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Looking Out For A Silent Killer Part 3 (Neurotoxins/Excitotoxins)

Aspartame and MSG are two of the worst food additives you can readily find in packaged foods.  Known as “excitotoxins” they debilitate the nervous system and rest of the body by exciting nerve cells to early cell death. 

Aspartame also known commercially as NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful and Equalmeasure is the typical artificial sweetener found in diet foods and drinks and most chewing gums.  When anything packaged says “diet” or “sugar free” be sure and read the label—it likely contains one of these and if so, don’t consume it if you value your health.  A very beneficial alternative to these sugar substitutes is called xyletol which can be found in health food stores.  There are also a couple of brands of chewing gum that contain xyletol.  Having one of the eight healing sugars known as mannose this gum (unlike with aspartame) can actually fight off dental infections.

MSG, or monosodium glutamate is an equally-dangerous neurotoxin that is possibly poisoning us more so than aspartame because of its other names that disguise its presence in packaged foods, spices and drinks.  MSG often associated only with Chinese food, IS everywhere and in order to look for it you need to know the AKA’s.  Monosodium glutamate, glutamate, “spices” and “natural flavors” are the same thing.  These sneaky words can be a percentage of MSG content, hiding these excitotoxins from the typical misinformed consumer.  For more information on how MSG is everywhere and in everything, please visit the site www.msgtruth.org/avoid.htm.  By the way, if you suspect you’ve consumed something with MSG, such as any time you go out to eat, the antidote is live-source B vitamins. 

These two excitotoxins should be sought after and avoided like the plague.  Whether you have a compromised immune system or not, if nerve cells are dying off way too early, you’re predisposing yourself to poor health in general and some of the worst degenerative types of diseases.  MS, ALS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and cancer are some of the neurodegenerative diseases that are connected to early cell death of the nerve cells.  Other symptoms related to excitotoxicity include headaches and migraines, chronic fatigue, joint pain, depression and anxiety. 

One of the best strategies to avoid these dangerous food additives is to eat out less and prepare your own foods with whole foods.  Yes this means avoiding packaged foods as much as possible and it entails more work, but if you really want true wellness, there really are no shortcuts.  The packaged foods and TV dinner phenomenon has really put us into a deep hole and climbing out entails lifestyle changes that require effort.  In other words, just like in all other examples of life, there is a direct correlation in the effort you put out with the rewards you receive.    


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Sarah Wolverton, D.C.
Diana Crumrine, N.D.
Erica Gomez CMT
Kristina Katinka, MSOM, LAc

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