GENTECH archive


Re: Blaylock - Part 1 (Mission Possible Radio transcript - aspartame with particular attention to seizures and other hazards to aviation)

Dear Lisa:  I thank you so much for the transcript from Dr. Blaylock's
interview on Mission Possible Radio.  I know that Dave Rietz will put it on and Jon Baum will put it on, and
hopefully Mark Gold and others.  Because Dr. Blaylock answered so many of
the questions that have been raised of late I'm going to put it on some of
the lists. Several people have been waiting for it because of information
on pilots, and some did not have audio to access it on the web sites,
Dorway and aspartamekills.  We hope all will spread it around.  Dr. Russell
Blaylock is a neurosurgeon and author of Excitotoxins:  The Taste That
Kills. Please also spread to newsgroups.

Betty           At 01:46 PM 7/12/98 -0400, you wrote:
>Dear Betty:  Sorry for the delay.  I didn't get to devote as much time to
>yesterday as I had hoped.  Regards, Lisa  (Mission Possible Pennsylvania)
>ANNOUNCER:  You are listening to Personal Achievement Radio, AM 1390 WZHF,
>it's time now to turn the air waves over to Mission Possible Radio, dedicated
>to the eradication of aspartame as an additive in food preparation.  Here are
>your hosts Jon Baum and Mark Baron.
>JON BAUM:  Welcome to Mission Possible Radio.  My name is Jon Baum.  Mark
>Baron is off today.  Betty Martini is taking his place from Atlanta.  Mark
>Baron, Betty Martini and myself are volunteers.  In this hour show, you will
>learn about a sinister plot by Searle Pharmaceuticals, Monsanto Corporation
>and the United States goverment to unleash a very dangerous addictive drug on
>the world's population which causes symptoms as mild as migraine headaches to
>symptoms as serious as seizures, cancer, blindness, Alzheimers and death.
>Today we have a very special guest and I don't want to keep him waiting.
>Betty will you please introduce our guest Dr. Russell Blaylock.
>BETTY MARTINI:  Yes Jon.  I'm delighted to introduce Dr. Blaylock. He has
>in private neurosurgical practice for the past twenty one (21) years and at
>present, he is in neurosurgical practice in Jackson Mississippi with a
>Clinical Professor's Appointment at the Medical University of Mississippi.
>He's appeared on the 700 Club seven (7) times. He's appeared on Lifestyle
>Magazine Television Show and syndicated radio programs thirty (30) times
>discussing the effects of exitotoxins in food additives on the nervous
>He has written to over a dozen scientific papers on various subjects,
>in three medical textbooks on brain trauma, a patient booklet on multiple
>sclerosis, and is in the process of writing another book on brain diseases
>how to prevent them through nutritional methods. He is the author of
>"Exitotoxins: The Taste that Kills," and get this book if you're on the
>internet system, you can get this at otherwise you could call
>1-800-643-2665.  Welcome Dr. Blaylock.
>DR. BLAYLOCK:  Thank you Betty, I appreciate it.
>BETTY MARTINI:  Dr. Blaylock, tell us, what is an exitotoxin and where are
>they found?
>DR BLAYLOCK:  Well, an exitotoxin is a rather unusual group of compounds most
>of which are proteins that we're particularly concerned with.  But, these are
>substances that when you expose brain cells to it which we call neurons,
>brain cells become very hyper-exited so that they're firing their impulses
>very rapidly.  They keep doing that until the cell becomes so exhausted it'll
>die and that's the reason we call that an exitotoxin.  Normally these
>substances in the brain for example, glutamate and aspartate are used as
>transmitter substances, that is a substance that allows these cells to
>communicate with each other.  But these compounds are so toxic that the brain
>keeps them in minutely low concentrations.  It is very carefully regulated.
>So anything that alters that so that these compounds increase, it can destroy

