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Excitotoxins – MSG Toxicity and the Brain

February 16, 2013

MSG FoodExcitotoxins — aspartame, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and others. These neurotoxic chemical additives directly harm nerve cells, over-exciting them to the point of cell death, according to Dr. Russell Blaylock.

Health Ranger interviews neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock on MSG and brain-damaging excitotoxins

Dr. Blaylock: 
I was a neurosurgeon and during my residency training, I was interested in what causes all these neurological diseases and I was particularly interested in something that most of my colleagues were not interested in. That’s nutrition and its effect on the brain and recovery from brain injury. So that naturally led into looking at things that produce these problems. And I came across a book by George Schwartz on the MSG syndrome and as I read this little book about it, I said well there’s a lot of things in here I wasn’t familiar with.

 
So I started researching monosodium glutamate and what it does to the brain and I was astounded by what I found. This is a very common additive to food and most people have no clue as to what it’s doing to the brain function and pathology, particularly in the developing brain, a child’s brain. I amassed all of this research, and so I decided to write a book, my first book, and I put it together and I presented it to the publishing company and they liked it and printed it.

Now, what we’ve discovered is that this is a very toxic substance, particularly to the developing brain. So if a mother is consuming it while she’s pregnant in these high amounts, it not only passes through the placenta to the developing baby, but the amount or concentration of glutamate in the baby’s blood is twice as high as the mother’s. And of course this is a very delicate developing brain, the brain is under very complex development and we know that glutamate plays a big role in brain development. If the levels are too high or too low it can cause significant abnormalities in how the brain develops.
 
Well women have been consuming this stuff and children have been consuming this stuff since 1945. And the amount in the food has doubled every decade since that time. Massive amounts of this stuff- and a study, a research foundation found out in fact that the amounts humans are consuming is the same amount that produces lesions in animal’s brains. So of all the life forms on earth, humans are the most sensitive to the MSG toxicity.

[T]hey had discovered long ago that if you add a little bit of monosodium glutamate, it stimulates certain cells in the tongue to make food taste very good- so you could take a very bad tasting food, particularly canned foods, they have that tinny type taste to it, a metallic taste, and you put MSG in it, it just tastes scrumptious. [All] the major food manufacturers started adding MSG to food, including baby foods. So, up until 1970 it was placed in the baby foods itself and then when Dr. John Olney, a neuroscientists, discovered this toxicity to the brain and the serious implications of that toxicity, that’s when we started giving a little bit more attention to it.
 
As far as symptoms, of course the first group of symptoms that came to the public’s attention was the MSG syndrome in which people would have flushing of their face and heart palpitations and sometimes pains going down their arms and even episodes of GI discomfort and diarrhea. Well those are the obvious symptoms. What was discovered after that in fact that there’s silent damage to the brain in which there’s very few symptoms. But over time, we see destruction of major important areas of the brain, things that can cause Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, ALS – and that if you have these diseases it’s make them progress much faster.

There’s a nucleus in the hypothalamus called the arcuate nucleus, that controls your energy supply. That’s where leptin receptors are located and growth hormones. And it is the most sensitive place in the entire brain, it’s virtually wiped out by high doses of MSG. We know there’s a lot of damage to that nucleus and there’s good evidence that this obesity epidemic is caused by damage to that nucleus by the large amount of MSG put in food. Germans knew this, the German research scientists are writing about this regularly. In America, they don’t want to talk about it because of the enormous wealth.

[I]f you look at a lot of processed food you’ll see they do contain multiple toxins and multiple forms of glutamate, this excitotoxin. So […] rather than MSG I refer to it as excitotoxic food additive. And they put it in virtually everything. Every processed food and those that don’t put it in there have trouble selling their food because they can’t get the taste hyped up enough to be able to sell it.

When I first spoke on this issue in Chicago at a convention one of the chief manufacturers of processed foods came up and told me, […] if you convince everyone of the toxicity of this, we’ll just change the name. We’re gonna get it in the food one way or another. I told him, well, I’m gonna tell everybody the story of our conversation and I do, I repeat this story because it’s very important. And the government allows them, if it’s less than 99 percent pure MSG they can call it anything they want to.
 
Caramelized yeast, caseinate, carrageenan, natural flavoring, vegetable extract, protein concentrate, soy isolate, the names just go on and on and on and on, and they’re very benign sounding like natural flavoring. Well people think that’s natural, or it’ll say hydrolyzed protein or plant protein, people think that’s natural. That’s why you see it in so many natural foods and these natural food stores.

When my book came out and a lot of people were talking about it, it had a big impact on these companies. They began to remove MSG on the label. And they would even put NO MSG and I would look at the label and I would see about three to four different forms of disguised glutamate in it. [It] says plainly on the label, no MSG, but in fact it contains more glutamate.

The fact that the pharmaceutical companies, the food industry is having such a massive affect on publication of papers and research articles that it’s really polluting the scientific world. For instance, when I look at an article that says MSG is good for the elderly because it makes them eat more nutritious food or that it’s safe, I can almost assure you if I look at who wrote the paper it’s either someone that works directly for the “geno-modo” company or is connected and is being funded by the “geno-modo” company, the principle maker of monosodium glutamate and its other additives.

[G]lutamine is an amino acid that’s converted to glutamate. In your brain, in order to make glutamate, your body has glutamine that is converted in your brain cells into the glutamate neurotransmitter. If you feed an animal a lot of glutamine, you will produce excitotoxicity in the brain. You will produce these brain lesions. Patients who have ALS, if you feed them a lot of glutamine, they will get worse and die a lot sooner. So there is a conversion of glutamine into glutamate. They’re related amino acids, so there’s a relationship.
 
As far as the health effects of glutamine, that’s just way overblown and I get this question a lot when I lecture. People want to say, well isn’t it good for gut repair and good for immune stimuli and I say well, yes, your immune cells have glutamate receptors that have to do with producing the free radicals they use to kill microorganisms. So, to a limited degree, yes, it’s good for that. Now as far as for gut repair, the new results show that glutamine is not that good for gut repair. Things like pyruvate are much more effective. Pyruvate also protects your brain against glutamate.
 
[T]he interesting thing, when you look at people who have migraine headaches, number one they have very low magnesium levels. When they have an attack of migraine, the spinal fluid glutamate level goes up tremendously. Once the attack stops, the glutamate level falls. And this is why glutamate in your diet can trigger a migraine headache. And usually when I was treating migraine headaches that were very resistant to treatment, the first thing I’d tell them, get off all the glutamate. I’d make a list of things and tell them how to get off the glutamate. Their attacks would get dramatically better, they were less intense and easier to control. And you put them on the magnesium or the pyruvate, they got even better. A lot of them never had a migraine attack again.Source: http://www.naturalnews.com/035555_Russell_Blaylock_interview_excitotoxins.html#ixzz2KWZkYSsV

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2 Comments
  1. I really like your blog and what you’re saying. And thanks for following mine!

    • Thank you. We got engineered crises on our hands. Synthetic food and medicine. Food has become drugs too. We need to wake up, so we can educate ourselves and our children. Where to start, but to start. 🙂

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