MSG, your GUT, and your BRAIN, Post-Trauma

MSG, your GUT, and your BRAIN, Post-Trauma

image_printPrint PDF


1. How does MSG and aspartame affect you and your brain and your fat loss?
2. What do artificial sweeteners do to a human?
3. How does neuronal injury from diet, trauma, and energy depletion all tie together?
4. What about young humans?
5. What about young humans with injured brains?

In part 2 of this series, we will explore how excitatory amino acids in foods and introduced to our GI tract could cause us some problems with normal functioning causing weight plateaus. We will discuss how MSG and aspartame (Nutrasweet), could wreak havoc with the human brain. This is especially true if that brain already has been concussed many times or is afflicted with some neurodegenerative disorder or is connected to an already leaky gut (low HDL level).

Many people don’t seem to understand how MSG and artificial sweeteners cause damage to neurons. The experimental data on this area is documented quite well by Dr. John Olney. His work began in 1969. He studied the endocrine effects of MSG on the hypothalamus. Most of my blog readers know that leptin signaling in the hypothalamus is critical for developing obesity and controlling weight among other things. You might be surprised to also find out that MSG and aspartame destroys the neurons in the hypothalamus that use the leptin receptor in the arcuate nucleus and in the hypocretin neuron bundle. The arcuate nucleus has the job in the hypothalamus of regulating the amount of hormone releasing factors secreted by the hypothalamus and pituitary. So if these neurons become damaged or rendered non functional your hormones will never be optimal with diet alone. This will cause you to remain fat and/or hypothyroid even if you are doing everything totally primal or paleo. It can also destroy the secretion of growth hormone that effects your body composition and the sex steroid hormones that control bone density and energy levels and radically can effect your HDL levels. This is a cause of “primary pregnenolone steal syndrome” because it is knocking out the “main pharmacy” in your brain. Many cases of primary amenorrhea are due to toxic insidious damage to this part of the brain.

Many women often notice weight gain after menopause. Often this is caused by a real loss of prolactin secretion in the hypothalamus, which controls the releasing hormone proteins. This simultaneously occurs as a woman is losing two of her main brain antioxidants (protectors), namely estrogen and progesterone. The loss of these protective hormones makes the brain even more susceptible to excitotoxic damage at the leptin receptor by MSG and aspartame. These chemicals create cell damage slowly over time by increasing free radical damage and using up the main antioxidants of the brain. This is often why menopausal women with big stalls will respond tremendously to low dose prolactin analogue drugs. These must be given under a physicians care. This offsets the loss of prolactin and norepinephrine (NE) secretion that regulates the releasing proteins that dictates ultimate brain hormonal balance and the circadian rythmns. MSG, aspartame, BPA, phenylalanine are just a few of these endocrine blockers. Acute BPA toxicity actually can be seen directly on an MRI scan by causing swelling of the pituitary gland. So if you are using these products knowingly or unknowingly, you might want to stop them if you are trying to lose weight or recover from a neurodegenerative disease. MSG has multiple “slick nicknames” designed to confuse you. Hydrolyzed vegetable protein is by far the most common. Here is a list of the others.

We already know that Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a brain disease that cause energy depletion in the brain too. Diabetic patients have a 147 fold increased risk of developing AD because diabetes contributes to an energy deficient state in neurons and depletes magnesium. Magnesium is used as a co-factor in ATP generation for energy. We saw in the last blog, that neurons become much more susceptible to excitotoxin damage when they are magnesium or energy depleted. This clearly explains why T2D’s become demented by AD so often. Nutrasweet and aspartame are very commonly used in low carb and diabetic foods and are known excitotoxin drugs that cause hypothalamic damage as well. These drugs are even advocated by the American Diabetic Association for weight loss (ADA). On the surface this seems to make no sense when one considers the science behind them. But when you look in this deeper, you find that the ADA is given millions of dollars a year by the manufactures of these products. It becomes crystal clear why this is a national policy to the their members. I tell all my diabetic patients to avoid all products with MSG, artificial sweeteners and BPA for this reason. If you are going to use a sweetener, I think using liquid Stevia without maltodextrin in it is best and safest based upon what we know now. If you feed a mouse MSG right after its born, it has loss of hormonal control, low prolactin levels, high leptin levels, with neuron death in the hypothalamus as a result. All theses mice grow up obese, small, and have reproductive difficulties. This syndrome parallels the human clinical syndrome of PCOS quite well. In PCOS women secrete higher levels of LH and this stimulates earlier onset of puberty and higher levels of testosterone that throw off the balance of oocyte maturation and causes menstrual irregularities. This effect has also been shown to effect the developing mouse because MSG and aspartame readily cross the placenta. This unfortunately is also true in humans as well. In fact the placenta in humans is even more permeable to these chemicals than mice and human brains concentrate the chemicals more readily in areas where the brain is not protected by a blood brain barrier. When you read the data on animals and realize that our species is 5-7 times more likely than a mouse to be sensitized to these effects it makes you stop and wonder what these chemicals are doing to kid’s epigenetic switches of their hypothalamus.

