573 of 582 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 1999
It's weird how fate sometimes thrusts a book into your hands at just the right moment.
I was in New York and visited a bookstore, and was almost about to walk out when the title Excitotoxins caught my eye. I actually picked the book up thinking it would be about mycotoxins, which are found in mushrooms, and which some WHO scientists have identified as potential carcinogens.
However, upon opening Russell Blaybock's excellent book, I was surprised to find that it was in fact a mystery book - a book written by a neurosurgeon for the purpose of understanding how Parkinson's had struck down one of his parents.
As the son of two parents with Parkinson's, I was entralled by the book's premise - that common food additives could cause demonstrable health problems in sensitive individuals - and shocked that because these effects did not involve the whole population, such additives were deemed to be safe by the FDA. I was also shocked that manufacturers were given the right to add them to food under the guise of "spices", "natural flavoring" and other non de plumes.
When my parents first became ill, I did a large amount of research into Parkinson's and related illnesses. One of the more interesting aspects I came across was the discovery by some researchers that sebhoric dermatitis and Parkinson's may have a link. Being a recent sufferer of this annoying skin condition, my heart sunk on hearing this news.
However, since reading Excitotoxins I have made an effort to rid myself of any intake of the toxic additives mentioned in the book. It should come as no surprise that my skin problem has gone. My energy level has doubled.
I recently visited my parents and gave them a copy of this book. My parents, who put their trust in general practitioners early in their diagnosis and saw themselves travel quickly down hill, have long since learned to look after themselves through greater knowledge, and careful use of supplements and alternative medicines. You should know that my parents are now far better than they were some years ago, and are on the slow road to stabilisation and recovery. Such things are possible if you dig deep enough and believe that things like Parkinson's do have a cause, and then work to get back your health.
I believe this is an exceptionally important book, but only for sensitive individuals. Most people will remain unaffected by neurological disorders - for them, this is not an important book at all. For the rest of us, especially those of us with a genetic possibility of such sensitivity to additives, this book could well put years on our lives. I feel it has already done so for me.
Thank you, Dr. Blaylock.
522 of 532 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2002
It is almost a cliche in this day and age for someone to ask the waiter at a Chinese restaurant 'no MSG, please,' as is the waiter's knowing smirk in response. MonoSodium Glutamate (MSG), or 'The essence of taste' (as coined by the Japanese), is used as a 'taste-enhancer' in nearly every form of processed food on the market today, though 'taste addiction' may be a more correct term. But what exactly does it do? And how is it harmful?
Dr. Russell L. Blaylock answers these questions and poses some startling evidence as to the eventual consequences of a heavy MSG-diet in his book _Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills_. In basic terms, MSG (and other, similar agents) pierces the blood-brain barrier and over-stimulates the neurons of a brain to a deadly degree. Habitual intake among animal experiments has shown the development of tumors, memory loss, and a whole host of neurodegenerative diseases as the end result of excess excitotoxin intake, including Alzhiemer's, Parkenson's, Lou Gerhig's etc.
Walk into any gas station in the United States (or grocery store, for that matter) and, upon close investigation, you will find that 75%-90% of the available food has been 'enhanced' to some degree by excitotoxins. The chemical agents are often disguised by such ambiguous terms as 'spice' and 'natural flavors' or, my personal favorite, 'hydrolyzed vegetable protein.' A consumer society must have consumer slaves to keep it functioning; MSG is the crack cocaine of the food industry...and it is legally perpetuated by slush-fund advocates and a pork-glutted FDA. As proven again and again, money talks, ... [you can finish the maxim for me].
Blaylock's thesis is written in a technical style, but the use of repetition throughout each chapter hammer in his myriad points into the reader with precision and power. An important book for anyone concerned with the health of self and family. You are what you eat---but do you know _what_ it is you are eating, below the surface of taste/fulfillment?
