Foods That Are Zapping Your Brain

“Flavor enhances called excitotoxins are added in large doses to food that cause excitement in the brain, cells become exhausted and die.”

Have you ever wondered why the food at most restaurants tastes so good? Maybe you’ve tried to make it at home, but even if you have the recipe, it doesn’t taste “quite” the same. This is because “flavor enhancers” or MSG is added to most of the foods in restaurants as well as packaged foods, soups, salad dressings, etc.Wellness_Minute_Flavor_Enhancers

“Flavor enhancers” called “excitotoxins” are added in large doses under misleading names that sound harmless. Excitotoxins are toxins or poisons that cause excitement in the brain. Certain brain cells get excited and they fire rapidly. Cells become exhausted and in one hour they suddenly die.

Excitotoxins are “free radical” generators. Glutamate, aspartate, and L-cysteine can stimulate large amounts of free radicals within exposed neurons. This results in the progressive death of these exposed motor neurons which can lead to  neurodegenerative diseases. Excess excitotoxic stimulation results in the buildup of free radicals and eventually it overwhelms the cell’s ability to neutralize them.

Take a look at the list of ingredients on the packages of foods you buy. Is ONE or MORE of these added? Vegetable protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, textured vegetable protein, sodium or calcium caseinate, enzymes, spices, autolyzed yeast, yeast extract, natural flavor, carrageen, broth or stock.

Infant formulas are loaded with flavor enhancers like MSG. Many baby foods, especially toddler foods, have large amounts of MSG added to them. This is dangerous and harmful for the developing brains of children.

We have an epidemic of attention deficit disorder, mood disorders, outbursts of anger and other mental illness that are diagnosed in children! I’ve had several calls from young moms with babies that develop seizures in the first year of life. Doctors prescribe drugs with dangerous side effects for these seizures. I’ve recommended Mixed EFAs and organic or homemade baby foods. “Mysteriously” the seizures are gone.

I have treated many children whose mothers were desperate for answers when their children presented behavioral problems that are routinely treated with drugs. In every case I found low blood sugar to be a major factor. When their diet was changed their behaviors remarkably improved and not one has needed to resort to medications.

The elderly are at risk as well. Let’s face it, neurodegenerative diseases are at an all time high and rising. Food industry lobbyists go to drastic means to prevent knowledge of this from being made public. Money is the driving force behind it.

The food industry uses deceiving methods to keep us from knowing these “excitotoxins” have been added to our foods. We are told that only small amounts are being used and are not harmful, based upon animal research. The truth is: Humans are more susceptible to MSG than ANY experimental animals; our brains are five times more sensitive than mice and 20 times more sensitive than the rhesus monkey.

Marketers also claim that these excitotoxins can’t penetrate the blood brain barrier which protects our brain. That’s not exactly true. The brain receives the same blood that flows through the body. Therefore, it is exposed to high concentrations of chemicals in the blood from metabolism and from the diet. Some of these chemicals are toxic to the brain. Without the blood brain barrier these chemicals would do serious damage to the brain and spinal cord.

This barrier excludes some substances while allowing others free passage. NutraSweet® opens the blood brain barrier and the glutamate that is in your blood seeps into the brain. For example, a person with MS can get significantly worse for days or weeks after eating just one serving of a food containing flavor enhancers.

Wellness_Minute_Flavor_Enhancers1Dr. Godo can recommend supplements which can be effective to help stabilize your blood brain barrier and coach you how to protect your brain. We want to avoid ANY additives in our diet that can cause excessive neuron damage. With supplementation we can assist the cell’s ability to combat the accumulation of free radicals in the brain by supplying antioxidants.

Supplements which support the fight against free radicals in the brain are N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine, Coenzyme Q10, lipoic acid, taurine and Acetyl-L-Carnitine.

And along with supplementation let’s get back to real food. Fresh, natural and  organic foods possess properties science has yet to understand, and best of all, the taste is amazing without added neurotoxins. Plus if we eat real food, we won’t have to worry about compromising of one of our most valuable assets… our brain.

