Alice Ball

Alice Ball was the pharmaceutical chemist who developed a medical treatment for Leprosy, giving hope to millions.  Leprosy is a dreaded disease.  It has been around since biblical times.  It is disfiguring and it filled its sufferers with hopelessness.  In the US people with Leprosy were forcibly removed from their homes and detained indefinitely in remote colonies.  Thanks to Alice’s treatment, many of them were released from the detention centres and allowed to go home to their families.

Alice was born in 1892 in Seattle, Washington to Laura and James P. Ball Jr.  She was the grand-daughter of J.P. Ball, the famous daguerreotype photographer.  Alice attended the University of Washington and graduated with two degrees in pharmaceutical chemistry in 1912 and pharmacy in 1914.  In the fall of 1914 she attended the College (later the University) of Hawaii as a graduate student in chemistry.  On June 1, 1915, she became the first African American and the first woman to graduate with a Master of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Hawaii.  She was also the first woman to teach chemistry at the institution.

Impressed with her chemistry work, US Public Health Officer, Dr. Harry Hollmann, an assistant surgeon at Kalihi Hospital in Hawaii asked Alice to help him to develop a method to isolate the active chemical compounds in chaulmoogra oil.   For centuries, Indian and Chinese health practitioners had limited success in using the oil to treat Leprosy.  The oil could be applied topically but it wouldn’t be able to penetrate deep enough into the body and as a result, people with the disease had some relief but the injections were difficult and patients described them as “burning like fire through the skin”.  Through her research, Alice found a successful treatment for those suffering from the disease.   She created the first water soluble injectable treatment, something that researchers had been unable to do.

Sadly, she didn’t live to see her treatment being used.  During her research, Alice had become ill.  When she returned to Seattle, she died at the age of 24.  The cause of her death is unknown although it is speculated that she inhaled chlorine gas during her teaching lab work.

Dr. Arthur L. Dean, the chairman of the Chemistry Department at the University of Hawaii continued the research, refining it and using it to successfully treat many patients at Kalaupapa, a special hospital for Hansen disease patients.  Dean published the findings without giving any credit to Ball, and renamed the technique the Dean Method, until Hollmann spoke out about this.  He went on record saying, “After a great amount of experimental work, Miss Ball solved the problem for me…(this preparation is known as)….the Ball Method.”

The “Ball Method” continued to be the most effective method of treatment for Leprosy until the 1940s when a cure for the disease was found.  Yet, as recent as 1999, a medical journal noted that the “Ball Method” was still being used to treat patients in remote areas.  In 2000, the University of Hawaii acknowledged Alice as one of its most distinguished graduates after researchers, notably Stanley Ali and Kathryn Takara.  They discovered in the archives the critical contribution Alice had made.   Alice was honoured with a Chaulmoogra tree planted on the campus and the Governor of Hawaii declaring February 29th Alice Ball Day.  She also received the University’s Medal of distinction.

Notes to Women is proud to celebrate and recognize Alice Ball whose research and ground-breaking scientific achievements went unnoticed by the University of Hawaii for almost a decade.  We honour this remarkable young woman who departed from the world too soon.  She left behind a legacy of hope for those who suffered from Leprosy by starting the fight against the disease and inspiring others to relentlessly hunt for more treatments until they found a cure.

Tell others about Alice Ball by hitting the Share buttons.

Alice Ball2

Sources:  Women Rock Science; Black Past; Wikipedia; Clutch Mag Online

Making History in Science

Notes to Women congratulate Victoria Kaspi for being the first woman to win the Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal, Canada’s top Science award in its 25 year history.  This long overdue win is a reminder that gender inequality is prevalent in Canadian Academia.

Mario Pinto, President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council who hands out the prize, acknowledged that this was a very important moment.  “It signals to girls and young women that Science is exciting and it’s possible to achieve the highest honour.”

It is unfortunate that it has taken this long for a woman to win this prestigious prize but Dr. Pinto believes that the reason for this is women account for only 14 per cent of the scientists who receive funding from the Research Council at the full professor level and only 9 per cent when the life sciences are excluded.

Dr. Kaspi was born in Austin Texas.  She spent her earliest years in the United States and Israel before the family moved to Montreal, her mother’s hometown.  Growing up, Dr. Kaspi did not have a particular interest in space or Astronomy.  She loved hockey and had an avid interest in logic and mathematical puzzles.  Her love for Science came when she was a teenager and took her first course.  She studied Physics at McGill and it was at Princeton University where she became interested in the work of Astrophysicist, Joe Taylor who would later win the Nobel Prize.  Dr. Kaspi worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before eventually returning to McGill and Montreal where she feels most at home.

