Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Why MSG is so Dangerous

From Mercola:
One of the best overviews of the very real dangers of MSG comes from Dr. Russell Blaylock, a board-certified neurosurgeon and author of “Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills.” In it he explains that MSG is an excitotoxin, which means it overexcites your cells to the point of damage or death, causing brain damage to varying degrees -- and potentially even triggering or worsening learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease and more.

Part of the problem also is that free glutamic acid is the same neurotransmitter that your brain, nervous system, eyes, pancreas and other organs use to initiate certain processes in your body.[4] Even the FDA states:

    “Studies have shown that the body uses glutamate, an amino acid, as a nerve impulse transmitter in the brain and that there are glutamate-responsive tissues in other parts of the body, as well.

    Abnormal function of glutamate receptors has been linked with certain neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's chorea. Injections of glutamate in laboratory animals have resulted in damage to nerve cells in the brain.”[5]

Although the FDA continues to claim that consuming MSG in food does not cause these ill effects, many other experts say otherwise.

According to Dr. Blaylock, numerous glutamate receptors have been found both within your heart's electrical conduction system and the heart muscle itself. This can be damaging to your heart, and may even explain the sudden deaths sometimes seen among young athletes.

He says:

    “When an excess of food-borne excitotoxins, such as MSG, hydrolyzed protein soy protein isolate and concentrate, natural flavoring, sodium caseinate and aspartate from aspartame, are consumed, these glutamate receptors are over-stimulated, producing cardiac arrhythmias.

    When magnesium stores are low, as we see in athletes, the glutamate receptors are so sensitive that even low levels of these excitotoxins can result in cardiac arrhythmias and death.”[6]

Many other adverse effects have also been linked to regular consumption of MSG, including:

    * Obesity
    * Eye damage
    * Headaches
    * Fatigue and disorientation
    * Depression

Further, even the FDA admits that “short-term reactions” known as MSG Symptom Complex can occur in certain groups of people, namely those who have eaten “large doses” of MSG or those who have asthma.[7]

According to the FDA, MSG Symptom Complex can involve symptoms such as:

    * Numbness
    * Burning sensation
    * Tingling
    * Facial pressure or tightness
    * Chest pain or difficulty breathing
    * Headache
    * Nausea
    * Rapid heartbeat
    * Drowsiness
    * Weakness

No one knows for sure just how many people may be “sensitive” to MSG, but studies from the 1970s suggested that 25 percent to 30 percent of the U.S. population was intolerant of MSG -- at levels then found in food. Since the use of MSG has expanded dramatically since that time, it’s been estimated that up to 40 percent of the population may be impacted.[8]

To be on the safe side,you should also know what ingredients to watch out for on packaged foods. Here is a list of ingredients that ALWAYS contain MSG:

 Autolyzed Yeast Calcium Caseinate Gelatin 
 Glutamate Glutamic Acid Hydrolyzed Protein 
 Monopotassium Glutamate Monosodium Glutamate   Sodium Caseinate 
 Textured Protein Yeast Extract Yeast Food 
 Yeast Nutrient    

These ingredients OFTEN contain MSG or create MSG during processing:[10]

 Flavors and Flavorings Seasonings   Natural Flavors and Flavorings   Natural Pork Flavoring Natural Beef Flavoring 
 Natural Chicken Flavoring Soy Sauce   Soy Protein Isolate   Soy Protein   Bouillon 
 Stock   Broth   Malt Extract   Malt Flavoring   Barley Malt 
 Whey Protein Carrageenan   Maltodextrin   Pectin   Enzymes 
 Protease   Corn Starch   Citric Acid   Powdered Milk   Anything Protein Fortified 
 Anything Enzyme Modified Anything Ultra-Pasteurized        

So if you do eat processed foods, please remember to be on the lookout for these many hidden names for MSG.


Comment on Mercola site:

As far as antibiotics go, I won't use them. We use colloidal silver for infections. I worked in the hospital way too much to see how often they are over-used and the nasty side effects (C-Difficile). Most uneducated or undereducated people run to the doctor for every little thing and want antibiotics as a cure all. This is why there are so many resistant super bugs. Prevention is really key here. Take care of yourself. Get rest, exercise, eat healthy, organic foods. If I need it, I use colloidal silver and probiotics. Works like a charm. It all really starts in the gut. You want to stay healthy and have a great immune system, keep your digestive system healthy and you won't need antibiotics.

