Drugs! Are you on Diuretics?

Lasix
One side effect: can cause irreversible hearing loss

This class of drugs is often the first medication you will be prescribed if you are deemed to have high blood pressure.  I will explain why diuretics should not be prescribed to the majority of the population and especially not to the elderly.  There are certain extenuating circumstances when diuretics may be of value but these will be rare.  Other examples of when this drug will be prescribed is for kidney failure, liver disease, congestive heart failure and all types of oedema.  See Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4 of this article.

At what cost?

These drugs increase your output of urine but at what cost?  When the kidney is working without drugs it does its job with a sophisticated filtration system through a special cluster of high pressure capillaries known as a glomerulus.

kidneysHow your kidneys function

The function of kidney filtration starts with blood passing through the glomerulus.  The high pressure forces water and other dissolved substances out of these special capillaries and into a capsule which surrounds the glomerulus.  This is known as Bowman’s capsule.  This capsule now contains all water, salt and dissolved substances, but the water and dissolved substances are then ‘reclaimed’ or reabsorbed by passing through a second filtration system known as the renal tubule system.  This insures that vital nutrients are not lost during the filtration process.

Nephrologynephron

This whole filtering system is known as a nephron, hence the name nephrology, the branch of medicine to do with the physiology and diseases of the kidneys.  Each kidney has around a million of these nephrons.

The reclaimed nutrients include much of the salt and water, glucose, amino acids, lactate, magnesium, phosphate, calcium bicarbonate and uric acid.

urine formationThe result of filtration = urine

After the process of filtration and reabsorption, the resulting urine is expelled from the body.  It contains around 95% water, urea and other substances including chloride, sodium, potassium, creatinine and metabolic waste and toxins all in varying degrees, depending on diet and health.

Ambush!

Now what diuretics do is to ambush the second reclamation filtering system so that much more of the initial filtrate from the glomerulus goes to the bladder.  Thus this filtrate still has vital nutrients within it.   This means more water and more minerals, such as magnesium, potassium and sodium, are sent to the bladder instead of being reclaimed.  Reclamation is a vital process which avoids depletion of necessary nutrients.

Different types of Diuretics

There are different kinds of diuretics which work in slightly different ways.  They each interfer in different areas of the kidney filtration system.  Loop diuretics for instance, undermine reabsorption at the ascending loop (see the diagrams) while thiazide diuretics undermine the system at the distal convoluted tubule.

Thiazide diureticsamiloride

  • chlorothiazide (Diuril)
  • chlorthalidone (Hygroton)
  • hydrochlorothiazide (Hydrodiuril)
  • indapamide (Lozol)
  • methyclothiazide (Enduron)
  • metolazone (Zaroxolyn, Diulo, Mykrox)

Loop diuretics

  • bumetanide (Bumex)
  • ethacrynate (Edecrin)
  • furosemide [(Lasix)
  • torsemide [(Demadex)aldactone

Potassium sparing diuretics

  • amiloride hydrochloride
  • spironolactone (Aldactone)
  • triamterene (Dyrenium)
Now you know, you can decide

Yes, I know it’s a bit heavy going but if you understand a little of what’s going on, it will give you the reasons why these drugs are not good for you and allow you to make an informed decision as to whether you want to take them or not.

acid-baseKidneys and hormones

Remember that kidney function is extremely delicate and complex.  It is fine tuned to do a delicate balancing act.  As well as producing its own hormones, the kidneys are influenced by other hormones produced by glands such as the adrenals and the pituitary.   Your kidneys have the important and complicated task of controlling your pH system to maintain correct acid-base balance.

Diuretics do not improve your kidneys

Those who are prescribed diuretics probably think they are improving kidney function.  Nothing is further from the truth.  Your kidneys will be undermined by these drugs. They interfer with their proper function and do nothing to help the original condition.

Now you have 2 problemseinstein quote

In fact now you have two problems.  One is the condition you started with and now you have another abnormality to the one you already have because of pharmacological interference.  All a diuretic does is feign improvement.  It does not cure anything.  It won’t fix your problem but it will camouflage the original condition to the extent that when your condition worsens, the drug will not be blamed.  Your body will be blamed for not responding well to the medication.  So you now have two diseases, the naturally occuring one you started with and a second which is drug induced.

A medical manoeuvre

Yes, your swelling may go down, but any improvement that may appear to come from taking this drug is false.  It does not mean you’re getting better.  You, as well as your doctor are being tricked by a dishonest medical manoeuvre.  Nothing will be resolved by taking a diuretic but something will increase…and that’s the profits of the pharmaceutical industries that produce this drug.

side effectsCavalier tinkering

Taking a diuretic will just exacerbate the original problem.  Cavalierly tinkering with this delicate, finely tuned and amazingly complex filtration system will only make matters worse and complicate your condition by further compromising the already upset biological system. What it will do is put you on the road to being a permanent visitor to the doctor’s office or worse to the hospital.

Research

There have been a number of studies done about diuretics.  I will quote a passage from a study from the JAMA (Journal of American Medical Assn) titled: Diuretics, Mortality and Nonrecovery of Renal Function in Acute Renal Failure

Conclusions  The use of diuretics in critically ill patients with acute renal failure was associated with an increased risk of death and nonrecovery of renal function. Although observational data prohibit causal inference, it is unlikely that diuretics afford any material benefit in this clinical setting.  In the absence of compelling contradictory data from a randomized, blinded clinical trial, the widespread use of diuretics in critically ill patients with acute renal failure should be discouraged”.

Renal failure from drugs?Diuretics side effects

I really would like to know how many patients actually get to a stage of renal failure.  Could it be anything to do with pharmaceutical drugs taken over a period of time.  Could these drugs compromise kidney function to the extent that kidney failure is possible, if not inevitable, as the patient ages?

It is incredulous to me that this class of drugs known as diuretics, has escaped much of the criticism that some of our prescription drugs rightly receive.  If you can understand what it actually does to the body, you will wonder why it is so readily prescribed, especially when there are other ways of removing excess water, other ways that are safe and have no side effects.