Life is busy for Dr. Kaspi who is raising three children with her husband, cardiologist David Langleben which leaves her little time to do much else.  As a result, she has to work late into the night when she is better able to concentrate on her research.  It would be a tremendous weight off the shoulders of female faculty members if the universities would do more to support them so that they don’t have to choose between their professional success and family life.  When it comes to her research, Dr. Kaspi needs more flexibility. “Research is not a 9-to-5 job.  You get inspired, you have an idea, you’re dying to solve it, and within the confines of all these constraints that are imposed on you, it’s hard.”  At 48, she considers herself lucky that she was not a victim of the overt sexual harassment as a young researcher but is aware of the gender issues on campus.

We share the sentiments of Christine Wilson, a McMaster University Astronomer and President of the Canadian Astronomical Society who praised the selection of Dr. Kaspi as this year’s gold medal winner. “The fact that she is the first woman ever to receive the Herzberg Medal is the icing on the cake for me.”

Let us hope that it will not take another 25 years for another woman to achieve this honour.

 

 

Source:  The Globe and Mail

Broken Heart Syndrome

“You can die of a broken heart — it’s scientific fact — and my heart has been breaking since that very first day we met. I can feel it now, aching deep behind my rib cage the way it does every time we’re together, beating a desperate rhythm: Love me. Love me. Love me.”
Abby McDonald, Getting Over Garrett Delaney

I recently learned about broken heart syndrome when Dr. Marla Shapiro was talking about it on TV. She mentioned that it was first described in 1990 in Japan as Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy.  Takotsubo is a Japanese term for an octopus trap because of the ballooning shape of the heart during an attack. What is broken heart syndrome?  It is a temporary heart condition caused by an extremely stressful event.  It is a recently recognized heart problem and it can strike you even if you are healthy.

People with broken heart syndrome think that they are having a heart attack when they have a sudden chest pain.  In broken heart syndrome, there is a temporary disruption of the heart’s normal pumping function while the rest of the heart functions normally or with more forceful contractions.

There may be shortness of breath, irregular heartbeats (Arrhythmias) or cardiogenic shock can occur. Cardiogenic shock occurs when a suddenly weakened heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.  This can be fatal it it is not treated right away.  In fact, Cardiogenic shock is the most common cause of death among people who die from heart attacks.  Any time you experience chest pain, you should call 911 and get emergency medical care.  All chest pain should be checked by a doctor.

Women are more likely than men to have broken heart syndrome.  It can be brought on by the death of a loved one, divorce, a break-up, physical separation, betrayal or romantic rejection, a frightening medical diagnosis, domestic abuse, natural disasters, job loss, asthma attack, car accident or major surgery.  It can even occur after a good shock such as winning the lottery.  It is more commonly seen among post-menopausal women. Research is ongoing to find out what causes this disorder and how to diagnose and treat it.

As mentioned before the most common symptoms of broken heart syndrome are chest pain, shortness of breath and very rapid or irregular heartbeat.  WebMD mentions two other symptoms, arm pain and sweating.  It is usually treatable.  Most people who experience it have a full recovery within weeks and and the risk of it happening again is low although in some rare cases it can be fatal.  The only way you can be certain if you have broken heart syndrome is for you to have some tests.  These tests used include the following:

  • Medical history and physical exam
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Chest x-ray
  • Echocardiogram
  • Blood tests
  • Coronary angiogram

If you have any questions about Broken Heart syndrome, please visit Seconds Count and download their PDF file.

A broken heart is a real condition.   In 2010 the Wall Street Journal wrote an article of a 63 year old woman named Dorothy Lee who lost her husband on night when they were driving home from a Bible Study group.  He had suffered from a heart attack.  At the hospital after she learned of his death, Dorothy began to experience sudden sharp pains in her chest, felt faint and went unconscious.  An X-ray angiogram revealed that she hadn’t suffered a heart attack.  There was no blood clot and her coronary arteries were completely clear. Dorothy had suffered from broken heart syndrome.  It was triggered by the sudden loss of her husband of 40 years.  She was literally heartbroken.  Thankfully, she was at the hospital when she had her symptoms and she didn’t die although the episode severely weakened her heart.  She required a special balloon pump to support her left ventricle during the first couple of days in the hospital.  Five days later she was discharged.  Despite being cautioned by doctors, she attended her husband’s funeral. She was able work through her grief positively and spiritually.   To date she has had no effects of the heart episode.

It is extremely important that if you or someone else experience any chest pain that you don’t ignore it or feel embarrassed to call for help.  At the first sign of symptoms, get help. This can save your life or someone else’s life and limit the damage to the heart.

A broken heart is not just something out of a romance novel.  It is a reality.

 

 

broken heart syndrome

 

Sources:  American Heart Association; Mayo Clinic; National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; Wikipedia; Women Heart; WebMD; Uptodate

Barbra Streisand’s Women’s Health Center

Just recently when I watched Barbra Streisand on the Dr. Oz Show, I found out that she has a Women’s Heart Center and that she is an advocate for women’s heart health.

For women struggling with heart disease, the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute is leading the way in next-generation care. Our groundbreaking research and education have one goal: to wipe out the No. 1 killer of women.