1,134 of 1,173 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2003
I would like to thank the reviewers who gave a favorable review, but especially I would like to say to those who were helped by the book, God bless you. As for the harshly critical reviewers, most are from those who know little about the subject and could care less. At least one prefers hedonistic pleasures of gustatory stimulation over scientific fact and logical conclusions based on science. I direct this at the reviewer who stated, rather condescendingly, that I knew very little biochemistry and was so uninformed that I wasn't aware that Parkinson's disease occurred before the arrival of MSG and aspartame. In fact I majored in biochemistry in undergraduate school and completed with honors biochemistry in medical school. I continue to be a student of neurochemistry. My articles on these subjects are printed in peer-reviewed medical journals, which I'm sure the reveiwer would have difficulty understanding. Cysteine is a neurotoxin, as is homocysteine, phenalanine, glutamate and aspartate and a number of naturally occurring amino acids. Has the reviewer ever heard of PKU? While cysteine plays a vital role in brain protection, it is only safe as the N-acetyl product and as cystine. Cysteine, beside being an excitotoxin itself, is converted to homocysteic and homocysteine sulphinic acid, both very powerful excitotoxins. Sulfite, a metabolite of cysteine, is also a powerful neurotoxin (as in sulfate oxidase deficiency). As for the causation of Parkinson's and other neurodegenrative diseases, I never said they were exclusively caused by food born excitotoxins-in fact, in three places in the book I make this point. I do contend they exacerbate the symptoms and accelerate the progression of these diseases. An abundance of new evidence confirms what I wrote in the book and, in fact, paints an even more ominous picture. I cover some of this new information in my recently released book, Health and Nutrition Secrets. As far as making tons on money on my book sales-that is a dream in the head of my angry and confused critic. I don't mind criticism that is logical and based on careful study. These critics are not qualified and did not read the book critically and carefully. The proof of my thesis that food borne excitotoxins are dangerous to human health continues to arrive in the scientific literature.
172 of 175 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2001
Do you know what those words "NATURAL FLAVORS", or "CITRIC ACID" really mean on that item you keep serving your family.??? Of course not. And if you are like most they sound like pleasant, even healthy, items on the ingredient list. Great. That was the plan of Monsanto (msg) industry giant. If you knew, they'd be out of business, doctors would have free time, pharmaceutical companies would have surpluses of unused medications, and the government would be short some big money buddies.
I read this book, used the advice, and no longer need treatment for hives, migraines, sinusitis, chronic fatigue, anxiety attacks, chronic cough, acid stomach!! I am a nurse who works in the psychiatric field, I have used this to help myself, my family, friends, and numerous patients get off their medications and live a normal life!! I kept giving everyone vitamins and protein shakes hoping to straighten out our ailments only to find that the neurotoxins alarming Dr. Blaylock were in these supplements, and in large doses.. Stearic acid, magnesium stearate, chelated minerals with aspartate, asporotate, whey protein, yeast selenium, yeast B vitamins!!. No wonder I kept feeling worse the more money I spent. My poor son kept coming home sick from school (headache, stomach ache). Doctors advised- it is just emotions and "be firm". But once I read the book, eliminated the neurotoxins and took him off the liquid vitamins with "natural flavors" and benzoate he was fine... an honor roll student, playing basketball and happy. My son loves Dr. Blaylock for this. It is a big job but becomes easy to eliminate these when you use support from websites like nomsg.com and battlingthemsgmyth.com all of these people read Blaylock's book and expand on recipes and foods to make the change he recommends. Read the book. You owe it to your self and your family.
94 of 95 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2005
"Excitotoxins" should be mandatory reading for all medical students, allopathic and naturopathic alike. Disturbing in its implications, this book is an unbiased overview of data ignored by the FDA and the health consequences the American public faces. The book explains in easy to understand detail what happens to our brains when we consume foods laced with MSG or Aspartame. Fortunately, several possible remedies under research are also identified.
The undeniable connection between chronic excitotoxin ingestion and neurological disorders such as Parkinson's, ALS, and Alzheimer's disease is backed by years of scientific documentation. The author shows how the FDA relies heavily on flawed, biased studies, purchased by powerful corporations, to justify poisoning the American public. These industries, slowly disabling and dementing us and our children, pocket billions of dollars at our expense - easily buying them scientists and scientific data to "prove" their safety. They even lobbied, and won, the ability to utilize these poisons hidden in foods under disguised names (truth in labeling?). Our best interest is not at the FDA.
