MSG- Are You Eating this Poison?

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Monosodium Glutamate is put in thousands of processed foods that you may be eating. Read on to find out the dangers of this highly addictive food additive.

 

Monosodium glutamate is a widely used food additive. It is the sodium salt of glutamic acid. MSG is a form of glutamate, a carefully regulated neurotransmitter. This food additive is produced by fermenting sugar beet molasses, and the overly processed form is a fine white crystal that resembles salt or sugar.

MSG doesn’t really have a taste of it’s own but is used to enhance the flavor of other ingredients. It is put in nearly every canned, packaged, or otherwise processed food out on the market. MSG fools the brain into thinking that something tastes better than it actually does, so it may be used in place of quality ingredients.

MSG reactions

Even though the Food and Drug Administration has received many anecdotal reports of adverse reactions to foods containing MSG over the years, they still classify MSG as an ingredient that is “generally recognized as safe”. Some common symptoms include headaches, sweating, flushing, weakness, nausea, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, facial tightness and tingling and burning of the face or neck.

MSG is an excitotoxin which means that it reacts with certain specialized receptors in the brain in such a way as to lead to destruction of certain types of brain cells. With above normal levels the neurons begin to fire abnormally. At higher concentrations, the cells undergo a specialized process of cell death. There is a special gate-keeper that protects the brain from most harmful substances in the blood, called the blood-brain barrier. With high consumption of MSG, the free glutamate in the blood can gradually seep into the brain and wreak havoc.

Antioxidants

Studies have shown that antioxidants are powerful protectors against excitotoxicity. People who consume a diet high in antioxidants or take supplements are much less likely to suffer the severe effects of excitotoxins than those who don’t consume antioxidants. Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, glutathione, magnesium and melatonin have been shown to offer protection.

Russell Blaylock, author of the book Health and Nutrition Secrets that can Save Your Life, discusses how many mothers will give their children MSG-laced snacks such as chips or cookies not knowing that these foods are the reason the kids end up screaming and throwing temper-tantrums shortly after. MSG intensely stimulates the child’s brain, which is four times more sensitive to the food additive than an adult’s brain.

Studies have confirmed that MSG causes gross obesity in animals. In these studies, the subjects were mice, because mice react most like humans to MSG. “One study showed that animals fed MSG soon after birth, preferred foods high in carbohydrates and low in nutritional values. They also ate less, but ate rapidly. In other words, they were eating like teenagers”, states Blaylock. Could it be that the reason our country suffers from so much obesity is because of the wide use of MSG additives in our foods?

MSG is addictive. The reason it is in so many food products like Campbell’s soups, Hostess treats, Doritos, Lays flavored potato chips, Top Ramen, Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper, Swanson frozen prepared meals and Kraft salad dressings is because they want you to become addicted to their products.

It is also important to note that Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, is just another name for Monosodium Glutamate. Don’t be fooled, these additives all contain MSG in them as well: Hydrolyzed Protein, Hydrolyzed Plant Protein, Plant Protein Extract, Sodium Caseinate, Calcium Caseinate, Yeast Extract, Textured Protein (Including TVP), Autolyzed Yeast, Hydrolyzed Oat Flour and Corn Oil.

MSG has also been linked to diabetes, autism, cancer, ADHD and Alzheimer’s. It’s so important to read food labels people! This is your health and your family’s health we’re talking about.

 

Resources:

Blaylock, Russell L. (2006) Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life. Health Press: Albuquerque, NM

mayoclinic.com, “Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): Is It Harmful?” (accessed October 12, 2010).

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Hidden Truth to Artificial Sweetener Aspartame

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The artificial sweetener called aspartame is used widely in the food industry. It is put in everything from cookies, candies, cakes and ice cream, to gum, jams and jellies, cereals and yogurts. However, probably the most widely consumed product is diet sodas. The two biggest, mainstream brands are Nutra-Sweet and Equal. Although it is approved by the FDA, aspartame has been proven time and again just how poisonous it is to our bodies when ingested.

Aspartame has been shown to affect our bodies negatively in many ways. It can cause insomnia, weight gain, worsen depression, aggravate multiple sclerosis and other neurological diseases, worsen diabetic control, cause migraine headaches, trigger seizures, cause blindness, and may also damage a fetus’ developing brain.

A Brief History of Aspartame

Aspartame was discovered accidentally in 1965 by a chemist who was producing an anti-ulcer medicine. He discovered how sweet it tasted when he licked his finger, which had become contaminated with the substance.

In 1974, it was introduced into the United States market, only to be taken out a few months later because of inconclusive studies done on its cancer-causing effects. A new assessment of those studies led it to be authorized for solid food in 1981 and for soft drinks in 1983. In 1996, aspartame was authorized as a general sweetener.

The Dangers of Aspartame

Aspartame is composed of phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methyl alcohol. Methyl alcohol is very toxic to cells like DNA. When methyl alcohol is consumed, it is converted to formaldehyde and formic acid in the cells. Formic acid is the poison used by the fire ant that causes such intense pain. Formaldehyde is used as a preservative, such as embalming fluid. Do you want that in your body?

Phenylalanine and aspartic acid are both neurotoxic in higher concentrations. Phenylalanine is the toxic component seen in the childhood disorder called phenylketonuria or PKU, which is why it is so important to keep this harmful sweetener away from our children. Aspartic acid is one of the excitotoxic amino acids, and has been shown to produce significant damage to the brain in higher concentrations.

It has been demonstrated that formaldehyde accumulates around the DNA in cells, resulting in deletions and strand breaks in the nuclear material. Even more important, the damage is found to be accumulative. So drinking even one diet soda a day or consuming any other product containing aspartame can produce significant damage!

Food additive excitotoxins such as aspartame have been shown to be damaging on the formation of the brain during its critical growth in the last trimester and the first two years of life. Since the ovaries contain glutamate receptors like those in the brain, and we know excitotoxins cause brain damage, if the ovaries are affected in the same way, then future generations may be endangered by our eating foods high in these additives. Scary stuff!

In his book, Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life, author Russell L. Blaylock talks about a study which explains why diabetics who drink large amounts of aspartame-sweetened drinks may be more likely to go blind. Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness. Aspartic acid and methanol (components of aspartame) are known eye-toxins. Given this information and evidence, why would the American Diabetes Association, as well as thousands of doctors encourage their diabetic patients to use aspartame? He goes on to explain that maybe it has something to do with the large monetary contributions that the ADA has received from Monsanto – the maker of NutraSweet! Now there’s some food for thought.

So what should we drink if we can’t drink diet soda and we have to watch our sugar/calorie intake? Ever heard of Stevia? It’s an all natural, calorie-free, sugar-free sweetener that is an herb. It’s now going mainstream and is in many beverages on the market as well as single serving packets. The biggest brands right now are Purevia and Truvia.

Leave the aspartame to killing ants. That’s right, it works as an ant killer! Go ahead and try. Sprinkle one of those little packets on an ant hill and watch what happens.

Resources:

Blaylock, Russell L. Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life. Albuquerque: Health Press, 2006.

Holisticmed.com. “Aspartame Toxicity Info Center” (accessed October 6, 2010).