Excerpts from Pope Benedict's Lenten Message on Fasting

prayer, almsgiving, fasting -- to prepare us to better celebrate Easter and thus experience God's power that, as we shall hear in the Paschal Vigil, "dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy, casts out hatred, brings us peace and humbles earthly pride"

fasting is a great help to avoid sin and all that leads to it.

Saint Peter Chrysologus writes: "Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting. So if you pray, fast; if you fast, show mercy; if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others. If you do not close your ear to others, you open God's ear to yourself" (Sermo 43: PL 52, 320. 322).

In our own day, fasting seems to have lost something of its spiritual meaning, and has taken on, in a culture characterized by the search for material well-being, a therapeutic value for the care of one's body. Fasting certainly bring benefits to physical well-being, but for believers, it is, in the first place, a "therapy" to heal all that prevents them from conformity to the will of God. mortify our egoism and open our heart to love of God and neighbor, the first and greatest Commandment of the new Law and compendium of the entire Gospel (cf. Mt 22, 34-40).

The faithful practice of fasting contributes, moreover, to conferring unity to the whole person, body and soul, helping to avoid sin and grow in intimacy with the Lord. Saint Augustine, who knew all too well his own negative impulses, defining them as "twisted and tangled knottiness" (Confessions, II, 10.18), writes: "I will certainly impose privation, but it is so that he will forgive me, to be pleasing in his eyes, that I may enjoy his delightfulness" (Sermo 400, 3, 3: PL 40, 708). Denying material food, which nourishes our body, nurtures an interior disposition to listen to Christ and be fed by His saving word. Through fasting and praying, we allow Him to come and satisfy the deepest hunger that we experience in the depths of our being: the hunger and thirst for God.

Clothes cause SIDS? (flame retardants plus)

from Daily Dose:

Clothing chemical could cause SIDS

"Organic" is another trendy product claim, but it's far more tightly regulated than "natural." But while we normally associate the term "organic" with foods, there's increasing demand for organic floors, carpets, mattresses, window covering, and clothes. Some may think this could be taking the whole "goodness of mother Earth" thing a little far – myself included. As much as I advocate all things natural, I'm not sure I care too much about how organic the floors in my house are, or that my shirts are made from organic cotton.

But a new study is making me wonder if I should start caring. Quickly.

Most consumers believe that cotton is the most healthy and natural material available. It's by far the most popular clothing material out there. But even though cotton makes up just 2.4 percent of the world's total agricultural acreage, 25 percent of global pesticide use is applied to cotton crops. That's a lot of chemicals. In fact, it takes about a third of a pound of pesticides and fertilizers to grow enough cotton for just one T-shirt.

But it doesn't stop with crop dusting. Cotton is saturated with herbicides before it's harvested in order to defoliate the crop so it's easier to pick. Then it's off to the textile mills where even more chemicals are applied — bleaching agents, dyes, stain and odor resistance formulas, wrinkle reducers, static-reducers, flame retardants and a dozens more.

But wait! There's more! Then the finished products must be washed before shipping, so there are detergents and fabric softeners, which leave their residue in the clothes. The finishing process uses chemicals like formaldehyde, caustic soda, sulfuric acid, and halogens.

Is this a T-shirt they're making, or Frankenstein's monster? With all that processing, it can be hard to tell.

These chemicals are no joke, and allergies and skin irritations are the least of your worries. A European study discovered that the fire retardant chemical antimony used in some crib mattresses can actually leach through the mattress into a baby's skin – and they've connected these findings to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The livers of autopsied SIDS victims were found to contain high levels of antimony.

Another study on flame retardants found an 18-month-old baby with chemical flame retardant levels in the blood that were two or three times the levels that are known to cause neurological damage in laboratory rats.

Here's what's frightening about that: US law mandates that flame-retardant chemicals be applied to children's CLOTHING. Imagine: if chemicals like antimony have the ability to be absorbed into the skin through a mattress with a sheet over it, how much is being absorbed by children wearing it NEXT TO THEIR SKIN?