>brain cells and produce what we call neurodegeneration or degeneration of
>brain and spinal cord.  Now, where they're found, they're found in various
>plant substances.  As far as most people are concerned, you're most likely to
>be exposed to exitotoxins as food additives.  One of them that most people
>familiar with would be monosodiium glutamate or MSG.  It occurs in various
>disguised forms, hydrolized vegetable protein, vegetable protein, soy
>etc.  Another form it is found in is one of the components of aspartame or
>NutraSweet, which is made of two amino acids, and methanol, phenylalanine and
>aspartic acid.  Aspartic acid is an exititoxin that is approximately as
>powerful as glutamate as an exitotoxin and the phenylalanine is an amino acid
>that is known to produce seizures and act as a neurotoxin at high levels in
>the brain as well.
>JON BAUM:  Dr. Blaylock, can naturally occuring proteins be harmful to the
>DR. BLAYLOCK:  Well generally, the way things are arranged in nature, almost
>all of the amino acids occur as whole proteins, so that the body slowly
>assimilates it and breaks it down and converts it in the liver so that the
>level or concentration of their amino acids is always kept at moderately low
>levels, so that the brain is not assaulted by these dangerous proteins.  And
>what hapens is when we start manipulating foods and drinks and creating
>sweeteners that contain high levels of these amino acids in isolation is the
>blood levels can get quite high in fact, tremedously high, and this
results in
>a significant elevation of these amino acids in the brain and that's what has
>most of us worried is that it's at a level high enough to produce destruction
>of certain groups of brain cells and produce disease, seizures or even death.
>BETTY MARTINI:  Why are isolated amino acids so dangerous Dr. Blaylock?
>DR. BLAYLOCK:  Well, as I said the isolated amino acid is an unnatural
>situation in high concentrations.  Normally the body keeps it low by
>assimilating or breaking down proteins very slowly so that the body can
>incorporate them in areas where they will not reach toxic levels, but it's a
>completely abnormal and artificial situation to have amino acids in high
>concentrations and I think this is one of the things that the general public
>needs to realize because a lot of the defenders of these food additives say
>well, "These are natural products, these are amino acids that are found in
>nature."  They are not found in isolation and it is not normal for the human
>body to have plasma or blood levels that are extremely high as we see after
>one consumes NutraSweet or a meal with MSG in it.  We are seeing blood levels
>that are not found in nature, if you consume normal foods you will never
>develop these high blood levels.
>JON BAUM:  Why do you think aspartame is so dangerous?
>DR. BLAYLOCK:  Well, a lot of the book that I wrote about exitotixins
>glutamate, MSG and that sort of thing or the glutamate that accumulates
>naturally in the brain in pathological conditions, but the story of aspartame
>is that aspartame contains aspartic acid which is also an isolated amino acid

>that is just as toxic as glutamate. What makes aspartame particularly
>dangerous is that it contains three neurotoxins. Methanol is a very powerful
>neurotoxin, in fact the EPA controls methanol exposure very carefully
>only very minute levels to be found in foods or in environmental exposures.
>But, it's interesting that the level allowed in NutraSweet is seven (7) times
>the amount that the EPA will allow anyone else to use. So methanol is an
>extremely powerful neurotoxin.  It can produce blindness, it can produce
>cellular destruction in the brain and spinal cord in particular the optic
>nerves that has to do with our vision.  The second amino acid, aspartic acid
>of course is an exitotoxin that can product cellular exitation, cell death in
>the brain, it can alter the way the brain is formed in newborn babies that
>permanently changes the brain formation, results in behavioral changes in
>children, hyperactivity.  The phenylalanine can also alter how the brain is
>formed during the fetal formation of the brain and thereafter, it can produce
>lowering of the seizure threshold so you're more likely to have a seizure.
>Phenylalanine and aspartic acid are both well recognized neurotoxins.  So
>combination by putting three relatively powerful neurotoxins into one
>combination is just to me unbelievable.
>BETTY MARTINI:  Well, we've heard a lot about the blood brain barrier.
>Doesn't it prevent these amino acids from entering the brain?
>DR. BLAYLOCK:  Well, this is one of the other things that the defenders of
>these compounds, food additives, usually bring up is that the brain has a
>barrier system that would keep these toxic substances from entering the
>and they are well aware that it's not true.  There's an enormous amount of
>research, particularly recently in which the levels of this glutamic acid,
>aspartic acid and phenylalanine have been measured inside the brain after
>injestion of NutraSweet or MSG.  It has clearly shown that these substances
>accumulate in very high concentrations within the brain.  One study which was
>recently done indicated that the previous studies that said phenylalanine
>not increase in the brain, what it showed is that this really was kind of a
>deceptive study in that they homogenated or ground up the entire brain of
>these animals and measured phenylalanine levels.  But, when they repeated
>study and measured the amount of  phenylalanine in particular areas of the
>brain they found the phenylalanine tends to accumulate in the critical areas
>of the brain so that while the whole brain has normal phenylalanine levels,
>these critical parts of the brain have very high phenylalanine levels. For
>example, the hypothalamus which controls so many aspects of our functions,
>just the endocrine system but it controls our heart rate, it controls the
>autonomic nervous system, the sleep/wake cycles, your appetite, it controls
>the emotional system -- this area of the brain has been shown to have very
>high accumulations of phenylalanine.  The medula oblongota at the brain stem
>accumulates it, the corpus striadem which is related to Parkinson's Disease,

