From the October 2003 Idaho Observer:

CDC reports Sudden Cardiac Death nation's #1 killer

Biochemical evidence indicates aspartame behind this curious epidemic

from Mission Possible

The CDC reports that Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD), the nation's #1 killer, prematurely ended the lives of 460,000 Americans in 1999.  When the heart stops abruptly without warning, the diagnosis is SCD.  It kills its victims within minutes.  It is estimated that 95 percent of victims die before reaching the hospital.  Often SCD happens to outwardly healthy people with no known heart problems such as high school, college and professional athletes and thousands of children.

New York State has mandated automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) be provided for all schools and athletic events on campus or off.  Illinois passed a similar law.  In California they talk of making defibrillators as common as fire extinguishers.

The Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association donated 73 AEDS so all of their school gyms and playing fields will be equipped to fight this devastation. 

The Philadelphia School District estimates 7,000-10,000 American children and youths die annually from SCD. Chief of Cardiology Victoria Vetter, MD, at Children's Hospital said, “I diagnose, treat and follow hundreds of children from the Philadelphia region with cardiac issues.” 

On 9/12 came the tragic report of 13 year old Emil Gadjev's collapse and death while playing soccer here in Atlanta.

Sudden Cardiac Death is not a “heart attack” or myocardial infarction caused by clogged arteries.  It's an electrical problem in which the cardiac conduction system that generates the impulses regulating the heart suddenly puts out rapid or chaotic electrical impulses, or both.  The heart ceases its rhythmic contractions, the brain is starved of oxygen and the victim loses consciousness in seconds.

Aspartame's biochemical route to SCD

Dr. James Bowen believes the evidence is pointing the finger at aspartame as the toxin responsible for sudden death in many of these instances. “The combination of aspartame consumption with the stresses of strenuous athletic competition lead to activation of the shock mechanism including the elaboration of arginine vasopressin in the hypothalamus. This results in cerebral edema, cardiac congestion and pulmonary edema in combination with severe potassium wastage which is a sure ticket to sudden death, especially in the face of the many damages inflicted by aspartame. 

“Aspartame is already well known for causing neuroendocrine abnormalities such as serotonin elevations and suppression in various areas of the brain. Due to its phenylalanine isolate poisoning, which depletes dopamine, and hypothalamic damage from its extreme excitotoxic effect and resultant formaldehyde/formic acid poisoning especially focused in the hypothalamus, any biochemist could verify the direct effect of aspartame poisoning in producing the fatal aberrant shock mechanism in those exposed to it.  The mere occurrence of severe athletic stress does not cause this to happen all by itself,” Dr. Bowen reasoned.

Indeed, only in recent history is it mentioned that people have a habit of simply “dropping dead” from routine exertion.

Aspartame triggers an irregular heart rhythm and interacts with cardiac medication. It damages the cardiac conduction system and is a direct cause of sudden death.  What Dr. Bowen is saying, of course, is that it's not just hitting their hearts but their hypothalamus and neuroendocrine systems as well.

Of interest is the report from The Telegraph in the UK regarding an investigation of why children, having mild seizures that normally don't cause death, die before they can get to a hospital. Dr. Bowen responded: “Sudden death during seizures is almost always from cardiac standstill due to arrhythmias.  There are several ways that aspartame can cause this damage.  Aspartame and methyl alcohol poisoning are noted for damaging myocardium as well as the cardiac conduction system itself. 

“This kind of damage leads to susceptibility to irregular heartbeats, or arrhythmias.  The aspartame and methyl alcohol poisoning cause immense damage to the mitochondria and to MtDNA which perpetuates the mitochondria damage.  The myocardium and cardiac conduction system never get to rest.  They are constantly at work pumping blood, therefore they are very highly concentrated in mitochondria to accommodate the metabolic needs of this tremendous work load. 

“Therefore, mitochondrial damage is more highly reflected in the heart.  Damaged mitochondria produce increased amounts of free radicals and other abnormal metabolite-producing arrhythmias. 

“The person using NutraSweet may have a markedly decreased intake of mineral and vitamin co-enzyme factors which also sensitizes the heart to arrhythmias.  Seizures always put unusual demands on the cardiorespiratory system and seizures due to NutraSweet occur more frequently and in spite of otherwise adequate anti-seizure medication.  Aspartame creates unusual medical toxicity from the anti-seizure medication. 

“It should be no surprise then that people are dropping dead from this aspect of aspartame toxicity.”

CDC review

In Nov. 1984 the CDC compiled a report reviewing 213 of 592 cases of aspartame complaints.  Some of these included cardiac arrest, seizures, disorientation, hyperactivity, extreme numbness, excitability, memory loss, loss of depth perception, liver impairment, severe mood swings and even DEATH.  Frederick L. Trowbridge added an executive summary that conflicted with the information in the report by stating that the complaints were “generally of a mild nature.” 

Obviously experts and laypeople alike would disagree that such things as seizures, cardiac arrest and DEATH are “mild” problems. 

Then the CDC put the summary on their web site [], and left off the investigation so the public would not get the real facts.  But it is on for anyone who wants to read the 146-page investigation. 

When Mission Possible's Betty Martini asked the CDC why they allowed this phony summary, their only excuse was “Dr. Trowbridge is now retired.” 

The recent sudden death of John Ritter

The sudden death of John Ritter on Sept 12 stunned the nation.  It was discussed on the news by Roy Flood, M.D., that he died from an undiagnosed dissection of the aorta.  While we don't even know if Ritter used aspartame, Dr. Flood mentioned that this condition is usually triggered by having hypertension for several years and aspartame causes this “big time.”