It may also help explain some of the amazing new epidemiological trends for obesity that have shown up over the last 50 years. I am referring to the cumulative effect wheat, grains, PUFA’s, high fructose corn syrup, BPA, MSG and aspartame use. I don’t think any one in particular is a smoking gun. I think each one compounds one another in our western diet and creates the massive effects we see in neolithic diseases.

What about young kids and adults with injured brains from various causes? Well, as a species you maybe unnerved to learn that humans absorb MSG and aspartame 5-7 times more aggressively than any species ever tested. This effect is more dramatic when the human is younger with a developing immune system in the gut. The younger the the gut and brain are, the more aggressive is the uptake and the more sensitive the developing nervous system is to its cumulative effects. MSG manufactures always do studies that show effects within 48 hrs for human safety. Since these drugs collect around neurons and disable its clearance the effects are long term. This is why the data on these drugs are so tough to interpret sometimes. They are not when you know the biochemistry around a neuron. In adults, the effect is not as significant unless you have a leaky gut (low HDL level) or have a damaged brain blood barrier. This means that the younger you are the more at risk you are for excitotoxic damage from trauma or concussions. This has huge implications for HS and college athletes.

Low levels of HDL occurs in many pathologies and signals lowered endotoxin clearance in the portal circulation. This commonly occurs in infection, trauma, migraines, concussions, neurodegenerative diseases, and especially strokes. In all these people, I advocate complete avoidance of these food additives. It has been shown in many animal studies that MSG and aspartame concentrate in neurons that are energy depleted or damaged in parts of the brain with no adequate blood brain barrier. Moreover, in humans the effect of these drugs is not always immediate and takes 72 hours to 144 hours to render its effect. The most worrisome issue to me as a neurosurgeon is the cumulative concentrating effects of these additives over a life time. I believe this is a major causative factor in the increasing incidence of ALS, brain tumors, obesity, and neurodegenerative diseases. The injured brain is even more at risk over time to these chemicals because of constant free radical generation in the brain. The developing brain is more adversely impacted because its wiring and neurotransmitter connections are not mature during early life. My belief is that this is also true of adults who are recovering from trauma and concussions as well. I believe their brains are more at risk than normal and I advise strict avoidance in these cases.

After reading the latest concussion data results if your child plays sports you need to have a plan in place to combat neuron cell death. If you’re a professional client you better make sure your team doctor and your agent have a plan for you outside the regular medical panel. Your cognition and life span might depend upon it. There are many things we can do to suggest to you to offset the excitotoxic damage. The choice is yours as it always is. the next part of the series will focus on CTE and athletes.


1. Gay et al. “N-methyl-D-L-aspartate elicits hypothalamic gonadotrophin releasing hormone in prepubertal male rhesus monkeys” Endocrinology 120 (1987) 2289-96.
2. Dawson et al. “Age related and dose dependent effects of neonatal MSG administration to female rats.” Neurotoxicology and Teratology 2(1989): 331-337
3. Stegink L.D. Et al. “Glutamic Acid: Advances in Biochemistry Physiology.” NY: raven Press, 1979.
4. Stegink, L.D. Et al. “Comparative Metabolism of glutamate in mouse and Man.” In Glutamic Acid: Advances in biochemistry and physiology.” Edited by L.J. Filner, et al. 85-112. Raven press: NY, 1979.
5. Olney, J. W. “Excitatory Neurotoxins as food additives: an Evaluation of the risk.” Neurotox. 2(1980): 163-192

About the Author:


  1. Suz September 17, 2011 at 6:02 am - Reply

    Great article, I'm really interested in artificial sweeteners as so many "healthy" people seem to switch to them. I need to learn the facts so I can educate my non paleo friends further…

    • Jack September 17, 2011 at 6:19 am - Reply

      @ Suz……educate? Simple . Dont eat em and eat primal, lift heavy things and optimize your hormones……and become the rockstar you always were.