>all of these areas are known to accumulate phenylalanine. So this shows that
>how these studies can be somewhat deceptive until we look closer at them.
>JON BAUM:  Dr. Blaylock, can we hold that thought and we'll be back in a few
>JON BAUM:  Welcome back. We're here with Betty Martini, myself Jon Baum and
>Dr. Russell Blaylock.  We were talking about the hypothalamus gland and how
>it's affected by aspartame.  Dr. Blaylock?
>DR. BLAYLOCK: Yes, basically what we're talking about is the blood brain
>barrier protecting the brain against these things that are in our diet and
>what I was showing is that when we measure the actual brain level of these
>chemicals, they're passing right through the barrier.  We know that there is
>areas of the brain which have no barrier and that these substances can enter
>through there and concentrate at very high concentrations and this is not
>theoretical but we measure the actual levels in these parts in the brain. The
>hypothalamus is so important in controlling our endocrine system that has to
>do with thyroid function, adrenal gland function, reproductive function,
>growth, so this is a very important area of the brain and we know that
>phenylalanine can severely alter that and that's one of the components of
>NutraSweet.  We know that the exitatory type transmitter is critical in that
>area of the brain so any alteration in its concentration, for example
>acid in NutraSweet can alter that function in the hypothalamus and as I said
>it affects the autonomic system as well and there may be some important
>connection between the accumulation of these chemicals in the hypothalamus
>sudden cardiac death and that's something that I'm researching for this new
>book that I'm working on at the present time.  
>JON BAUM:  What is the connection between aspartame and MS?
>DR. BLAYLOCK:  Well, what we know about MS is during the periods of
>exacerbation, that is when the symptoms get worse, the barrier system around
>the parts of the brain that contains the nerve fibers, that is the myelin,
>this tends to break down.  When that breaks down any substance in the blood
>can enter that part of the brain so that if your blood has high
>of phenylalanine, or aspartic acid and methanol, it's going to seep through
>these holes or openings in this barrier system and go directly into the
>damaged areas of the brain and greatly aggravate it.  A person may have what
>we call subclinical MS. That is they're not even aware they have it.  When
>they drink NutraSweet they'll develop all of the symptoms of full blown MS
>become deathly ill. There's some evidence that NutraSweet in a person that
>consumes a large concentration can develop an MS-like syndrome, that is they
>develop a lot of the symptoms of MS that is purely due to the toxic
affects of
>the compononents of NutraSweet.
>BETTY MARTINI:  Dr. Blaylock, we have just been flooded with complaints from
>pilots. Three American Airline pilots that were heavy users of aspartame have
>died.  One just recently had a stroke and some have said that pilots affected

