and let her know what aspartame does to the heart and sent her this paper by Dr. H. J. Roberts, and others, which explains in detail:
ASPARTAME INDUCED ARRHYTHMIAS AND SUDDEN DEATH
By H. J. Roberts, MD, FACP, FCCP
(c)2004 by H. J. Roberts, M.D.
A recent extensive review of sudden death in young athletes (1) made no mention of aspartame as a primary cause or suspected contributory factor, especially when demonstrable pathology was absent. This issue has assumed great public health importance because "diet" products containing this chemical are being consumed by over two-thirds of the population - especially weight-conscious persons.
I have repeatedly reported the serious cardiovascular, 'neuropsychiatric, metabolic and other adverse effects of aspartame products. (2-4) Among the first 1200 aspartame reactors in my data base, 193 (16%) had symptomatic arrhythmia's, 85 (7%) atypical chest pain, and 64 (5%) recent or aggravated hypertension.
One hypertensive patient developed complete heart block within hours after consuming his first diet cola.
Another had undergone unsuccessful radio frequency ablations in the heart before awareness of having aspartame disease.
Pheochromocytoma was suspected in several aspartame reactors.
The issue of sudden death related to aspartame and its breakdown products has been raised a number of times, particularly among previously well individuals using such products... including pilots and drivers , (3,4,6) and athletes. I have detailed the release of norepinephrine, epinephrine, dopamine and free methanol by aspartame; a host of pertinent-related pathophysiologic conditions, (e.g., cumulative formaldehyde adducts derived from aspartame in tissue proteins and nucleic aids; excessive insulin release); direct oropharyngeal absorption from gum, "breath fresheners" and other products; and the increasing problem of aspartame addiction. (4-7)
The likelihood of pulmonary hypertension induced by the vasoconstrictive effects of aspartame products also has been considered. (5) It is relevant that unexplained dyspnea was experienced by 110 aspartame reactors, usually with prompt improvement after abstinence. Moreover, primary pulmonary hypertension was found at autopsy in a 27 year old female aspartame reactor.
The lack of familiarity of most physicians and medical examiners with the foregoing considerations can have serious legal consequences. A case in point is that of a young woman (also a Sunday School teacher) who has been sentenced to serve 50 years in a Virginia prison for allegedly poisoning her husband with methyl alcohol. Elevated methanol blood concentrations were found postmortem in this body builder/basketball player who drank ten diet drinks and other aspartame products daily. She remains incarcerated despite affidavits indicating that 10% of aspartame becomes free methyl alcohol after consumption.
The need for clinicians and corporate-neutral investigators to evaluate the contributory role of aspartame in cardiopulmonary disorders and sudden death, and drug interactions with aspartame, is underscored by the frequency of persons dying unexpectedly being categorized as "death due to causes yet to be determined." One interested resident of Orange county (California) found 192 persons listed in this category between July 11 and November 15, 2003 according to the Orange county Register.
* Maron BJ, Sudden death in young athletes, N Engl J Med 2003;349:1064-1075
* Roberts HJ, Reactions to aspartame containing products: 551 cases, J Appl Nutr l988;40:86-94
* Roberts HJ, Aspartame (NutraSweet): Is It Safe? Philadelphia, The Charles Press, 1989.
* Roberts HJ, Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic. West Palm Beach, Sunshine Sentinel Press, 2001
* Roberts HJ, Aspartame-induced dyspnea and pulmonary hypertension, Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients 2003; 237 (January): 64-65
* Roberts HJ, Ignored Health Hazards for Pilots and Drivers. West Palm Beach, Sunshine Sentinel Press, 1998.
* Roberts HJ, Aspartame (NutraSweet) addiction, Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients, 2900; 198 (January): 52-57
H. J. Roberts, MD, FACP, FCCP
Palm Beach Institute for Medical Research
P. O. Box 17799
West Palm Beach, Florida 33416 USA
You will note that Dr. Roberts wrote this paper because so many young athletes are dropping dead. Some may remember athlete Steve Bechler's death in West Palm Beach. Tim Sullivan said in the San Diego Union Tribune in Feb, 2003, that whether Steve Bechler's passing (23 year old Baltimore Oriole pitcher) should prompt baseball to ban ephedra-based products is a more complicated matter, one that raises questions of civil rights and individual responsibilities, and about the gap between medical opinion and governmental regulations. But while Steve Bechler's death was blamed on ephedra this no doubt was another Diet Coke with aspartame death. At the time of his death, H. J. Roberts, M.D. who also lives in West Palm Beach immediately called the Broward County medical examiner, Dr. Joshua Perper, and asked him how many diet drinks was Bechler drinking. Dr. Perper didn't even know why he asked. The Idaho Observer wrote the story, Aspartame Poisoning Cover for Ephedra. It was finally disclosed Steve Belcher had a weight problem, he would go without eating for a couple of days and then drink diet pop with aspartame all day. He had a family history of heart problems and aspartame destroys the heart. After researching the issue it's obvious that Steve Bechler did not die because he was using ephedra, it was just another aspartame death! Even Dr. Perper could only conclude that ephedrine "probably contributed" to his death but this doctor was not knowledgeable of aspartame's effect on the heart nor did he know that Steve Belcher was using it.