Why not ask why?

Getting rid of excess water by using a drug is not a good idea and will likely compromise your kidney function and put undue stress on your kidneys.  All we know is that if we take a diuretic, we will want to use the loo more because the drugs are getting rid of the excess water in our bodies, but at what cost?

Ches PowerNobody seems to ask the question: Why do I get puffy ankles and feet.  Why is it I am bloated and can’t get into my clothes.  Answer this question and you’re half way to understanding what you need to do to alleviate the condition, without drugs.

In Part 2 of this post I will try and answer some of these questions.

Statin Drugs and Side Effects – the truth

The hype about statin drugs to reduce cholesterol is increasing by the day.  In statin drugs and side effects, we will learn about the best selling and most profitable drugs ever created.

Study reveals the dangers of statin Drugsstatin drugs and side effects

A new study has been published revealing that statins do NOT decrease atherosclerosis and that the drugs may actually be exacerbating and stimulating atherosclerosis and heart failure.  The reason given in the research are numerous, the major ones being:

    • Vitamin K2 which protect the arteries from calcium buildup is inhibited by statins.  This is significant because K2, along with magnesium (Mg) is vital in moving calcium out of the soft tissues and into the bones where it belongs.
    • Mitochondrial dysfunction.  Our energy is produced in the mitochondria and statins are toxic to these energy centres in our cells, disrupting ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production, which is our energy currency.  This in turn compromises heart muscle function and disrupts intracellular signals.
    • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): Statins are known to deplete CoQ10 (ubiquinol) levels and this fact was to be added as a warning on statin cartons and inserts but the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) decided against it in 2014.
    • 25% of Americans are taking statin drugs.  It is unfortunate that most of these patients are not warned about the devastating consequences of low CoQ10 levels.  (If you are taking statins, you need 100-200mg of CoQ10 or ubiquinol every day because you cannot get enough from your diet and statins will deplete what you have got.)
    • Statins and Ketones. Dr. Aseem Malhotra, an interventional cardiologist consultant in London, U.K. says that statins block the formation of ketones. Ketones are an essential part of mitochondrial nutrition and overall health. If you can’t make ketones, you impair the metabolism in your entire body.  This includes your heart which raises your risk for heart disease and a variety of other conditions.
    • Selenium-containing proteins: Statins interfere with Selenoproteins such as glutathione peroxidase.  These proteins are vital in preventing oxidative damage to muscle tissue.
Selenium containing proteins – the authors state:

“Blocking the selenoprotein enzyme glutathione peroxidase is akin to pouring gasoline on the fire of inflammation and free radicals, which damages muscle tissue. In fact, the scientists described this blocking of the selenoproteins reminiscent of selenium deficiency induced heart failure, known as Keshan’s disease first identified in the 1930s.…the epidemic of heart failure and atherosclerosis that plagues the modern world may paradoxically be aggravated by the pervasive use of statin drugs. We propose that current statin treatment guidelines be critically reevaluated.”

cholesterolSo what exactly is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fatty substance known as a ‘lipid’.  It is absorbed by the body from our food and is synthesized by some of our cells, primarily those of the intestines and the liver.  Cholesterol is also necessary for cell membranes in all tissues to produce normal cell and membrane growth.  It is a necessary precursor for many crucial hormones such as progesterone, estrogen and testosterone as well as the stress hormones.  When we are exposed to sunshine, it is the cholesterol in our skin that converts to vitamin D.

Different types of cholesterol

There are different types of cholesterol and here lies the problem.  The two main different kinds that you hear of today are HDL which stands for high density lipoproteins and LDL which stands for low density lipoproteins.  You may also hear of  (very) VLDL and TG which stands for triglycerides. Triglycerides are not really cholesterol but another class of fats or lipids found in the blood.

Good and bad cholesterol?
Nuts
Raise HDL with nuts

When you hear about high cholesterol, that’s not really the whole story.  You need to know the level of your HDL cholesterol (the good stuff) and your LDL, VLDL and TGs (the bad stuff).  “High cholesterol” is a term we hear a lot and it does seem to put the frighteners on the general population but it is a deceptive simplification.

So what has magnesium got to do with cholesterol?

Magnesium actually has an affect on cholesterol levels.  It regulates production of cholesterol by controlling the enzymes that produce it.  It can raise the level of HDL (good) cholesterol and at the same time lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.  Depending on what the body requires, it can either increase or reduce cholesterol production¹.

But isn’t that what statins do?

Yes it is but statins are drugs which will have side effects. Magnesium is a natural nutrient which is vital for healthy cholesterol production and has no side effects (except diarrhoea if used to excess).  Magnesium does the job naturally but even so, pharmaceutical companies started the quest of looking for a drug that would cut cholesterol off at its source.  They did this by coming up with a drug that inhibits the enzyme which is responsible for cholesterol synthesis.  So they invented a series of drugs called statins. The enzyme HMG-CoA reductase was the target.

statin drugs and side effectsStatins for all?

Statins are drugs that may reduce subsequent heart events ie. for those who already have heart disease and have suffered a heart attack or cardiac event.  Recent research has now put this into doubt. But what makes it worse is now there seems to be a trend to prescribe statins to those patients that haven’t even got heart disease and have no signs of having it.  Just elevated cholesterol levels will likely instigate your doctor to prescribe statins.  Could this be something to do with Big Pharma putting money before patients’ health!  Surely not?

No benefits for disease free patients so why prescribe it?

Studies have been undertaken with data from 65,000 people and it has been found that there is no evidence that statins had any benefits for preventing cardiovascular disease from disease free patients or even from those at risk from getting heart disease.  For some, statins may do more harm than good with patients suffering from unpleasant side effects and recent studies are now pointing towards statins actually being dangerous.

Ask why!

If you are prescribed statin drugs for lowering your cholesterol, it would be wise to ask questions as to why it is being prescribed, particularly in the case of someone who does not have heart disease.  Dr Sircus cited in his interesting article Run from your Statin recommending Cardiologist, a recent study in the journal of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention which reports that women who have used cholesterol-lowering statin drugs for more than 10 years have double the risk of two common types of breast cancer: invasive ductal carcinoma and invasive lobular carcinoma².

