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If there is any single neurotoxic additive out there that is worse than all others, it would have to be Monosodium Glutamate (MSG). It is used as a flavor enhancer, and due to the damage it causes, it is no longer allowed to be added to food intended for babies or young children. It used to be added to infant formula, but congressional hearing in which researchers spoke out against the dangers of MSG caused the companies to stop adding MSG to infant formula. Instead, they now add other ingredients, with a similar effect, these ingredients are: Free Glutamic Acid, and Free Aspartic Acid. Why are these ingredients so dangerous? The reason is, that our body uses Glutamic Acid and Aspartic Acid as neurotransmitters. Free Glutamic Acid is naturally found in low quantities in food high in protein. It is involved in the "reward system" of the brain. The human body needs protein, and the presence of free glutamic acid reveals (at least in nature) that food is high in protein. When the glutamic acid reaches the brain, it triggers a response from the neurons, which is meant to reward the person for the food he eats.
Of course, such a system is easily abused, by adding free glutamic acid to a person's food. Food manufacturers would stand to gain by adding glutamic acid to food low in protein, because it would make the food more attractive, and they could get away with adding less real protein. Of course, in a free market system in which the competition is murderous, this is exactly what happened. The problem here is however, that when the neurons are exposed to too much glutamic acid, this causes them to die. This process is called excitotoxicity. Sciencedaily.com explains:
"Excitotoxicity is the pathological process by which neurons are damaged and killed by the overactivations of receptors for the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, such as the NMDA receptor and AMPA receptor."It needs no mentioning that the death of brain cells can cause a problem to human health. In fact excitotoxicity, plays a role in Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's, and even Autism. It needs to be said that it is not clear, that excitotoxicity causes these diseases. It could also be that excitotoxicity itself is the result of other causes, however, the fact of the matter is that excitotoxicity worsens these diseases, and scientists are looking for ways of treating them by stopping the excitotoxicity.