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The Hidden Harms of Excitotoxins

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The Hidden Harms of Excitotoxins

By Matthew Solan, Experience Life

Fair warning: If you are drinking a diet drink, munching on chicken-flavored crackers or enjoying a fast-food lunch while you’re reading this, odds are good that you’ll toss them out by the time you finish the article. Why? Because many low-calorie sodas, highly flavored snacks and processed foods of all kinds contain substances known as excitotoxins substances that could very well be doing a serious number on your health.

Excitotoxin substances have long been used by food manufacturers to pump up the flavor of their products, and food manufacturers continue to insist they are safe. But in recent years, many health experts have regarded both excitotoxins and manufacturers’ assurances with increasing concern. Excitotoxins are a class of chemicals (usually amino acids) that overstimulate neuron receptors. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has put both aspartame and MSG on its list of food additives to avoid (for details, see www.cspinet.org/ additives).

Much recent research suggests that regularly consuming excitotoxins, like MSG and aspartame, over an extended period of time can destroy significant numbers of brain cells and lead to serious health problems, including seizures and strokes. According to Russell L. Blaylock, a neurosurgeon and author of Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, excitotoxins have also been linked to human neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

The chemicals in excitotoxins stimulate the taste cells in the tongue, causing the flavor of the foods we eat to be greatly enhanced. Soups, snacks, sauces, gravies, many low-fat and vegetarian processed foods manufacturers often pack them with “flavor enhancers” in an effort to make them taste irresistible.

Next: Excitotoxins disguised – Ingredients to look out for

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Megan, selected from Experience Life

Experience Life magazine is an award-winning health and fitness publication that aims to empower people to live their best, most authentic lives, and challenges the conventions of hype, gimmicks and superficiality in favor of a discerning, whole-person perspective. Visit experiencelife.com to learn more and to sign up for the Experience Life newsletter, or to subscribe to the print or digital version.

181 comments

+ add your own
2:26AM PST on Jan 4, 2012

"The Slow Poisoning of America" a must read.

11:46PM PDT on Oct 16, 2011

Great article. Thanks for sharing.

7:40PM PST on Jan 7, 2011

excellent article!! i've been wondering what other names were being used for "msg". thank you!!

1:23AM PDT on Aug 31, 2010

Thanks very much. I have a mania for dieting and I thought my way of dieting is good enough until I read this.

1:23PM PDT on Aug 30, 2010

A load of interesting info there, thank you.
MSG has affected me in the past, when eating Chinese take-aways, so now I steer clear. But I didn't realise that it was also present in foods under so many other names.
I'm careful about processed foods - now I'll be even more careful.
Thank you.

10:46PM PDT on Aug 2, 2010

A very valuable article. Anyway, I cook food myself and never add MSG nor additive except sugar and salt.

12:16PM PDT on Aug 2, 2010

Also, asking at restaurants if the food has MSG in it doesn't always help. Most of the time it does, but often the restaurants don't even know it's in their food. Another great reason to stay away from franchise/fast food places.

12:14PM PDT on Aug 2, 2010

My mother and I are both allergic to MSG (along with other artificial flavorings, fragrances, etc.) and consuming MSG gives us migraines. We read labels on everything before we buy them, even if we have bought the product before (the companies might change the ingredients) and we are able to recognize ingredients that disguise MSG, like autolyzed yeast extract, maltodextrin, flavoring, and things like chicken broth/base. Even if a product says "No MSG", they can still hide it.
I quote: "MSG is injected into lab animals to induce obesity so that pharmaceutical companies can test their drugs." And this is what we're eating! MSG can cause strokes, adrenal gland malfunctions, seizures... the list goes on. On top of being horrible, the MSG companies are aware of this! They know that they are poisoning people!
This is a great site that has hidden names for MSG: http://www.msgmyth.com/hidename.htm

4:02PM PDT on Aug 1, 2010

Thank you for info. Interesting

7:27PM PDT on Jul 31, 2010

I have epilepsy for 20 years. I lost my wife, my business and my dog. I found myself at 52 moving in with my agrd parents. I tried every medication availabl amd still had seizures ever 4 to six weeks. I returned from from a cruise through the the Panama Canal 3 three years ago. when I got home i ended up in the hospital for a week and almost died from the seizure episode. At that point I read dr. Blaylock's book Excitoxins, the Taste That Kills. I stopped consuming all excitotoxins and I have not had a seizure in three years. What causesed the las seizure episode was the food I consumed on the cruise. I just dealt with the migraines that I got on the cruise using feverfew and tyneol. Trust me it not easy not eating excitotoxins. Most resturants don't no they are even using it. Trader Joe's here on the west coast and most foods from Fresh and Easy are excitotoxin free. I can't eat at most resturants unless they serve eggs or ommelettes. IHOP has gotten a lot of my business in the last three years. Also In and Out Burger. I have a passion about spreading the word about the damage that excitotoxins do must most people just don't want to listen. Keep spreading the word because excitotoxins and msg truly ruined my life.

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