    • Alex June 5, 2018 at 1:36 pm - Reply

      Im wondering if sugar alcohols like xylitol still have these same toxic effects

      • Jack Kruse June 8, 2018 at 7:05 pm - Reply

        They do. I’d avoid them all

  2. julianne September 17, 2011 at 6:03 am - Reply

    Thanks Dr K.

    What do you think about other artificial sweeteners like saccharine and splenda? (not that I eat them)

    • Jack September 17, 2011 at 6:18 am - Reply

      @ Julianne in case i was not clear enough……no artificial sweetener is fit for humans……. but stevia without maltodextrin is OK for now. If a human wants to delude themselves……… Im ok with it……but they won't be my patient. I take no quarter because of the effect of the leptin receptors on the tongue. They fool the brain by forteling the brain some sugar is a comin and then they destroy the hypocretin neurons. This all happens before any reward tracts mind you as well…………

  3. Sheryl Blystone September 17, 2011 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    This makes sense.

    It's hilarious, practically every EMS shift lately has evolved into a nutrition and wellness lecture. I am contingent, so I work with different people all the time. I find myself explaining how wheat, grains, and omega 6 imbalances destroy the human body and cause disease. I typically leave each partner with a list of references of Paleo friendly blogs, books, and food sources.

    I thank you tremendously for this particular post because it's a popular topic. The hospitals we frequent supply us with free soda, sandwiches, bagels, and cheesy crackers. You know, the typical cheap sugar, artificial sweetener, and MSG laden crap. No wonder EMS folks (except yours truly) are tubby and forever sick.

    Jack, I found out Thursday that my company hired twin young men to help out in our stocking department that have Multiple Sclerosis. The boys are 22 yrs. old. They've had several cancers and do not have muscles to help them swallow. I'm not sure of the circumstances with that but, instead, they have to sort of "throw" their heads back repetitively to get the food down, which was said to be exhausting for them. They are so sick, periodically, that they have their own suite reserved at DMC (Detroit Medical Center.

    I'm half afraid to bring up the topic of MS vs. Paleo in fear of getting fired ­čÖü My company as a whole is on the SAD, my supervisor is Type 2, insulin dependant diabetic, and he teases me for eating bacon and fat. They recently put up "heart healthy" posters in the crew lounge. Management doesn't have a clue and are closed minded – Big Time. But how can I not give helpful, lifesaving information to the boys? Is it none of my business? I'm not sure what my first step would be…

    This is crazy. It's like the true path to health is a big secret, taboo, and known as quackery. I feel like I have this extremely powerful information and I'm almost scared…

    • Jack September 17, 2011 at 1:14 pm - Reply

      @Sheryl Now you know how it feels to be a paleo doctor in a SAD world……that is how I felt the last seven yrs…….until this last yr. Posting and talking about what fuels me know is the antidote I have been looking for. I spent an hour with a lady yesterday, who I am not even going to operate on and gave her copious amounts of data. Her reply to me was, "why did you spend all this time with me when you dont think surgery will help me? I told her she came here to find out WHY she was sick. I told her I knew the answer and it was my duty to tell her ……..but my surgical armentarium was no panacea for her. In fact if I did operate on her she would regret that decision forever. You now know what a personal mandate it is to know things that can help others regardless of circumstance. My advice is talk to the boys from your heart. Give them me blog address for the MS blogs and autoimmunity blogs…….if you want to take it further go buy them a book to read. If you do……..your co workers will begin to see how much passion your lifestyle gives you and I bet you will motivate others to begin to pay it forward as well. Change is a powerful human mandate once it all makes sense to the brain. When I see a broken spirit or broken body……..if I can lend some help………i try. But change can never take hold unless the mind is ready for it. Your boss sounds like a lot of my fellow physicians and friends. In the beginning the queer looks and comments seem funny to them. But with time they realize this is no passing fad. Science carries a weighted truth whether they agree or not. Frustrating……..but we can never give up hope that they one day will come a knocking at our door. And if they do……we must be ready. No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.

  4. Shijin13 September 17, 2011 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    I have migraines, so does my dad… so epgenetically the switch was there when I was born SO Dr Kruse…what came first? the MSG or the migraine? I can remember my first migraine at 10 w/clarity… I had to be taken to the ER from school – the ER strapped me down b/c the medication they gave me didn't touch it… Eventually my dads doctor came to see me and gave ferocette. The Doctor told me to avoid all MSG and artificial sweeteners… this was back in 83! I've stayed away from both MSG and the artificial sweeteners since then…but Obviously this sensitivity is one factor impacting why my HPA isn't working properly.