More biochemistry of an ignored epidemic

H. J. Roberts, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.C.C.P.  is a world renowned Board Certified and Recertified Internist who declared Aspartame Disease to be a global plague and published the medical text, Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic, available at

In Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic, Dr. Roberts discusses aspartame and hypertension: “Increased brain phenylalanine can elevate norepinephrine levels becoming clinically manifest as hypertension.  A comparable phenomenon has been demonstrated in spontaneously hypertensive rats.  Another plausible mechanism involves increased phenylalanine metabolites, especially dopamine, in the presence of excess insulin.  Tourian (l985) demonstrated that insulin potentiates the synthesis of phenylalanine hydroxylase in tissue cultures.”

He also says, “The documentation of essential hypertension in an insulin-resistant state associated with hyperinsulinemia (Ferrannini l987), but independent of obesity, is germane because many aspartame reactors have reactive hypoglycemia.  Furthermore, phenylalanine increases insulin release.  In the face of continued hyperinsulinemia, the down regulation of insulin receptors (and ensuing decreased insulin action), the increased reabsorption of sodium and sympathetic stimulation can exaggerate hypertension.

“Other clinical observations suggest a relationship between phenylalanine and tyramine.  Severe hypertension may occur when increased tyramine (present in certain cheeses and alcoholic beverages) is consumed by persons taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors and cough/cold preparations or appetite suppressants that continue ephedrine, phenylephrine or phenylpropanolamine.”

Ritter revisited

Two-thirds of the population is using aspartame and it's hard to avoid.  So while we don't know at this point if John Ritter was consuming it, Dr. Bowen  said:  “The death of John Ritter highlights another possible ill resulting from the ingestion of aspartame.  Aspartame is well recognized among its victims as causing connective tissue diseases in their body.  Since much of the aorta consists of fibroelastic connective tissue it is logical to conclude that aspartame causes degeneration of the heart muscle.”

He also said,  “Aspartame really doesn't spare any structure or system in the body so its not logical to try and mentally isolate it to a few structures or a few systems of the body.  In fact, the FDA identified 92 documented symptoms triggered by aspartame including death, the ultimate symptom.”

Epidemic heart conditions in American children

The Atlanta Journal Constitution on 9/11 wrote: “Sudden death in high school athletes is a topic that has received a lot of attention recently.”  It mentioned some children have serious heart conditions that have not been diagnosed.  Dr. Bowen remarked, “In many cases aspartame victims may have had pre-existent or congenital undiagnosed cardiac problems.  The fatal abnormalities induced by NutraSweet would have a quicker and greater effect on these unfortunate individuals.”

Sonny Bono

The article in the AJC discusses accidents that may have been caused by sudden cardiac arrest. It brings to mind the death of Sonny Bono who had an accident while skiing and hit a tree.  The newspaper reported that Bono was not drinking alcohol, only a “Diet Coke.”

Crashing into trees

Aspartame also causes confusion and disorientation, memory loss, etc.  One pilot who asked that Mission Possible start an aviation division, said:  “Dumb I am not but I couldn't make a decision on aspartame and crashed my plane into a tree.” 

And, yes, there are now defibrillators on planes. 

Pilot Neill

American Airlines Pilot Neill was drinking a diet drink and died in flight.  The captain landed the plane for the body to be removed and to get a  new co-pilot. An unauthorized autopsy was requested by American Airlines but they refused to allow his widow to see the results.

Medical journals recognize “Rumsfeld's” disease*; refuse to identify its cause

The New England Journal of Medicine published the article “Magnitude of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy and Risk of Sudden Death in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.”  Dr. Bowen said: “Yes, that is what aspartame does.”

One article, “Cardiomyopathy and Its Relation to Exercise:  Sudden Death in Athletes”`excs597k/carpender/sdathletes.htm says:  “According to the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta 100,000 young athletes die each year from all cardio-vascular disorders, including cardiomyopathy, as a result of participation in sports.” 

This is twice as many as die in auto accidents.  Of the 100,000 who die annually, 45,000 of them play basketball, not boxing or football.

The report in Science last year (that was discussed in the Atlanta Journal Constitution article), said 450,000 people each year are victims of sudden death.

An article back in 2001 by the Journal of Athletic Training reported: “In the U.S. each year, sudden cardiac arrest kills 350,000, which is approximately 1,000 people per day.” ..... “The exact incidence of sudden cardiac arrest in athletes is unknown because no universal, standard surveillance method is used.”

So the figures could even be greater.

Have a (diet) coke and a smile

President Bush had a fainting spell and claimed this was due to a pretzel.

Blackouts are common in aspartame victims and President Bush is constantly drinking Diet Coke.

An interesting article on Medscape is titled Syncope (fainting) as a predictor of sudden cardiac arrest.  Kathy Fulford (now Mission Possible Camilla, Georgia) was certain she was dying and was having blackouts. One day she almost hit a car head on.

Her friend Darlene wanted to find out what was killing Kathy.  Ten doctors were unable to diagnose the cause of her problems, mainly because the FDA, aspartame manufactures and professional organizations funded by the manufacturer push aspartame propaganda.  She put her symptoms into a search engine and came to

She got off aspartame and her health problems disappeared.

Drop dead

Fulford said her neighbor, a 46 year old beautician, drank Diet Coke from the time she got up until she went to bed and her mind was going.  She, too, had blackouts and was recently found dead on the floor -- another SCD victim.


* When people who consume aspartame become ill, the wide spectrum of symptoms are commonly referred to “aspartame disease” by those who understand the connection. Since Donald Rumsfeld can claim credit for aspartame's 1981 FDA approval, we believe its appropriate that the disease be renamed, “Rumsfled's disease.”

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