No More “Taste Powder”

The following is from Dr. Russell Blaylock in Dr. Thomas Dorman's Fact, Fiction and Fraud in Modern Medicine. After reading this Susan and I began checking ingredients on food labels. You’ll be astonished how many products contain “natural flavouring, spices, yeast extract, textured protein, soy protein extract, etc.” I know organic or untreated foods are often hard to find and expensive, but the more I read the more I am convinced that is the safest way to eat.

"A growing number of clinicians and basic scientists are convinced that a group of compounds called excitotoxins play a critical role in the development of several neurological disorders including migraines, seizures, infections, abnormal neural development, certain endocrine disorders, neuropsychiatric disorders, learning disorders in children, AIDS dementia, episodic violence, lyme borreliosis, hepatic encephalopathy, specific types of obesity, and especially the neuro-degenerative diseases, such as ALS [amyotrophic lateral sclerosis], Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and olivopontocerebellar degeneration.

"An enormous amount of both clinical and experimental evidence has accumulated over the past decade supporting this basic premise. Yet the FDA still refuses to recognise the immediate and long term danger to the public caused by the practice of allowing various excitotoxins to be added to the food supply, such as MSG (monosodium glutamate), hydrolyzed vegetable protein, and aspartame.

"The amount of these neurotoxins added to our food has increased enormously since their first introduction. For example, since 1948 the amount of MSG added to foods has doubled every decade. By 1972 262,000 metric tons were being added to foods. Over 800 million pounds of aspartame have been consumed in various products since it was first approved.

"Ironically, these food additives have nothing to do with preserving food or protecting its integrity. All are used to alter the taste of food. MSG, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, and natural flavouring are used to enhance the taste of food. Aspartame is an artificial sweetener. These toxins (excitotoxins) are not present in just a few foods, but rather in almost all processed foods. In many cases they are being added in disguised forms, such as natural flavouring, spices, yeast extract, textured protein, soy protein extract, etc.

"Experimentally, we know that when subtoxic levels of excitotoxins are given to animals in divided doses, the experience full toxicity, i.e., they are synergistic. Also, liquid forms of excitotoxins, as occur in soups, gravies, and diet soft drinks, are more toxic than added to solid foods. . . .

"So what is an excitotoxin? These are substances, usually acidic amino acids, that react with specialised receptors in the brain in such a way as to lead to destruction of certain types of neurons. Glutamate is one of the more commonly known excitotoxins. MSG is the sodium salt of glutamate. This amino acid is a normal neurotransmitter in the brain. In fact, it is the brain’s most commonly used neurotransmitter. Defenders of MSG and aspartame usually say, How could a substance that is used normally by the brain cause harm?

"This is because glutamate, as a neurotransmitter, exists in the extracellular fluid only in very, very small concentrations—no more than 8 to 12 μM. When the concentration of this transmitter rises above this level, the neurons begin to fire abnormally. At higher concentrations, the cells undergo a specialised process of delayed cell death known as excitotoxicity, that is, they are excited to death. . . .

"The effects of excitotoxin food additives generally are not dramatic. Some individuals may be especially sensitive and develop severe symptoms and even sudden death from cardiac irritability, but in most instances the effects are subtle and develop over a long period. While the food additives MSG and aspartame are probably not direct causes of the neuro-degenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or ALS) they may well precipitate these disorders and certainly worsen their pathology."

WARNING & DISCLAIMER: By publishing this material, neither The Moneychanger nor the author/interviewee recommends or endorses any specific treatment or therapy for any physical condition or disease. Neither The Moneychanger nor the author/interviewee guarantees or warrants any results from any treatment discussed, nor assumes any express or implied liability for any use to which the reader puts this information. By this interview, the interviewee does not prescribe any treatment whatsoever for anyone who is not his patient. All the information here is offered for information purposes only, subject to the reader’s own research, prudence, and judgment.

Originally published July 2000