    Thanks so much for making the links obvious!

    • Jack September 17, 2011 at 1:04 pm - Reply

      @Shijin migraines are probably the most common manifestation of MSG/aspartame symptoms. And the younger you were the more powerful the effect. This seems to be case in your example too. The exposure likely occurred remotely a few hours to days before the headache

  5. Sheryl Blystone September 17, 2011 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    Wow, thank you. I will move forward on this, step by step, carefully and informed. All the while remembering your last sentence, "No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care." From your stories, I see that is the key. I'll let you know how it all turns out…

  6. Eric anondson September 17, 2011 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    "This has huge implications for HS and college athletics."

    Expand this a bit, we have huge implications for our soldiers in the military. I joined the National Guard in 2004 in my 30s and went through basic training at fort sill. The Army was worried that so many new recruits were getting injuries from exercise during basic. Fatter, weaker joints and weaker bones than ever in history. They ended up developing a new training regime that was derided by many drill sergeants as "soft".

    But I wonder at the likelihood new soldiers out of basic are getting concussions on the battlefield. Taking them out of service when before it would not have taken them out.

    • Jack September 17, 2011 at 1:50 pm - Reply

      @ Eric…….its coming. Series is not over yet my friend.

  7. kelly September 17, 2011 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    "The arcuate nucleus has the job in the hypothalamus of regulating the amount of hormone releasing factors secreted by the hypothalamus and pituitary. So if these neurons become damaged or killed your hormones will never be optimal. This will cause you to remain fat or hypothyroid even if you are doing everything totally primal or paleo. It can also destroy the secretion of growth hormone that effect your body composition and the sex steroid hormones that control bone density and energy levels and radically effect your HDL levels."

    Regarding this my sister, age 29, has neurofibromitosis and had radiation at age 9 for a brain tumor, but her pituitary gland also was radiated. She therefore has not grown since that age so they know she produces no growth hormones and they also believe no sex hormones amongst many others. What, if any, advice can you give for this situation, how can she improve (I know optimal is out of the question)?

    • Jack September 17, 2011 at 2:39 pm - Reply

      @Kelly you might like my response. I have two patients in my Optimized Life practice who have the same issue. Its called panhypopituitarism. These days we can replace everything and still optimize the person back to as good as they might be. One of my patients had radiation from a brain AVM and the other has a post traumatic brain injury. The real problem for them is that the meds are sometime not all covered by insurance and it gets pricey. But one of them has insurance that covers all the meds.

  8. MARCI MCNALLY September 17, 2011 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    Jack, back in Hillcrest days we would take the bus into downtown Flushing and get dirty water dogs. I got a migraine each and every time. Finally figured out the culprit was the MSG in those hot dogs. I have been avoiding it ever since. It is very difficult to find any food in our supermarkets without it, especially under those "hidden" names.

    • Jack September 17, 2011 at 3:28 pm - Reply

      @Marci…….if you start listening to me and eating strict paleo/primal you will find total freedom and rockstarish health. Buy the books I recommend…….Robb Wolf's "The Paleo Solution" or Mark Sisson's "The Primal Blueprint" and this is where your road to optimal should start. Then you add my Leptin Rx to your new fuels……and just watch what can happen. You may look and feel better than we did in HS. I know I do now.

  9. Owl September 17, 2011 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    Is there a link to info on your Optimized Life practice? I don't see anything about it on this site.

    • Jack September 17, 2011 at 3:53 pm - Reply

      @Owl there is not. I did that on purpose. That practice is completely separate from my neurosurgery practice and contains patients who I consult with on a full time basis without any insurance at all to get them to optimal. If your interested you can drop me an email and I will contact you to discuss it.

  10. steve September 17, 2011 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    i understand your position with regard to artificial sweenters, but thought that scientific studies show xylitol to be safe. Only sweetner i use multiple times a week in undutched cocoa powder. Is it not safe for minimal use? I have no weight problem. Only real issue is atoptic dermatitis that dramatically flares when humidity decreases. Any thoughts on how to address atopic issue other that anti-histames, topical ointments and moisturizers?

    • Jack September 17, 2011 at 3:56 pm - Reply

      @Steve Go re read my post on Peripheral Neuropathy. Realize that xylitol is a polyol (FODMAP). And they say it is safe because the people making xylitol made sure that was the case in studies they supported and pushed. I don't advocate for any dietary polyol. I like only raw Stevia with no fillers like Maltodextrin. Usually the liquid is the only one that fits that bill.

