Monthly Archives: January 2011

Baby Formula: MSG, Excitatory Neurotoxins & HFCS!!!

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) or Glutamic Acid is an excitatory neurotoxin, which significantly damages the brain, especially the brains of infants and children. Once the developing brain is damaged, it never recovers normal function. There has been a significant increase in neurological disturbances in children over the last several decades. For example, the rate of autism, a developmental disorder that affects communication and social skills, was around four or five cases per 10,000 early in this decade. In 2009, it was closer to 80 per 10,000.

MSG also contributes to the epidemic of obesity in children, and more recently infants, that is taking place currently. Other additives such as High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and sugar substitutes such as NutraSweet and Splenda, potentiate the effects of MSG and vice versa. Thus when they are all present in a single food, they are even more damaging than they are separately. What isn’t well known is that these substances are often found in baby foods even infant formulas!

By 1972, according to Dr. Russell Blaylock, 262,000 metric tons of MSG were being added to foods. Today the amount is astronomically higher. However, it is impossible to know by how much, because it is virtually unregulated in the U.S. FDA. As a result, it is very difficult to avoid. It is in almost all packaged foods, even those that are “Organic!” In addition, it can be listed under so many different names, that even the most cautious consumer will find it difficult to avoid it. (Attached is a list of the more than 50 names used when MSG is listed as an ingredient.)

In preparing this blog article I was referencing a study done in Canada on infant formulas that are also sold in the US, and the amount of Aspartame and Glutamic Acid that are used in baby formula. It was appalling. Since the study came out in 2001, I decided I should do some field investigation to make sure that I wasn’t being an alarmist. I assumed that this problem has gotten much better over the past 10 years what with all of the publicity and awareness. How naïve!

The first can I picked up was Gerber’s Good Start. The first four ingredients are: Corn Maltodextrin (MSG), Vegetable Oil, Enzymatically Hydrolyzd Soy Protein Isolate (MSG) and Sucrose, which is a Chlorocarbon, and in the same family as DDT and PCBs! (See article on Sucrose) The rest of the ingredients (all 2% of them) were the vitamins and minerals that every baby needs!

The next one I picked up, was Similac Sensitive, billed as The number 1 Formula for Complete Soy Nutrition for infants. This one had: 39% HFCS, 14.7% Soy Protein Isolate (MSG,) 11.5% Safflower Oil, 9.8% Sucrose, (which was listed as Sugar with the Sucrose in parentheses) 8.4% Soy Oil, and 7.7% Coconut Oil. Again, the remaining 2% was chock full of vitamins and minerals!

Finally, for the sick baby, whose brain is at already at risk from dehydration, we have Pedialyte Oral Electrolyte Maintenance Powder which contains the following: Dextrose (MSG) Citric Acid (MSG,) Malic Acid (for muscle ache), Potasium Citrate (mineral salt used to improve muscle function), Sodium Chloride (Salt,) Sodium Citrate (MSG,) Artificial Flavor (MSG,) Sucralose (aka Splenda, which is Sucrose + Maltodextrine [MSG] and Dextrose [MSG],) Acesulfame (aka Aspartame or NutraSweet – another artificial sweetener known to be a neurological excitoxin,) Potassium (an electrolyte) and finally Red 40 (another neurotoxin and known allergen that can trigger headache, irritability and neurological symptoms).

Imagine the impact that such a combination of heavy-duty excitatory neurotoxins has on a sick baby! Pedialyte does recommend having doctor supervision when using this drink to rehydrate your infant! Ya think?

There are two sugar substitutes that are disguised in this elixir. Why would the manufacturer disguise these ingredients? Why do Splenda and NutraSweet let them get away with that? Because most of us do know better than to give our children sugar substitutes. And if we were aware, we would not knowingly do so. If the sugar substitutes are disguised, you know that the MSG and HFCS will be as well.

Ironically, these food additives have nothing to do with preserving food or protecting its integrity. They are all used to alter the taste of food in such a way as to increase the likelihood that you will buy it again. This approach to marketing gives customer loyality a whole new meaning!

My grandson had to take his antibiotic while on an overnight at my house and was telling me that he couldn’t wait to take it because it is bubble-gum flavored. I’ll bet! My son is cut from the same cloth as me and does not knowingly or willingly give the boys foods with HFCS or MSG. What do you do when this is the only form of the antibiotic available?

