The first line of defense against the two most commonly used and pernicious food additives, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and aspartame, is avoidance. However, complete avoidance is not possible for everyone all the time because MSG has been disguised with several different names and aspartame is appearing in almost everything. Aspartame or its primary constituent, aspartic acid, along with disguised variations of MSG have even shown up in food products or supplements sold in health food stores!
If you’re eating out, you’re sure to be taking in food additives like MSG. Even if the restaurant doesn’t add MSG to the food it prepares, MSG or disguised MSG is sure to be within the food items purchased and served by the restaurant. Soups, gravies, and all liquids with MSG or aspartame will ensure a more rapid overload of excitotoxins than other forms of tainted foods.
Even worse, now it has been disclosed that many crops are being sprayed, some for several years, with the essential ingredient of MSG, processed free glutamate. So a second line of defense is certainly in order.
What Are Excitoxins
Excitotoxins are food additives that come from amino acids that also serve as neurotransmitters in the brain. The nervous system needs amino acid neurotransmitters to operate. 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 exhausted brain neurons eventually die.
When one consumes MSG or aspartame, formaldehyde is formed during the process of metabolizing them. This formaldehyde binds with cellular DNA and causes DNA damage. Because it sticks to DNA, over time formaldehyde accumulation causes massive cell damage that breeds diseases of all sorts, including 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 excitoxin protection naturally, consuming a large quantity of MSG or aspartame laced food or drink at one time can result in an immediate negative physical reaction.
Natural Protection From Excitotoxic Reactions
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.
Magnesium comes in all sorts of supplemental forms. It is wise to get one that dissolves in water for easier absorption into the blood. Magnesium content is high in green, leafy vegetables. It is also available in whole grains and many beans and nuts. Try purchasing organic fresh vegetables and organic bulk grains or beans if possible.
Research seems to indicate that the herb Gingko Baloba protects against excitoxicity. It is known to help protect against Alzheimer’s as well as reduce brain fog.
Omega 3 fatty acids also block excitoxins while repairing cellular damage. Fish oils seem to be the best source of Omega 3 for this specific purpose, according to Dr. Russel Blaylock, author of Excitoxins: The Taste That Kills, and Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life.
Selenium is another protector of glutamate receptors from excitotoxin invasion. It is available as a supplement. Small doses are recommended. Brazil nuts are an excellent source of selenium. Two or three Brazil nuts a day is considered sufficient for optimum selenium intake.
Red Clover is an herb that is inexpensive and available as leaves for tea, in tinctures, liquid extracts, and capsules. Lab tests have demonstrated a significant decline in brain cell neuron damage when red clover is taken before a meal.
Zinc also helps obstruct the glutamate receptor channels from excessive excitotoxin absorption. Many in our society today are zinc deficient. If you are losing the ability to taste your food, you are probably low on zinc.
Again, the first step in any detoxification effort is eliminating the toxin. Aspartame is obvious and easy to recognize. It’s in most artificial sweeteners, diet sodas, sugar free sports drinks and even chewing gum, as well as in many sugar free processed foods. Don’t confuse this with Stevia, which is a natural and safe sugar substitute.
MSG is disguised with several nice sounding terms, some of which are actually accurate descriptions of separating glutamate from its protein bond and making free glutamate, which is toxic! Some of the glutamate or glutamic acid disguises are hydrolyzed vegetable or soy protein, natural flavor, artificial flavor, spice, casseinate digest, yeast extract, and more. Read the labell before you buy.
Once you have been practicing aspartame and MSG abstinence to the best of your ability, your body will start detoxing from excitotoxins.
To enhance and ensure detoxification, Dr. Blaylock recommends Milk Thistle to help the liver eliminate all toxins. Curcumin is the essential ingredient of turmeric. It enhances bile flow and production of DNA repair enzymes. He also recommends Taurine, an amino acid that contains sulfur to aid the liver, as well as vitamins B1 and B6 and vitamins C and E.
It has to be accepted that big business food processing industries hold their profit over public health. So caveat emptor or buyer beware applies. Making cheap foods taste better cheaply, regardless of the toxicity, is their goal. This article is by no means a comprehensive and detailed guide for protecting yourself from excitotoxins. It is a beginner’s guide, a starting place for your education.
For more information:
Dr. Blaylock’s website, http://www.russellblaylockmd.com/