Check out these two videos about the #1 killer of women.

Barbra’s interview with Dr. Oz got me seriously thinking about my heart and what I could do reduce my risk of heart disease. To find out more about how you can protect your heart and what is being done in the fight against this lady killer, visit: http://giving.cedars-sinai.edu/barbra-streisand-womens-heart-center  

We can no longer afford the misconception that heart disease is mostly a man’s problem. The need for more research into women’s heart disease is urgent.”Barbra Streisand

Take your heart’s health seriously.  The more you know the better your chances are.  It’s time to fight back.

Eleanor Gehrig

Just recently I watched the movie, Pride of the Yankees and was touched by the wonderful love story of baseball great Lou Gehrig and his wife Eleanor.

Lou and his wife were married for nine years.  They met in Chicago.  Eleanor was from a well to do family,  She met Lou in Comiskey Park and married him after a long-distance courtship.  They lived in New Rochelle and then later in Riverdale.  They travelled a lot but their life was centred on Yankee Stadium where Lou teamed with Babe Ruth, Lefty Gomez, Tony Lazzeri, Bill Dickey and later Joe DiMaggio.

The Gehrigs’ lives were turned upside down when Lou was forced to retire in 1939 with the disease that later came to be known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease”.  I remember the scene in the movie when Lou was in the locker room, untying his shoe laces and he toppled right over.  Eleanor Gehrig later said that she never told her husband that he was suffering from a fatal illness.  In the movie, he knew that it was fatal but he tried to hide the truth from his wife.

Eleanor cheered him up at home with gatherings, parties and impromptu performances. He died two years later at the young age of 37.  Eleanor said that she never intended to play the role of a professional widow to a celebrity although for years, she and Mrs. Ruth were greeted as “the great ladies” of the Yankees.

In the movie, Pride of the Yankees, I saw the love that these two people shared for each other just jump off the screen.  It was heartbreaking to see their happiness ripped away by a disease that claimed his life at such a young age.  My favourite scene was when Lou gave Eleanor a bracelet, which was among the items, Mrs. Gehrig had lent to be used in the film, to add realism.  And I liked how she kept a gigantic scrapbook of Lou.
Gehrig_wife_Eleanor

I felt that Gary Cooper was the perfect choice to play Lou Gehrig and it seemed like Eleanor felt the same.  Of Cooper, she remarked, “Gary studied every picture of Lou’s.  He had every one of his mannerisms down to a science and he is so like my husband in the picture that there were times when I felt I couldn’t bear it.”

Eleanor felt that Teresa Wright was too young to play her. Barbara Stanwyck, Jean Arthur or another actress with more experience would have been preferable.  Eleanor later said, “But now I know that no one could do better, or even as well as little Teresa. Of course she’s prettier and younger but then no woman could object to that, could they?”  Of course, the movie was a success and grossed over $3 million and was one of the top ten films of 1942.  It earned eleven Oscar nominations, including ones for Gary Cooper’s and Teresa Wright’s performances.

Eleanor sold war bonds during World War II, raising over $6 million by auctioning off Lou’s memorabilia.  She joined the local Red Cross, chauffeuring the disabled for which she received Presidential recognition.  She worked for the All American Football Conference as a secretary-treasurer and then was promoted to Vice President after she resigned due to the fact that she couldn’t even balance her own bank account.

Eleanor’s greatest achievement was her tireless efforts to promote ALS research.  She partnered with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, testifying before Congress to fund research in various debilitating paralytic diseases.  She eventually will most of her estate to the cause.

Sadly, Eleanor’s relationship with her in-laws never improved.  In the past, she never felt comfortable in their home.  They would converse in German which she didn’t understand.  And as portrayed in the movie, Lou’s mother, Christina was frequently clashing with Eleanor.   The elder Mrs. Gehrig’s relationship with her son was a bit overbearing, smothering.  She was one of those mothers who wouldn’t have approved of any woman her son showed an interest in.  Not surprisingly, she had broken up his previous relationships.  I remember in the movie, how she reacted when Lou first brought Eleanor home. Eleanor quickly picked up on her coldness toward her.  I resented her interference in their lives.  She tried to impose her decorating tastes on Eleanor, even going as far as putting up her own wall paper and moving in a chest of drawers much like the one Lou had in his old room.  Lou had to step in and make it clear to his mother that Eleanor was the mistress of their home, not her.

The Gehrigs never had children.  Eleanor may have had trouble conceiving.  They considered adoption but according to Lou, his mother, “wouldn’t have any of that. She said she didn’t want a grandson if it wasn’t a Gehrig.”

After Lou died, the relationship was forever marred when there was a dispute over the division of Lou’s estate.  He had left his entire assets to his wife but he bequeathed the interest he got from stock investments and monthly payments from a $20,000 life insurance to his parents. His parents believed that Eleanor was withholding these payments from them and they sued her.  The matter was privately settled but the discord between the two parties was never resolved.