Cancer risks, liver or muscle damage?

Dr Thomas B Newman

Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Dr. Thomas B.Newman and co-workers showed that all cholesterol-lowering drugs, both the early drugs known as fibrates (clofibrate, gemfibrozil) and the newer drugs known as statins (Lipitor, Pravachol, Zocor), cause cancer in rodents at the equivalent doses used by man.

Dr Carolyn Dean in her book ‘The Magnesium Miracle” states – “Because statins work on liver enzymes, they can disrupt liver function.  If you take statins, you must have regular blood tests to look for liver damage”   and    “Another acknowledged side effect, (of statins) statin myopathy, is an iatrogenic (doctor-induced) condition that damages muscles and is entirely related to statin intake.”

Dr GoodmanDr Dennis Goodman who’s a cardiologist states in his book ‘Magnificent Magnesium’ – “If statins can’t prevent heart disease in people who are at risk for developing it, why prescribe them so liberally?”

Gemfibrozil shown to increase death rates

Dr. Gloria Troendle, deputy director for the Division of Metabolism and Endocrine Drugstatin drugs and side effects Products for the FDA, noted that the cholesterol-lowering drug gemfibrozil belonged to a class of drugs that has repeatedly been shown to increase death rates among users.  Despite only 3 of the 9 committee members voting to pass this drug, the FDA decided to approve Gemfibrozil for human consumption.

Ex NASA astronaut and MD.

Dr Duane Graveline, MD, MPH has a website called ‘Spacedoc.com’.   He has retired as a medical doctor but was an American physician and a NASA astronaut. He was one of the six scientists selected in 1965, in NASA’s fourth group of astronauts, for the Apollo Crestor statinprogram.  In one of his many articles about statins he cites one written in March 2015 by Dr Sidney Wolfe; the article is in the the BMJ (British Medical Journal) at: www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h1388.   Dr. Sidney Wolfe explains why he thinks the drug Crestor (rosuvastatin) should have been withdrawn and not used.  He documents that Crestor’s prime problem is its strength.  In the JUPITER study, compared to placebo, the rosuvastatin group had a significantly higher incidence (26%) of new onset diabetes.  This same effect of rosuvastatin has been observed in other studies³.

So is cholesterol really the enemy?

It is interesting to note that many people with normal cholesterol levels die of heart attacks.  In fact more people die of heart attacks exhibiting normal levels as those do exhibiting higher levels.  A study published in The American Heart Journal in January 2009, analysed 137,000 patients admitted to hospital in the United States presenting with a heart attack.  Almost 75% of those patients had ‘normal’ cholesterol levels.

Dr Ron RosedaleDr Ron Rosedale points out – “cholesterol is a vital component of every cell membrane on Earth. In other words, there is no life on Earth that can live without cholesterol. That will automatically tell you that, in and of itself, it cannot be evil. In fact, it is one of our best friends. We would not be here without it. No wonder lowering cholesterol too much increases one’s risk of dying. Cholesterol is also a precursor to all of the steroid hormones. You cannot make estrogen, testosterone, cortisone, and a host of other vital hormones without cholesterol.”

This could indicate that cholesterol is not the precursor to heart disease and there is something else going on which has been missed.  Is the medical profession overlooking something?  Perhaps we can’t see the wood for the trees?  Is there a missing link?

Eat fresh unprocessed foods

vegetablesOne thing’s for sure, we all need to strive towards eating a healthy diet which includes, oily fish such as wild caught salmon, mackerel and herring, nuts and seeds, oatmeal, olive oil, organic coconut oil, avocados, green vegetables, fresh fruits, garlic, onions (raw is best), beans and pulses to name a few.  Cut out the processed foods and try and cook from fresh.  I know, you haven’t got the time!  Make time, this is your health we’re talking about.  Recipes for quick and easy home made meals that are healthy and nourishing are everywhere.

Don’t forget your exercise

Walking the dog

Exercise regularly. How about using a bike or walking sometimes.  Leave the car at home, it saves fuel! Why not take the dog for an extra long walk!  Eating  healthily and exercising regularly is the number one priority for keeping your heart in good condition.  If you have no prior heart event then I would question your doctor if he  prescribes a statin drug.  In fact I would question him no matter what your state of health.  Do you own research.  Perhaps you could educate your doctor about cholesterol and the natural way to control it.  Good luck with that!

Statin drugs and side effects

Mg glassI want to finish this article by comparing what statin drugs do versus what magnesium does, specifically in relation to controlling cholesterol:  This is a table taken from ‘The Magnesium Factor’ a book by Mildred S Seelig MD and Andrea Rosanoff Ph.D.

A Comparison of the Physiological Effects of Magnesium and Statin Drugs

Effect                                        Statin Drugs                                        Magnesium
Target Enzyme                        HMG-CoA reductase only                 HMG-CoA reductase and LCAT*
Effect on enzyme                   Inhibits or poisons                             Regulates and controls
Lowers ‘bad’ cholesterol    Yes                                                               Yes
Raises ‘good’ cholesterol   Sometimes                                               Yes
Prevents clot formation      Yes                                                               Yes
Reduces Inflammation        Yes                                                               Yes
Slows and prevents
atherosclerotic plaques      Now in doubt                                          Yes
Raises liver enzymes
above normal                          Yes                                                               No
Can cause myopathy            Yes                                                               Prevents myopathy
Many side effects                    Yes                                                              No
*LCAT (Lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase) – an enzyme that converts LDL into HDL
which magnesium activates.

If you wish to make a comment, please do.  I always answer questions and comments.

