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Articles by Natural Health Author Barbara Minton
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Are Food Additives Behind Your Weight Gain and Nagging Health Problems?
by Barbara Minton
(The Best Years in Life) Do you have nagging health problems that never seem to go away? People who eat right, spend a fortune on supplements and get plenty of exercise still answer this question with a YES. The cause of depression, anxiety and low energy for many of them lies in the neurotoxins hidden in even the most healthy sounding foods, including many foods labeled as organic. These ingredients can cause other serious reactions too, including migraines, insomnia, asthma, aggression, chronic fatigue, tinnitus, obesity, restless leg syndrome and ALS.
Many items in every kind of grocery store contain neurotoxic additives that produce such reactions. While 1 out of every 4 people is sensitive to neurotoxic additives, only 1 in 250 is aware that these additives are the source of the reactions they are having.
Neurotoxins are substances that are toxic to the entire nervous system, including the brain. One of the most harmful contains free glutamic acid processed from amino acids, and is known as MSG, which stands for monosodium glutamate. Other forms of these protein derived additives can be found hiding in food under such innocuous sounding names as yeast extract, dough conditioners, broth, gelatin, seasonings, and spices. Even the pleasant sounding term natural flavors can mean the presence of neurotoxins. Many sweeteners are neurotoxic, the most notorious being aspartame.
Food additives are there to trick you into thinking what you are eating tastes really great. Never mind that they are an assault on your nerve synapses and a violent attack on the cells of your brain.
"Bet you can't eat just one"
Remember that old slogan? Food and beverage companies use neurotoxic food additives because they make you crave more of what tastes so good. Neurotoxic additives cause nerve cells to cry out for repeated stimulation, keeping you buying and consuming more products that contain them, and eating in restaurants that serve them. Neurotoxins leave people watching in horror as they pile on pounds and become food junkies without any idea of how they are being manipulated to further corporate interests.
Food in restaurants is laced with neurotoxins. This is why restaurant food tastes so terrific, and why people will stand in line so long to get a table. In reality, the customer is paying money for the privilege of having his brain cells destroyed.
Many people think if they avoid Chinese restaurants, they can avoid neurotoxins in their food. But these hazardous chemicals are added to virtually all restaurant food from McDonalds to the most exclusive gourmet dining spots. A sign on the window or on the package that says no MSG usually means that another form of neurotoxin is being used instead.
The FDA wouldn't allow dangerous food additives, would they?
The food industry is controlled by powerful conglomerates that have great political influence over the FDA and other government regulatory agencies. It is in the best interests of these corporations to defend their use of the neurotoxic additives that make their cheap ingredients taste so good and become so habit forming. Just like the tobacco industry, conventional food corporations have little regard for the welfare of their customers and will do whatever it takes to get their money. Until consumers realize what is being done to them and how they are being used, neurotoxins are here to stay. And kicking the addiction to food additives is as difficult as kicking the nicotine habit.
Although the science of food technology has been around since the 1950s, consumers are just now waking up to the link between neurotoxic additives and their loss of vitality. Even when people understand this link intellectually, many are so hooked on the fabulous taste of adulterated food that they just can't stop eating it no matter what it is doing to them. Others willingly buy into the propaganda telling them that neurotoxic additives are safe.
Additives from natural sources can be highly toxic
MSG is natural, created from an amino acid. Originally isolated from seaweed, MSG is now made by fermenting corn, potatoes and rice. MSG is naturally present in high levels in such foods as tomatoes and Parmesan cheese, but when consumed as part of a whole food, it usually does not produce a problem. However, when MSG is isolated and then added to foods, it becomes highly toxic to brain and other nervous tissue.
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 amazing finding considering that humans are more than 5 times more sensitive to MSG than rats.
Another study used rats to determine the effects of exposure to MSG on obesity. Rats given MSG developed obesity, type II diabetes, and metabolic syndrome X. They also developed lesions of the ventromedia hypothalamic nucleus.
MSG is a powerful disrupter of the endocrine system, creating havoc with meta-thermoregulatory modulates like neuropeptide Y and leptin (the hormone that tells you when to stop eating). It reduces the thermogenicity of brown fat, so that people gain weight eating neurotoxic food even if they eat less than usual.
These findings explain how a person can hardly eat at all and still put on pounds. But these effects are not confined to MSG. The other substances classified as neurotoxic food additives produce much the same outcomes.
Natural flavors are isolates from naturally occurring products just like MSG is. Many natural products including organic fruits and vegetables contain compounds that in isolation are extremely harmful. Some of these compounds are what make up the defense systems of plants. When the whole plant, fruit or vegetable is consumed as food, other compounds are present that neutralize the harmful effects of these compounds. When taken from the plant as isolates, the compounds become no different in their effects than chemicals synthesized in a laboratory.
The word spice is another innocuous sounding term, but in the world of food marketing it is a word that has been manipulated to sound harmless when it really isn't. People tend to think that the individual spices are not listed on labels because the creator of the product does not want to give away his secrets, but his is not true. When the word spices is used, it is the tip off that toxic additives are hidden in the product.
Feeling your best means learning to read labels
Neurotoxins are added to virtually every packaged food and beverage sold in almost every store. Not just packaged meal-type items, but many of the ingredients used to create meals contain them.
Anyone wanting to avoid neurotoxic additives needs to know that there is a lot more to it than just looking for MSG on labels. MSG may be the most well known of the additives, but all the others are just as hazardous to health and likely to produce reactions. Even if the product claims to be all natural or organic, it is almost certain to contain neurotoxic additives. There is no way to know unless you are willing to take the time to read the label.
When there are a hundred different kinds of neurotoxic food additives being pumped into almost everything on store shelves, trying to avoid them is like navigating a mine field. The label of any product that is canned, frozen, bagged, bottled, boxed, wrapped, put in a carton, or offered in a take home dish or container needs to be examined because almost all of them contain neurotoxins. Check everything having flavoring added to it, even coffee, tea, bottled water, candy and chewing gum. You will be surprised at what you find.
It may seem overwhelming at first to examine every product you buy, but you will learn very quickly where to find the ingredient list and what to look for. Soon the key words will jump off the label right into your eyes.
As you become better at identifying products containing neuotoxic additives, you will begin to notice how much better you feel. Those persistent symptoms that have been around for months or years will begin to disappear along with the unwanted pounds. By the time label reading becomes second nature and can be done in one quick glance, you will be on the road to vibrant health
The first source below lists neurotoxins to look for in food products. The second source lists neurotoxins and many other dangerous chemical additives to look for in food and personal care products. Arm yourself against corporate exploitation when you go to the store, and learn how to spend your money so that it benefits you rather than someone else who has made it clear he does not care about your health.
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