What you do is choose your battles. If you feel the need to give your children juice, invest in a juicer. Other wise, the foods that are relatively safe are organic foods that had a face or came out of the ground. Anything in a bottle, box, jar or cellophane is suspect!

Sources:
Examining the increased incidence of autism
Food Additive Excitotoxins and Degenerative Brain Disorders

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

HFCS: Ties to Obesity and Increased Mortality

High Fructose Corn Syrup is a clear liquid sugar product made from corn starch. It has a long shelf life and is relatively cheap to use, which is why it is so common in inexpensive foods like chips and soda. It has been tied to increased rates of obesity, which can lead to heart disease and cancer.

“When HFCS is ingested, it travels straight to the liver which turns the sugary liquid into fat, and unlike other carbohydrates HFCS does not cause the pancreas to produce insulin; which acts as a hunger quenching signal to the brain. So we get stuck in a vicious cycle, eating food that gets immediately stored as fat and never feeling full.” [Source: http://healthmad.com/nutrition/dangers-of-high-fructose-corn-syrup/#ixzz19GBfSKwl]

HFCS is temporally tied to obesity as well, for “the consumption of HFCS increased > 1000% between 1970 and 1990,” which corresponds to an increase in obesity. [Study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, http://www.ajcn.org/content/79/4/537.full?ijkey=3a74469113059287563c0dbc3f9b874276f46666]

Extensive studies show this correlation between HFCS and obesity, which can lead to further health problems and diseases. Take precaution to avoid foods that contain “high fructose corn syrup,” “fructose,” and “modified corn starch.” Reducing consumption of HFCS will improve mental and physical wellness, creating a more healthy and energetic lifestyle.

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): A Guide for Foods to Avoid

MSG is used as a flavor enhancer and salt replacement, and does not commonly appear on food labels. Here are some foods to avoid:

“low sodium” items
soy protein concentrate
whey protein concentrate
stock and broth
milk powder
ranch dressing
gravy
dipping sauces
powder flavoring
flavored salty snack chips
corn syrup
vitamin enriched items

source: http://msgtruth.org/avoid.htm

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Regulating Our Glutamate Intake

The term “glutamate” refers to a number of forms of glutamic acid, an amino acid found naturally in many foods and in our bodies. It is a powerful excitatory neurotransmitter that is released by nerve cells in the brain. It is responsible for sending signals between nerve cells, and under normal conditions it plays an important role in learning and memory. There are two general ways, however, that glutamate can actually be damaging to nerve cells and the brain as a whole.

First, there can be too much glutamate around; abnormally high concentrations of glutamate can lead to overexcitation of the receiving nerve cell. Second, the receptors for glutamate on the receiving nerve cell can be oversensitive so that less glutamate molecules are necessary to excite that cell. People who are often oversensitive as so, are those diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, people with depression, Hypoglycemic patients, pregnant women, people with kidney problems, people who get migraine headaches, people with pre-existing vascular disease, and people with Congestive heart failure. Babies and children are also more sensitive to glutamate.

In these cases, cells activated by glutamate become overexcited. This overexcitation can lead to effects that can cause cell damage and/or death. For this reason, glutamate is referred to as an excitotoxin.

Food that contains high levels of glutamate like milk, eggs, meat cheese, peas, and mushrooms do not usually cause overexcitation to a person’s neurons because it consists of glutamate in its bound form. Glutamate in its bound form is slowly broken down with digestion so you’re delivering the amount in slower and smaller quantities. Glutamate never acts as an excitoxin in its bound form. What we as consumers must be watchful of is Glutamate in it’s free form. When we ingest glutamate in it’s free form, it doesn’t have to be broken off of a protein chain so it can be absorbed into the bloodstream more quickly and in higher doses.

Monosodium Glutamate, also known as MSG, is the most dangerous substance containing the highest concentration of glutamate in its free form. Glutamate in the form of MSG almost always acts as an excitoxin- especially to those who are sensitive to glutamate. This is why it is important to avoid MSG at all costs.
Despite the increased knowledge of the health complications MSG causes, thanks to the food industry, Americans are consuming 300 times the amount of Monosodium Glutamate than they did in 1950. Because MSG enhances the flavor of food so drastically (since it is almost completely made up of glutamates and glutamates excites the brain), this harmful chemical has filled the shelves of our local grocery stores, and is being poured into the food we eat at restaurants with no restraints from the FDA. A person must truly go out of their way to avoid this additive.