  1. Ches Power AuthorCorica F1, Allegra A, Di Benedetto A et al., “Effects of oral magnesium supplementation on plasma lipid concentrations in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus,” Magnes Res. 1994 Mar;7(1):43-7.
  2. Long-term statin use and risk of ductal and lobular breast cancer among women 55-74 years of age; Jean A. McDougall et al; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; Published OnlineFirst July 5, 2013; doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0414
  3. Chih-Wei Chen, et al “Differential Impact of Statin on New-Onset Diabetes in Different Age Groups: A Population-Based Case-Control Study in Women from an Asian Country”  PLoS One. 2013; 8(8): e71817. Published online 2013 Aug 12. doi:  10.1371/journal.pone.0071817. 

Magnesium, The Forgotten Mineral

Ca cubeCalcium, the most important mineral for bones?

Well, actually no it isn’t.  What about Magnesium, the forgotten mineral? There’s no denying that Calcium is important but in this modern age, we seem to be over consuming this alkaline metal. Calcium should be found mostly in the bones and teeth but I’m afraid it’s being found in all kinds of places where it shouldn’t be.

Our food is being fortified with Calcium?

How many adverts do you see with ‘fortified with Calcium’ or ‘Calcium rich for strong teeth and bones’.  The fact is that Calcium (Ca) is a bit of a rogue. If it isn’t under control, it can run amok in your body, causing all sorts of ailments and problems.

Yes, you heard me, Ca can be a rogue, if not controlled.  In fact in can be dangerous!
How often do you hear parents going on about getting enough Ca into their children. How many parents stress about the Ca intake their children must have. How many parents buy foods that they consider to be rich in Ca to make sure their children grow up with strong bones and healthy teeth. Has anybody mentioned Magnesium (Mg) at all?

Why are our foods being fortified?

Well just think about it. Ca is the star mineral supplement. The food manufacturers are just boy with milk cartonlarge companies. What’s the most important consideration that a food company thinks about first?  Profits! They know that you think that Ca is the bees knees and so they jump on the band wagon and produce all kinds of products with Ca because they know you will buy it, because you’re going to buy anything you think is good for you and your family.

You have been mis-informed!

You have been entirely mis-informed and mis-guided and I’m sorry to say that this myth that loads of Ca can be nothing but good for you, is put about by many health professionals.  There have been many studies about the relationship between Ca and Mg. A new study, concentrating particularly on children’s health, shows that Mg in a childs diet is the key to producing strong bones and teeth.  Researchers found that dietary Ca was not significant when associated with bone mineral content or bone density.

Mg regulates Ca

This study was presented to the Pediatric Academic Societies in Washington DC in 2013. It confirms that Mg regulates the amount of Ca in a child’s body and consigns it straight into the bones where it belongs. If Mg is not in sufficient quantities in the body, Ca ends up depositing into parts of the body where it does not belong like the kidneys, coronary arteries and cartilage.

So, what’s gone wrong?

One of the problems is that our medics are not trained to be aware of the benefits of vitamins and minerals. This is not their fault, their training does not deal with wellness and Doctors don't knownaturopathy and much of it is under the control of big pharma who deal with sickness and the drugs that can be used to manage that sickness. You notice I say ‘manage’ not cure.  Secondly, our soils are so depleted in natural vitamins and minerals due to agricultural practices, fertilizers and pesticides, that most of the population is now deficient in many nutrients, Mg being the one  exceptionally important to our well-being.

What can be done?

For a start, if you or your children are taking Ca supplements while still eating dairy produce, milk and other normal foods, then don’t.  If a medic has advised you to take Ca without taking Mg, I would question it.  Do your own research. This is your body and your children’s welfare we’re talking about here.

Get genned up!

Get genned up and learn what your body needs to be healthy.  If you approach your doctor about the benefits of Mg, don’t be surprised if you get a frosty reception or a blank look. We should all take a stand against taking drugs when an important nutrient will do the job as well and with no side effects.

Check out this site about the ailments you could succumb to if you don’t have enough Mg in your body. The ratio between Ca and Mg should be around 1:1. At present, it is estimated that the normal diet ratio is coming out between 5:1 and 10:1. Just do a quick Ca:Mg ratiocheck of how much Ca you ingest in a day and  then compare it to your Mg intake; you’ll be surprised. Ca is in many foods and the food manufacturers often fortify with Ca. How often to you see Mg being fortified? How often do you see Mg even being mentioned?!!

Women are more at risk!

Women are more at risk of being overloaded with Ca. Those that have been diagnosed with osteoporisis will no doubt have been told by their medic that they must increase their Ca intake. An NHS webside writes:
“You may not need or want to take medication to treat osteoporosis. However, you should ensure you’re maintaining sufficient levels of calcium and vitamin D. To achieve this, your healthcare team will ask you about your diet and may recommend making changes or taking supplements.”

Why are we being mis-informed?

This is a typical example of mis-information. They fail to inform the patient that in fact Vitamin D production will be hindered with a Mg deficiency which will further weaken bones.  Also without sufficient Mg, Ca metabolism will be compromised which will lead to Ca migrating away from the bones and towards areas of the body it shouldn’t be, such as the kidneys! Osteoporosis sufferers, according to surveys, have low levels of Mg in their bodies.

calcium in armDr Thomas Levy wrote in his book Death by Calcium “Recent scientific data provides an overwhelming case against calcium”.  Osteoporotic bone has too little Ca in it, that’s true. But the rest of the body has too much Ca which settles in unwanted areas and soft tissue. The longer osteoporosis has been in the body, the greater the excess of Ca outside the bone.  The image shows massive calcification in the upper arm.  How did it get there?

Mg has a massive impact on the quality of our bones.

  1. Mg regulates Ca transport.
  2. Mg activates an enzyme needed to form new bone.
  3. Mg is necessary to activate vitamin D to help Ca absorption.
  4. Mg stimulates calcitonin, a hormone which helps maintain bone structure.
  5. Mg ushers Ca out of soft tissue and blood into the bone where it belongs. This reduces the incidence of kidney stones and arthritis. Research has shown that the  little known vitamin K2(MK7) along with Mg and vitamin D3 will actually help remove Ca from soft tissue and usher it to the bones where osteocalcin takes over to keep it there. 
  6. Mg inhibits parathyroid hormone, preventing it from weakening bones.
  7. Moderate levels of Mg are vital for absorbing and metabolizing Ca.