Next time you're out shopping for kids clothes … think organic.


William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.

B Vitamins Offer Migraine Relief


B Vitamins Offer Migraine Relief

Vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid may reduce the frequency, severity and disability of migraines, according to new research. Daily vitamin supplements were found to produce a two-fold reduction in migraine disability.

About 12 to 15 percent of people suffer from migraines, with twice as many women as men affected. The headaches are sometimes preceded by flashes of light, blind spots, tingling in the arms or legs, or anxiety. Sufferers generally experience a pounding sensation on one side of their head and many undergo nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and noise. The symptoms are often severe and debilitating.

Scientists recruited 52 people diagnosed with migraines. The participants were randomly assigned to receive either vitamin supplements or a placebo for six months. The supplements were associated with a reduction in the prevalence of migraine disability from 60 percent at the start of the study to 30 percent after 6 months. No reduction was observed in the placebo group.

Reductions in the frequency of the headache and the severity of the pain were also observed in people in the B vitamin group, while no such changes were observed in the placebo group.


Dr. Mercola's Comments:

More than 300 million people worldwide -- about 6 to 7 percent of men and 15 to 18 percent of women -- suffer from migraine headaches, which can last anywhere from a few hours to three days. An estimated 20 million migraine attacks occur every single day.

Despite that, it’s still one of the least understood and poorly treated medical disorders, as they are likely due to a complex interplay of genetic, environmental, and neurological factors that vary from person to person.

Adding to the complexity is that the experiences of those suffering from migraines also vary greatly. Aside from throbbing, searing pain, which may or may not be one-sided, some experience “auras” prior to onset, while others do not. Other symptoms that may or may not be present include nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, sweating, and/or sensitivity to light, sound, and smells.

What Causes Migraines?

There are a number of different theories about the cause of migraines, but no one hypothesis can explain the occurrence of migraines in all sufferers. These (sometimes conflicting) theories include:

  • Changes in your brain chemical serotonin. When levels drop, blood vessels including those in your brain become swollen and inflamed, which can lead to migraine pain.

  • Vascular constriction in your brain; from initial blood vessel constriction and a drop in blood flow, followed by dilation and stretching of blood vessels, which activates pain-signaling neurons.

  • Excessive increase of blood flow in your brain. In direct contrast to the preceding theory, other research has found that migraines are not preceded by constriction and decrease in blood flow, but rather by an increase of nearly 300 percent. However, circulation then appears normal, or even slightly reduced, once the attack is in full swing.

  • A neurological disorder related to nerve cell activity that sweeps across your brain, causing pain. In this case, it is thought that a wave release of neurotransmitters across your cortex can directly stimulate your trigeminal nerves, setting off the chain reaction that ends in the transmitting of pain signals.

  • A nervous system disorder originating in your brain stem. Your brain stem is your control center for alertness, perception of light, noise and smell, cerebral blood flow, cardiovascular function and pain sensitivity -- many, if not most, of which are part of the symptoms of a migraine attack.

    Research has revealed that three clusters of cells in your brain stem are active during and after migraine. According to this hypothesis, abnormal activity in those cells could induce the sensation of pain, even when there are no pain signals being received from your brain membrane or blood vessels.

  • A disruption of the subtle energies circulating throughout your body, along with unresolved emotional issues that manifest in your body as headaches.

  • Mutation or dysfunction of certain genes.

Are Your Migraines Due to a Vitamin Deficiency?

In this latest study, vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid supplements were found to produce a two-fold reduction in migraines over a six-month period. Previous studies, such as a 2004 study in the European Journal of Neurology, have also reported that high doses of B2 (riboflavin) can help prevent migraine attacks.

Certain gene mutations and dysfunctions can lead to higher levels of homocysteine production, which can make you more susceptible to migraine attacks. Here they found that vitamins B6 and B12 work by reducing your homocysteine levels. They also discovered that depending on your genotype, you may need a higher or lower dose in order for it to work. Said Professor Lyn Griffiths:

“… if all patients received the same vitamin dosage for the same period of time it would be expected that those with TT genotypes, having a reduced enzymatic rate, would metabolise less homocysteine over the treatment period compared to C allele carriers, thus resulting in a smaller reduction in homocysteine and consequent migraine symptoms.

