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An Exclusive Interview with Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw

This month Smart Basics introduces Durk & Sandy's newest version of BLAST CAPS a convenient capsule version of FAST BLAST without any flavors or sugars. BLAST CAPS are easily one of Durk & Sandy's most popular and convenient formulations, and recently, Jim English, President of Smart Basics, had a chance to speak with Durk & Sandy regarding their new BLAST CAPS, as well as the nutritional needs of business travelers, professionals in the aviation industry, and other "Frequent Flyers".

Jim: As you know, we're introducing the latest updated version of your BLAST CAPS formula this month, and frankly, we felt it couldn't happen soon enough. A surprising number of our clients work in jobs that require long hours of travel, and in particular we've been hearing from airline industry professionals, such as pilots and flight crews, who could really benefit from BLAST CAPS. They're interested in the rapid mental lift and energizing effects, as well as its compactness and convenience. So could we start the interview with a description of your latest version of this formula?

Durk: Yes, we've increased the amount of Taurine in Blast Caps from 150 to 200 milligrams per serving. This is well worth doing since taurine prevents excessive sensitivity to noradrenaline. If you've ever gotten a case of the jitters from coffee, you know what that is. Coffee, unlike Blast and Blast Caps, doesn't give you any taurine.

Sandy: Taurine is the most important antioxidant for stabilizing electrically active tissue. That includes nervous tissue and the heart.

Durk: Flyers should be particularly concerned about ingesting adequate antioxidants because they are exposed to high ozone and ultraviolet light levels. Taurine is concentrated in the central nervous system, in the cerebral spinal fluid that surrounds your brain. It is also concentrated in your retina and optic nerve. Plastic windows are not exactly great at keeping out ultraviolet light at high altitudes.

Jim: So besides protecting the retina from UV radiation, the additional taurine in the Blast Caps acts as a modulator to stabilize electrical activity in the central nervous system. That's great. Now how did you develop your concept behind Blast and Blast Caps?

Durk: Well, we developed our original Blast formula about 12 years ago while we were out on publicity tours supporting our book, LIFE EXTENSION, A Practical Scientific Approach. We were both getting totally wiped out and wanted to put some "get up and go" in a bottle, which was what Blast became.

Sandy: We were becoming depleted, not just because we were jet lagged and working long days, but we were being asked a lot of technical questions. We had to respond very fast, and there's no time to think about these things when you're on TV or radio.

"The amount of information you can process per second depends a lot on how fast you can release noradrenaline"

Durk: This is similar to what an airline pilot has to do, respond very rapidly to changing situations, and be right each time because peoples' lives depend upon it. Pilots are trying to do this while suffering from jet lag, and that was much the same situation we were in.

Sandy: Noradrenaline is critical for rapid decision making, and the more decisions you have to make, and the faster you have to make them, the more noradrenaline you use.

Durk: As a pilot, you can't afford brain fade, you can't afford to overlook something, or you might land with the wheels up. I know all the big planes have alarms now, nevertheless, there are a lot of things where you don't have alarms that you can screw up.

Jim: If you're coming down from 35,000 feet with the well-being of hundreds of people depending upon your ability to make critical decisions, this must put a tremendous strain on one's noradrenergic system.

Durk: That's exactly right. That's why you're much more likely to get in an automobile accident while coming home from work, instead of when driving to work. The greater the stress from a hard day at work, the more likely you are to have an accident on the way home from work. It's another reason people are more likely to have accidents at night. It's not merely a matter of the illumination not being good - with modern headlights and all the lights you have in a modern city, it's rare that an accident happens because of poor illumination. What happens is that when it gets dark people release less noradrenaline, and they start making mistakes, especially when rapid, automatic responses are required.

"What happens is that when it gets dark people release less noradrenaline, and they start making mistakes"

Jim: I've noticed that when I'm driving in new or unfamiliar areas, my stress levels can go way up. I assume this leads to an increased release of noradrenaline as part of my stress response...