  11. steve September 17, 2011 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    Thanks Dr.K. I read it and get it now. Easy for me to eliminate since i have zero desire for sweet tastes almost all the time; when i do i have some frozen blueberries. Actually tried coconut oil in the cocoa and it was pretty good; no need to add sweetner. Stevia taste not for me even pure which Vitamin shop sells.

    Interesting post you sent me to. I have some nerve issue from a chymopapain injection in the late 80's, but nerve conduction studies and muscle testing(inserting of needles- not fun) show all firing perfectly. Guess is that some of the chymopain med may have gotten on a nerve. No one knows. Causes back and leg pain, but on MRI my back looks pretty good. Take no meds and exercise/stretch as the way to go.

  12. Rozi September 18, 2011 at 12:23 am - Reply

    You have mentioned Pregnenalone several times. How do you feel about it as a supplement for an older woman as suggested by Ray Peat? Any information would be appreciated. Thank you for writing this blog, I just wish I understood more of what you say.

  13. kelly September 18, 2011 at 1:03 am - Reply

    Thanks for response Dr. Kruse. So as far as medicine goes, I'm assuming you mean replacing all of the hormones in quantities akin to a normal functioning pituitary? I will definitely forward all of this to my sister and hopefully she can work with her neurologist and endocrinologist to further her treatment. I'm not sure why, but she is only on birth control and not any other hormones, which I have questioned before.

  14. Jack kruse September 18, 2011 at 1:58 am - Reply

    @kelly. I'm not sure why either. If they won't treat her fire them.

  15. veggienft September 18, 2011 at 10:51 am - Reply

    Hi Dr. Kruse,

    I get BAD migraines when I eat MSG. I've encountered these migraines after eating cheeses a few times. Each of the cheeses had that tart taste which accompanies MSG. Each time the only possible ingredient category which could have included MSG was "enzymes".

  16. Kaki September 18, 2011 at 11:43 am - Reply

    Are there OTC supplements that function as prolactin analogue drugs? I have cut out aspartame and avoid MSG as much as I can, but it masquerades as so many things….I am menopausal and following a primal approach to eating and life, and losing extremely slowly….Is the purpose of prolactin analogue drugs to increase norepinephrine and prolactin secretion in the brain?

  17. Jack September 18, 2011 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    @veggie. Most cheeses in America are processed with glutamate salts and proteins. This is why I'm quite cool on dairy and I only buy raw milk cheeses from foreign lands like France and Spain. I also go to my raw milk cheese makers locally at the Farmers markets

  18. Jack September 18, 2011 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    @Rozi I'm not aware of Ray Peat's recs……but do I like pregnenolone for certain folks …..yep. But I test before I recommend a thing for supplementation.

  19. Jack September 18, 2011 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    @Kaki There are a few on the market that I know have some effect but none are used for treatment. Some of that drugs that stimulate some opiate receptors will effect prolactin secretion are opiates. Endogenous and exogenous opiates have different effects depending upon the receptors they act upon. Enkephalins are very disruptive to PRL secretion in humans and is felt to play a role in extreme endurance athletes with hypothalamic hypogonadism. Haloperidol and many phenothiazine neuroleptics have major effects on PRL secretion via its effect on dopamine. The drugs are too dangerous to use to help with weight loss.

  20. Rozi September 19, 2011 at 3:50 am - Reply

    Of course you do. What I was wondering was just what it supposed to do, whar it is supposed to fix. Also wh

  21. Rozi September 19, 2011 at 3:52 am - Reply

    Of course you do. What I was wondering was just what it supposed to do, what it is supposed to fix. Also what tests?

  22. Joe September 19, 2011 at 4:13 am - Reply


    I have a good buddy who regularly gets what he calls "Cluster headaches," or, Cluster Migraines. What, if anything, can he do about them. They seem to come on at around the same time in the evening, and last for up to a couple of hours. His doc just tells him to take aspirin. I don't think he's a big diet soda drinker, but I'll ask him about his MSG intake.

    Thank you.

  23. Carol September 19, 2011 at 5:02 am - Reply

    Prolactin sounds pretty easy to get – self service, or with help from a friend:

    Or is this an entirely different kind of prolactin secretion?

  24. MARCI MCNALLY September 19, 2011 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    just ordered robb wolfs book. thanks jack!

  25. Jack September 19, 2011 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    @marci. After you read it then add my leptin rx blog to it. Youll love it. I think you might find my new blog today on concussions and msg pretty interesting.

