The two main excitotoxins used by the food industry are the flavor enhancer MSG(monosodium glutamate) and the artificial sweetener aspartame. Excitotoxins are amino acids that can also serve as neurotransmitters in the brain.
But when the dose is too high or builds from excessive daily intake, these amino acids cross the blood brain barrier and excite the neurons of brain cells to a point of absolute exhaustion. Those brain neurons eventually die.
Artificial sweeteners are easy to spot for those who care enough to look at ingredient labels, especially aspartame.
This article will focus on MSG, which is perhaps even more ubiquitous and deceptively hidden in many processed foods. Another following article will focus on how obviously toxic aspartame was approved by the FDA despite objections from its own scientists.
MSG was discovered in Japan a century ago by chemistry professor Kikunae Ikeda. He isolated the substance in a seaweed that for centuries Japanese cooks had been using to make food taste better and found that it was l-glutamate, which he managed crystallize and be sold as a flavor enhancer.
But it enhances or creates flavor when there is none by tricking or exciting the brain. Thus it has since been useful to create flavors where there are none. In the 1950s and ’60s a pure MSG product called Accent was a popular kitchen and outdoor grill item, often mistakenly considered a “meat tenderizer”.
Since then it’s become ubiquitous in processed snack foods, fast foods, and even health food processed foods. Soon health conscious folks began catching on to MSG dangers, thanks to people like Dr. Russel Blaylock and others. So the food industries simply began using glutamate extracts from other sources to function as MSG.
Eating out, you’re almost sure to be taking in some MSG. Even if the restaurant doesn’t add MSG to the food it prepares, MSG or disguised variations of the same are sure to be within the base items used for cooking purchased by the restaurant.
Even worse, some commercially grown crops are being sprayed with the essential ingredient of MSG, processed free glutamate. So a second line of defense is certainly in order.
As one consumes MSG over time, formaldehyde forms. The formaldehyde binds with cellular DNA and causes DNA damage. It tends to stick to the DNA and over time the formaldehyde accumulation causes massive cell damage, which invites diseases of all sorts, even cancer.
Within the brain and throughout the nervous system, heart, and intestinal tract there are glutamate receptors or channels. So it is not only the brain that is affected by excitotoxins over time.
If one is lacking in glutamate or other excitotoxin protection naturally, consuming a large quantity of MSG at one time can result in an immediate negative physical reaction. Chronic consumption results in chronic medical conditions that are usually treated incorrectly.
Developing brains among young children are even or susceptible to neurological damage from MSG, which has been used in baby foods and formulas. Even mainstream media once recognized this.
Natural Protections from MSG Toxicity
Magnesium has been discovered to help impede glutamates from overloading glutamate receptors. People with low magnesium content are the most prone to acute excitotoxicity that can cause a sudden severe digestive distress, headache, or even heart attack.
Magnesium is vital to 300 biochemical functions within the body. So it is important for overall health in addition to blocking glutamate sensors or channels from excitotoxin overload. Almost everybody on the SAD (standard American diet) diet is magnesium deficient.
Magnesium comes in all sorts of supplemental forms, magnesium citrate is popular, inexpensive, and recommended. But there others, some not so recommended. Magnesium content is high in green, leafy organic vegetables. Chard is my favorite. It is also available in whole grains and many beans and nuts.
Ginko Baloba may also protect against excitotoxicity.
Omega 3 fatty acids also block excitotoxins while repairing cellular damage.
Selenium is another protector of glutamate receptors from excitotoxin invasion. It is available as a supplement. Small doses are recommended. Brazil nuts are considered a high source of selenium. Two or three Brazil nuts a day is considered sufficient for optimum selenium intake.
Red Clover is basically an herb that is inexpensive and available as leaves for tea, in tinctures, liquid extracts, and capsules. Lab tests demonstrated a significant decline in brain cell neuron damage when red clover’s essential protective ingredient was added.
Zinc also helps obstruct the glutamate receptor channels from excessive excitotoxin absorption. Many in our society today are zinc deficient.
How to Spot Hidden MSG
Even commercially grown (non-organic) veggies and fruits can be saturated with glutamic acid or free glutamate used as a fertilizer. MSG is disguised with several apparently favorable terms, some of which are actually accurate descriptions of separating bound glutamate from its protein and making free glutamate, which is toxic!
Hydrolyzing proteins in soy, vegetables, and grains free the formerly safely bound glutamates, leaving the toxic glutamates for consumption. Hydrolyzing is the process itself, so avoid hydrolyzed whatever on processed food labels.
Some of the glutamate or glutamic acid disguises are hydrolyzed vegetable or soy protein, natural flavors, artificial flavor, spice, casseinate digest, yeast extract, and more.
Natural flavors is an FDA accepted con because the sources of bound glutamate items are natural. But you’re getting the extract from them, glutamic acid or glutamate, which is toxic.
It has to be accepted that big business food processing industries hold their profit over public health. And the FDA is on their side considering everything mentioned here as GRAS (generally regarded as safe) without safety testing.
Dangers from accumulation over time are never considered. If you can walk away it’s okay in their mini-minds. So caveat-emptor or buyer beware applies.
Author: Paul Fassa