Indeed, it may be that TT genotypes although having a higher risk of disease actually require a larger dosage of vitamins to exhibit the same effect as C alleles. Further clinical trials of much larger patient cohorts are required to test this hypothesis.”

According to Professor Griffiths, their aim is to determine the optimal dosage of B vitamins based on your genetic profile.

"The success of our trial has shown that safe, inexpensive vitamin supplements can treat migraine patients,” she said.

However, there may be yet another, even more widespread, vitamin deficiency underlying your migraine symptoms.

Just last year, researchers presented results of an observational study at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Headache Society, showing that nearly 42 percent of patients with chronic migraine were deficient in vitamin D. The study also showed that the longer you suffered from chronic migraines, the more likely you are to be vitamin D deficient.

This is yet another brand new discovery that can be tacked on to the literally hundreds of health ramifications of being vitamin D deficient.

For more information on getting tested, and how to optimize your vitamin D levels, please see this previous article. I also recommend you take the time to view my free one-hour video lecture on vitamin D, in which I go over the nearly unbelievable benefits you will receive by understanding this essential nutrient.

Common Migraine Triggers to Avoid

However, it is important for everyone to fully appreciate that treating migraines by using a simple remedy is rarely effective. So while using supplements like these B vitamins might be useful, this is still an allopathic approach that is very similar to using medications.

It is my belief that pain can be one of your strongest allies if you use it to help you to find what is truly contributing to the cause of the problem.

Just as there are numerous theories on the actual mechanics of migraine pain, there are a wide number of potential triggers -- and what triggers a migraine for you might not trigger it in someone else. So rather than just popping some B vitamins you will want to consider a more comprehensive strategy.

However, here are several of the most commonly reported triggers:

  • Food and Drink: Many people experience migraines when they eat certain foods, especially wheat, dairy (especially pasteurized), sugar, artificial preservatives or chemical additives. Cured or processed meats, alcohol, aspartame, caffeine, and MSG are common culprits.
  • Allergies: Including food allergies and food sensitivities, and chemical sensitivities.
  • Dehydration and/or Hunger
  • Changes in sleeping cycle: Both missing sleep and oversleeping can trigger a migraine.
  • Stress: Any kind of emotional trauma can trigger a migraine, even after the stress has passed.
  • Physical exertion: Extremely intense exercise or even sex has been known to bring on migraines.
  • Hormones: Some women experience migraines before, or during their periods, during pregnancy, or during menopause. Others may get migraines from hormonal medications like birth control pills, or hormone replacement therapy.
  • External stimuli: Bright lights, fluorescent lights, loud noises and strong smells (even pleasant ones) can trigger a migraine.
  • Weather changes, seasonal changes, and changes in altitude

How to Relieve Migraine Pain Without Dangerous Drugs

Migraine pain can be seriously debilitating and may be one instance where you could justify popping a pill for instant relief. Unfortunately, migraine medications tend to only work in 50 percent of people, half the time...

They also have intense side effects such as “medication overuse headache,” which often occurs when people take too much of a headache drug. Worse than that, if you take tryptamine-based drugs, which bind to serotonin receptors to constrict your cranial blood vessels, but your pain is not due to engorged blood vessels, then constricting them can potentially do a lot of harm. And, lo and behold, serious cardiovascular events, including heart attack and stroke, are in fact side effects of these types of drugs.

Fortunately, there are better ways to treat migraines than pharmaceutical drugs.

First, you’ll want to make sure you avoid the triggers.

Most often this means eating healthy whole foods and avoiding processed ones. Avoiding wheat, grains, sugar and all fluids but water also seem to be particularly effective. In fact, following my eating plan typically reduces migraines by about 80 percent, as it virtually eliminates all common food-related causes of headaches.

Regular exercise will also help to keep migraines away by improving your response to stress, along with the underlying inflammatory conditions that can trigger migraines.

