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Excitotoxins What to Avoid

What are excitotoxins and why you should avoid it

Excitotoxins, MSG and Aspartame
Excitotoxins are amino acids that are linked to neurotransmitters in the brain. Our nervous system needs those amino acids neurotransmitters to work properly. But when there is too much of those particular amino acids, these amino acids over-stimulate nerve cells and brain neurons.  Exhausted, those neurons and nerve cells can be severely damaged and die.
Some excitotoxins are naturally found in nature, and even produced by our brain.  But excessive amount of it is suspected to have an adverse effect in many health conditions, including migraines, seizures, endocrine disorders, obesity, neurodegenerative disorders as well as brain development disorders.
There’s an enormous amount of both clinical and experimental evidence that supports the many dangers of excitotoxins. However governments still refuses to admit the evidences and warn the public of the possible long-term dangers associated with various excitotoxins added to food such as MSG, hydrolyzed vegetable proteins and aspartame.
MSG is a food additive used to enhance savory flavors. Food manufacturers add it to a range of products, especially in processed foods.  Hydrolyzed vegetables proteins are at the base of several vegan meat substitutes, and aspartame is mainly used as a low-calorie sweetener, added to many diet products.
Those who defend the use of MSG, aspartame and other excitotoxins claim that because they are naturally occurring in nature, like in tomatoes or grapes, excitotoxins can’t be harmful.  But naturally occurring glutamate has nothing to do with added MSG. Dr. Russell L. Blaylock, MD, Author of the excellent book: Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills says:
“[Naturally occurring] glutamate are bound. They’re in oligosaccharides, polysaccharides. They are bound in amino acids groupings. They’re not free amino acids. If you have it as a complex protein, you absorb it in your GI tract. In the GI tract, there are almost no free amino acids if you eat foods such as tomatoes. The level of free amino acids is nil; it’s almost all absorbed as combined amino acids, and then it’s only broken down in the liver, where it’s released in very low concentrations that the body can deal with. It was never meant to have free amino acids in such high concentrations.
Well, when you hydrolyze them — or you use yeast extract or enzymes to break down these various proteins into their free, released amino acids — they’re not natural any longer. What you’ve done is artificially release the amino acids in an unnatural way, and when they enter your GI tract, they are absorbed as free amino acids, then your blood level of that glutamic acid goes up significantly. As I said, it can go up as high as 20-fold, in some cases 40-fold. Your blood brain barrier is not constructed to handle such high levels of glutamate, because it doesn’t naturally occur that way. It can handle the lower levels, but it can’t handle these very high levels. So this argument, “Oh, it’s natural,” is just a lot of nonsense.”
Another harmful effect of excitotoxins is associated with accumulations of toxic free radicals and destructive lipid enzymes. This phenomenon could in fact multiply the cell’s overstimulation and interfere with the body’s natural ability to detoxify.
Avoiding excitotoxins can be very difficult as MSG comes under over 25 different names.  Many foods labeled as natural and healthy have hidden sources of MSG, so carefully reading the ingredient lists is always mandatory.  Here are a few names in which MSG can hide.

Foods ALWAYS contain MSG when these words are on the label

  • MSG
  • Monosodium glutamate
  • Glutamate
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • Hydrolyzed plant protein
  • Autolyzed plant protein
  • Sodium caseinate
  • Calcium caseinate
  • Textured vegetable protein
  • Yeast extract
  • Yeast nutrient
  • Autolyzed yeast
  • Autolyzed yeast extract

Food ingredients that MIGHT show hidden MSG

  • Annatto
  • Flavoring
  • Seasonings
  • Protein fortified
  • Bouillon
  • Broth
  • Caramel
  • Malt extract
  • Soy protein isolate
  • Soy protein concentrate
  • Spices
  • Stock
  • Whey protein isolate

Common foods that may contain MSG or Aspartame

  • Chinese food
  • Sauces
  • Bouillon/Stock
  • Packaged soups
  • Processed meat substitute
  • Salad dressings
  • Vegan burgers
  • Commercial marinades
  • Flavored chips
  • Soft drinks
  • Fruit cocktails
  • Chewing gum
  • Diet produc


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