>by disorientation, blindness, vertigo and other neurological symptoms are in
>fact suffering from hypoglycemia. Is that true?
>DR. BLAYLOCK:  Well, this is something that I had explored early on that
>really was not being paid any attention to was the connection bwteen
>hypoglycemia and aspartame toxicity, and what we find is that all
>their toxic effect is greatly magnified in the presence of hypoglycemia. For
>instance let's say a pilot is trying to make a schedule, he skips breakfast
>instead he has a diet cola with NutraSweet. His blood sugar is going to be
>but he would be essentially asymptomatic or just maybe feel a little
hungry or
>slightly weak from it but with that hypoglycemia in the presence of
>he would develop a full blown syndrome of exposure to NutraSweet with
>disorientation, blurred vision, confusion, may have vertigo, that is the
>sensation of dizziness. All of these things may become full blown in the
>presence of hypoglycemia that may be the connection between the two.  There's
>also evidence that NutraSweet itself may trigger a hypoglycemic reaction so
>that at that point if the pilot was to drink NutraSweet, it could induce
>hypoglycemia and again that would compound the toxic effect the of
>So that could be the connection there.
>BETTY MARTINI:  Is it depleting glucose in the brain?  Is that how it works?
>DR. BLAYLOCK:  Yes, it's denying glucose to brain cells and of course glucose
>is the primary fuel for the brain and without glucose most people would
>quickly lapse into a coma. So its very important that the blood sugar
falls in
>low or even moderately low levels in the presence of a neurotoxin like one of
>these exitotoxins.  It can produce rather profound confusion, disorientation
>and visual difficulties and of course they're at a very high
susceptibility to
>seizure at that point, so if the blood sugar is low and they're taking in
>something that we know lowers the seizure threshold, they are at a very high
>risk of developing seizures.  So I think that to allow pilots to continue
>practice is extremely hazardous considering that they are responsible for
>hundreds of people on the plane, you know that's just irresponsible.
>BETTY MARTINI:  How about the wood alcohol and the altitude.  Does the
>altitude play a part in this?
>DR. BLAYLOCK:  Well, the wood alcohol of course is a very powerful neurotoxin
>and we know that it's especially toxic to the optic nerves and what
happens in
>the case of NutraSweet is that it's an esterified methanol, that is its what
>binds the phenylalanine to the aspartic acid but once in the body it quickly
>breaks down so that it accumulates directly in the tissues and can produce
>significantly high levels within the tissues.  So that would affect the
>vision.  We don't really know the additive affect of phenylalanine with the
>neurotoxin methanol and aspartic acid because we do know from other
>experiments that neurotoxins tend to have additive effects when they're
>combined so to put three neurotoxins into one compound is going to greatly
>magnify its toxic effect much moreso than the individual compounds

