For a complete discussion of MSG, its neurotoxicity and which foods to avoid, go to - www.truthinlabeling.org.
There are so many foods that MSG is added to that it can be quite overwhelming. The basic rule of thumb is to avoid any and all processed foods as much as possible. Stick to organic fruits and vegetables, even organic meats and eggs. Avoid commercial salad dressings, soy sauce, whey protein powders (except non-denatured whey protein) and manufactured foods; basically, anything that comes out of a package.
Aspartate is another potent neurotoxin that should be avoided in neurological disorders. It is found in artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame and NutraSweet, and in many protein powders. Again, L-aspartate is a naturally occuring amino acid that is necessary for proper brain function. It is only in its adulterated state that is becomes a potent neurotoxin.
Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin) was found in some studies to protect brain cells from glutamate and aspartate toxicity. The scientists who conducted these studies found that daily consumption of vitamin B12 was necessary to protect against neurotoxicity. The appropriate dose for ALS patients is 20 to 60 mg a day taken sublingually.
2. Eliminate all foods containing gluten from the diet.
Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, barley and rye. Gliadin is a protein fraction of gluten. A study at the Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, England, found that 57% of their patients with undiagnosed neurological problems had antibodies to gliadin, and 16% of them had a disease called Celiac Sprue. This is well above the general population, where 20% have a gluten intolerance and 3% have Celiac Sprue.
It is interesting to note that monosodium glutamate (MSG) is derived from the protein gluten of sugar beets and wheat. Many people who are sensitive to MSG find that they are also gluten intolerant.
Gluten intolerance can result in both glucose intolerance and inflammation in the brain (Ann N Y Acad. Sci.2002 May;962:318-31). Inflammation in the brain is closely associated with neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and dementia.
Gluten-free foods include rice, buckwheat, soy, potatoes, arrowroot, and corn. There are now gluten-free baked goods available in many grocery stores and health food stores, and they can also be found on-line.
3. Eliminate processed dairy foods from the diet.
Amazingly, many dairy products contain monosodium glutamate, or MSG. As you know by now, MSG is a potent neurotoxin. According to the Truth in Labeling Campaign, powdered milk contains MSG as a result of the way the product is manufactured.
"Ultra pasteurized" dairy products are processed with a higher heat, resulting in a break-down of more of the milk protein, which then contains free glutamic acid (MSG). Domestic cheeses that use pasteurized milk in place of raw milk are also a problem, as are any dairy products with carrageenan added to them, such as whipping cream, chocolate milk, buttermilk, cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, and ice cream.
This is a long and exhaustive list, those of you who do not have an actual allergy to casein (milk protein) and lactose (milk sugar), may be able to use raw unpasteurized dairy products. There are companies that sell these products on-line.
4. Eat alkaline foods as often as possible.
Alkaline foods are foods that create an alkaline residue; acidic foods create an acidic residue. Most fruits and vegetables are alkaline in nature, and most grains and meats are acidic. The importance of balancing your body's pH cannot be over-estimated. For more information on balancing your pH,
Click here for our pH Balance Therapy Page.
Eating a strictly alkaline diet can be quite restrictive and difficult for many people. Our solution has been to eat as natural and unprocessed of a diet as possible, with lots of fresh veggies, fruits, and good oils. We also take alkalizing supplements and drink alkaline water. For more information please click on the link above.
5. Eat lots of good oils.
"Good" oils are oils that are rich in omega 3 and omega 9 essential fatty acids. Good choices are cold-pressed olive oil, sesame oil, flax oil, or "Udo's Choice", a combination of several different oils that is available in health food stores.
6. Eat lots of nuts and seeds (except peanuts).
Peanuts are usually filled with mold and aflatoxins, and not recommended.
7. Eat seafood, with caution.
Fish is a wonderful source of DHA, which protects and nurtures the brain. However, seafood can be high in mercury, a potent neurotoxin. The safest fish at this time appear to be pacific wild salmon and tilapia.
8. Eliminate sugars from the diet.
There is a wonderful sweetener called xylitol that is chemically almost identical to sugar, but has none of sugar's harmful effects on the body. It looks and tastes just like regular sugar. Remember, you must avoid all chemical and artificial sweeteners. Instead use stevia, a natural herb, or xylitol. Both are widely available in health food stores or on-line.
The above suggested regimen is commonly known as the Paleolithic or "Stone Age" diet because it emphasizes good proteins and fats, and avoids carbohydrates and dairy products. It also avoids any processed foods, and emphasizes fresh, unadulterated foods as much as possible. This diet has been identified as one that can help quell inflammation and promote nerve repair in various neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases and disorders.