Renowned neurosurgeon and author Dr. Russell Blaylock has identified monosodium glutamate, along with aspartate and cysteine, as an excitotoxin. According to Dr. Blaylock, excitotoxins are biochemical compounds that can overstimulate the neurons. Overactivity may lead to serious neurological risks, according to Dr. Blaylock's book entitled Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills.
In his book, Dr. Blaylock pointed out that excitotoxins may lead to parkinsonism by overstimulating cortical glutamate cells that are connected to the nigrostriatal neurons in the brain. This mechanism is similar to when lightning strikes an electric pole directly causing appliances to burn up in a nearby house, Dr. Blaylock explains.
The retired neurosurgeon has also expressed concerns over MSG's link to more adverse health conditions such as hypoglycemia, especially among those who workout. Dr. Blaylock said high core temperatures during the post-workout phase may lead to a temporary breakdown of the blood-brain barrier, which in turn may result in glutamate leakage to the brain. Physical stress may also result in the prolonged decline in blood glucose levels and brain glucose, which makes the brain more susceptible to excitotoxins.
Various medical studies on both human and animal samples show a high correlation between MSG and different health conditions. A 2009 study found that consuming this excitotoxin may result in brain cell swelling and even death. Researchers said mature neurons appeared to be highly susceptible to the effects of MSG, while younger neurons showed greater resilience. The findings may provide insight into why older individuals are more likely to suffer MSG-related health concerns than younger people.
In addition, the researchers found that boiling does nothing to reduce the toxicity of MSG. However vitamin C intake may mitigate the adverse effects of MSG, researchers added. The findings were published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine.
Another study found that MSG intake was associated with higher odds of obesity. Researchers conducted a cross-sectional analysis of 752 respondents and found that the prevalence of obesity was significantly higher in those who frequently used the excitotoxin compared with nonusers. Data also showed that respondents in the highest tertile of MSG intake had greater odds of obesity independent of physical activity.
An animal study in 2008 revealed that MSG exposure resulted in severe brain lesions in mice one to five days old, and less pronounced lesions in older counterparts. Data also showed a higher incidence of obesity in younger mice than older samples. The findings in Experimental Neurology coincide with another animal study, which found a correlation between MSG exposure and increased odds of insulin resistance, obesity and diabetes and mice.
The FDA has categorized MSG as generally safe. However, the health agency has also acknowledged its short-term effects including numbness, fatigue, disorientation and palpitation. Like many other vaccine excipients, the excitotoxin's long-term effects are yet to be identified.
While various studies have identified the health risks associated with MSG, the excitotoxin is still widely used as a stabilizer in vaccines against diseases such as flu and MMR. The reason why this excitotoxin is still added to vaccines remains unclear.