From the July 2004 Idaho Observer:
New studies confirm aspartame link to epidemic multiple sclerosis
by Russell Blaylock, MD
Recently, much controversy has surrounded a claim that aspartame may produce an MS-like syndrome. A current review of recent peer-reviewed scientific studies have disclosed a pathophysiological mechanism to explain this connection. As far back as 1996 it was shown that the lesions produced in the myelin sheath of axons in cases of multiple sclerosis were related to excitatory receptors on the primary cells involved called oligodendroglia.
Recent studies have now confirmed what was suspected back then: The loss of myelin sheath on the nerve fibers characteristic of the disease are due to the death of these oligodendroglial cells at the site of the lesions (called plaques).
Further, these studies have shown that the death of these important cells is as a result of excessive exposure to excitotoxins (like aspartame and MSG) at the site of the lesions.
Normally, most of these excitotoxins are secreted from microglial immune cells in the central nervous system. This not only destroys these myelin-producing cells it also breaks down the blood-brain barrier (BBB), allowing excitotoxins in the blood stream to enter the site of damage.
Aspartame contains the excitotoxin aspartate as 40 percent of its molecular structure. Numerous studies have shown that consuming aspartame can significantly elevate the excitotoxin level in the blood. There is a common situation during which the excitotoxin exposure is even greater.
When aspartate (as aspartame) is combined in the diet with monosodium glutamate (MSG) blood levels are several fold higher than normal. With the BBB damaged, as in MS, these excitotoxins can freely enter the site of injury,greatly magnifying the damage. So, we see that dietary excitotoxins, such as aspartame and MSG can greatly magnify the damage produced in multiple sclerosis. Likewise, excitotoxins have been shown to breakdown the BBB as well.
Of equal concern is observation that we know that about 10 percent of the population (based on autopsy studies of elderly) have MS lesions without ever developing the full blown disease, a condition called benign MS. A diet high in excitotoxins, such as aspartame, can convert this benign, subclinical condition into full-blown clinical MS.
The amount of excitotoxins consumed in the average American diet is considerable, as shown by several studies. In addition, the toxin methanol is also in the aspartame molecule. Methanol is a axon poison. Combined toxicity of aspartate and methanol adds up to considerable brain toxicity and can convert benign, subclinical MS into full-blown MS.
Once the MS becomes full-blown, further consumption of excitotoxins magnifies the toxicity, increasing disability and death.
Recent studies have also shown that even single exposures to these food-based excitotoxins can produce prolonged worsening of neurological lesions.
In addition, it has been demonstrated that autoimmune reactions (as occurs with MS) greatly magnify the toxicity of aspartate and glutamate (the excitotoxins). We also know liquid forms of excitotoxins are significantly more toxic because of rapid absorption and higher blood levels.
In the face of this connection between excitotoxicity and the pathophysiology of MS, it would be ludicrous to allow further use of this excitotoxin-containing sweetener.
It is now known the cause for the destruction of the myelin in the lesions is overactivation of the microglia in the region of the myelin. An enzyme that converts glutamine to glutamate called glutaminase increases tremendously, thereby greatly increasing excitotoxicity. Mercury also activates microglia, even in subtoxic doses.
Any dietary excitotoxin can activate the microglia, thereby greatly aggravating the injury. This includes the aspartate in aspartame. The methanol adds to this toxicity as well. Now, the secret to treatment appears to be shutting down, or at least calming down, the microglia. It has been found that the antibiotic minocycline powerfully shuts down the microglia. I tried this treatment on a friend of mine who just came down with fulmanant MS. He was confined to a wheelchair. I had him placed on minocycline and now, just a few weeks later, he is walking.
Note: Additional information on this subject can be found at Dr. Blaylock's website www.russellblaylockmd.com.
It should also be noted that there are reasons of strategic, activistic importance that explain why The IO has been dedicating so many column inches to the subject of aspartame. First, freedom is of no value to dead or terminally sick people and, secondly, we can win this one.
For the most part, people choose to use aspartame. With the proper guidance, people can choose not to use aspartame.
Another reason is Donald Rumsfeld. He got away with poisoning the American people with aspartame and now he is terrorizing the people of the world as U.S. defense secretary. Rumsfeld is our problem and because we did not take care of him years ago he is now the world's problem. We could do the world a favor by holding Rumsfeld accountable for poisoning his own people and thereby end his career as an international terrorist. (DWH)
For more on aspartame see The Artificially Sweetened Times.
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