A hormone that causes body tissues to take up sugar from the blood to use for energy, rather than using existing fat for energy.
Excitotoxins Cause Damaged Minds
Author: Jean Handwerk
Publish date:
Summary: Excitotoxins cause physical and spiritual destruction. Learn about the main types of exitotoxins and what can be done to avoid them.

God communicates with us via our minds—through our frontal lobe’s reasoning ability. If certain food ingredients are known to kill brain cells, then eating those foods will inevitably result in decreased ability to communicate with the Holy Spirit. The issue of food, therefore, is serious and has eternal consequences.

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The Enemy tempts us with attractions involving our five senses—especially taste. Many cautionary words are found in Scripture and Inspiration regarding appetite. Our food choices not only concern our physical health, but also our spiritual well being. Neglecting our bodies and being careless in our stewardship of Christ’s sacrifice for us is sinful.

With the precious health message given us, Christians should be among the healthiest people on Earth. The divine plan has been so plain that no one need be confused on the matter:

Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing (Ministry of Healing, 295-296).

Simple combinations of nuts and grains and fruits, manufactured with taste and skill, will commend themselves...(Counsels on Diet, 268).

Some food ingredients directly interfere with our minds and bodies. These ingredients are known as neurotoxins, because are toxic to the nervous system. They’re also called excitotoxins, because they overstimulate brain cells to the point of cell death.

What are Excitotoxins?


The most common neurotoxins in food are monosodium glutamate (MSG or glutamic acid), aspartame (aspartic acid), and autolyzed yeast. Dr. Russell Blaylock—neurosurgeon, nutritionist, and author of Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills—says that this group also includes hydrolyzed protein of any type and yeast extract.i

Instant Noodles  Wikimedia Commons

Some neurotoxins are hidden in foods under the terms “spices,” “natural flavors,” or “artificial flavors.” At least one excitotoxin is found in most prepared foods, including soups, and particularly in prepared vegetarian foods such as meat substitutes.

MSG and autolyzed yeast are prevalent in low-fat and no-fat foods, packaged foods, fast food restaurant meals, and instant meals such as soups and noodles. Even baby food and infant formulas may contain both MSG and processed aspartame.ii Aspartame is the technical name for commercial artificial sweeteners such as Spoonful, NutraSweet, Equal, EqualMeasure, and others.iii

Health Risks

The health risks of excitotoxins are documented and significant. “By the early 1980’s, evidence of monosodium glutamate-induced brain lesions was…well established.”iii

A mountain of evidence connects neurotoxins with an alarming array of symptoms and diseases: insomnia, depression, slurred speech, fatigue, irritability, vision loss, hearing loss, anxiety attacks, asthma, vertigo, joint pain, Parkinson’s, ALS, seizures, leukemia, other cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, Alzheimer’s, tinnitus, and retinal damage,iv to name just a few.

An obese mouse.  Wikimedia Commons

In the US, incidence and severity of human adverse reactions following ingestion of processed free glutamic acid (MSG) is increasing at an alarming rate. Yet both the United States government and many in the medical community have:
(1) ignored the literature that reports adverse reactions following ingestion of processed free glutamic acid (MSG),
(2) ignored consumer reports of adverse reactions filed with the FDA,
(3) ignored incontrovertible evidence that glutamic acid kills brain cells and causes neuroendocrine disorders in laboratory animals, and
(4) ignored a growing body of evidence that suggests a role between elevated brain glutamate levels and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and ALS.v

MSG’s connection to gross obesity is also interesting. Scientists “create” obese mice and rats to use in research on diets or diabetes by injecting them with MSG at birth. The MSG greatly increases the amount of insulin the pancreas secretes, causing obesity. The rodents also become insulin Given the popularity of excitotoxins in our food supply, it is no wonder that insulin resistance in humans is increasing rapidly, greatly multiplying the rate of diabetes and obesity. Ironically, “diet” sodas, which contain aspartame, actually cause weight gain, just as the excitotoxin did in the infant rats.

Diet Soda

Many people drink diet sodas, thinking they’re healthier than sugar-loaded sodas, but diet sodas contain aspartame.

CC Sharealike Brad Clinesmith on Flickr

“We also know liquid forms of excitotoxins are significantly more toxic because of rapid absorption and higher blood levels,” says Dr. Blaylock, neurosurgeon.vii At least one brand of regular soda and many fruit juices have “natural flavors” in its ingredients. Before drinking any of these beverages, we should ask some pointed questions of the manufacturer.