  26. Jack September 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    @joe. Tell your buddy to get his free and total testosterone checked. Recently, researchers have linked low testosterone as a possible cause of cluster headaches. I personally think cluster headaches are due to hypothalamic damage of excitotoxins. So this blog series is critical to understanding why it happens. Most clusters have a circadian rythmn to them and follow sunlight sleep cycle pointing to a pathophysiology seated in the hypothalamus.

  27. Bev September 21, 2011 at 12:36 am - Reply

    I am going to my sisters to switch her over to a primal or paleo type diet and get her off those statin drugs they have her on for cholesterol. She is age 67 and has been suffering from dementia that continues to progress since her early 60's. Her brain scans show white areas which I understand are areas where the brain tissue had died. I am going to eliminate anything with MSG and all artificial sweeteners – only stevia going forward. Going to eliminate grains, flours and sugars. Also going to introduce coconut oil. In your experience, has this type of diet change been able to just stop the AD progression? Or have you seen improvement in memory function in patients? Any other advice you can give to help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Jack September 21, 2011 at 12:49 am - Reply

      @Bev. You are an awesome sister. Great cognitive gains can be made on a ketogenic paleo diet. Makes sure coconut oil is the number one diesel fuel for her brain!

  28. Bev September 21, 2011 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    Coconut oil is number one on my list for her. How much do you recommend on a daily basis? I know you are also not a fan of ground flax – but not sure if I can totally eliminate all white/wheat flour unless I have something "bread like" for her to use for awhile so I was thinking of using ground flax seed bread. Is that an ok alternative in this situation? Or would some type of "bread" using almond or coconut flour be best?

  29. Jack September 21, 2011 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    @bev. Good on the coconut oil. Bad on the flax and/or need for bread. That way of thinking must be altered. Read "wheat Belly" or "life without bread" and you can cure yourself of the bread thinking addiction.

  30. Bev September 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    Ok thanks, I'll make her diet strictly paleo and put coconut oil in most everything! Also going to make sure she is taking vitamin D. Anything else major that I can /should change for her right now? Plan is strict paleo, no statin drugs, no msg, no sweeteners but stevia, no flour, no grains, and massive doses of coconut oil!

    • Jack September 22, 2011 at 1:42 am - Reply

      @Bev 5 table spoons of coconut oil is a good starting point.

  31. Cú Chul September 25, 2011 at 9:53 am - Reply

    Researchers have found that the artificial sweetener sucralose (Splenda) is a widespread contaminant in waste water, surface water, and ground water. In a recent test, water samples from 19 U.S. drinking water treatment plants serving more than 28 million people were analyzed for sucralose. The sweetener was found to be present in:

    The source water of 15 out of 19 of drinking water treatment plants tested

    The finished water of 13 out of 17 plants, and

    In 8 out of 12 water distribution systems

    The average amounts of sucralose in source water and finished water was 440 ng/L and 350 ng/L respectively.

    According to the study:

    "Further, in the subset of [drinking water treatment plants] with distribution system water sampled, the compound was found to persist regardless of the presence of residual chlorine or chloramines … The results of this study confirm that sucralose [is] an indicator compound … for the presence of other recalcitrant compounds in finished drinking water".

  32. Kirstin October 17, 2011 at 10:38 pm - Reply

    I have a prolactin secreting pituitary tumor and take cabergoline/dostinex to control it. Previously, it had also secreted insulin-like growth hormone, but currently doesn't. Prior to that (about 6 mos. prior to tumor diagnosis), I had been diagnosed with a goiter which was treated with radioactive iodine. I have read all posts up to this one and am trying to get through all of these and the ones on MDA, but was wondering if you:

    1). think the 2 could be related (my endo said no)

    2). any other effects from the high prolactin as I age? I'm fairly sure I am LR as I can answer yes to most of the questions you ask and I've begun the reset.

    3). I was told that most likely the radioactive thyroid will destroy my thyroid as I age – true? and would any of the things you have suggested in any way counter that?

    Thank you and hopefully I haven't missed something in your blogs so that I'm not asking you to repeat yourself!

