Sunday, April 8, 2012
THE EVIL EXCITOTOXIN
I admit it, at times I’m a bit naive. I just had no idea how low the food manufacturers would stoop to pull the wool over unsuspecting consumers eyes. Nor did I ever hear about something called “excitotoxin.” So, after finding out just how bad it is I wanted to bring this to your attention. Remember the tobacco industry who purposely added nicotine to cigarettes so that they would become addictive? Well, it is standard practice today for food manufacturers to add an addictive ingredient called excitotoxin to their products so that their food will become addictive when consumed. How appalling!!!
What is the evil excitotoxin?
Monosodium glutamate (MSG). Whether you realize it or not, most processed foods contain MSG even though we’ve been told to avoid it. Most people who buy processed foods don’t even realize that they are also buying MSG. The reason for this is because the manufacturers cleverly disguise it on the labels and get away with doing this.
Why Do Manufacturers Put MSG Into Our Foods?
Simply stated the manufacturers add MSG because it is a very powerful excitotoxin which boosts flavor and ultimately boosts sales.
One should not assume that health food stores are safe havens from these excitotoxins. In fact, I have found that many products, including supplements as well as foods, contain one or more of these toxic compounds. For example, at least one product claiming to improve memory and boost brain power, contains large doses of both glutamate and glutamine. -Russell Blaylock, M.D., Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills
MSG can be found in diet foods, salad dressings, soups, drinks, processed foods, meats, and even fast foods such as McDonalds, Taco Bell, Applebee’s, TGIF, etc. The manufacturers of MSG have admitted that it is addictive and they are going to continue to put it into our foods no matter how many name changes are necessary to disguise it.
Is MSG Safe to Consume?
MSG is not safe to consume. Consuming foods with MSG has been directly linked to increased obesity and everything that goes along with it. MSG has been shown to cause hypertension, strokes, endocrine problems, seizures and viral encephalitis. It has also been known to cause a number of neurogenerative brain disorders such as Parkinsons disease, brain tumors, Huntington’s disease, ALS and even Alzheimer’s.
Medical Definition of Excitotoxin
A class of substances that damage neurons through paroxysmal overactivity. They are toxins that bind to certain receptors (e.g., certain glutamate receptors) and may cause neuronal cell death. The best known excitotoxins are the excitatory amino acids, that can produce lesions in the CNS similar to those of Huntingdon's chorea or Alzheimer's disease. Excitotoxicity is thought to contribute to neuronal cell death associated with stroke. This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology (11 Mar 2008).
Okay, that definition was a little hard to understand, but believe me when I say, that MSG is not good for us and has been linked to causing a whole host of problems.
How Can I Tell if My Food Contains MSG?
Ask yourself how many processed foods you consume. Be honest, because most processed foods contain MSG -- even the vegetarian/vegan foods. For example, I compared 3 popular meat substitutes and found MSG in the ingredients list on all of them. Please don’t just assume that because the label says it’s vegan that it does not contain MSG. Become aware of the various names of MSG and read the labels before purchasing! This means avoiding processed foods--even those labeled “vegan.”
Read more about excitotoxins and a list of all the names of MSG in our foods.
Here are just a few of the names of which you need to be aware:
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
Hydrolyzed Plant Protein
Plant Protein Extract
Textured Protein (including TVP)
Hydrolyzed Oat Flour
How Can I Avoid MSG?
First, it is important to eat a whole foods plant-based diet. You can avoid MSG by preparing your own dishes and eating more raw foods. If you do buy processed food items, read the labels and make sure you know what you are buying. Your health is within your control. Become knowledgeable about what you put into your mouth. Don’t fall prey to the evil excitotoxin!