Protect yourself! Consume processed (boxed, frozen, canned) foods, spices and drinks at your own risk. Read this book!
102 of 105 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2005
They hide it in the foods you eat. It is now in over 50,000 products. They used to be required to put 'Diet' or 'Sugar-Free' on the label; but now if it is used in conjunction with another sweetener, that is no longer the case. You know the product of which I speak - it is aspartame, NutraSweet, Equal, or whatever it is called this week. Aspartame breaks down in beverages in temperatures over 86 degrees Fahrenheit, into aspartic acid, an excitotoxin and formaldehyde, a deadly neurotoxin. This in fact occurred in the Gulf War, as pallets of Diet Coke were left sitting for days in the hot desert sun, and the temperatures reached 125 degrees Fahrenheit. I know, I was there. And when you are thirsty, you drink whatever is handy. Now I am a 100% disabled Gulf War Veteran. Do I blame aspartame? Partly but not all. But I'll tell you what it does now if I happen it grab one of those 50,000 products and don't read the label (or perhaps they've slipped it into something new)....It triggers Migraine attacks that last as long as 4 days and causes the rhuematoid arthritis that it gave me in the first place to act up. This is a very informative book. If you care at ALL about your health and what you might be eating, this is a MUST READ!!!
65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2003
If you think that this book is pseudo-science and crackery, conduct a test on your own body. Cleanse your body for 30 days, abstaining from all sugar-substitutes, and processed artificially sweetened carbohyrdrate foods. Then have a few cans of your favorite aspartame sweetened softdrink. You should get an *extremely* bad headache in about 1-2 hours. You may say that this really does not prove a thing...mere coincidence..... but the severity and intensity of the headache will make you think otherwise. Cutting out these excitotoxins will, in the least, make you feel better, and may possibly prevent the onset of serious disease/disorders later on in life. DrD
90 of 95 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2000
Outstanding book, well written, informative, one that I got my hands on too late. You see, on March 9th of 1999, my 15-year-old daughter had a heart attack. On March 11th, they told she had zero chance of recovery. She passed away at 5:00PM on the 11th. If I had read the book earlier we would have eliminated aspartic acid and glutamic acid from our diets like this book recommends. One of the symptoms of ingestion of those excototoxins is arrhythmia (the type of heart attack my daughter had) which is listed in the book. On the day my daughter had her heart attack she had pizza and diet soda laced with the excitotoxins listed in this book. Had I gotten the book earlier my daughter might still be alive. If you haven't read the book you should, expecially if there's someone on Earth that you love.
64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2000
Let's assume for a moment that Dr. Blaylock is completely wrong. The worst that could happen is that we cut flavor enhancers and artificial sweeteners out of our diets. But what if he is right?
This book is exceptionally well written and extensively researched. As a layperson, I had a few problems following the chemical trail leading to death of the neurons, but only because I wanted to know more. I cleared up most of my questions by a second or third pass through the material. Because he did his own illustrations, he is able to show us in pictures exactly what he is saying in words.
We operate a health and massage business and recommend this book to our clients.
79 of 83 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2004
This book is excellent and should be read by anyone who cares about their health, but especially (future)parents who care about their children's brain health. Before I read this book I was one of the many people within this and other societies that had no clue that a lot of our food contains msg. Not only that, but this book also showed me how serious msg is and that although it is dangerous and trials have shown this dangers, nothing has been done about banning the substance from the food market. This book is very shocking, at least it was to me. The most shocking thing I learned is that msg is even used in babyfood, even though they are especially suceptable, because their brain has still a lot of growing to do. This book also tied in with one of my college research papers and so I got the chance to research the topic further and the most important information I came across, was that all trials that were done independately found somekind of a healthconcern, whereas trials done by the FDA and corporations didn't find any health concerns. So even if you don't buy this book, look out for aspartame and glutamates (for example: monosodium glutamate)or it might cost you your memory later on.