And lastly…

Take a Mg supplement. Even without checking, you will surely be deficient.  Mg is just not in our food anymore, to the degree it was a century ago.  Stress is another Mg depleter. We are all under immense mental and bodily stress in this modern age and this will reduce our Mg levels.

We need Mg like we need water.

It is one of the most fundamental Mg glassnutrients and electrolytes. Without it you will be unwell and could even suffer serious side effects, not least heart disease, stroke, atherosclerosis and diabetes. Many of the drugs we take for these conditions can deplete Mg further.

Which supplement to take?

Mg citrate is ideal if you require a gentle laxative effect and it can be taken orally in powder or tablet/capsule form.  Many who are Mg deficient, suffer with constipation.  The powder form allows you to adjust your doses very accurately to suit you.  It is also very useful for child constipation as it is completely tasteless and can be put into drinks or soups etc..

If you don’t want a laxative effect then go for Mg chloride (MgCl2).  This compound is totally bio-available and is by far the best supplement IMHO.  (ReMag produced by Dr Carolyn Dean is MgCl2).  Ionic Mg is also MgCl2.  It can be used topically too.  It is easily absorbed through the skin and those with a sensitive stomach will appreciate this form of Mg supplement. For those who don’t like the taste, it can be easily disguised with a drop of cordial.  

Mg oxide is the cheapest form of supplement and needs to be avoided.  It will generally be inside inexpensive multivits and other low-priced supplements.  It is poorly absorbed so you need a hefty dose most of which will go straight through you.

Start searching for the best supplement for you and notice how different you feel after taking it for just a day or two. You will have more energy, you will sleep better, your digestion will improve, back aches, muscle spasms and cramps will diminish.  The benefits are endless.  By the way, an adult needs between 300 and 400mg of elemental Mg per day, Ches Power Authorminimum.  I take between 500mg and 600mg per day of Mg Chloride, depending on what I’ve eaten.  All my previous ailments have gone, including digestion problems, eye twitches, back ache, painful muscle spasms, sciatica, brain fog, anxiety, depression, stress, anger, irritability, sound familiar?  I still get insomnia sometimes but that is always after a day of not taking my quota of Mg. 

Flight Safety – Epilogue

Further to my trilogy Flight Safety, Flight Safety – Pilot Error and Flight Safety – Aircraft Accidents of 2015, Flight Safety – Epilogue shows some interesting research which could actually back up the suspicion of aspartame causing neurological and psychiatric problems for pilots.

Pilot depression research

This research particularly concentrates on depression and suicidal thoughts that pilots suffer from. The fact that so many pilots are admitting to these conditions could be a sign that some are in fact ingesting aspartame on a regular basis. This could exacerbate or even cause their conditions.

Research following Germanwings crash

This survey was started soon after the Germanwings flight 9525 tradegy where 150 people were killed, supposedly on purpose, by the co-pilot of the aircraft Andreas Lubitz.  There is no doubt that this young man, who was an accomplished pilot, was in mental turmoil and had been so for some years.  I am not defending this young pilot, what he did was horrendous. But looking for an answer as to why he did it, could possibly avoid this kind of devastation happening again. One thing about a person who wants to commit suicide. They will not want to take others with them. Not caring about killing innocent people, is a person who is suffering from psychotic tendencies.

1837 pilots fill in questionaire

1 in 8
1 in 8 pilots could be depressed.

The Harvard T.H. Chan study goes into how many pilots have depression and other mental problems and comes up with a multitude of statistics.  Perhaps the most worrying of these are the percentages of pilots who admit to having suicidal thoughts.  Out of a potential of 3485, 1837 pilots (52.7%) actually cooperated by filling in questionaires.  75 of those pilots (4.1%) reported having suicidal thoughts within the past 2 weeks and 233 pilots (12.6%) met the depression threshold, that’s 1 in 8 pilots.

140,000 pilots worldwide

There are approximately 140,000 airline pilots around the world with half of them in the United States.  If you relate the figures above of 4.1% of pilots thinking suicidal thoughts, the total number of pilots in the US having these feelings could be as many as 2,870 and worldwide 5,740!

This is a shocking revelation and is something the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) and other aviation authorities throughout the world, should be all over this research like a rash, not to mention the commercial airline companies themselves.

diet coke & planeThe popular pilot

Being an airline professional has a kind of celebrity status. Being a pilot is considered, by most, to be a worthy career with pilots considered as being especially gifted and accomplished.  Pilots and crew want to look good and being overweight is not in keeping with their image. Hence many do their best to keep fit and trim and consuming dietary products is deemed to be helpful to that cause.  They probably have no clue that ingesting aspartame laced sodas, hot drinks and food stuffs could actually threaten their career and worse, be the cause of an airline accident, possibly causing loss of life.  This apart from not helping weight loss.  Those using aspartame are more likely to gain weight!

What would you do?

If you were a pilot who had mental health symptoms that could jeopardise your profession, what would you do?  It is only human nature to hide illnesses and conditions that could impact on your career, especially if they are mentally related.  A pilot has to declare any problems he may have which were not obvious to an observer.  It won’t be until someone else observes the problem that it will be reported.  Even then, it is known that pilots will protect their colleagues.  There was an incidence when a pilot has a seizure whilst in the cockpit, but because it only lasted a few minutes, it was not reported.  This event came out in a confidental phone call to Mary Stoddard who set up the Pilot Hotline back in the last century to help pilots with aspartame reactions.

anonymousStudy was confidential

It is admirable that this study was confidential and it explains why so many pilots were willing to participate and answer the questions honestly.  If it had not been an anonymous survey then I suspect those that did fill in any questionaires would have lied about any conditions that would impact on their licence to fly and who could blame them.

No questions on dietary habits

There were many questions about various characteristics of the participants. I found it interesting that a question was asked about ingestion of alcohol and sleep aid medicine.  Not once was there a question about dietary habits in this questionaire.  If only they had asked about ingestion of foods, including diet drinks and other products.  A possible link may have been found.