Eleanor died on her eightieth birthday, leaving no survivors behind.  Surprisingly, the turnout to her funeral was not as large as the few mourners gathered expected.  Her body was cremated according to her wishes and her ashes placed with her husbands. According to George Steinbrenner, chief owner of the Yankees, Eleanor Gehrig was, “a great woman, and the Yankees have lost a dear friend.”

Notes to Women remembers this remarkable woman who loved her husband and stood by him and was a advocate for ALS, raising awareness and pushing for the funding of research.

I had the best of it.  I would not have traded two minutes of my life with that man for 40 years with another.

Sources:  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0311798/bio; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lou_Gehrig; http://www.nytimes.com/1984/03/08/obituaries/eleanor-gehrig-79-widow-of-yankee-hall-of-fame-star.html

Pregnant Women And Jogging

This evening I was watching a news story about pregnant women and jogging and was surprised to learn that one of the women featured was nine months pregnant.  I couldn’t imagine jogging so close to having a baby.  At nine months I was waddling and anxious to give birth.  The woman on TV looked fantastic.  She was in great shape.  This was her ninth pregnancy.  Another woman received nasty comments because of a picture of her jogging while pregnant.  She was called “selfish” and one person went as far as saying that child services should be called.

Is it safe for to run during pregnancy?   I read on the Baby Centre website that it depends. If you ran regularly before getting pregnant, it’s fine to continue — as long as you take some precautions and first check with your doctor or midwife.

But pregnancy isn’t the time to start a running routine, according to Julie Tupler, a registered nurse, certified personal trainer, and founder of Maternal Fitness, a fitness program for pregnant women and new moms in New York City.

Pregnancy’s also not the time to start training for a marathon, a triathlon, or any other race, cautions Tupler. “The first trimester is when the baby’s major organs are forming, and overheating’s a real issue. If a woman’s core temperature gets too high, it could cause problems with the baby, so why risk it? Instead, train for the marathon of labor by strengthening your abdominals and pelvic floor muscles,” she says.

Whether you’re pregnant or not, running can be hard on your knees. During pregnancy, your joints loosen, which makes you more prone to injury. So unless you’re an avid runner, you should probably steer clear of this form of workout at least until after your baby arrives. For now, focus on exercises that are safe for pregnancy.

What are the benefits of running during pregnancy?

According to Zara Watt, who specialises in training for pre- and postnatal fitness, “Research and statistics show that women who exercise during pregnancy avoid unnecessary health risks to themselves and their unborn babies, and experience less labour pain because exercise has strengthened their muscles. They also have lower fat content and, more importantly, achieve a faster recovery following the birth of their baby. I’ve worked with pregnant women who also believe that regular exercise during pregnancy helped them with muscular tension, aches and pains, posture and circulation.”

On the Baby Centre website, the benefits of running during pregnancy are:

– It is a quick and effective way to work your heart and body, giving you a mental and physical boost when you feel tired.

– It’s easy to fit into your schedule.

They offer the following tips for each trimester:

First trimester tips

Follow the usual precautions, such as drinking lots of water before, during, and after your run. Dehydration can decrease blood flow to the uterus and may even cause premature contractions.

Wear shoes that give your feet plenty of support, especially around the ankles and arches. Invest in a good sports bra to keep your growing breasts well supported.

Second trimester tips

Your center of gravity’s shifting as your belly grows, leaving you more vulnerable to slips and falls. For safety, stick to running on flat pavement.

If you lose your balance, do your best to fall correctly, says Tupler: Try to fall to your side or on your behind, to avoid trauma to the abdomen. Or put your hands out to break your fall before your abdomen hits the ground.

Consider running on a track as your pregnancy progresses. Not only is the track surface easier on your joints, but you may feel safer running somewhere where you won’t get stranded in case of an emergency.

Third trimester tips

Be as careful as you’ve been during the first two trimesters. And remember: If you feel too tired to go for a run, listen to your body and take a break. Being sedentary is unhealthy, but pushing yourself too hard is also harmful.

Most avid runners find that their jogging pace slows down considerably during the third trimester — a fast walk may be a better choice as your due date approaches.

Warning signs

Never run to the point of exhaustion or breathlessness. Pushing yourself to the limit forces your body to use up oxygen that should be going to your baby.

Stop running or jogging immediately and call your doctor or midwife if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • vaginal bleeding
  • difficulty breathing, especially when resting
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • chest pain
  • muscle weakness
  • calf pain or swelling
  • preterm labor (contractions)
  • decreased fetal movement
  • fluid leaking from your vagina

In the news story, a medical doctor warned that if you are panting too hard, that means that the baby is not getting enough oxygen.  I suggest that you check with your doctor before jogging or doing any kind of activity.   If you don’t think it’s a good idea to jog during pregnancy, that’s fine but don’t judge a woman who decides that it’s something she wants to do.  It doesn’t make her selfish or unfit to be a mother.  She is trying to stay in shape and would never knowingly endanger her unborn child.

