Hide this
 

What's In That? How Food Affects Your Behavior

July 29, 2008 | 125,407 views
Share This Article Share

behavior, food additives, food color, food dyes, aspartame, MSG, glutamate, monosodium glutamate, caseine, alzheimer‘s, parkinson‘s disease, sugar, artificial sweeteners, AuxiGroFood additives and poor diet could help explain poor school performance, criminal behavior, alcoholism, and the growing numbers of Alzheimer‘s patients.

According to Dr. Russell Blaylock, high sugar content and starchy carbohydrates lead to excessive insulin release, which in turn leads to falling blood sugar levels, or hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia causes the brain to secrete glutamate in levels that can cause agitation, depression, anger, anxiety, panic attacks and an increase in suicide risk.

The glutamate that causes this is identical to the flavor-enhancing monosodium glutamate (MSG) and its chemical cousins, which are found in thousands of food products, further exacerbating the problem.

Repeated hypoglycemic episodes increase the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer‘s disease, Parkinson‘s and ALS (Lou Gehrig‘s). In children, hypoglycemia often leads to hyperactivity. In both children and adults, it can cause violent and aggressive behavior. In older people, there can be mental confusion.

An anti-hypoglycemic diet would consist of lean meat and lots of fresh vegetables. Another key is limiting sugars and starches.

 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Americans spend about 90 percent of their food budget on processed foods, which contain a staggering number of artificial food additives, preservatives, colors and flavor enhancers. It’s virtually impossible to identify them all and ascertain their true impact on your health.

However, some we know more about than others. For example, there’s a substantial body of evidence backing up the claim that sugar, artificial sweeteners and MSG have a radically negative impact on your body.

As you may know, I wrote an entire book just on artificial sweeteners, called Sweet Deception

Another recent article addressed other hazardous food additives that should be avoided, such as:

  • Sodium nitrate
  • Sodium Benzoate
  • BHA and BHT
  • Propyl gallate
  • Trans fats
  • Acesulfame-K
  • Food dyes
  • Olestra
  • Potassium Bromate

Food Dyes and Preservatives That Make You See Red

The issue of whether or not food additives such as artificial colors contribute to behavioral problems in children has been disputed for many years. However, the tide is finally turning.

A carefully designed, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the journal The Lancet last year (for a free PDF of the full study see this link) concluded that a variety of common food dyes, and the preservative sodium benzoate – found in many soft drinks, fruit juices and salad dressings – do cause some children to become measurably more hyperactive and distractible.

The study also found that the E-numbered food dyes do as much damage to children's brains as lead in gasoline, resulting in a significant reduction in IQ.

The results of this study have prompted the British Food Standards Agency (FSA) to issue an immediate advisory to parents, warning them to limit their children's intake of additives if they notice an effect on behavior. They’re also advising the food industry to voluntarily remove the six food dyes named in the study by the end of 2009, and replace them with natural alternatives if possible.

The U.S., however, has not followed suit in issuing any similar warnings to American parents.

Beware of Banned Food Additives in Children’s Medicines Too!

Another thing you need to be aware of, as a parent, is that when an ingredient is banned for use in food, it is not automatically banned for use in other areas such as medicine. According to an expose’ by the British Food Commission last year, food additives that have already been banned for use in food and beverages are still used in a majority of pediatric over-the-counter medicines.

Their survey found that ALL BUT ONE medicine out of 41 contained an additive that had been banned.

The additives found in these drugs included:

This is just one more reason why it’s so important to question what your doctor or any other health professional may prescribe or recommend for your child, no matter what side of the counter it comes from, as many pediatric drugs can certainly be harmful, if not downright toxic to your child’s health.

Sugar Does Nothing to Sweeten Your Demeanor

One study that measured the visible effects of sugar consumption gave kids the amount of sugar equal to one soda. As a result, their test scores went down. In fact, one hour after consuming the sugar, they made twice as many mistakes. The sugar-loaded students also showed more "inappropriate behavior" during free play.

As Dr. Blaylock explains, sugar has a profound influence on your brain function, and hence your psychological function. When you consume excess amounts of sugar, your body releases excess amounts of insulin, which in turn causes a drop in your blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia.

Hypoglycemia in turn causes your brain to secrete glutamate.

Glutamate is a “messenger molecule” that serves an important function in your body. However, when excess amounts of glutamate are excreted it can wreak havoc with your brain and nervous system, causing a variety of side effects such as agitation, depression, anger, anxiety and panic attacks.

The glutamate produced in your body is identical to the flavor-enhancing monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is added to thousands of food products that boost your body’s glutamate load even higher.

The Bitter Impact of Added MSG 

MSG is used in countless foods in your supermarket, local restaurants, school cafeterias, and more. Everything from soup to crackers to meats may contain it because MSG, as dangerous as it is, makes food taste good and it is dirt cheap, just like sugar. 