Consider the physical and mental harm done to millions of unsuspecting consumers drinking an excitotoxin-enhanced soda along with their excitotoxin-enhanced fast food meal. Blaylock says that excitotoxins can create lesions in the brain, similar to Multiple Sclerosis (MS):

When aspartate (as aspartame) is combined in the diet with monosodium glutamate (MSG), blood levels are several-fold higher than normal. With the blood brain barrier damaged, as in MS, these excitotoxins can freely enter the site of injury, greatly magnifying the damage.viii

As far back as 1996 it was shown that the lesions produced in the myelin sheath of axons in cases of multiple sclerosis were related to excitatory receptors on the primary cells involved…The loss of myelin sheath on the nerve fibers characteristic of the disease is due to the death of these…cells at the site of the lesions (called plaques). Further, these studies have shown that the death of these important cells is a result of excessive exposure to excitotoxins at the site of the lesions.xi

Learn more about aspartame

Meat Substitutes

Those who have chosen vegetarianism in order to avoid the dangers of a flesh-based diet must also avoid the pitfall of harmful meat substitutes such as meat analogs. The cell-destroying excitotoxins in them not only stimulate appetite but also are associated with food addiction.x 

Meat Analogues
Some “health food” stores sell meat analogs—vegetarian meat replacements, usually soy-based—and various broths and gravies to accompany them. They are sold to support transitions from flesh-based diets to vegetarian diets. However, each label’s list of ingredients, without exception, contained neurotoxins.

In addition to various other harmful ingredients such as refined sugars and propylene glycol (also found in antifreeze), meat analogs almost always contain MSG. Autolyzed yeast is also a common ingredient. Some packages say “No MSG,” but these claims are deceptive because the MSG is just replaced by another excitotoxin, autolyzed yeast. Only informed label-readers would be aware of the misleading nature of these claims; those who take labels at face value are at risk for cell death.

Textured Vegetable Proteins
Textured vegetable protein (TVP) and soy protein isolate are used by some vegetarians as ground meat substitutes in chili, meatloaves, fillers, and stuffing. TVP and soy protein isolate are extremely processed. In addition, vitamins, minerals, fats, amino acids and enzymes have been removed in processing. What’s left is essentially a synthetic food, which the body can neither recognize nor utilize. It is a stressor rather than a benefit.

Remember, our God-given counsel is simple foods, simply prepared (Gospel Workers, 362). More nutritious, more digestible, less concentrated protein alternatives exist. Foods such as unprocessed grains and legumes do not stress the liver and digestive organs the way processed foods do.

The same applies to meat substitutes that contain concentrated wheat gluten. While those foods do not always contain excitotoxins, the liver is greatly burdened as it works to rid the body of this manufactured, alien protein. In contrast, a simple diet of variety of grains, legumes, vegetables, and nuts can give us all the good protein we need without harming our digestive organs.

What Now?

It is essential that we learn to eat unadulterated whole foods, to read labels “religiously” (with our spiritual as well as our physical health in mind), and to educate others. Given the brain cell destruction caused by neurotoxins and the spiritual challenges we face, who among us can risk missing even one word the Holy Spirit speaks to us?

Now that we know the spiritual and physical consequences, we must change our ways, avoiding excitotoxins in meat substitutes, packaged foods, fast foods, and artificially sweetened, “sugar-free” anything. Who among us will buy foods to put into our bodies—God’s temple—without reading the labels and rejecting those with harmful ingredients? Who among us wants to answer to the spiritual consequences of knowingly eating or serving foods that result in ill health and stunted minds? The snares for our feet are many, but God is faithful. He has provided knowledge, discernment, and wisdom to those who seek a better way. May we all take hold of His grace to follow that path.

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers (3 John 1:2).

If you enjoyed this article, share it with a friend. Check out our health site—Amazing HealthTM—for more information.

For information about aspartame poisoning, which is often mistaken for other diseases, see H. J. Roberts, Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic (West Palm Beach: Sunshine Sentinel Press, 2001).



i Russell Blaylock, Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills (Sante Fe: Health Press, 1997). Blaylock's recent books are Health and Nutrition Secrets that can Save Your Life and Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients.


iii Ibid.

iv Ibid.

v Ibid.


vii Russell Blaylock, “The Connection Between MS and Aspartame,”

viii Ibid.

xi Ibid.


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