If you are interested in learning more about jogging during pregnancy, check out this site for guidelines.

Protect Your Brain–Avoid These Common Food Additives

I got this in an email from Food Matters and thought that I should share it.  I hope that this will motivate all of  us to watch what we eat and to be proactive in learning what foods to avoid so that we can enjoy great physical and mental health.

(NaturalNews) In the following interview, Dr. Russell Blaylock, renowned neurosurgeon, author and researcher, talks to Mike Adams about MSG, aspartame and other brain-damaging excitotoxins that are widely used in our food supply today. Dr. Blaylock is the author of ‘Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills’ and other important books on this important topic as well as others. In this interview, find out why Dr. Blaylock was shocked at what he found out about the effects MSG and aspartame have on our brain function and pathology and much more.

Health Ranger: Hello and welcome everyone, this is Mike Adams, the Health Ranger for Natural News.com and today I’m joined by neurosurgeon and author, researcher, Dr. Russell Blaylock. He’s widely regarded as the foremost authority on excitotoxins, and we’re going to be talking about MSG, aspartame, and other issues as we interview him today via Skype video. Dr. Blaylock, thanks for joining me today.

Dr. Blaylock: Well thank you, Mike.

Health Ranger: It’s great to have you on, you know I’m a big fan of your work and your books. In fact, one of your earlier books, ‘Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills’ is one of the first books I read that helped get me into the business of teaching people about health.

Dr. Blaylock: I’m glad I contributed- you’re a great person to teach people about these things. I’m a great fan of yours as well.

Health Ranger: Well, I’m a huge fan of your work, but for those watching, most people are probably familiar with you and your work and your books, but for those who may not be, can you give us just a brief background of how you got started in this, what encouraged you to write that book and so on.

Dr. Blaylock: Well, I was a neurosurgeon and during my residency training, I was interested in what causes all these neurological diseases and I was particularly interested in something that most of my colleagues were not interested in. That’s nutrition and its effect on the brain and recovery from brain injury. So that naturally led into looking at things that produce these problems. And I came across a book by George Schwartz on the MSG syndrome and as I read this little book about it, I said well there’s a lot of things in here I wasn’t familiar with. So I started researching monosodium glutamate and what it does to the brain and I was astounded by what I found. This is a very common additive to food and most people have no clue as to what it’s doing to the brain function and pathology, particularly in the developing brain, a child’s brain. I amassed all of this research, and so I decided to write a book, my first book, and I put it together and I presented it to the publishing company and they liked it and printed it.

Health Ranger: Now, most people who read that book are truly astonished by what you unveil in there. You talk about how the excitotoxins overexcite nerve cells and cause those cells to die, how it passes through the blood/brain barrier and so on. Just how toxic is MSG really and then, might you also add, what have you learned since writing the book that would add to the weight of the evidence?

Dr. Blaylock: Well actually, this book was written in 1994 and updated a few years after that but the amount of information we have about this toxicity has grown by leaps and bounds. There’s an enormous amount of literature, so the weight of the evidence on my side is just overwhelming. Now, what we’ve discovered is that this is a very toxic substance, particularly to the developing brain. So if a mother is consuming it while she’s pregnant in these high amounts, it not only passes through the placenta to the developing baby, but the amount or concentration of glutamate in the baby’s blood is twice as high as the mother’s. And of course this is a very delicate developing brain, the brain is under very complex development and we know that glutamate plays a big role in brain development. If the levels are too high or too low it can cause significant abnormalities in how the brain develops. Well women have been consuming this stuff and children have been consuming this stuff since 1945. And the amount in the food has doubled every decade since that time. Massive amounts of this stuff- and a study, a research foundation found out in fact that the amounts humans are consuming is the same amount that produces lesions in animal’s brains. So of all the life forms on earth, humans are the most sensitive to the MSG toxicity.

Health Ranger: Well let’s make sure we cover two of the basic concepts again for those viewers who may be new to this. Number one, why is MSG added to foods and then number two, what are the most common symptoms that people might observe in their own physiology that would be a clue that they’re experiencing MSG toxicity.

Dr. Blaylock: Well it was previously added to food during wartime into the sea rations, into the Japanese rations for the soldiers to increase taste, to stimulate taste. And they had discovered long ago that if you add a little bit of monosodium glutamate, it stimulates certain cells in the tongue to make food taste very good- so you could take a very bad tasting food, particularly canned foods, they have that tinny type taste to it, a metallic taste, and you put MSG in it, it just tastes scrumptious. Well, all the food manufacturers discovered this as they were introduced to it by the military and so all the major food manufacturers started adding MSG to food, including baby foods. So, up until 1970 it was placed in the baby foods itself and then when Dr. John Olney, a neuroscientists, discovered this toxicity to the brain and the serious implications of that toxicity, that’s when we started giving a little bit more attention to it. As far as symptoms, of course the first group of symptoms that came to the public’s attention was the MSG syndrome in which people would have flushing of their face and heart palpitations and sometimes pains going down their arms and even episodes of GI discomfort and diarrhea. Well those are the obvious symptoms. What was discovered after that in fact that there’s silent damage to the brain in which there’s very few symptoms. But over time, we see destruction of major important areas of the brain, things that can cause Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, ALS and that if you have these diseases it’s make them progress much faster.

