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Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  277 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Ex•cí•to•tox•in: a substance added to foods and beverages that literally stimulates neurons to death, causing brain damage of varying degrees. Can be found in such ingredients as monosodium glutamate, aspartame (NutraSweet®), cysteine, hydrolyzed protein, and aspartic acid.

Citing over five hundred scientific studies, Excitotoxins explores the dangers of aspartame, MSG and
Paperback, 297 pages
Published January 1st 1997 by Health Press (NM) (first published 1994)
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Oct 31, 2007 Shannon added it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Very, very Goood!!! I am allergic to (MSG)a.k.a. Mono-sodium- glutimate. It is in so many different kinds of foods, not just chinese/japanese! This book opened my eyes about all the differenct excitotoxins that we pour into our bodies on a daily basis. This book will change your life and hopefully change the way you polute your body with toxins.
Samantha Penrose
I had a hard time getting through this book. I felt like I was reading something intended for medical professionals.
In the introduction the author states that the book is "written mainly for the lay public, but also for those trained in medical science and biology". The first chapter is optional..."It is primarily for those unfamiliar with the central nervous system and the terms used to describe the various diseases and conditions associated with excitiotoxin damage". Needless to say, this "cra
Sarah Suniga
Dec 21, 2007 Sarah Suniga rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: nutrition crazed geeks
This book provided adequate and fundamental information regarding excitotoxins to the point where I feel comfortable defining the terms for others. My main gripe is that it seems to be geared towards incitement and fear-based tactics to inform. The idea of neuronal death sounds extreme and direct lines cannot be made between excitotoxins and conditions such as Alzheimer's. The author doesn't try to build a model based on causality but the language used sometimes leads the reader to forget that f ...more
May 07, 2009 Sharon rated it really liked it
Eye opener, anyone interested in nutrition and especially all parents should read this one
Angie Libert
Jul 02, 2010 Angie Libert rated it really liked it
The author says that the book is for the lay person, but the book is rather technical which was alright for me though, it just challenges me to think harder. :)

The book taught me about the various names of MSG and how its toxic effects will accumulate over time in the brain. He noted that MSG is especially toxic to unborn and young children because they do not have the fully protected blood brain barrier and there brain is still developing. He linked MSG toxicity to many degenerative brain disea
Laurel Cook
Aug 24, 2010 Laurel Cook rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a must read for all parents and those trying to conceive!

As MSG has become a dirty word with consumers, food manufacturers have changed the labeling to ingredients such as autolyzed/hydrolyzed vegetable protein, soy protein isolate, or natural flavours. The reality is that all of these ingredients deliver the same harmful side effects as MSG itself. These substances pass through the placenta to developing children, and are known to cause acute symptoms of weakness, headaches, and mu
Aug 13, 2008 Marc rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rl
Put down your Taco bell "taco" you paid 27 cents for and find out what your really putting in your body.For those intelligent enough to see past the veil of lies placed upon us all at birth, the answers are scary.
Oct 24, 2007 Sara rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
This book was fascinating. It admittedly lacks the hand of a good copyeditor, but otherwise it's an excellent balance of scientific evidence explained for the non-scientific reader. The author is a neurosurgeon who started investigating excitotoxic food additives following his father's bout with Alzheimer's disease. He lays out his evidence for the reader to examine and is more than willing to point out holes in the existing body of research. The fact that the FDA continues to support these addi ...more
Veri M
Aug 20, 2013 Veri M rated it liked it
I didn't really know what to expect when I began reading this book other than I was pretty sure it would be a boring read I'd have to trudge through. Surprisingly, I found myself drawn in and wanting to learn more about excitotoxins such as MSG and aspartate and what effects they have on the human brain. Dr. Blaylock did a good job at linking these substances to diseases such as Parkinson's Disease, ALS and Alzheimer's Disease.

One thing that bothered me throughout the book is that there are num
Lucas Gili
Jul 28, 2013 Lucas Gili rated it it was amazing
A book written about MSG (monosodium glutamate) and how it is being used in so many foods nowadays, across the board it has become industry standard to enhance taste of foods and this is a book written from a scientific perspective on how it damages the brain and the author gives his theory that MSG could be being used to dumb down the population and how research that exposed MSG to be dangerous has been suppressed and hidden, to give a brief synopsis. The author was a neurosurgeon which adds a ...more
May 25, 2010 Lia rated it did not like it
Shelves: partial-reads
NOTE: This review is my opinion. In other words, it is a review that I wrote based on my encounter with the book. If you have a differing opinion, that is fine with me. But please use good manners in commenting on my review. Thank you.