There are a couple of main reasons why MSG is one of the worst food additives on the market. First, as Dr. Blaylock explains in his book Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills, MSG is an excitotoxin, which means that it acts as a poison that overexcites your cells to the point of serious damage. MSG is non-discriminatory in its destructive path and can cause serious side effects throughout your bodily systems, including: 

  • Cardiac
  • Circulatory
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Muscular
  • Neurological
  • Visual
  • Respiratory
  • Urological/genital
  • Skin  

Other studies have confirmed that early exposure to MSG and other excitotoxins can destroy neurons in a crucial part of your brain, which can lead to gross obesity. 

The second part of the equation is that MSG can be literally hidden in food labels, under names like broth, casein, hydrolyzed, autolyzed, natural flavors, and more, making it extremely difficult to identify.  

MSGMyth.com has done a good job trying to uncover the many hidden references that MSG can hide beneath.

Incredibly, even infant formulas and baby food contain this poison, even though babies and infants, who are four times more sensitive than adults to the toxic effects of this chemical, are the most at risk.  

In the 1970’s, food processors "voluntarily" took processed free glutamic acid (MSG) out of baby food. But that didn’t mean it was entirely removed. It was merely hidden deeper.  

According to Dr. Blaylock’s Wellness Report, a 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 can produce the very same brain injury seen in experimental animals.  

MSG also finds its way into baby food in the form of fertilizers called "Omega Protein Refined/Hydrolyzed Fish Emulsion" or "Steam Hydrolyzed Feather Meal," both of which contain hydrolyzed proteins. 

Battle Against MSG Goes Sour as Fresh Produce May be Tainted as Well 

The use of MSG in food manufacturing and processing is so pervasive, they’ve even found a way to use it on fresh produce. A product called AuxiGro WP Plant Metabolic Primer (AuxiGro), produced by Emerald BioAgriculture (previously Auxein Corporation) contains both hydrolyzed protein(s) and about 29 percent monosodium glutamate.  

AuxiGro is used as a desiccant, disinfectant, fertilizer, fungicide, and growth regulator to increase yield and prevent powdery mildew in various crops. It’s a “Metabolic Primer” that increases plant productivity by priming plant metabolic pathways associated with growth, plant disease resistance, flowering, and “quality characteristics” of the produce.  

Despite a fervent online search, finding in-depth information on this product proved to be profoundly aggravating, as virtually all official links related to it were mysteriously broken… However, it wasn’t entirely fruitless. According to TruthInLabeling.org, AuxiGro has been sprayed on fruits, vegetables and nuts for at least a decade.  

On September 12, 2000, the Auxein Corporation Web site gave the following information about its use: 

Crops registered include: Celery; Fresh Market Cucumbers; Edible Navy and Pinto Beans; Grapes; Bulb Onions; Bell, Green and Jalapeno Peppers; Iceberg Head Lettuce; Romaine and Butter Leaf Lettuce; Peanuts; Potatoes; Snap Beans; Strawberries; Processing Tomatoes; Fresh Tomatoes; and Watermelons.

As of 2002, AuxiGro was registered for use in California on tomatoes, almonds, apricots, cherries, plums, nectarines, peaches, prunes, grapes (including grapes to be used in wine), and onions. And in 2004 they requested approval to add cole crops (including broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, collards, turnips, rutabaga, mustard, watercress, and kohlrabi) to the list of crops approved for AuxiGro use.

Today, there is no known commercial crop that has not been approved for treatment with MSG by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Emerald BioAgriculture have also requested approval to use AuxiGro on ORGANIC CROPS, in all states. It does not appear as though their request for use on organic crops has ever been approved, per se. However, MSG-containing ingredients are not specified on the National Organic Program’s list of prohibited substances either, so it’s difficult to discern whether or not it’s being used in some organic farming as well.

To be on the safe side, I recommend purchasing your produce locally from organic farmers, and simply ask them if they use AuxiGro on their crops.

Behavior Modification Through Diet

Just as Dr. Blaylock recommends, an anti-hypoglycemic diet is your best bet when dealing with behavioral problems in children, as well as for the prevention of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Here are my best recommendations:

  • Eat a healthy diet that includes lots of fresh, locally-grown organic vegetables and fruits, based on your nutritional type
  • Take a high quality omega-3 supplement such as krill oil or fish oil
  • Avoid sugar and grains, including fruit juices, breads, white rice, pasta and potatoes
  • Avoid anything with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • Avoid ALL artificial sweeteners
  • Limit MSG intake by avoiding most processed foods

[+] Sources and References

Thank you! Your purchases help us support these charities and organizations.

Food Democracy Now
Mercury Free Dentistry
Fluoride Action Network
National Vaccine Information Center
Institute for Responsible Technology
Organic Consumers Association
Center for Nutrtion Advocacy
Cornucopia Institute
Vitamin D Council
GrassrootsHealth - Vitamin D*action
Alliance for Natural Health USA
American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation
The Rabies Challenge Fund
Cropped Catis Mexico