>So any altitude change, of course change in the oxygen content, anything
>that's going to change the ability of the neuron to produce energy is
going to
>magnify the toxic effect of these compounds.
>JON BAUM:  Dr. Blaylock, while we're on this subject we only have a couple of
>seconds left in this segment, but how does the body know to deplete its
>glucose supply?
>DR. BLAYLOCK:  How does it know when it's depleted?
>JON BAUM:  No, how does it know to deplete it?
>DR. BLAYLOCK:  Well, it's just part of the natural metabolism but recently
>what's important that we found out is that caffeine greatly magnifies the
>symptoms of hypoglycemia so that you can have even a moderate lowering of
>blood sugar in the presence of caffeine and you'll have severe hunger, severe
>disorientation and confusion and jitteriness, nervousness. The way it does
>that is that it stimulates the adrenal glands to secrete ephedrine and
>norephedrine, two compounds that are produced by phenylalanine that's
found in
>NutraSweet.  So that the NutraSweet may be doing the same thing in that it
>makes even moderately low hypoglycemia quite severe in terms of the symptoms.
>JON BAUM:  So you're going to have the effects of the ephedrine and
>norephedrine as well?
>DR. BLAYLOCK:  Right, and that's what produces most of the symptoms that we
>associate with hyoglycemia is that secretion, so you're artificially doing
>that by raising the phenylalanine levels in your blood.
>JON BAUM:  O. K. Betty do you have a quick question for Dr. Blaylock?  We're
>going to go on a break in about a minute.
>BETTY MARTINI:  Well, we'd like to know, are there other conditions that
>make one more sucseptible to the adverse effects of aspartame?
>DR. BLAYLOCK:  Well, we know that there are alot of different conditions that
>occur every day, for instance, let's say a person is having some problem with
>the different electrolytes in their blood and their sodium content for
>whatever cause.  Maybe the've had a fever or haven't been drinking enough
>water, that makes them more suseptible to seizures. If they've skipped meals
>and have hypoglycemia they're more suseptible to seizure. They could have a
>silent lesion in their brain for instance, a scar from an old injury when
>were a child or at birth, they could have cavernous a.v. malformations which
>is generally a lesion you wouldn't even know you had but if you're exposed to
>NutraSweet it could precipitate a seizure in all of those conditions.
>JON BAUM:  Dr. Blaylock, we're going to take a break right now. Thank you
>DR. BLAYLOCK: Your welcome.
>JON BAUM:  We're back, with Mission Possible Radio.  Our guest is Dr. Russell
>Blaylock. I'm Jon Baum. We have Betty Martini on the line with us.
>BETTY MARTINI:  Jon, you know I think our listeners at this point realize how
>serious this problem is, so I'd like to again give this number where they can
>get Dr. Blaylock's book. It's a wonderful book, "Exitotoxins:  The Taste that
>Kills," and if you're on the internet system...

>JON BAUM:  Let me give the website real quick.
>JON BAUM:  We have a web site and if you go to that
>site you'll see Dr. Blaylock's book right on the top.  All you have to do is
>click on that book and you'll be taken to  Mission Possible will
>get a small donation from them.  We'd appreciate it and you can also call an
>800 number.  Betty?
>BETTY MARTINI:  OK, and that is 1-800-643-2665 and now we want to get into an
>issue that is really serious, it is the one about seizures and aspartame. We
>know that on the FDA report there are four different types of seizures
>triggered by aspartame that are documented by the FDA.  We know that a
>study done on monkeys said five of them had grand mal seizures and one died.
>However with industry experimental results seems to indicate that aspartame
>doesn't precipitate seizures.  So, what about humans Dr. Blaylock?
>DR. BLAYLOCK:  Well, the thing that's interesting about a lot of these
>is that most of them were done on rats or mice and rats and mice metabolize
>phenylalanine and aspartame much different than humans do. Humans mostly will
>have an elevated phenylalanine levels in the blood, whereas the mice and rats
>will develop a different amino acid, tyrosine, so that makes a lot of
>difference in experiemental results. The other thing is that rats require a
>two time higher dosae and mice a seven times higher dose of aspartame than
>would humans to produce the same increase in plasma phenylalanine.  So this
>means that humans are seven times more sentitive than mice and two times more
>sentitive than rats to aspartame seizure potential.  So that makes a lot of
>difference.  The other things is that humans are consuming this aspartame
>chronically, that is every day, several times a day, where most of these
>experiments were done giving a single dose or maybe two doses of
aspartame, so
>the human situation is a lot different.  Also in humans they are consuming
>exititoxins in other forms, MSG, hydrolized vegetable protein. As I stated
>additive effect of these things is much worse than is single exposure. The
>other thing that makes a lot of difference is the form in which you consume
>the aspartame.  We know that liquid exitotoxins are much more toxic and much
>more likely to produce seizures than are solid forms, that is solid foods.
>Encapsulated aspartame is used in a lot of the experiments and its poorly
>absorbed, only 50% of it is absorbed. So a lot of these experiments either by
>design or by ignorance of the various metabolic effects of aspartame are
>purposely or inadvertently not applicable to humans.  The human cases, we
>many, many clinical cases of seizures that are precipitated by aspartame
>products that are actually double blind studies not designed that way but,
>they end up double blind studies. So we have good evidence that in humans
>aspartame causes seizures.
>JON BAUM:  Dr. Blaylock, I think you already answered this, is there a way to
>doctor experiemental results so that you get the results you want, that is,
>fix the results to show that a dangerous compound is safe?

