Share this article:


This article was written on 14 Aug 2008, and is filled under Food Additives.

Current post is tagged


Hidden Dangers in Food

Hidden Dangers in Food – Buyer Beware
Linda Hegstrand, MD, PhD

Official site: Complete Wellness Center

The evidence is compelling and conclusive that at least two specific food additives are poisons. Russell Blaylock, MD, a neurosurgeon, has dedicated his life to educating the public on the dangers of food additives.  His book “Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills” is electrifying and well-researched – a must read to understand fully the impact of poisonous food additives on ourselves and our children.  The two food additives I am speaking about are monosodium glutamate (MSG) and Aspartame – NutraSweet/Equal. Glutamate and aspartame are naturally occurring amino acids used in building proteins and also function as excitatory neurotransmitters.  When they are present in excessive amounts, they stimulate neurons until they die which is why they are called excitotoxins.

MSG is a flavor enhancer causing cravings that contribute directly to obesity and diabetes.  Worse yet it can damage your child’s brain by effecting the development of the nervous system so that years later they may have learning and emotional difficulties (ADD/ADHD/Autism), and/or hormonal problems.

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that may cause brain tumors and causes sugar cravings.  It breaks down to form aspartame, an excitotoxin that can cause the same brain damage as MSG.

Furthermore excitotoxins can aggravate and possibly precipitate many neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, and Huntington’s.  These excitotoxins are a risk if you have ever had a stroke, brain injury, brain tumor, seizure, or have suffered from hypertension, diabetes, meningitis, or viral encephalitis.

What can we do to protect ourselves and our children?  There are Natural Solutions:

  1. Read food labels.  MSG is often present in foods that are not labeled as containing MSG, but do. Examples are hydrolyzed protein, gelatin (yes, commonly served in hospitals as a healthy dessert), yeast extract, textured protein, and more.  For more information, go to  If a food is labeled low fat, it almost certainly contains MSG in some form for flavor.  Low carbohydrate processed foods most likely contain Aspartame.
  2. Minimize consumption of processed foods – canned, boxed, bagged, and frozen.
  3. Minimize restaurant foods, not just Chinese.  They often contain MSG even though the waiter/waitress is not aware of it because MSG is often present in items listed that do not appear to contain MSG. When eating out tips: choose broiled, grilled, or steamed foods with butter, herbs, lemon, etc; oil and vinegar or lemon juice for salad dressing; and fresh fruits or sorbets for dessert.
  4. Use stevia as a natural low calorie sweetener rather than Aspartame. Stevia can be purchased at health food stores as liquid or powder.
  5. Increase your body’s defense against excitotoxins.

Ways to defend against excitotoxins include:

  1. Increasing cellular energy, ATP, improves the ability of specialized cells to take up excess glutamate and aspartate preventing these excitatory neurotransmitters from causing nerve cell death.  ATP production is facilitated by supplementing with both carnitine and acetyl-l-carnitine.
  2. Vitamin B6 lowers brain and blood glutamate.  Glutamate receptors are blocked by Vitamin B12, pyruvate, and malate.  The latter two also increase cellular energy.
  3. Essential omega 3 fatty acids improve the health of mitochondria, the energy producing subcellular organelle, and cell membranes.
  4. Antioxidants fight against this increase in free radicals formed by excess excitotoxins.  There are three classes of antioxidants that form a network, all of which are essential in defending against free radicals:
    • The Vitamin, Mineral, Flavonoid Network which includes Carotenoids; Vitamins C, D, E, and K; manganese, magnesium, selenium, zinc, and plant flavonoids.
    • The Enzyme Network which includes superoxide dismutase, glutathione reductase, glutathione peroxidase, and catalase.
    • The Thiol (sulfur containing) Antioxidants which include albumin, alpha-lipoic-acid, and glutathione.
  5. As Linus Pauling said: You can trace every illness, every disease, and every ailment to a mineral deficiency. Having an appropriate blend of absorbable minerals including essential trace minerals is protective.
  6. The ill effects of MSG and aspartame can be blocked by specific energetic frequencies.

Chronic conditions or symptoms may be MSG and/or Aspartame related.  If the above suggestions do not improve your health, a visit to your natural health care provider is apt to help you optimize your health.

Continuing to allow MSG and Aspartame to be added to our foods with all the research that documents their ill effects is disturbing.   It is clear that we must be conscientious in our food choices for ourselves and for our families.

Linda Hegstrand MD

Author: Linda Hegstrand MD

Complete Wellness Ctr
2426 Burton Street SE
Suite 3
Grand Rapids,MI 49546
616.464.0470 mailto:[email protected]

Blue Heron Academy
Medical Director


  1. Jonathan Steele, RN
    August 15, 2008

    Some people have a sensitivity to MSG that resulting in pitting edema of the lower extremities. Some report headaches. But what about MSG in combination with other toxins?

    There is another toxin that should be high on the list of foods to avoid. When given to cows as a hormone shot, it is called Prolac. It is designed to help the cows make more milk. This is found to end up in the milk and then in humans. What is interesting about this is a possible connection with MSG.

    Although this has not been studied, locally it was noticed that a considerable number of people presented with a solid rash that was hard to clear up. One thing that turned up as a commonality was a particular brand of ice cream being consumed and foods containing MSG. Those eliminating these from the diet found the problem cleared faster than with meds alone.

    In on case where the rash turned into cellulitis (it looked like a fungal infection superimposed over a bacterial infection) none of the antibiotic or antifungal treatments worked. Removing the two culprits (MSG and all milk products) only stopped the progression. One doctor felt there was liver involvement at this point.

    The treatment that finally resolved the problem was taking massive doses of a product that boosted the glutathione (GSH)

    One more interesting side point, this patient could not drink milk since his teen years since he would break out in a rash. He could eat cheese and occasionally ice cream. Now he can consume dairy products so long as they are organic. Hmmmm, no Prolac. He also is on a MSG free diet.

    Although this is anecdotal evidence, based on what I have personally seen in patients, I am on board with everything you are saying. This is part of the reason I started a website on GSH.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Good health to all who follow this advice.

  2. […] Hidden Danger…MSG and Aspartame […]

  3. ed earle
    August 15, 2008

    Appealing to Linus Pauling for advice on nutrition is like appealing to Jim Bakker for spiritual advice. May I remind you that Pauling’s views on nutrition, especially vitamin c and cancer were completly refuted over twenty years ago by Dr Charels Moertel in 3 double-blind studies at the Mayo Clinic. For an interesting discussion of the history of the whole controversy see anthony serafini’s biography of Linus Pauling, LINUS PAULING: A MAN AND HIS SCIENCE.This, so far as I’ve been able to ell, is the definitive biography of Pauling

  4. […] Comments « Hidden Dangers in Food […]

  5. Lowenstein
    May 5, 2010

    Fantastic post, can I link to this from my blog?


Leave a Reply