FAA logoAspartame ban won’t happen

Even if the 92 symptoms I mentioned in my last post was accepted by the FAA, they would ignore it.  This despite 75% of reported side effects of food additves to the FDA concern aspartame.  So why is this?  Because they are politically connected to the FDA who passed this toxin in the first place, under a cloud of fraud and misdemeanour, way back in 1981 and again for carbonated drinks, in 1983.  In other words, its all to do with politics and financial gain.  If aspartame was banned, the loss to those companies that have a vested interest in it would be catastrophic and detrimental to their business and there lies the problem.  No matter that it’s damaging the health of the population.

Public awareness is the only way

As for the health of pilots and crew and the subsequent safety of passengers, the only way to stop consumption of aspartame laced products is for the public to be aware of the dangers. With public awareness of what aspartame can do neurologically and psychologically they will not want those in control of their flights to be ingesting this chemical and thus taking chances with their lives.

If just one pilot is unknowingly being affected by this sweetener, he could be the cause of an aircraft disaster.  It’s a pity that  Andreas Lubitz’s history of consumption of food and drink was not scrutinised as part of the crash investigation.  If it was found that he regularly ingested aspartame and that it could have exacerbated or even been the cause of his psychotic behaviour, the media would have informed the public.  A public outcry is the only way this toxin will be removed from the market.

Jeff VictoroffNeuropsychiatrist talks of Germanwings pilot

Dr. Jeff Victoroff, neuropsychiatrist at USC’s Keck School of Medicine stated “We need to stop talking as if this was a suicidal guy with access to an airplane.  This was a murderous guy who probably had elements of a mood disorder and personality disorders.”

“Unless investigators recognise the toxic role of aggression and hostility in some patients’ depression, such troubled individuals will continue to elude detection – to the public’s peril”.

Aircraft industry ignoring aspartame

The aircraft industry is missing a vital clue to what could be happening with pilot error cases.  This was actually addressed in the late last century by a multitude of aviation magazines and media, so why has it all been forgotten?  If there’s just a chance, that consuming the chemical aspartame could have an effect on a pilot’s mental acuity, then they should be doing something about it.  Not doing so could be just as dangerous as a mechanical failure. In fact you could class it as that, except the machine is biological!

The FAA won’t protect pilots, pilots have to protect themselves.  One of the aircraft industry’s acronyms “I’m Safe” check is one way of looking honestly at your own health.  I’ve added one more letter to make the acronym “AM I SAFE?” which includes the ingestion of Aspartame.  Aspartame Medication Illness Stress don't lose licenceAlcohol Fatigue Emotion.  If you can honestly say you pass each one of these potential problems, IMHO you will be as safe to fly as you can be.  Being fit in all these areas will enable a pilot to do his job to the best of his ability. He will be keeping his passengers and crew safer. He will  be alert and follow procedures in an emergency. He will then not lose his licence.

Andreas Lubitz’ symptoms
  • Vision problems
  • Light sensitivity
  • Bright flashes in the eyes
  • Double vision
  • Psychosis
  • Tinnitus – ringing and buzzing sounds in the ears.
  • Severe depression
  • Irritability
  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Personality changes
  • Insomnia

These are known symptoms but how many symptoms did he suffer that we didn’t know about.  He was seeing a large number of doctors and this could certainly be a sign that the medics did not know what he was suffering from, except from the obvious severe depression.  It would be easy for crash investigators to contact family and ask about eating and drinking habits.  It could be enlightening!

Mg glassThe magnesium factor

This website is dedicated to informing the public about the dangers of a magnesium deficiency.  Aspartame is known to deplete magnesium levels at an alarming rate.  Aspartame is an excitotoxin that when consumed in high amounts, reacts with receptors in the brain. This can cause damage to certain types of neurons.  Many neurosurgeons and neurologists now consider that excitotoxins play a vital role in developing many neurological disorders. Those such as headaches, migraines, tremours, seizures, panic attacks, aggression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons’s, Huntington’s, ADHD to name but a few.

Check out this short video

This video explains succinctly what magnesium does at the cellular level.  In high concentrations as in this food additive, excitotoxins constantly stimulate the cells. This can cause a process of cell death known as excitotoxicity, where calcium channels are kept open. This allows excess calcium into the cells, exciting them to death.  If the body has good magnesium levels, the affect of excitotoxicity from free amino acids will be reduced. This is because magnesium is the ‘gatekeeper’ of the calcium channels, closing them to calcium when it’s not needed in the cell.

The side effects and adverse reactions from aspartame are very similar to a magnesium deficiency.  In effect it’s a double whammy.  If you are consuming aspartame, you will be depleting your magnesium levels and it becomes a vicious circle.  Serious problems will ensue if the issues are not addressed.

Studies by the aspartame industry versus independent studies

There have been numerous studies on aspartame.  More than 70 studies done by the aspartame industry concluded there were no side effects from aspartame.  More than 90 studies independently done outside the realms of the aspartame industry, found serious side effects from aspartame.  Which studies would you believe?

Ches PowerI would be pleased to read any comments you have about this Flight Safety trilogy and epilogue.  Thank you for reading and please, please avoid food and drink that contains aspartame.

Ches

Aircraft Accidents of 2015

2015 – 17 of 31 accidents down to pilot/human error

aircraft accident of 2015
Canada Flight 624

The 3rd part of this trilogy deals with a specific year, 2015.  17 of these aircraft accidents were put down to human or pilot error. See Part 1 and Part 2 and the EpilogueLooking at aircraft accidents in 2015

In total, there were 31 aircraft accidents in 2015.  Of those accidents, 17 were put down to human or pilot error, 1 unknown and one is still under investigation.  7 were due to mechanical failure, 3 aircraft were shot down, there was 1 bomb and 1 was due to bad weather.