    • Jack October 17, 2011 at 11:11 pm - Reply

      @Kirstin Was the goiter caused by hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism? What did the endo tell you back then? Generally when we see a goiter we think hyperthyroidism but that is not always 100% true. The most common cause of goiter is a dietary lack of iodine then comes Graves Disease then Hashimoto's! Not all goiters are found in hyperthyroid cases. In fact, many Hashimoto's patients can have large nodular goiters but be hypothyroid. Why am I asking? Increased prolactin levels are often seen in people with hypothyroidism, and doctors routinely test people with hyperprolactinemia for hypothyroidism. I am sure yours did but i would not assume it until you ask. I think the fact that they treated you with radioactive Iodine makes me think you had Graves disease but I never like to assume that is the case. I also find it rather interesting that your tumor also secreted IGF1 early on. That is not common at all. Moreover, the fact that you also have a goiter is another interesting finding in your case. I would not totally say they are unrelated unless your have access to all your labs. If you see something that is off I'd get another opinion. Your case has some unusual aspects to it for sure to be too sure about anything.

  33. Kirstin October 18, 2011 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    I was hyperthyroid and ironically (?) gained about 80# before we found it because I was starving all the time. After being diagnosed with the goiter/hyperthyroidism and treated, I still wasn't feeling right and had changes in my menstrual cycle. The regular MD I was seeing basically told me I was fat and to lose weight and I'd be fine. I saw an article about PCOS and thought I had that and brought it into a nuse practitioner who then ran some labs and that's when we found elevated prolactin, MRI confirmed and because it was growing away from the optic nerve, I didn't need surgery. then I went to the endo and he ran all the other labs and found the insulin-like human growth hormone was also elevated (could that make my feet have grown about 1 1/2 sizes??). The cabergoline has shrunk the tumor and the growth hormone stopped being elevated after about 2 years. Prolactin is also decreased and menstruation has returned to normal. I don't have my labs readily available (all this began in 1999), but we've checked labs (thyroid and prolactin and growth hormone, but not sure on specific thyroid ones) every couple years and all have returned to normal range. Just more curious than anything else and wonder what long term effects there might be. (I kind of fired my endo after I gained ~40# in 6 weeks last year due to a complete meltdown afer a family tragedy and he basically told me there was no way i oould gain that much weight in so little time and I must be lying – it was actually closer to 50#, but I don't like to be called a liar, so I'm done there. Need to follow up with my primary MD on labs for this year.)

    Thank you again for your time!! I really appreciate all the effort you put into educationg us!!

    • Jack October 19, 2011 at 2:12 am - Reply

      @Kirstin Something here just does not seem right to me. I think you might be wise to enlist an new endo with a new approach.

  34. Kirstin October 19, 2011 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    Thank you – I will do that! Anything specific from the lmited info you have on me that I should pass along or just gather all my info together in one place and have someone else review it?

  35. Shijin13 November 16, 2011 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    Dr K… looks like the mfr of Asparatme is trying to sell it as a natural sweetener now!

    • Jack November 16, 2011 at 2:27 pm - Reply

      @Shijin Not surprising. If one reads any science there is no way you would this crap. Its a great way to make your brain fail.

  36. Einschlafprobleme November 17, 2011 at 6:34 am - Reply

    Thanks for another excellent article. Is there anyother place someone could get that kind of info in such an ideal means of writing? I've a presentation next week, and I'm on the look for such information.

  37. pieces of the puzzle January 21, 2012 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    I've heard that boiling meat or bones for stock or broth will create MSG too. I started the GAPS diet with my then 6 month old daughter (for collic, constipation, acid reflux and developmental delay – presuming it was poor gut flora.) and was giving her boiled meat broth. She had very strong reactions to it only it took me a long time to figure it out. We are still on a GAPS style diet – she is now 2. According to a Great Plains Organic Acid Test she has leaky gut and possible neural excitotoxicity. She also has severe damage in left kidney. Is there anything i can do to counter the damage done here? Or can you help point me in a direction? I have had a very hard time finding someone who knows of these issues in children.

    • Jack January 22, 2012 at 7:43 pm - Reply

      @pieces…..not true. low temp cooking of meat is great. You need to fix the gut and focus in on it. If her gut is leaky her real issue with meat is likely poor assimilation of that protein. I'd add a lot of coconut oil to her diet too.

  38. cgk February 8, 2012 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    Dr K,

    What do you think of Dr Blaylock's work saying that vaccines cause autism because of the excitotoxic mechanism of their ingredients? As the parent of a child w/ 3q29microdeletion syndrome w/autistic features (yay genetics trumps DSMIV in classification) it troubles me that the focus is still post natal for the cause. I would be more inclined to think that oocyte damage from MY vaccines/SAD/etc. would be the more likely cause. Another blog post…?