Those are the lifestyle choices that you’ll need to focus on long-term, if you want to reduce your migraines. But if a migraine does strike and you need immediate relief, here are a several safe, healthy alternatives that you can try:

1. Use Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Newcomers who use this simple process by themselves achieve relief 50 percent to 80 percent of the time and, in many cases, the relief is complete and permanent. More sophisticated uses by an EFT expert may be required for some migraine sufferers.

2. Stimulate your body's natural painkilling ability. By putting pressure on a nerve just under your eyebrow, you can cause your pituitary gland to release painkilling endorphins immediately.

3. Take 10 teaspoons of cayenne pepper in a glass of water. Endorphins are released by your brain when the cayenne hits your stomach lining.

4. Sniff green apple scent. One study found that the scent significantly relieved migraine pain. This may also work with other scents that you enjoy so consulting with an aromatherapist may be beneficial. Other aromas that stand out of the crowd include peppermint, sandalwood, lavender, and eucalyptus.

5. Hot and cold packs. For some people, heat will do the trick, while others get more relief from cold. Experiment to see which one works for you, but avoid extreme temperatures. You can also try placing your hands in hot (but not scalding) water, which seems to pull pressure from your head.

I recommend trying all of them, and in various combinations, to find the one that works best for you.

Related Links:

The Dangerous Link Between Migraines and Heart Attacks

comments from:
foxtroter_203 :We must be careful here in evaluating this. While capsaicin is a natural substance that is well established in its pain control ability by depleting Substance P, it is still just treating the symptom .

KelleyEidem :Of course it can. There's already a series of cayenne products made by SinusBuster that uses hot peppers. They have a headache formula and a separate migraine formula. I've seen it work in two minutes. A customer came into my store with a significant headache. He tried the SinusBuster. He came out of the bathroom two minutes later. He said it was working, that his headache was much better already.

Dr Rik :The most common form of Headache is Tension Headache; diagostically the same as Cervicogenic Headache (caused by the cervical spine). The research group that formulated guidelines for Chiropractic care for Low Back Pain, AHCPR, started research for Headache Guidelines. Forces in Government promptly dismantled that guideline group. Their research wasn't giving the results that those in power want to see. Most Headaches improve or are cured by appropriate Chiropractic care. You won't see that on any front page. Good luck on getting the rest of the story.

leppert :Dr. Donsbach has a pain remedy on his site that I've used for years now. It helps take the edge off my pain. I'm disabled and yes, I'm doing therapy now for the last five years that is really helping. At any rate I was in a meeting a few years ago with a gal who looked like death warmed over. She'd been suffering from a migraine for four days and all her heavy duty meds didn't work. I gave her one of my RE-LEV-IT and told her it would take about 45 minutes. She wanted another one 1/2 hour later(she was impatient) and I gave it to her. 15 minutes later she was smiling. It uses curcurmin and a few other goodies. is the site.

Conjeanneal :One thing missing from Dr. Mercola's article that I have found to be a HUGE trigger for migranes/headaches is the use of be found in countless foods today, even foods from the health food store! (Did we ever think that one day we would have to read the labels on foods from the HEALTH FOOD STORE?!!!)

aussieman : My 11 Y.O daughter had a blood nose so I gave her a pinch of Cayenne in warm water and within 10 sec the nose bleed stopped , then she said "and my headaches gone too dad! This was just amazing , I have used it directly on any cuts and it stops the bleeding immediately.

Birdlady :I used to get headaches and migraines all the time a few years ago. Finally I made the decision to get off of birth control pill and about 6 months later my headaches had gone away completely. I think it took 5-8 months for my body to heal itself from all those artificial hormones!

minister :When dealing with a headache, I have always found that a teaspoon of powered ginger (fresh ground or packaged) in a full glass of water gave relief to my pain, no matter how intense. I received this this method from a Chiropractor many years ago, and it works. Plain and simple and all natural.

T_rex :Caveat emptor on the publicity about the capsaicin in cayenne, to quote Dr Mercola,"...even though they are narrow-mindedly focusing on picking out the active ingredients to be able to patent it and put it in a pill" While the natural capsaicin in cayenne is no doubt greatly beneficial, the synthetic "equivalent" can no more be trusted than synthetic vitamin C or synthetic hormones or synthetic anything.