Listed below are those accidents caused by pilot error whilst flying commercial passenger aircraft as apposed to private or military aircraft.  There are 6 with a 7th still under investigation out of 13 commercial passenger flights for 2015,

Commercial Air Canada Flight 624

From Toronto to Halifax. Landed short of the runway and was severely damaged. Twenty-three people were injured.  The TSB (Transport Safety Board) stated that there were no mechanical or maintenance faults uncovered with the aircraft. Evidently the most common cause of major airline accidents is “controlled flight into terrain” known as CFIT.  Pilots flying perfectly sound aircraft into the ground because of lost spatial awareness and not following protocol. Investigation is ongoing.

Commercial Asiana Airlines Flight 162

aircraft accidents of 2015
Asiana Airlines Flight 162

Regular short-haul flight from Incheon International Airport, South Korea, to Hiroshima Airport, Japan.  Airbus A320-232 touched down short of the runway.  The aircraft suffered substantial damage.  82 people aboard, 27 injured, 1 seriously.

Causes: Pilot error.  PIC (pilot in charge) did not comply with the regulations and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). Probable that the Crew Resource Management (CRM) did not function appropriately.

Commercial Avia Traffic Company Flight 768

Flight from Bishkek Airport, to Osh Airport.  Touch down hard enough to shear off the left and right main landing gear. The aircraft skidded off the runway with the left engine being torn from its mount.  No fatalities, 14 injured 4 seriously.

aircraft accidents of 2015
Somatogravic Vision

Causes: Pilot error. Failure of the crew to comply with SOP.  Faulty steering inputs by the captain.  Lack of rectification by first officer of captian’s error.  Lack of control of speed when the pitch angle increased.  Somatogravic illusion or nose up illusion, perhaps due to fatigue.  (Somatogravic illusion is a vestibular illusion prevalent during high accelerations/deccelerations when a pilot has no clear visual reference.)  Insufficiently vigorous nose up input in reaction to ground proximity warning.

Commercial Aviastar Flight 7503aircraft accidents of 2015

Scheduled 60-minute passenger charter flight, operated by Aviastar reported that the de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft, was missing from air traffic control near Palopo 11 minutes after takeoff. There was no distress call from the plane. 10 dead.

Causes: Pilot error.  The NTSC (National Transportation Safety Committee) concluded the pilots changed the route and did not discuss or consider the environmental conditions that may be ahead or discuss the operational implications of flying another route instead of the one planned, leading to loss of situational awareness.

aircraft accidents of 2015Commercial Delta Air Lines Flight 1086

Delta Air Lines domestic passenger flight between Atlanta and New York’s La Guardia Airport. The McDonnell Douglas MD-88 aircraft veered off the runway shortly after landing at La Guardia Airport. No fatalities, 24 minor injuries.  The aircraft was seriously damaged.

Causes: Pilot error.  NTSC found that the pilot used excessive reverse thrust which degraded the effectiveness of the rudder controlling the aircraft’s heading.

Commercial Germanwings Flight 9525aircraft accidents of 2015

Scheduled international passenger flight operated by Germanwings, from Barcelona to Düsseldorf.  The Airbus A320-211,  crashed into the French Alps.  All 144 passengers and six crew members were killed.

Germanwings PathCauses: Pilot suicide.  The crash was deliberately caused by the co-pilot Andreas Lubitz.   After reaching cruising altitude and when the captain was out of the cockpit, Lubitz locked the cockpit door and started a controlled descent.  The aircraft crashed into a mountainside in the French Alps.

Psychosis?

Upon searching his property evidence was found that Lubitz had been declared unfit for work by his doctor. This fact was hidden from his employers.  Lubitz had suffered severe depression for a long time as well as a constant ringing in his ears known as tinnitus.  He was plagued by insomnia and vision problems, complaining that he was seeing stars, halos, flashes of light, streaks, and flying insects. He also had light sensitivity and double vision.  His ophthalmologist said “he was full of fear”.  His family doctor diagnosed an “emergent psychosis“.  He was said to be motivated by fear of losing his licence because of his sight disorder.  With the fear of blindness he started researching ways to commit suicide.  He was prescribed mirtazapine and lorazepam.  Lorazepam should not be taken if a patient has suicidal tendencies.

The conditions I have highlighted are all common side effects of aspartame ingestion. If Lubitz had been using aspartame over the previous years, regularly drinking diet sodas, putting ‘equal’  into hot drinks, consuming diet foods such as yoghurts, puddings and other aspartame sweetened products, he could have succumbed to psychotic tendencies. His obvious suicidal tendencies is further evidence of possible aspartame reactions, apart from the drug lorazepam he was taking.  Suicide is a personal and individual act and committing murder is not normal for those wishing to end their lives which could indicate a psychotic state of mind.

Commercial TransAsia Airways Flight 235aircraft accidents of 2015

A ten-month-old ATR 72-600 aircraft crashed into the Keelung River shortly after takeoff from Taipei Songshan Airport.  The TransAsia Airways flight was flying from Taipei to Kinmen (Quemoy), a Taiwanese island off the coast of mainland Fujian.  38 dead, 15 survivors.

Causes: Pilot error.  There was an uncommanded autofeather of engine No. 2.  The pilot reduced power and subsequently shut down operative engine No. 1.  There was a failure by the flight crew to use SOP which resulted in confusion in identifying the nature of the propulsion system malfunction.

standard operating proceduresWhy are these pilots not following their training?

Whenever there is a pilot error incident, IMHO, because the FDA refuses to take aspartame off the market, other measures need to be put into place.   Apart from considering fatigue and stress during an investigation, consumption of aspartame laced dietary products should also be considered as a possible cause of impaired mental acuity, confusion, anxiety, irrational behaviour and other symptoms that could adversely affect a pilot’s ability to cope with an emergency situation.  Some of these pilot errors are just so obvious! Why would the flight crew fail to use SOPs.  What about CFITs.  Unless there is a serious problem with the aircraft or bad weather why would an experienced pilot fly into terrain and not make the airport runway or shut down the wrong engine?  Since 1984, I have found 11 incidences where the wrong engine was shut down or feathered, killing 204 people in total.

Pilot errors for civilian and military aircraft 2015

Again, the errors often seem quite mundane and you would expect an experienced pilot to cope with these difficulties during a flight, unless there’s something seriously wrong with the aircraft or exceptionally bad weather.