The most successful way I can tell you to avoid monosodium glutamate is to make the effort to buy organic certified foods. Certified “organic” foods by the USDA cannot legally contain monosodium glutamate. However, what organic foods can contain are ingredients like Yeast extracts, Maltodexrin, Autolyzed yeast extract, citric acid, whey protein concentrate, monopotassium glutamate, and hydrolyzed protein products. All of these do contain substantial amounts of glutamates in its free form but nowhere near the concentration found in MSG. In some cases, when we ingest too much of these ingredients in our diet, they will act as an excitotoxin as well. Therefore, even when buying organic people must be careful in regulating the intake of foods with these substances on their label. Grocery Stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are both safe places to shop because none of their products may contain MSG. Other than shopping organic, read food labels and try to eat whole, unprocessed foods in order to regulate your glutamate intake!

Sources:

Russell Blaylock, MD (http://www.russellblaylockmd.com/)

Truth in Labeling (http://www.truthinlabeling.org)

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

An Intro to MSG: The Nutritional Truth

The article below is a summary of the video from Dr. Vincent Bellonzi which discusses the origins, facts and effects of MSG. Watch his video, “The Truth about MSG Monosodium Glutamate Clinical Nutrition” here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-pnzj0c06Q.

What if I were to tell you that there is a chemical being added to food that has been scientifically proven to effect how the body’s nervous system is formed so that as a person’s brain develops, they may have learning or emotional difficulties? Would it concern you to know that there is also credible evidence that this chemical could permanently damage a critical part of the brain that controls hormones, which could consequently cause a person to experience endocrine problems? To continue, I could tell you that this chemical has been identified to hasten brain tumors, and furthermore, that this chemical has been demonstrated to aggravate and even generate several epidemic neurodegenerative brain diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, ALS, ADD, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s disease.

The chemical that I am describing, known as MSG or Monosodium Glutamate was introduced to the food industry a long time ago because it was found to enhance the taste of food. At first, it was only added to babies’ food because it made babies who would not eat, become more excited about eating; but today it is being added in significant amounts to almost all processed foods, fast food items, and even sit down restaurant foods items. The food industry knows that they can make anything taste good by adding MSG. To be honest, they can even make dirt taste good if they add MSG to it! This is because the glutamate that’s in MSG excites the body’s reward system as it’s being consumed. So, it sends an excitatory message to the brain and as a result, a person thinks whatever they’re eating tastes a lot better than it actually does.

The problem with MSG and the food industry is this: the food industry is constantly competing for consumers. To make their food taste better than competitors they add more MSG to it. As a result, the amount of MSG that is being added to our food today has become far too concentrated for our nerves to handle properly. Thus, our nerves overexcite when we consume the chemical and by frequently overexciting our nerve impulses we are severely damaging our neurons. Damaging neurons as so, causes a person to lose control of their emotions and their ability to think. This is a really terrible combination that can create or worsen a number of behavioral health related conditions. For example, for children suffering from autism it makes a bad situation worse. There have been countless cases of autistic children whom could not even speak, completely recover by entirely eliminating MSG from their diets. Same story holds true for people who have suffered from obesity, depression, bulimia, ADD, ADHD, and other disorders.

Statistics also show that with the increase in MSG consumption there has been a correlating increase in several neurodegenerative brain diseases, behavioral disorders, and brain tumors. For example, Alzheimer’s disease was not even an identifiable healthcare cost before MSG, but since the food industry began adding this chemical to their food the number of people who suffer from this disease has sky rocketed. It now ranks third, after cancer and heart disease, among the most costly health problems in America.

The science behind what the chemical is doing to our body is clear. Countless amounts of evidence justify it, and the statistics prove it. MSG is extremely harmful. So why on earth is the FDA doing nothing to regulate our consumption of MSG? In fact, the FDA has classified MSG as “generally regarded as safe,” (GRAS). Therefore, sets no limit as to how much MSG gets poured into the food we consume and today Americans are consuming over 300 million pounds of it! When will this stop?

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’