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Excitotoxins ~ Chemical Brain Melters

Published November 18th, 2009 in Brain Body Connection

by Tammera Karr

What if the chemicals, added to food cause brain damage in children, and these chemicals effect how their nervous system formed during development so that in later years they may have learning or emotional difficulties?

What if the chemicals, added to food cause brain damage in children, and these chemicals effect how their nervous system formed during development so that in later years they may have learning or emotional difficulties? Noted researchers like Russell L. Blaylock, M.D believe these chemicals could damage a critical part of the brain known to control hormones, leading to endocrine problems. They are called excitotoxins and include chemicals like; Artificial colors (FD&C colors) Sodium nitrite and nitrate, BHT (butylated hydroxytohicne) Saccharin, MSG (monosodium glutamate), Aspartame Caffeine, Propylene glycol, Sulfites (especially sodium bisulfite) Sulfur dioxide, BVO (Brominated Vegetable Oil)

For us as adults we may be religiously working out, taking supplements and eating right, but feel as though we are losing our edge, the answer may lie in neurotoxins hidden in even the most healthy sounding foods, including many foods labeled organic. These ingredients often cause serious reactions, including migraines, insomnia, asthma, depression, anxiety, aggression, chronic fatigue, and even ALS. They may be responsible for the swelling numbers of children diagnosed as ADHD.

Evidence strongly suggests that the artificial sweeteners in diet soft drinks, gums, candy and foods may cause brain tumors to develop, and the number of brain tumors reported since the widespread introduction of artificial sweetener has risen dramatically. In addition obesity has skyrocketed with the increased consumption of these fake sugars and their interaction with hormones.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is probably the best known of the neurotoxins but it has more than one name and form; yeast extract, maltodextrin, carrageenan, hydrolyzed vegetable protein – (MSG with a gang of bad excitotoxins), dough conditioners, seasonings, and spices. Hazardous chemicals are added to virtually all restaurant food from your favorite burger joint or fish house to the most exclusive gourmet dining spots. While 1 out of every 4 people is sensitive to neurotoxic food additives, only 1 in 250 is aware that these additives are the source of the reactions they are having.

MSG is natural and has been used in Asian cooking for decades as a flavor enhancer. During World War II, American food manufacturers began using MSG to improve the taste of C-rations for the troops. Originally isolated from seaweed, MSG is now made from fermenting corn, potatoes and rice. MSG is naturally present in high levels in tomatoes and Parmesan cheese (this may be why some migraine sufferers have problems with parmesan cheese too). These natural foods have built in protection in the form of antioxidants to off-set the damage from naturally occurring MSG. But manmade or modern MSG is highly dangerous to health. An early study reported that the inner layer of the retina was destroyed in neonatal rats receiving a single exposure to MSG. This is an very important finding considering that humans are 5 times more sensitive to MSG than rats.

The definition of natural flavor under the Code of Federal Regulations is: “the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional” (21CFR101.22).

So what about the flavorings used in organic foods? Foods certified by the National Organic Program (NOP) must be grown and processed using organic farming methods without synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes, petroleum-based fertilizers and sewage sludge-based fertilizers. Organic livestock cannot be fed antibiotics or growth hormones. The term “organic” is not synonymous with “natural.” The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) defines “natural” as “a product containing no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed may be labeled natural.” Most foods labeled natural, including its flavorings, are not subject to government controls beyond the regulations and heath codes.

Food and beverage companies use food additives because they make you crave more of what tastes so good. They cause nerve cells to cry out for repeated stimulation, and keep you buying and consuming more of their products. With large companies buying out smaller natural food product lines it gives one pause to wonder how long till these once trusted foods are also swimming in excitotoxins? If you want to avoid neurotoxic additives, you have to do more than look for MSG in big letters on the front of the package or artificial sweetener on the label. Even if products call themselves “all natural” or “organic”, there can still be neurotoxic additives in that product. There is no way to know unless you are willing to take the time to read the label.

Better yet if you can’t understand the ingredients label, if the names are words you don’t recognize like beans, salt, water, don’t put it in your cart. Eliminate processed foods especially for children whose brains and body’s are still developing. Nothing Beat the Real Thing!

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