    • Jack February 8, 2012 at 1:57 pm - Reply

      @Cgk I like some of Dr, Blaylock'd work but not all. I fully agree with him about excitotoxin damage. Many do not because it is hard to measure the results but I think the recent data that those who drink diet drinks gain more weight than those who drink regular soda should open some eyes since the caloric differences are massive. Like you I personally think the epigenetic and trans epigenetic modifications play massive roles here but the problem is the science has not caught up with the technology as yet but I think that gap is rapidly closing now. We need as many patients as possible to sign up with to generate huge numbers of snp data so we can farm that info to gain insights and direct research. I see that becoming standard quite soon.

  39. cgk February 8, 2012 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    Concur that the science hasn't caught up the technology on many levels. A Wikipedia article appeared on his syndrome generated by a bot of data recorded in the DECIPHER database. Regrettably that database and the article are absent HIS data which presents as a novel case of 3q29 md syndrome without the patient being MR. Spent an afternoon correcting Wikipedia. Not sure what to do about DECIPHER. BTW, his IQ continues to improve through interventions targeting his working memory and processing speed (Interactive Metronome and CogMed) Now if I could just unravel the puzzle of his failure to thrive (55lbs 54 in at now 9yrs 2mos). A little tired of hearing – that's just the way he is going to be – and then being offered a referral to behavioral health for myself. But that is an offline discussion. Intent here is to remind your faithful that cyberspace doesn't hold all the truth of science and that in fact the brain does change itself!

  40. cgk February 19, 2012 at 6:37 am - Reply
    More sweeteners! I don't need them anymore, but it would sure be nice to have something to transition off sugar in your coffee without frying your brain in the process!

  41. […] a less than optimal result for the person suffering from it. In this series I will also write a blog about chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) since football season is now in session and this […]

  42. Nonchalant June 12, 2012 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    Dr Kruse, several years ago I had two episodes of temporary blindness in one day. I managed to find “ocular migraine” on the internet, and that seemed to describe the painless episodes. Today I see more information is readily available, and it seems that “acephalgic migraine” may be the correct term. I saw the C-shaped aura, gradually lost vision in both eyes, and after a few minutes, started gradually regaining my vision. Both episodes lasted about 20 minutes. One was early in the morning, the other in the late evening, as I was googling for answers.

    I eventually found advice to supplement calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D, which I did. I had no recurrence after that date. I’ve never had a true migraine, but I’ve had throbbing headaches. The eye doctor did an especially thorough exam a couple days later, but he couldn’t find any problem with my retina.

    I was avoiding obvious sources of MSG at that time, because it gave me headaches. But I wasn’t avoiding diet drinks. Do you think the diet sodas, along with an undoubted leaky gut, caused these two episodes? I didn’t stop drinking the sodas until about a year ago. I certainly have no plans to ever imbibe again.

    • Jack June 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm - Reply

      @NonChalant No way to know for sure but I have seen numerous ocular migraines from MSG laden foods and Magnesium deficiency. This is why I am bullish on Mg Threonate. It is the only Mg is that penetrates the CSP of the brain and for CNS and PNS issues this is my go to Mg.

  43. Nonchalant June 12, 2012 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    Thanks, Jack. Back when I had my “episodes” I wasn’t taking Mg at all, but I was energetically depleting my bodily Mg with healthywholegrains. I have been bullish on magnesium now for over a year, and my recent RBC magnesium test shows that I’m in the middle of the range. Not optimal probably, but I’ve recently purchased Mg Threonate and I’ll continue to replenish my body’s stores. I’m not really interested in frying my brain.

    • Jack June 12, 2012 at 7:34 pm - Reply

      @Nonchalant Magnesium and Iodine are going to be major players in my next monster series………especially when we go to the Epi Paleo Solution…….

  44. Nonchalant June 12, 2012 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    Can’t wait to see where you’ll take us next! This is such an adventure, going on the Optimal Kruse. ­čÖé

  45. […] sure where she got this information, but it sure looks interesting, and it’s not unlike what Dr. Kruse has to say on the topic: MSG and aspartame destroys the neurons in the hypothalamus that use the leptin receptor in the […]

  46. Allen Gabriele August 22, 2012 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    The list of MSG analogs on
    is nonsense. Whoever wrote it is just plain ignorant. I don’t mean this as an insult. The items listed may or may not be harmful but about 2/3 of them are completely unrelated to MSG or hydrolyzed protein.

    • Jack August 22, 2012 at 2:33 pm - Reply

      @Allen all of them affect brain chemistry.

Leave A Comment