LEWRA : This whole concept of the "active ingredient" should be rejected by all sane people. As Dr. Mercola alluded to above, they only do this to make a patent possible. Implied in the concept of "active ingredient" is that the rest of the herb is irrelevant. What could be further than the truth? I studed with world famous herbalist Dr. John R. Christopher. He used to say that when they isolate the "active ingredient" from an herb to make a drug out of it, it becomes a poison. But then, why should we expect big pharma to have any respect for plants? Yes, cayenne pepper really is good for numerous ailments, but always use the whole herb.

Magnolia : I used to get them years ago while working for a company that used overhead fluorescent lighting. Drinking plenty of water seems to be the best remedy for me, and as I am a certified aromatherapist, I have found that both lavender and peppermint essential oils are soothing. I use them in a burner/diffuser. I get very few headaches these days as I stay hydrated and eat right for my nutritional type (most of the time).

happydee: Your mention of fatigue and caffeine makes me think that you might have a rare type of headache that may go undiagnosed often. You could have a spontaneous leak of spinal fluid through a tiny hole in your spinal dura. (The caffeine helps your brain keep floating up where it belongs in spite of the depleted fluid.) It's diagnosed by MRI - don't let anyone give you a spinal tap to diagnose it! I've dealt with this twice, have talked to practitioners who know about it, have tried lots to fix it and would be glad to share what I've learned. I'd also love to talk to anyone else who's had this!

mohammad kazemi :BUTTERBUR (petasites hybridus) CO2 Extract (root). Also Riboflavin and ginger WORKS!!!!! DO THE RESEARCH PEOPLE Cayyene probably helps too.

Drywall from China

From Daily Dose or HSI:

Yet another Chinese-made good is threatening the health of people here in the U.S. This time the culprit isn't something that you'd have your kids play with – like a toy coated with toxic paint. Or something you'd put in your mouth – like poisonous toothpaste, or tainted milk, or corrupted pharmaceutical ingredients. No, this time it's none of those – but it could be even worse. It's drywall.

Florida homeowners have complained that the drywall in their homes, which was imported from China, is not only giving off a foul odor like sulfer, but is also emitting corrosive gases that are destroying home appliances. There's one documented case of the sulfide gases from this drywall rotting the copper coils of an air conditioner.

So you can just imagine what it's doing to people's lungs.

In fact, some homeowners with this drywall have already filed lawsuits against builders and suppliers, claiming that they're not only surrounded with walls smelling of rotten eggs, but that they're also suffering from sore throats and headaches as a result.

The rotten egg smell is no surprise. The Chinese drywall has large amounts of sulfer in it. In the U.S., the chief component of drywall is gypsum. It's just a shot in the dark, but I'm guessing the reason there could be high levels of sulfer in the Chinese drywall is that sulfer is cheaper than gypsum.

The Chinese drywall entered the country during a building material shortage from 2004 to 2007 (spurred by the rebuilding boom in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina), so the homes using it were completed recently.

The Florida Department of Health is looking into all this, but claim that more time and testing are needed to find out if the drywall is indeed a health hazard to homeowners. According to the state toxicologist of Florida Dr. David Krause, this determination could take months.

Of course it could.

Florida's hot, humid climate could play a large role in the drywall's stink. It's similar to a story I told you about last year about formaldehyde seeping from the walls of FEMA trailers in New Orleans due to the rapid deterioration of the materials because of the moist conditions.

This is hardly an excuse. I don't recall any U.S.-made drywall that causes copper coils to corrode, regardless of the climate. I know there are American companies at stake – and they will be at the business end of the lawsuits about this shoddy drywall from China, the world capitol of useless and dangerous goods.

I've said it before, and here I go again: If you value your health, don't buy anything from China. 

Video Games

From: Daily Dose

But when the Brigham Young team surveyed more than 800 U.S. college students, the results linked these effects to extended game play:

    * Poor relationship quality with parents and friends
    * Poor academic performance
    * Greater risk of alcohol and drug use
    * Lower self-worth
    * Lower perceived social acceptance 

As you might expect, violent games increased the risks of these effects.