- I am convinced that one of the leading causes of obesity
is being totally ignored by both by public officials and the media, despite
the fact that there is tremendous scientific evidence confirming its
- In 1969, neuroscientist Dr. John Olney discovered that
feeding newborn rats MSG (monosodium glutamate) caused them to become
- Each time he repeated the experiment, he saw the same
thing. Subsequent studies have shown that this phenomenon occurred in
most animal species, indicating that it wasn't something peculiar to the
- The effects of MSG are now so well established that the
substance is routinely used in experimental obesity studies on animals.
- In fact, scientists have also discovered how it was producing
- For over fifty years, researchers knew that a pinpoint
injury to certain parts of the hypothalamus portion of the brain would
cause an animal to become grossly obese. What they would later discover
was that MSG itself actually destroys the same area in the hypothalamus.
- An intensive 1995 review of MSG toxicity by the Federation
of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) concluded that
infant formula contained a dose of glutamate (the toxic ingredient in
MSG) in the form of caseinate (cow's milk protein) that would sufficiently
produce the very same brain injury seen in experimental animals.
- Disturbingly humans are five times more susceptible to
MSG toxicity than even the most sensitive lab animal. And babies are four
times more sensitive than adults. It is this early exposure to MSG and
other excitotoxins that leads to gross obesity.
- Actually, the problem is much worse than that.
- Recent studies have shown that obese animals actually
have the metabolic syndrome, which is now seen in 50 million adults in
the United States. You will remember from my previous newsletter "The
Diabetes Solution" that the metabolic syndrome is the cause of type-2
diabetes as well as hypertension and atherosclerosis.
- Essentially, science proves that excitotoxins can trigger
the metabolic syndrome and obesity.
- And we know that the level of excitotoxins added to our
food is at least equal to (and sometimes exceeds) the amount needed to
produce the metabolic syndrome in animals. Yet only a handful of scientists
are addressing this alarming association.
- Recent studies have shown that glutamate (MSG and other
excitotoxins) can powerfully stimulate the insulin-producing cells of
- Excess insulin can cause atherosclerosis, hypertension
and the type-2 diabetes - by stimulating chronic inflammation. And remember
that insulin resistance can also lead to high insulin levels. Of course,
the obese MSG animals experience all this as well.
- It all fits in with what we are seeing in human beings.
And one other part of the obesity puzzle has recently been pieced together.
- In discussions about obesity, you may have heard about
something called leptin. This enigmatic chemical is produced in the fat
cells and controls many things, including fat accumulation.
- Normally, when leptin surges into the blood, it enters
the brain and acts within a specific group of neurons inside the hypothalamus
to powerfully suppress the appetite and increase fat burning, thereby
making us thinner.
- But MSG and other excitotoxins damage the very nucleus
of brain cells needed to do this. Those cells are known as the arcuate
- In fact, this vital collection of neurons is the area
of the brain most sensitive to excitotoxins. In experiments, MSG rendered
leptin ineffective, causing the animals to become grossly obese. Scientists
call this leptin resistance, an occurrence linked to obesity in both children
- Also, excitotoxins like MSG cause more glucose to enter
fat cells, preventing it from being burned in muscle cells as it should.
As a result, more fat accumulates - especially around organs and within
the abdomen (visceral fat).
- You may recall from the diabetes newsletter that this
visceral fat is the root of all the of the metabolic syndrome's bad effects.
The bottom line:
- We see that the excitotoxins added to our food can induce
gross obesity through a number of mechanisms.
- And we must remember that while it is soon after birth
that a child is first exposed to foods containing MSG and other excitotoxins,
the effects persist for a lifetime.
- Unbelievably, dietitians, medical doctors and many public
institutions are promoting the use of "diet" soft drinks and
other foods sweetened with aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal, etc) as the
answer to the problem of obesity.
- Aspartame is made up of three components: phenylalanine,
methanol and aspartic acid. Aspartic acid (aspartate), like glutamate,
is an excitotoxin.
- It is just as capable as glutamate of doing damage to
cells and brain nuclei.
- In fact, one of the acknowledged effects of aspartame
is weight gain.
- The FDA even lists increased weight as one result of
using the sweetener. Like glutamate, aspartame stimulates the pancreas
to secrete insulin, making you hungry - especially for sweets. And the
more you drink, the hungrier you get. Just like glutamate, aspartame
destroys the arcuate nucleus, which in turn produces leptin resistance.
As a result, you get fat.
- Dr. Blaylock is author of Excitotoxins: The Taste That
Kills, and other books and tapes: www.russellblaylockmd.com He also
has a newsletter - www.blaylockreport.com
- Betty Martini, D.Hum, Founder
- Mission Possible International
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- Duluth, Georgia 30097
- 770 242-2599
- www.mpwhi.com, www.dorway.com, www.wnho.net
- Aspartame Toxicity Center, www.holisticmed.com/aspartame
- www.mpwhi.com - Aspartame Information List