Health Ranger: Now, as a neurosurgeon, have you ever actually seen brains that you know those those tissues have been damaged by MSG, is it something that’s visible when you’re actually looking at a living brain or is it not visible?

Dr. Blaylock: Well it’s not visible to the naked eye, you would have to look under a microscope to see it, but we know there are certain areas of the brain that are very sensitive, for instance the hypothalamus. There’s a nucleus in the hypothalamus called the arcuate nucleus, that controls your energy supply. That’s where leptin receptors are located and growth hormones. And it is the most sensitive place in the entire brain, it’s virtually wiped out by high doses of MSG. We know there’s a lot of damage to that nucleus and there’s good evidence that this obesity epidemic is caused by damage to that nucleus by the large amount of MSG put in food. Germans knew this, the German research scientists are writing about this regularly. In America, they don’t want to talk about it because of the enormous wealth.

Health Ranger: It’s really extraordinary, the food lobby has so much influence in Washington that they’re able to keep the FDA off of this issue or the USDA off of this issue. And it’s not just MSG, they’re able to put sodium nitrite in processed meat for example, to the point where today if you go buy beef jerky and you look at the ingredients, it’s got both MSG and sodium nitrite in it. It’s like a double dose of a toxic chemical cocktail, it’s amazing.

Dr. Blaylock: Well if you look at a lot of processed food you’ll see they do contain multiple toxins and multiple forms of glutamate, this excitotoxin. So I refer to them rather than MSG I refer to it as excitotoxic food additive. And they put it in virtually everything. Every processed food and those that don’t put it in there have trouble selling their food because they can’t get the taste hyped up enough to be able to sell it.

Health Ranger: You know that’s a good point, Dr. Blaylock, I also have noticed because I’m very sensitive to MSG and I have been for as long as I can remember- decades. Causes severe headaches, face flushing and things like that so I know if I’ve had some MSG. I’ve learned to look for it on labels. And I’ve found that, of course, the food companies hide it under all these different names. And my pet peeve name today is yeast extract because it’s used by many of the so-called natural food companies and even the vegetarian foods. They’re loaded with yeast extract. Can you talk about yeast extract and other hidden names for a minute?

Dr. Blaylock: Yeah When I first spoke on this issue in Chicago at a convention one of the chief manufacturers of processed foods came up and told me, he said if you convince everyone of the toxicity of this, we’ll just change the name. We’re gonna get it in the food one way or another. I told him, well, I’m gonna tell everybody the story of our conversation and I do, I repeat this story because it’s very important. And the government allows them, if it’s less than 99 percent pure MSG they can call it anything they want to. Caramelized yeast, caseinate, carrageenan, natural flavoring, vegetable extract, protein concentrate, soy isolate, the names just go on and on and on and on, and they’re very benign sounding like natural flavoring. Well people think that’s natural, or it’ll say hydrolyzed protein or plant protein, people think that’s natural. That’s why you see it in so many natural foods and these natural food stores.

Health Ranger: Yeah, it’s sickening, it’s insidious, I mean this is an age when consumers want full transparency, consumers want to know, are there GMO’s in the product, They want to know, is it organic or not, they want to know is there MSG in there and these companies just keep trying to hide it. Now to their credit, some companies have placed claims on their labels that say no MSG added and generally I find that to be an honest claim. And some of those companies are very much doing the right thing in that realm, but other companies just hide it under a different name. Seems to be a wide diversity of ethics in the food industry.

Dr. Blaylock: Well you see they do this quite commonly. When my book came out and a lot of people were talking about it, it had a big impact on these companies. They began to remove MSG on the label. And they would even put NO MSG and I would look at the label and I would see about three to four different forms of disguised glutamate in it. So they learned very quickly to just disguise the name, most of the public’s not going to know what it is and they’ll say well it says plainly on the label, no MSG, but in fact it contains more glutamate.

Health Ranger: Incredible, I want to urge those watching right now to learn more from Dr. Russell Blaylock and his website is RussellBlaylockMD.com did I get that right?

Dr. Blaylock: That’s right.

Health Ranger: Russell BlaylockMD.com, put it on the screen there, and then also you could check out his books at bookstores everywhere, including Amazon.com where he’s got Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills and Health and Nutrition Secrets, is that another one? What’s your book on cancer, Dr. Blaylock?

Dr. Blaylock: Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients.

