(NaturalNews) The first line of defense against the two most commonly used and pernicious food additives, MSG and aspartame, is avoidance. However, complete avoidance is not possible for everyone all the time. MSG, monosodium glutamate, has been disguised with several different names. Aspartame or its primary constituent, aspartic acid, along with disguised variations of MSG, have even shown up in food products or supplements sold in health food stores!
Eating out, you're sure to be taking in some MSG. Even if the restaurant doesn't add MSG to the food it prepares, MSG or disguised variations are sure to be within the foods purchased by the restaurant. Soups, gravies, and all liquids with MSG or aspartame will ensure a more rapid overload of excitotoxins than other forms of tainted foods.
Even worse maybe, now it has been disclosed that many crops are being sprayed, some for several years, with the essential ingredient of MSG, processed free glutamate. So a second line of defense is certainly in order.
Excitotoxins are amino acids that also serve as neurotransmitters in the brain. The nervous system needs amino acid neurotransmitters to operate. But when the dose is too high or builds from excessive daily intake, these amino acids cross the blood brain barrier and excite the neurons of brain cells to a point of absolute exhaustion. Then those brain neurons eventually die.
As one consumes MSG or aspartame over time, there is a formaldehyde byproduct from metabolizing these toxic ingredients. The formaldehyde binds with cellular DNA and causes DNA damage. It tends to stick to the DNA and over time the formaldehyde accumulation causes massive cell damage, which breeds diseases of all sorts, even cancer.
Within the brain and throughout the nervous system, heart, and intestinal tract there are glutamate receptors or channels. So it is not only the brain that is affected by excitotoxins over time. If one is lacking in glutamate or other excitoxin protection naturally, drinking or eating a large quantity of MSG or aspartame laced liquid at one time can result in an immediate negative physical reaction.
Natural Protection From Excititoxic Reactions
Magnesium has been discovered to help impede glutamates from overloading glutamate receptors. People with low magnesium content are the most prone to acute excitotoxicity that can cause a sudden severe digestive distress, headache, or even heart attack. Magnesium is vital to 300 biochemical functions within the body. So it is important for overall health in addition to blocking glutamate sensors or channels from excitotoxin overload.
Magnesium comes in all sorts of supplemental forms. It is wise to get one that dissolves in water for easier absorption into the blood. Magnesium content is high in green, leafy vegetables. It is also available in whole grains and many beans and nuts. Try purchasing organic fresh vegetables and organic bulk grains or beans if possible.
Research seems to indicate that Ginko Baloba also protects against excitoxicity. It has been known to help protect against Alzheimer's as well as reduce brain fog for some time now.
Omega 3 fatty acids also block excitoxins while repairing cellular damage. Fish oils seem to be the best source of Omega 3 for this specific purpose, according to Dr. Russel Blaylock, author of Excitoxins: The Taste That Kills, and Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life.
Selenium is another protector of glutamate receptors from excitotoxin invasion. It is available as a supplement. Small doses are recommended. Brazil nuts are considered a high source of selenium. Two or three Brazil nuts a day is considered sufficient for optimum selenium intake.
Red Clover was recommended by Barbara L. Minton in her September 22, 2008 Natural News article Red Clover Blocks Neurological Damage From MSG. It is basically an herb that is inexpensive and available as leaves for tea, in tinctures, liquid extracts, and capsules. According to Barbara Minton's article, lab tests demonstrated a significant decline in brain cell neuron damage when red clover's essential protective ingredient was added.
Zinc also helps obstruct the glutamate receptor channels from excessive excitotoxin absorption. Many in our society today are zinc deficient. A zinc taste test can be done to determine if one has sufficient zinc stored in his or her body. A solution of zinc sulfate is tasted for the test. If an immediate bad taste ensues, that usually indicates a sufficient zinc level in the body.
Again, the first step in any detoxification effort is eliminating the toxin. Aspartame is obvious and easy to recognize. It's in all artificial sweeteners, diet sodas, and sugar free sports drinks as well as in many sugar free processed foods. Don't confuse this with Stevia, which is a natural and safe sugar substitute.
However, MSG is disguised with several favorable terms, some of which are actually accurate descriptions of separating glutamate from its protein bound and making free glutamate, which is toxic! Some of the glutamate or glutamic acid disguises are hydrolyzed vegetable or soy protein, natural flavor, artificial flavor, spice, casseinate digest, yeast extract, and more.
For a more detailed list of hidden MSG names, Google "Hidden Names for MSG".
Keep this in mind: Hydrolyzed proteins, soy, vegetables, and grains are where the protein bound glutamates are separated and become the toxic free glutamates. Hydrolyzing is the process itself. Once you have been practicing aspartame and MSG abstinence to the best of your ability, your body will start detoxing from excitotoxins.
To enhance and ensure detoxification, Dr. Blaylock recommends Milk Thistle to help the liver eliminate all toxins. Curcumin is the essential ingredient of turmeric. It enhances bile flow as well as DNA repair enzymes. He also recommends Taurine, an amino acid that contains sulfur to aid the liver, as well as vitamins B1 and B6 and vitamins C and E.
It has to be accepted that big business food processing industries hold their profit over public health. So caveat emptor or buyer beware applies. Making cheap foods taste better cheaply regardless of the toxicity is their goal. This article is by no means a comprehensive and detailed guide for protecting yourself from excitotoxins. It is a lay person summary or introduction of the topic and a beginner's guide, if you will.
The sources listed below and any links or URL's provided will take you further into the subject if you wish.
Paul Fassa is dedicated to warning others about the current corruption of food and medicine and guiding others toward a direction for better health with no restrictions on health freedom. You can visit his blog at http://healthmaven.blogspot.com