Durk: It's your brain trying to compensate for the fact that you have more novel information coming in per second. The amount of information you can process per second depends a lot on how fast you can release noradrenaline, and the faster you can release noradrenaline, the more data bits you can process per second.

Sandy: In fact, an experience that many people have when faced with an emergency situation is the sudden feeling that time has slowed down. This allows them to react and do the right thing to come out of the situation in one piece. This happens because your system is set up to release large amounts of noradrenaline under emergency conditions, giving you the ability to process a lot of information awfully fast.

Jim: What about the exhausted traveler or flyer who drinks coffee in order to stay alert?

Durk: Caffeine has a limited ability to help a person to stay alert after they have been on the road or in the air for a very long time, because though it makes you more sensitive to noradrenaline and helps you release noradrenaline, it doesn't help you actually manufacture noradrenaline. A good way of seeing this is that the first cup of coffee in the morning is going to get you going. It gives you a lot of energy, because all night long you have been making noradrenaline and storing it up. But the second cup of coffee doesn't do as much as the first, because you've already used up a bunch of noradrenaline, and a third cup of coffee does less than the second because you've used up even more. By the end of the day, by 10 o'clock at night, you can fall asleep with a cup of coffee in your hands.

What that means is that it's not helping you with your alertness at the end of the day, whereas each serving of Blast or Blast Caps gives you the makings for noradrenaline that you're using up, and so you can just keep on going and going and going. Don't get me wrong. You aren't going to fly or drive 18 hours with Blast and Choline Cooler, and do as well as if you got some rest, but it's a hell of a lot better than just drinking coffee. The important thing about these formulas is that we are providing the raw materials that the brain needs to make neurotransmitters, and these metabolic routes were developed over 200 million years ago - the bugs have really been worked out of this particular system.

Sandy: They sure have.

Jim: A common question we hear from clients is about the effect caffeine has on one's adrenals.

Durk: The reason caffeine, and to some extent ephedra, has gotten a reputation for affecting the adrenals is that caffeine and ephedra do release noradrenaline and adrenaline. However, caffeine or ephedra alone does not help you make more noradrenaline - that's the whole idea behind Blast. You're supplying more of the raw materials that your adrenals require to make more noradrenaline and adrenaline by exactly the same chemical and metabolic route that your brain uses.

Jim: So if somebody is concerned about caffeine depleting their adrenals . . .

Durk: Give them Blast or Blast Caps, because they provide the raw materials the adrenals need to stay charged up. And if they are sensitive to caffeine, give them RISE & SHINE.

Jim: As I mentioned earlier, we're working with a number of people concerned with the nutritional needs of business travelers and professionals in the aviation industry. Any comment on the issue?

Durk: Basically, people are now doing things they were never designed to do by evolution, and if you want to be able to do those things as well as possible, you need nutritional support beyond anything you can get out of a natural diet. Let's face it; people have not been evolved to fly across the Pacific Ocean and then land in some crowded airport.

"You're supplying more of the raw materials that your adrenals require to make more noradrenaline and adrenaline."

Sandy: It screws up your circadian rhythm. The idea that you could go that kind of distance in less than a day, is just something your genes never figured on.

Durk: We are not well equipped genetically to do the things that airline pilots have to do every day for a living. What you really need to do is look at the mechanisms that have evolved to improve those capabilities by increasing the supply of nutrients that can be turned into those neurotransmitters, things like noradrenaline release for alertness . . .

Sandy: And acetylcholine release for mental focus. Neurotransmitter precursor therapy is really such a safe thing to do, using food components that you normally need anyway, but in different combinations and amounts than you might ordinarily get. It won't be long before everyone will be doing it, because it's an obvious thing to do.

Jim: In other words, to cope with modern demands and high-stress, people can use neurotransmitter precursors as a high-octane fuel, instead of relying on less efficient fuels?

Durk: That's exactly right. We're not doing what our great grandparents did.

Copyright Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw, 1995

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