Balancing Excess Glutamate
Genetic metabolic pathways are essential for life itself and dependent on nutrients, in proper balance, for their function. Several pathways are responsible for getting RID of excess GLUTAMATE and making cysteine, glutathione (GSH) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in what is known as the Transsulfuration Pathway as well as making GABA in the Biopterin pathway. Defects that lead to excess Glutamate can lead to a host of health issues including anxiety, OCD, nervousness, worrying, early dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Dietary restriction of glutamate can help along with specific nutrients that will assist in its elimination.
It is VERY important to note that there are reasons for these pathways to be imbalanced that include: toxic metals (HMT), chronic infections (Lyme, Candida, H. Pylori…), Gut dysbiosis (food allergies, consuming GMO foods, antibiotic use…), imbalanced diets, chronic stress, and many others. Addressing complete lifestyle changes is of UTMOST importance!
Glutamate is an Excitotoxin
Excitotoxins are a group of chemicals that when ingested, damage the neurons. The most well known excitotoxin would probably be MSG, an additive that enhances the flavor of food. Excitotoxicity occurs when receptors for the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate are over-activated. Dr. Russell Blaylock, MD, author of the book “Excitotoxins - the taste that kills” states that excitotoxicity may be involved in spinal cord injury, stroke, traumatic brain injury, hearing loss (through noise overexposure or to toxicity) and in neurodegenerative diseases of the brain) such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and Parkinson's disease.
Excitotoxins are food additives that food producers use to stimulate taste centers in the brain for the purpose of creating an addiction (or at least an increased desire) for the product. Candy, snack food (Doritos have 4 different excitotoxins in its ingredients), Oriental dishes, and prepared meals are notorious for adding excitotoxins to stimulate the brain to desire more. It’s legal and considered ‘good business practice’ by food manufacturers as sales increase.
An interesting article published in the Journal of Neurotoxicology entitled, Excitotoxins in Foods, Olney JW, Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, stated, “Evidence is reviewed pertaining to excitatory neurotoxins (excitotoxins) encountered in human food supply. The most frequently encountered food excitotoxin is glutamate (Glu), which is commercially added to many foods despite evidence that it can freely penetrate certain brain regions and rapidly destroy neurons by hyper-activating the NMDA subtype of Glu receptor. Hypersensitivity of NMDA receptors during development makes the immature nervous system especially sensitive to Glu excitotoxicity. On the other hand, elderly consumers are particularly sensitive to domoic acid, a powerful excitotoxic Glu analog that activates both NMDA and non-NMDA receptors. A high content of domoic acid in shellfish caused a recent food poisoning incident that killed some elderly victims and caused brain damage and memory impairment in others. Neurolathyrism is a crippling neurodegenerative condition associated with ingestion of a legume that naturally contains BOAA, an excitotoxic Glu analog that hyper-activates non-NMDA receptors. Thus, the human food supply is a source of excitotoxins that can damage the brain by one type of mechanism to which immature consumers are hyper-vulnerable, or by other mechanisms to which adult and elderly consumers are peculiarly sensitive.”
Names of ingredients in foods that are excitotoxic:
- Glutamic acid
- Monosodium glutamate
- Monopotassium glutamate
- Calcium glutamate
- Monoammonium glutamate
- Magnesium glutamate
- Yeast extract
- Anything “hydrolyzed”
- Any “hydrolyzed protein”
- Calcium caseinate,
- Sodium caseinate
The following work synergistically with MSG to enhance flavor. If they are present for flavoring, so is MSG even if it is not listed:
- Disodium 5’-guanylate
- Disodium 5’-inosinate
- Disodium 5′-ribonucleotides
Here’s what Sally Fallon has to say about the health effects of MSG, in her book, “Dirty Secrets of the Food Processing Industry”:
“While the industry was adding MSG to food in larger and larger amounts, in 1957 scientists found that mice became blind and obese when MSG was administered by feeding tube. In 1969, MSG-induced lesions were found in the hypothalamus region of the mouse brain. Subsequent studies pointed in the same direction. MSG is a neurotoxic substance that causes a wide range of reactions in humans, from temporary headaches to permanent brain damage. It is also associated with violent behavior. We have had a huge increase in Alzheimer’s, brain cancer, seizures, multiple sclerosis and diseases of the nervous system, and one of the chief culprits is the flavorings in our food.
Ninety-five percent of processed foods contain MSG, and, in the late 1950s, it was even added to baby food. Manufacturers say they have voluntarily taken it out of the baby food, but they didn’t really remove it; they just called it “hydrolyzed protein” instead.
An excellent book, Excitotoxins, by Russell Blaylock, describes how nerve cells either disintegrate or shrivel up in the presence of free glutamic acid if it gets past the blood-brain barrier. The glutamates in MSG are absorbed directly from the mouth to the brain. Some investigators believe that the great increase in violence in this country starting in 1960 is due to the increased use of MSG beginning in the late 1950s, particularly as it was added to baby foods.”
Remember: By food industry definition, all MSG is “naturally occurring.” “Natural” doesn’t mean “safe.” “Natural” only means that the ingredient started out in nature, like arsenic and hydrochloric acid.
When you eat real, whole foods, you automatically avoid MSG, aspartame and other excitotoxins. No need to memorize the whole list of different food additives, simply skip the processed junk and EAT REAL FOOD!”
The best advice is to eat food as close to the way God originally created it!
I will be recommending some specific nutrients to help eliminate Glutamate from your body. You MUST become more conscious of foods that you consume and make every attempt to eliminate exposure.