Hmm. I think there is a lot to be said for what's in this book, but it is written in alarmist fashion which damages its credibility. It also needed stronger editing. It switches back and forth between painfully obvious analogies and hiding out in the technical jarg
Sep 13, 2016 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy the technical aspect of the book, easy to double check the science of what is in the book. I have read many other books on the subject, but, this is the best. Over the years, when I try to tell people about the dangers of artificial sweeteners and MSG, I am usually met with blank stares, or polite nodding of the head and passed off as the crazy conspiracy theorist, this book has facts and sources to back them up.
Feb 14, 2008 Carol rated it liked it
There is soooooo much information in this book....very necessary information that more people (everyone) needs to become aware of....but not an easy read for a non-science major who is reading 6 or more books at a bottom line...msg and other excitotoxins do kill and they shouldn't be in our food!
Tina Zellman
Jul 07, 2011 Tina Zellman rated it really liked it
Good overview of the brain and nervous system. Discussed the effects of MSG, Aspartame and hydrolyzed vegetable protein on the brain in relation specifically to Alzheimer's, ALS, Parkinson's, and other neurodegenerative diseases. Small discussion with regards to developing brians, seizures, headaches, etc.
Jun 26, 2010 Tami rated it liked it
Shelves: eating
I didn't get to read this as thoroughly as I wanted. I might have to check it back out sometime.

A couple interesting points: hypoglycemia can cause similar damage to the brain as does a stroke. The prescribed diet of choice for the hypoglycemic is: high protein/low carb, but Matt Stone and Blaylock say it's high complex carb/low fat.
Aug 19, 2009 Jeannine rated it liked it
A little bit scary - stay away from aspertame, msg and hydrolized vegetable protein!!!! Seriously!!!!

I don't know if I'll finish this one. I'm finding it a difficult read - very scientific with lots of details.
Oct 20, 2012 Chrisl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1990s, dew600s
For a more medical perspective on the problems caused by excitotoxins, perhaps Philpott.
Brain Allergies Brain Allergie
Jun 03, 2014 Anna added it
Shelves: health-nutrition
Way too technical for this reader. Premise was good; introduction said what needed to be said. Excitotoxins kill. Also a little dated by now, 17 years later. There are a lot of more readable tomes available on the subject of nutrition for the lay person.
Jan 17, 2016 Fishface rated it liked it
This was a very informative read, with chilling implications about the destructive power of excititoxins in the human body, but the author spent so much time making this book into a primer on brain function that he nearly lost his own point.
May 26, 2011 Lynda rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Total research book. After I read it I stopped buying certain foods because it scared me so much. Now that a couple of years have passed I've relaxed but still buy organic milk and don't buy cheesy covered chips (loaded with msg) for the house, except for parties.
Joen Wolfrom
Mar 03, 2016 Joen Wolfrom rated it really liked it
Shelves: health
I read this book several years ago after being diagnosed with meningitis. This book reads like a college textbook. It is filled with so much information about the brain, neurons, food, and excitotoxins. It's an excellent book, if this subject is of interest to you.
Sep 26, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
Love this book, even though it is a bit scientific and 'dry'. I am allergic to MSG and am working my way out of a major sugar/sweets addiction, so it's handy information so that I can make some other changes alongside drastically cutting down on sweets.
Jan 05, 2014 Lynn rated it it was ok
I gave up on this book. Too many other books to read. It was dauntingly scientific and dense. The bits of information I got from skimming through were good. It looks like it's a very thorough exploration of the topic. Takeaway - avoid MSG and aspartame like the plague!
Jul 02, 2016 LWDC rated it really liked it
A book made up from a chapter from the health and nutrition book. With a few more studies added. Mostly about mice and the extrapolation to humans. If a neurologist does n't know when to extrapolate from mice to humans I don't know who would..
Jun 29, 2010 Kelly rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, skimmed
This book is full of medical jargon and difficult to read. The purpose is more to inform medical practitioners of the dangers about excitotoxins than it is to provide information on how to recover from exposure. Advice seems to be that it is just best to avoid them.
Jun 26, 2015 Melissa rated it did not like it
Well, if you want all the fun of dinner out to be spoiled forever, read this. The conspiracy theory aspects of Blaylock's viewpoint are entertaining, but maybe not enough to overshadow the creeping feeling that there may be disaster loaded onto your fork.
Martha Smith
Nov 29, 2011 Martha Smith rated it liked it
I realize, excitotoxins and neurotoxins are not hot topics for most. But I really enjoyed this book.
Shanna Gardner
Mar 03, 2008 Shanna Gardner rated it liked it
I had to read this book for school, but I really thought it was interesting. It really helped me realize some dangers that are out there, nutritionally.
Emy Woodring

Very of those books that presents everything as fact but i feel that some of the "facts" are spun in a way to look like facts....if that makes any sense at all lol
Apr 04, 2014 Bcspindler rated it really liked it
Fantastic read. Quite medical. We should all eat a cleaner diet and suffer less medical problems. Aspartame and MSG are still evil.
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Dr. Blaylock is a board certified neurosurgeon, author and lecturer. He attended the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans and completed his general surgical internship and neurosurgical residency at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina. During his residency he ran the neurology program for one year and did a fellowship in neurosurgery after his residency. For the ...more
More about Russell L. Blaylock...

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