>DR. BLAYLOCK;  Sure, in the book I go through this in some detail, show some
>of the methods that's been used by people either who were paid by the
>companies to produce resarch that gave them the result they wanted, or just
>poor design of the research project had that result. You can throw away data,
>you can hide data, you can use special blocking anesthetics on the animals
>that are known to block exitotoxin effects, that's been done. You can feed
>high carbohydrate meals at the same time to help reduce the effects of it, as
>I said you can use an encapsulated form of aspartame that is poorly absorbed.
>There's just a lot of different ways that you could do it. Now one of the
>things about exitotoxins and seizures, recently it was found that the time of
>day that you feed these animals the exitotoxin made a lot of difference. For
>example when they fed them at 7:00 a.m. they had a significant increase in
>number and intensity of seizure and much reduction in the seizures when given
>at 3:00 p.m. or 11:00 p.m.  Nearly 70% of the animals died in status
>epilepticus, that is a seizure that won't stop and animals given these
>exitotoxins at 7:00 a.m. versus later in the day so that all sorts of
>variables can make a lot of difference in the sensitivity and how you can
>doctor things to get the results that you want.
>BETTY MARTINI:  Are there medical conditions that are completely without
>symptoms that can be precipitated by substances such as aspartame and MSG?
>DR. BLAYLOCK:  Exactly, for example in my book I give the case of a man who
>was drinking Crystal Light sweetened with NutraSweet which seems to be
>cropping up a lot and I don't know what it is about Crystal Light but we have
>certainly a lot of seizures are being reported with the use of that compound,
>I mean that particular substance.  But in this man he had an abnormal
>condition of his brain which was a little abnormal vein deep in his brain
>which in most people you wouldn't even know you had it and could go through
>life never having a single symptom, but he was consuming, at that point, a
>large amount of Crystal Light sweetened with NutraSweet and he developed a
>grand mal seizure.  When this lesion was found it was not necessary to be
>surgicaly treated because it was a benign condition.  All they did was take
>him off NutraSweet and the seizures cleared up.  There is a lot of conditions
>like this.  You could have scars in your brain and for instance during a
>difficult birth sometimes it will produce a small scar in the brain that may
>be completely without any symptoms and you'd never know you had it, but if
>were exposed to something like NutraSweet which lowers your seizure
>out of the blue you'll have a seizure. Now, these are the types of things
>we don't know beforehand that makes certain groups of people highly
>susceptible to seizures.  And this may be happening in some of the pilots.
>They may have lesions in their brain that no one would have any way of even
>knowing it was there, until they're exposed to NutraSweet under these
>conditions, and then they have full blown seizures.

>JON BAUM:  I believe an acquaintance of mine came by my office and told me
>about a horrific experience he had with one bottle of Crystal Light, and he
>was driving home on Route #66 and started having convulsions.  He was
lucky he
>pulled his truck over.
>DR. BLAYLOCK:  I don't know what it is about Crystal Light, whether they
use a
>higher dose or what but it certainly crops up a lot.  Another interesting
>story I had, I did a radio program in another city and I was talking to the
>station manager and he said while we were talking before the program, he said
>you know I've been on a diet, and I'm using NutraSweet, and he said I've
had a
>lot of problems with my memory, I get disoriented, confused, he said "Do you
>think it could be that?"  And of course I took him off of it and his
>cleared up.  But you know, this is just so common. These symptoms are the
>common symptoms reported to the FDA and we're talking about thousands and
>thousnds of complaints around the nation every year and most of them have to
>do with the nervous sytem. I catalouged them according to their system in the
>body and in fact by far the majority of the symptoms are in the central
>nervous system. complaints
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