Dr. Jason Godo, DC

To order the suggested supplements from Dr. Godo’s recommended supplier, go to: Discount Code: (DFILC501)

The Dangers of Artificial Sweetners

“Many people are not aware of the profound effect artificial sweeteners like aspartame can have on their nervous system.”

A colleague and good friend, Dr. Paul Varnas, told me a story I will never forget. One of his patients had just spent thousands of dollars on an elaborate biochemical workup to find the cause of her chronic headaches and chronic fatigue. After following a complicated in-depth supplement program for several months she was still experiencing daily headaches and fatigue. In utter frustration she told him “I’ve changed everything about my life … and I’m still sick. I only have one pleasure left. I drink one diet coke every day.Wellness_Minute_Sweeteners

Dr. Varnas in his wisdom replied…”not any more… I want you off all diet products for 30 days.” Three weeks later the headache pain was totally gone and her energy started coming back. I share this story because many people are not aware of the profound effect artificial sweeteners like aspartame can have on their nervous system.

Dr. Russell Blaylock, a noted neurosurgeon and author of the book Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, calls them neurotoxins. Over 90 different documented reactions have been reported to the FDA regarding our “friend” NutraSweet. Symptoms like: dizziness, headaches, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability, tachycardia, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain.

Artificial sweeteners seem so harmless; and let’s face it, if you can cut some calories, why not? But the truth is they are NOT harmless.

Names and brands can be confusing so let’s go over a few basics. Some sugar substitutes are natural and some are synthetic. The synthetic ones are referred to as artificial sweeteners. In the United States, five artificial sugar substitutes have been approved for use. They are saccharin, aspartame (or NutraSweet®), sucralose, neotame and acesulfame potassium.

Here are a couple of points. First, even though there are only five approved synthetic sweeteners many more are added that have not been tested or approved. Over 3,900 products containing artificial sweeteners were launched in the US between 2000 – 2005. In 2004 alone 1,649 new artificially-sweetened products were launched.

Artificial sweeteners cost the food industry only a fraction of the cost of natural sweeteners which means extremely high profit margins for manufacturers. It is not surprising that the food industry is heavily promoting its “diet” or “light” products. Let’s not forget that these artificial sweeteners won’t go bad or when added, won’t cause products to go rancid. How can they? There is nothing “alive” in them.

What are the effects of these cumulative neurotoxins when they are consumed in far greater amounts and concentrations than anyone ever thought possible? Nobody knows what happens when they are heated in storage or in cooking. And we don’t have a clue what will happen long term when used in combination with other additives.

Here’s another interesting point. A 2005 study by the University of Texas Health Science Center indicated that “rather than promoting weight loss, the use of diet drinks was a marker for increasing weight gain and obesity.”In the study, those that consume diet soda were more likely to gain weight than those that consumed naturally-sweetened soda.

Wellness_Minute_Sweeteners2A sweet taste induces an insulin response, which causes blood sugar to be stored in tissues, but because blood sugar does not increase with artificial sugars, there is a hypoglycemic like response and a craving for food. But Dr. Godo… are there any sugar substitutes I CAN use safely? You may have heard of stevia. Even though it has been widely used by the Japanese government since the 1970’s and has been used in Paraguay for centuries without side effects, stevia is UN-approved in the U.S.

It comes from plants and is subject to growing conditions so ALL stevia is not alike. Some forms have a slight mineral taste depending upon the brand and whether it is a liquid or powder. Also if you use too much it may seem bitter. I suggest you experiment with different brands and textures. Use the one that suits your taste. One caveat with stevia, “if you have insulin issues, you should AVOID sweeteners altogether, including stevia, as they can decrease your sensitivity to insulin.”

If you struggle with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or extra weight, then you may have insulin sensitivity issues and would benefit from avoiding ALL sweeteners. Remember, insulin is a fat storage hormone. Don’t be fooled. Educate yourself about the dangers of artificial sweeteners. Get the information, ask questions, check labels, and make new choices.

Dr. Jason Godo, DC