Obviously ephedra could interact with aspartame but then virtually all drugs interact with aspartame. But the FDA used this aspartame death to remove another supplement. Are they going to take all the drugs off the market because they interact with aspartame? Shouldn't they ban aspartame instead? John W. Olney, M.D., was asked by the Ephedra Education Council to review some of the FDA cases. Go to (http://www.ephedrafacts.com) for the full report. The adverse event reports Dr. Olney examined include those reviewed for FDA by Doctors Ricaute and Stoll. Dr. Olney says out of 28 cases, there is not a single case that the expert reviewers rated as having a highly probable causal association with ingestion of Ephedra. Didn't bother FDA at all, they could cover up another aspartame death and grab another supplement to please Big Pharma.
Dr. H. J. Roberts said in his position paper on aspartame and cardiac symptoms (www.dorway.com ) under atypical chest pain: "More than 50 aspartame reactors experienced unexplained pain in the chest. Many others have atypical pain elsewhere in the body. A number underwent stress tests and coronary angioplasty for suspected coronary heart disease' they proved normal in the majority."
Ephedra is off the market and the sudden cardiac deaths of athletes continue to this day, as well as others in the population including children. Russell Blaylock, M.D., wrote this Athlete Alert on the subject:
RENOWNED NEUROSURGEON IDENTIFIES
ASPARTAME & MSG IN SUDDEN CARDIAC DEATH
Contributed By Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum
Mission Possible International
Originally Posted At: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/4/prwebxml225071.php
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 http://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 on aspartame, "Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World." Copies are available from www.soundandfury.tv
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. His last drink was three times the amount of creatine which interacted with aspartame.
Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum
Founder, Mission Possible International
9270 River Club Parkway
Duluth, Georgia 30097
http://www.dorway.com , www.mpwhi.com and >www.wnho.net
Aspartame Toxicity Center: http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame
Aspartame Information List: www.mpwhi.com scroll down to banners
Note that Dr. Blaylock talks about the growing evidence that the excitotoxic mechanism of aspartame plays a major role in cardiac disease. Myocardial infarctions or heart attacks are notorious triggered by aspartame and the CDC investigation on this poison reports cardiac arrest and death.
In the medical text, Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic by Dr. Roberts, over 1000 pages, there is a chapter on heart and chest problems. www.sunsentpress.com Dr. Roberts says on page 399: "The question is properly raised, "Could aspartame reactions precipitate or aggravate existing ischemia (coronary) heart disease?" The histories of several reactors suggest a temporal relationship between beginning aspartame consumption and an ENSUING HEART ATTACK."
Because aspartame interacts with all cardiac medication, a further investigation into his death should be established. What other drugs was George Carlin using?
It hasn't been that long since another Diet Coke user died, Heath Ledger: http://www.mpwhi.com/heath_ledger.htm It was established that he died of polypharmacy. The most deadly drug he was using was aspartame in Diet Coke.
Dr. Russell Blaylock said in one interview: "You have a million patients in this country with arrhythmias that are life-threatening, and no one's telling them to avoid MSG and aspartame, yet it's a major source of cardiac irritability."
Even President Bill Clinton uses Diet Coke and ended up in the hospital with cardiac surgery. Dr. Roberts had dinner with him years before and tried to get him to give it up, and gave him copies of some of his books. He obviously was too addicted to give it up.
It's very difficult to get some victims of aspartame disease off the poison. The free methyl alcohol is classified as a narcotic and causes chronic methanol poisoning. This effects the dopamine system of the brain and causes the addiction. In talking with Dr. Bill Deagle I mentioned many aspartame addicts simply are not rational. He said its because aspartame effects the frontal lobes and it's like talking to someone who has had a lobotomy. Talking about dumbing down the public! The FDA knows all the dangers. Indeed, they had revoked the petition for approval until Don Rumsfeld got it on the market through political chicanery. They even had tried to indict the manufacturer. Yet today they refuse to serve within the law and even answer a citizens petition to ban and an amendment on the imminent health hazard. Chest pain is on their FDA list of 92 documented symptoms from 4 types of seizures to coma and death. They are simply Big Pharma's Washington Branch Office.
Dr. Blaylock provides this detox program: www.wnho.net/wtdaspartame.htm
Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum, Founder
Mission Possible International
9270 River Club Parkway
Duluth, Georgia 30097
www.mpwhi.com, www.dorway.com and www.wnho.net
Aspartame Toxicity Center, www.holisticmed.com/aspartame
Aspartame Information List, www.mpwhi.com scroll down to banners