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Top Brain Killers

While we all want our food to taste good, there are certain chemicals that are used in foods to improve their taste, but have some very harmful effects on the body. Many of these chemicals are also known as excitotoxins. An excitotoxin is a chemical that causes a brain cell to become overexcited and fire uncontrollably, leading to cell death. Not only are these excitotoxins highly addictive, but they have been proven to cause brain cell death, infertility, inhibit sexual development, cause violent behaviors, and even hormonal disorders. This excitatory chemical has also been linked to autism spectrum disorder. Excitotoxins have even been found to dramatically promote cancer growth and metastasis.

Here are a few common excitotoxins that you will want to avoid.

1. MSG

This is also known as monosodium glutamate. It is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, an amino acid found in your body and many foods. This dangerous, but common food additive is very popular because it enhances the flavor of food. The amino acid in monosodium glutamate that causes brain damage, endocrine disorders and adverse reactions, is also called Manufactured free Glutamate or MfG.

Several studies revealed that MSG has a toxic effect on a fetus, children, adolescents, and adults. Physiological complication associated with MSG toxicity are hypertension, obesity, gastrointestinal tract troubles, and impairment of function of the brain, nervous system, reproductive, and endocrine system. Some studies have even found MSG to be genotoxic to the human peripheral blood lymphocytes in vitro.

While you might see MSG on the ingredient label, there are also other names you might find instead. Ingredients that contain free glutamate include any ingredient that contains the words “glutamate” or “hydrolyzed,” yeast nutrient, yeast food or autolyzed yeast, as well as ingredients containing the word “protein,” gelatin, ajinomoto, calcium caseinate and sodium caseinate. Always avoid foods containing these ingredients if MSG causes you to experience unpleasant side effects.

Other Potential Sources of MSG:

Some other ingredients can contain free glutamate. These include broth, stock, bouillon, flavoring, seasoning, protease, pectin, maltodextrin, carrageenan, citrate, citric acid, barley malt, malt extract, soy sauce, anything fermented and anything containing enzymes. You may want to avoid foods containing these ingredients as well, unless you have tried them and experienced no symptoms.

2. Aspartame

Aspartame was discovered by accident by scientist James M. Schlatter in 1965. As Schlatter was researching an anti-ulcer drug, he licked his finger to get a better grip, and the sweetness he tasted was aspartame. This artificial sweetener has been long debated about toxicity to the body.

There are many problems with this sweet poison. Upon ingestion, aspartame is broken, converted, and oxidized into formaldehyde in various tissues. Formaldehyde is a substance that is grouped in the same class of poisons as cyanide and arsenic. Did you know formaldehyde is also an embalming agent used in funeral homes? I have a friend in the funeral business and he says, “Do not eat it!” To me, people consuming this sweet poison must be trying to save on their funeral bill.

Aspartame has been linked to migraines, nausea, toxic kidneys, toxic liver, nerve damage and even cancer. One aspartame researcher noticed that, when cancer cells were exposed to aspartame, they became more mobile, and you see the same effect with MSG. It also causes a cancer cell to become more mobile, and that enhances metastasis, or spread. Consuming aspartame has also been found to cause neurobehavioral effects such learning problems, irritable moods, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Sometimes artificial sweeteners (including aspartame) are suggested as sugar alternatives for individuals suffering with Type II Diabetes. However, research has found that consuming these artificial sweeteners like aspartame, can make this disease worse. Aspartame may act as a chemical stressor by increasing cortisol levels, and may induce systemic oxidative stress by producing excess free radicals, and it may also alter gut microbial activity and interfere with the N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, resulting in insulin deficiency or resistance.

If you are wondering what effects these excitotoxins have had on you, Nutrition Response Testing can help determine the effects of this sweet poison on your body. Please call our office today at 507-333-5388 to schedule your Nutrition Response Testing appointment.

Another option to help cleanse your body from the toxicity of this sweet poison would be the 21 Day Purification Program from Standard Process. Click here to read more about this program.


  1. Chakraborty SP. Patho-physiological and toxicological aspects of monosodium glutamate. Toxicol Mech Methods. 2019 Jul;29(6):389-396. doi: 10.1080/15376516.2018.1528649. Epub 2019 May 6. PMID: 30273089

  2. Ataseven N, Yüzba??o?lu D, Keskin AÇ, Ünal F. Genotoxicity of monosodium glutamate. Food Chem Toxicol. 2016 May;91:8-18. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2016.02.021. Epub 2016 Feb 27. PMID: 26929995.

  3. Blaylock RL. A possible central mechanism in autism spectrum disorders, part 3: the role of excitotoxin food additives and the synergistic effects of other environmental toxins. Altern Ther Health Med. 2009 Mar-Apr;15(2):56-60. PMID: 19284184.

  4. Choudhary AK, Lee YY. Neurophysiological symptoms and aspartame: What is the connection? Nutr Neurosci. 2018 Jun;21(5):306-316. doi: 10.1080/1028415X.2017.1288340. Epub 2017 Feb 15. PMID: 28198207.

  5. Choudhary AK. Aspartame: Should Individuals with Type II Diabetes be Taking it? Curr Diabetes Rev. 2018;14(4):350-362. doi: 10.2174/1573399813666170601093336. PMID: 28571543.

  6. “Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills” by Russell Blaylock, M.D.


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