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Avoiding MSG and Aspertame (NutraSweet/Equal) following head injuries

August 23, 2012

Technical but informative — worth the read – from the blog of Dr. Jack Kruse, a neurosurgeon/nutritionist.


In the first two blogs (1) (2) in this series we looked at the fundamental neurobiology of how excitatory neurotransmitters and exogenous food additives can cause human disease. We discussed that the mechanism of disease progression is affected by age, species, and the energy status of the neuron at the time of exposure or injury. Today we are going to explore how acute neurologic aspects of cranial trauma relates to progression to long term neurodegenerative disease. We also must remember that these athletes, soldiers, and high school students are simultaneously ingesting huge amounts of MSG and aspartate in a standard American diet. I would hope that every person reading this would avoid exogenous sources of excitotoxins going forward. This is especially true if you have sustained a traumatic brain injury or a concussion in your lifetime. Realize that even one concussion can cause this affect to steam roll if you either continue to add insult to the injury exogenously (MSG or Aspartame) or endogenously (injury or disease). Traumatic brain injury accounts for more than 1 million emergency room visits each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 3.8 million sports and recreation-related concussions occur in the U.S. each year. So most of these injuries never come for any treatment at all. Moreover, MSG and aspartame sensitize injured human nerves to the effects of acute concussion when they occur. The more processed food you eat as an athlete, the more likely you will suffer long term damage from your concussion.

Concussions, MSG and Alzheimer’s are basically the same disease at different points on the continuum of neuropathology. This explains why so many former NFL players suffer from addiction, depression, neurodegeneration, cognitive decline, obesity, and decreased longevity. Their should be recommendations made to offset the damage based upon what we know. In my opinion not enough is being done. I treat post concussive syndrome much more aggressively and quite differently than most of the published guidelines because I feel I understand the neurobiology and the connections to other diseases we mentioned in this blog. I don’t believe many others do. And those who do wont act because their is an expensive price tag tied to what should be done. The more they muddy the water the longer the status quo can exist.

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