neurons die. Scientists have noted this effect particularly in the hypothalamus and temporal lobes the parts of the brain that control behavior, emotions, onset of puberty, sleep cycles and immunity.
Excitotoxin substances have long been used by food manufacturers to pump up the flavor of their products, and food manufacturers continue to insist they are safe. But in recent years, many health experts have regarded both excitotoxins and manufacturers’ assurances with increasing concern.
Small amounts of MSG are found naturally in many common foods such as seaweed, mushrooms, whole grains, carrots, meat, nuts and cheese. In its natural state, however, MSG is slowly assimilated by the human body and broken down so that the levels of concentration are kept low. The MSG in processed foods, on
the other hand, is highly concentrated. And when people eat these foods, they unwittingly bombard their brain cells with excitotoxins in large enough quantities to cause real trouble.
One of the many things that's blamed for symptoms of fibromyalgia (FMS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), especially pain and mood symptoms, is an over-excited brain. In studies, FMS and ME/CFS brain scans light up like crazy in the areas that deal with pain and emotion. It's a bit ironic that those of
us with the least energy are actually hyperactive in certain small areas.
What's going on, research suggests, is that amino acids called excitotoxins are in there at high levels. Their job is to stimulate neurons -- the cells that send and receive electrical messages -- and in the proper amount
they're a good thing. However, at high levels, they cease to be good. As many of us experience
every day, high concentrations make the receptors on your neurons misfire, amplifying pain signals, or creating uncontrollable anxiety and irritability.
Some people who are especially sensitive will feel the effects of food-based excitotoxins immediately, but for most of us they're much slower and more subtle. It may be worth eliminating them from your diet for a few weeks to see if it helps your symptoms.
Other foods that mimic the effect of excitotoxins are worth elminating also. Have you found you've recently had a sleepless night due to some unforseen circumstance? Check your diet to see if one of the following foods was the culprit. These foods can excite the hypothalamus causing and over active brain "tossing and turning all-nighter".
Large amounts of sugary foods and drinks
Acid forming foods
Large amounts of dairy