Health Ranger: Ok, good,Natural Strategies for Cancer PatientsI really want to encourage you to check out his books, you’ll learn a wealth of information. It’s just astonishing. Dr. Blaylock, you, as a neurosurgeon, you are of course well informed about the structure and function of the brain and yet, I’m sure you often find yourself either arguing with or debating with some sort of MSG pusher who says things like, Oh, it’s perfectly safe, it doesn’t affect brain function at all. Is that a common piece of feedback that you hear from the industry?

Dr. Blaylock: Well not anymore. In the beginning, I did. When I first started giving lectures, when the book first came out. I did an interview with Chicago Tribune and I pointed out all these different dangers and then they had the representatives of the company that makes the product come back after me and say, well it doesn’t enter the brain because of the blood/brain barrier, and I’d already discussed that with the reporter. That in fact there’s compelling evidence and now absolute proof that it does pass the barrier. And that there’s many tissues in the body that have glutamate receptors. Virtually every cell in your body has glutamate receptors, and there’s no barrier. Now they know I’ve accumulated so much powerful evidence they never try to confront me directly, they know I’ve been to an audience, they never try to come back and defend themselves. There’s no defense. All the evidence is on my side.

Health Ranger: They just hope people don’t pay attention to your message?

Dr. Blaylock: Exactly. That’s right. They just ignore me, have the major media ignore it because they evidence I have is so compelling, most of the scientific world would agree with what I’m saying once they start looking at it, and more and more articles are being written on this.

Health Ranger: You mentioned the scientific world. That’s one of the most extraordinary things happening today is that the so called scientific world, in many cases they simply abandon the science and they become a priesthood of defenders of a certain narrow mythology. Such as, MSG doesn’t harm the brain or all vaccines are safe and effective, for example, complete quackery. But that becomes the line of the so-called scientist who abandoned the science. I mean are you concerned about the reputation, the credibility of the scientific community because of that, or what are your thoughts on that?

Dr. Blaylock: Well, you’re exactly right and this is a major problem and a number of studies and articles have been written in some of the clinical journals, very good journals, pointing out this fact. The fact that the pharmaceutical companies, the food industry is having such a massive affect on publication of papers and research articles that it’s really polluting the scientific world. They’re trying to make this more stringent, where there’s transparency and you know that these people work for the company. For instance, when I look at an article that says MSG is good for the elderly because it makes them eat more nutritious food or that it’s safe, I can almost assure you if I look at who wrote the paper it’s either someone that works directly for the “geno-modo” company or is connected and is being funded by the “geno-modo” company [sic], the principle maker of monosodium glutamate and its other additives.

Health Ranger: What do you think about the theory, there’s something that I’ve noticed as a very keen observer of this, that Chinese people in particular seem to not suffer the migraine headaches that many white people do when they consume MSG. Is there a metabolic difference in the way different people process glutamate?

Dr. Blaylock: Well, actually, the difference is they don’t consume near as much of this as we do.

Health Ranger: Really?

Dr. Blaylock: When they eat, they eat small portions, and now we’re starting to see in the Japanese population that are eating these higher portions, they’re getting grossly obese, they’re having neurological problems, Alzheimer’s increasing, ALS, Parkinson’s disease- all increasing significantly in Japan and these countries that traditionally ate a smaller amount. The other thing is the rest of their diet. For instance, they eat a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, they have one of the highest flavonoid intakes from fruits and vegetables of any population in the world. These are protective against a lot of this toxicity. Americans don’t do that, they do just the opposite. They’re eating things that enhance the toxicity of glutamate.

Health Ranger: Yeah, that’s a really good point. Instead of the antioxidants, they’ve got other junk food, other fried food and then maybe a couple vaccines on top of that and some chemtrails on top of that. It’s like a toxic stew.

Dr. Blaylock: Fluoride and aluminum, it just goes on and on and on. Pesticides, herbicides, all add to the toxicity and have been shown to enhance the toxicity of glutamate additives.

Health Ranger: Incredible. Alright, one last question for you in this segment, Dr. Blaylock, and then we’ll wrap this up. What about the critics of your work who say, hey well glutamate appears naturally at some level in tomatoes or seaweed or other natural foods. What’s your response to that criticism?

Dr. Blaylock: Well it does, but it’s almost always bound as a protein so when it’s released in your body, it has to break down the protein. It’s a slow release so your blood levels really don’t go up that high. Now we know in people with, for instance, ALS, if they eat, for instance, a steak their blood level goes twice as high as a person that does not have ALS. So with certain neurological conditions, you do have to avoid foods that naturally have high glutamate levels, like meats and pureed tomatoes. When you eat a whole tomato, it’s very slow release of the glutamates and your blood level really does not rise that high. If you’re physically active, that glutamate, instead of going to your brain, goes into your muscles. If you’re sedentary and you eat the very same diet, most of it’s going to go to your brain and have toxicity. So there’s so many variables there.

Health Ranger: Yeah, that’s interesting. So there’s a fitness level impact on the way your body metabolizes it. That’s fascinating. I want to bring up one last question, sorry, one more that just came to mind when you were speaking there. People talk about glutamine, the amino acid, and the dietary importance or applications of glutamine, and then some people confuse glutamine with glutamate. Can you briefly describe the difference for those watching?

