Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Edible Toxins: Dangerous Chemicals We Consume Daily

Warning, Warning: Three hazardous chemicals can be found in items you and your family often consume. They reside in both sweet and savory dishes... and even in your water! To find out if these are in your food, check the ingredients label on the back or side of each package.

1. Mono-sodium Glutamate (aka MSG)
MSG is naturally occurring in seaweed but is now used instead of salt to flavor a wide variety of foods, anything from french fries to soup. If you live in Europe, you probably will not see "monosodium glutamate" on the back of your labels. Instead, you will see an E number, "E621". Those who eat it are said to have Chinese Restaurant Syndrome which has recently been re-named to "MSG symptom complex". I simply do not have the time nor the patience to explain this chemical's effects on so many disorders... so, I am posting this link to a web site dedicated to raising awareness. Apparently people are beginning to wake up because Campbell and Progresso soups proudly advertise that their soups no longer have MSG.

2. Aspartame
Aspartame is an artificial sugar replacement. It can be found in products bearing the labels "sugar free", "no sugar", and "diet". Although aspartame can have immediate harmful effects on the body, most people display symptoms over months or even years of frequent use. I am one of the unfortunate ones who can not eat or drink anything with aspartame without immediate symptoms. I feel tightness in my throat, instant thirst, sweating, and migraine headaches. Long-term, serious side-effects can include diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and even blindness. According to the Wikipedia article on aspartame: "Upon ingestion, aspartame breaks down into natural residual components, including aspartic acid, phenylalinine, methanol, and further breakdown products including formaldehyde and formic acid, accumulation of the latter being suspected as the major cause of injury in methanol poisoning." Here is a news report from the 90s regarding the dangers of aspartame:

I have saved the most dangerous chemical for last...

and this might be a shocker...

3. Fluoride

The fact that this is in the list might surprise some people. Fluoride is believed to help in the prevention of tooth decay. As a result, it is now in our tooth pastes, our mouth washes, and our water. Although it is naturally occurring in water, it is now being added in higher concentrations to the water supply in order to combat cavities. Here is a map of water fluoridation according to levels of concentration worldwide. Note that Germany shows <1% water fluoridation and most of Europe is fairly low in comparison with America. Germans conducted a study which showed that water fluoridation has little to no effect on tooth enamel. Even if it did, there is a toxic level of fluoride in our tooth paste... which is why we are supposed to call Poison Control if it is swallowed. The same amount of fluoride is in an 8 oz glass of water in some states. This is why I try not to consume tap water, even if a filter is added. The filter does not remove fluoride. I drink spring water daily in its stead. Fun fact: fluoride was used in Nazi Germany to keep the prisoners docile. Imagine what effect it has on your brain. Well, it is now known that fluoride induces something called dental fluorosis... which permanently damages your teeth, and over time, your bones. Most concerning is the fact that fluoride is believed to be a contributing factor to Alzheimer disease. Here is my third and final video about the dangerous chemicals we consume:


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