Copter CollisionCivilian Two helicopters collided near Villa Castelli in Northwest Argentina.  All ten people on board the two aircraft were killed. Cause: Pilot error.  A video of the accident appears to show that the lower of the two helicopters climbing at a rate faster than the other one, colliding with it from below.

Civilian An Embraer EMB-505 Phenom 300 crashed into a car auction site in Hampshire, United Kingdom, killing pilot and three passengers. The pilot overshot the runway during the landing attempt.  Cause: Pilot error.

shorehamAirshow A vintage jet aircraft crashed during a display at Shoreham Airport, England. 11 dead, 16 injured.  Cause: Pilot error, the aircraft was too low to perform the loop.

Air Show Training. A 2015 Červený Kameň mid-air collision occurred when two Let L-410 Turbolet aircraft collided in mid-air over Červený Kameň, Slovakia, and crashed in a forest. The aircraft were carrying 17 parachutists and 2 pilots each. 7 killed, 31 survived. Cause: Pilot error. The agreed distance of 100m apart for these two aircraft was not adhered to with one plane becoming closer to the other lead plane.  The captain, and Pilot Flying, was recording video on his mobile phone. He held the phone in his left hand and the controls in his right hand!

And human errors

aircraft accidents of 2015Commercial Turkish Airlines Flight 1878 from Milan, Italy to Istanbul, Turkey.  A very hard touchdown resulted in substantial damage to the starboard wing and a fire. At a second approach attempt, the plane veered off the runway. All 102 passengers and crew survived. Cause: Human error.  The flight crew claimed the wake turbulence from the plane that landed ahead of them caused the accident.  I’m not sure which human was at fault here, was it ATC, bringing the flight in too close to the plane ahead, or the pilots who may have reacted inappropriately?

Cargo An Antonov An-12 cargo plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Juba International Airport serving South Sudan. 37 dead.  Cause: Human error, overloading of aircraft.

aircraft accidents of 2015Cargo An Airbus A400M Atlas cargo plane on a test flight crashed at La Rinconada, Spain, close to Seville Airport. 4 killed 2 survivors.  Cause: Human error, incorrectly installed engine control software.

Cargo Carson Air Flight 66, was a Swearingen SA226-TC Metro II, on a domestic cargo from Vancouver to Prince George, both in British Columbia, Canada. The aircraft crashed into a mountain en route to Prince George Airport, killing both crew members. Cause: not established.  An autopsy found one of the pilots had a blood alcohol level of 0.24%.

Commercial Ceiba Intercontinental Airlines Flight 71, a Boeing 737-8FB flying from Dakar to Cotonou collided with an air ambulance operated by Senegalair over eastern Senegal. The 737 landed safely, but the air ambulance crashed, killing all 7 on board. Cause: The Air ambulance HS (Hawker Siddeley)125 was asked to fly at a height of FL340 but was actually flying at FL350, the same height the Boeing 737 was given. The HS 125 has never been found but was thought to have gone into the ocean.

Wreckage
Helicopter wreckage Fox Glacier NZ

A sightseeing Eurocopter AS350 helicopter, operated by Alpine Adventures, crashed on Fox Glacier in the South Island of New Zealand. All seven people on board died. Cause: Human error. The helicopter had been involved in three previous crashes before this fatal one.  The CAA advised that the operating licence of James Patrick Scott had been surrendered. Scott and Waterland plead not guilty to the Health and Safety charges. The company’s 15 helicopters were grounded.

Commercial Trigana Air Service Flight 267 by Indonesian domestic airline Trigana Air Service from Sentani to Oksibil eastern Indonesian. The aircraft crashed about 30 minutes after takeoff, killing all 49 passengers and five crew members.  Cause: Human error.  It was found that the flight manifest was from another Trigana flight.

Military and Civilian USAF F-16CJ Fighting Falcon collided with a civilian Cessna in South Carolina, US. Both occupants of the Cessna were killed; the pilot of the F-16 ejected safely. Cause:  human error ATC (air traffic control)

aircraft accidents of 2015Is it possible?

Of all the pilot errors, so many of them seem to be unlikely for a fit and fully trained pilot to make.  There is a possibility that these pilots and crew could have been influenced with something ingested.  A pilot who would not comply with SOP, would seem very unlikely, unless that pilot was experiencing a loss of mental acuity or other problems such as severe headaches, vision problems, confusion, memory loss etc.  Fatigue and stress could also be a contributory factor as a pilot’s schedule is nearly always hectic.

There are 92 known side effects of aspartame.  I’ve listed some below which IMHO could adversely affect and interfere with how a pilot and crew fly their aircraft, especially in an emergency and having to comply with operating procedures and make complex manoeuvres.  Add these side effects to fatigue and stress and you could understand how a pilot may suffer a serious episode, which he would have no control over.

  1. Psychological side effects: acute depression, panic attacks, irritability, aggression, anxiety, personality changes, insomnia, phobias, psychosis.
  2. Neurological side effects: epileptic seizures, severe headaches and migraines, dizziness, tremours, confusion, memory loss.
  3. Eyes: decreased vision, blurring, bright flashes, tunnel vision, decreased night vision, blindness in one or both eyes.
  4. Physical side effects: palpitations, tachycardia, shortness of breath, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems, skin allergies, respiratory allergies.
And to finish – this will make you proud of our amazing pilots…
This Captain landed the 747 on a VERY short runway, hence the applause!

Are you a pilot or have a pilot in your family?

Whether you’re a pilot or not, do you use aspartame products such as diet coke, diet pepsi, sprite or other diet sodas?  Do you use  NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, Equal-Measure, Neotame, NutraSweet.  Have you had any experiences or know of pilots or crew that have had a health problem whilst on board a flight?  It would be great to hear from you, even if it’s Ches Poweranonymously.  Even if you don’t make contact, please, please stop using this chemical concoction.  If you want to know how and why aspartame was passed by the FDA have a look hereIt is a shocking trail of fraud and misdemeanour.

Ches