Dr. Blaylock: Well, glutamine is an amino acid that’s converted to glutamate. In your brain, in order to make glutamate, your body has glutamine that is converted in your brain cells into the glutamate neurotransmitter. If you feed an animal a lot of glutamine, you will produce excitotoxicity in the brain. You will produce these brain lesions. Patients who have ALS, if you feed them a lot of glutamine, they will get worse and die a lot sooner. So there is a conversion of glutamine into glutamate. They’re related amino acids, so there’s a relationship. As far as the health effects of glutamine, that’s just way overblown and I get this question a lot when I lecture. People want to say, well isn’t it good for gut repair and good for immune stimuli and I say well, yes, your immune cells have glutamate receptors that have to do with producing the free radicals they use to kill microorganisms. So, to a limited degree, yes, it’s good for that. Now as far as for gut repair, the new results show that glutamine is not that good for gut repair. Things like pyruvate are much more effective. Pyruvate also protects your brain against glutamate.

Health Ranger: Oh really. Pyruvate, which, any mineral bound in pyruvate form?

Dr. Blaylock: Magnesium or calcium, it doesn’t matter, its’ the pyruvate that protects you. Pyruvate’s used in the Krebs cycle to produce energy. When you produce energy in the brain, it protects the brain against excitotoxicity. And it’s an antioxidant.

Health Ranger: Now you’re getting me fascinated, I’m going to ask you one more question, sorry. People often ask me what is the defense against high glutamate foods. For example, if they know they’re going out to eat, with a social group let’s say, they know they’re going to get some MSG in the soup or whatever, can they take something beforehand to reduce the effects of MSG?

Dr. Blaylock: Well there are several things. One of the most important is magnesium. One of the most prominent glutamate receptors, one of the regulators of its over activity is magnesium. So people who have low magnesium, that eat soup for instance with MSG in it, they’ll have a terrible headache, terrible response to the glutamate. If they have a higher magnesium level, if they take magnesium supplements, then get their brain levels up higher, they’re much more resistant to the toxicity. Also, curcumin, all your antioxidants, vitamin E, vitamin C. These things protect against glutamate’s excitotoxicity in the brain and its toxic response. And the pyruvate.

Health Ranger: That’s really interesting, so there is a strategy you might call defensive eating. Again, if you know you’re gonna subject yourself to the toxicity, obviously it would be wiser to not do that. But, if you want to, you could protect yourself in advance with better nutrition. That’s fascinating.

Dr. Blaylock: If you combine these nutrient protectants, and I’ve protected the literature about how to protect yourself against glutamate toxicity. If you combine them you could produce tremendous protection against this toxicity to the brain. But like you say, you don’t want to expose yourself to a toxin just because you can reduce the level of damage.

Health Ranger: Right. It’s like putting a helmet on your head so you can strike yourself with a sledgehammer.

Dr. Blaylock: That’s exactly right. You brought up the migraine headaches. I want to expand on that a little bit- the interesting thing, when you look at people who have migraine headaches, number one they have very low magnesium levels. When they have an attack of migraine, the spinal fluid glutamate level goes up tremendously. Once the attack stops, the glutamate level falls. And this is why glutamate in your diet can trigger a migraine headache. And usually when I was treating migraine headaches that were very resistant to treatment, the first thing I’d tell them, get off all the glutamate. I’d make a list of things and tell them how to get off the glutamate. Their attacks would get dramatically better, they were less intense and easier to control. And you put them on the magnesium or the pyruvate, they got even better. A lot of them never had a migraine attack again.

Health Ranger: That’s fascinating, you’ve got so much great information here, we’re about out of time for this segment. Let me just give your websites again- RussellBlaylockMD.com, folks, sign up there for Dr. Blaylock’s email newsletter and you can stay informed on issues like what we’ve talked about here. Also, you have a wellness center website, is that right? Can you give us the URL?

Dr. Blaylock: It’s BlaylockWellnessCenter.com

Health Ranger: Perfect, BlaylockWellnessCenter.com, and there you can find books, DVDs, lots of information Dr. Blaylock has put together to educate you about how to protect your health against excitotoxins. Dr. Blaylock I want to thank you for joining me in this segment. We’ll do more in the future, but I thank you for this time.

Dr. Blaylock: Thank you, I appreciate it.

Health Ranger: Alright, folks, that was our interview with Dr. Russell Blaylock. Share this video, it’s very important to get this out there. Check out his websites for more information, and also search YouTube and TV.NaturalNews.com for more videos interviewing Dr. Russell Blaylock. We’re gonna talk to him about vaccines and other topics in future videos. Thanks for joining me today. This is Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, reporting for NaturalNews.com

Source: http://www.naturalnews.com/035555_Russell_Blaylock_interview_excitotoxins.html#ixzz1sQzrpvXG