Mike: I'm here with Dr. Russell Blaylock, and I'd like to
explore some of the more advanced aspects of some of the things
you are working on. Dr. Blaylock, I think readers know the
basics of both MSG and aspartame, but can you review what you've
already written about
Dr. Russell Blaylock: I have
three books. The first one is the excitotoxin book, "Excitotoxins
- The Taste That Kills," and the latest one is and updated
paperback reprint of "Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save
The third one is "Natural Strategies for Cancer
Patients," which is directed at nutritional treatments
cancer. It contains some material about aspartame and
Excitotoxins have been found to dramatically promote cancer
growth and metastasis. In fact, one excitotoxin researcher
noticed that, when cancer cells were exposed to glutamate, they
became more mobile, and you see the same effect with MSG. It
also causes a cancer cell to become more mobile, and that
enhances metastasis, or spread. These MSG-exposed cancer cells
developed all of these pseudopodia and started moving through
tissues, which is one of the earlier observations from cancer.
When you increase the glutamate level, cancer just grows like
wildfire, and then when you block glutamate, it dramatically
slows the growth of the cancer.
Researchers have done some experiments in which they looked at
using glutamate blockers in combination with conventional drugs,
like chemotherapy, and it worked very well. It significantly
enhanced the effectiveness of these cancer drugs.
Mike: Wasn't there some research
that came out recently that supports all this by establishing a
correlation between leukemia and aspartame?
Dr. Blaylock: Yes. This Italian
study was very well done. It was a lifetime study, which is very
important with these toxins. They fed animals aspartame
throughout their lives and let them die a natural death.
found a dramatic and statistically significant increase in the
related cancers of lymphoma and leukemia, along with several
histological types of lymphomas, which is of interest because
H.J. Roberts had written an article saying that there was a
significant increase in the primary lymphoma of the brain.
When you look it up in the neurosurgical literature, there is a
rather significant rise in the incidence of what used to be a
rare tumor. We're seeing a lot more of the primary lymphoma of
the brain, which is a little different than lymphomas you see
elsewhere. When you look back at the original studies done by
G.D. Searle & Company, they found lymphomas as well as primary
brain tumors and tumors of multiple organs.
All of this
correlation shows that we've got a powerful carcinogenic
substance here. It is either acting as a co-carcinogen or a
primary carcinogen. Most likely, it's the formaldehyde breakdown
What the Italian study found is that if you take these same
animals and expose them to formaldehyde in the same doses, they
developed the same leukemias and lymphomas. If you look back at
the Trocho Study conducted in Spain a couple of years ago, what
they found was when they radiolabeled the aspartame, they could
actually see formaldehyde binding to the DNA, and it produced
both single and double strand DNA breakage.
We know that when formaldehyde binds to DNA, it's very difficult
to remove it. It will stay there for long periods of time.
that means is if you just drink a single diet cola today, or
sweeten something with NutraSweet, you're accumulating damage
every day. Eventually, you're going to produce this necessary
pattern of DNA damage to initiate the cancer, and once you
develop the cancer, the aspartic acid component of aspartame
will make the cancer grow very rapidly.
You've got a double
effect; it's causing the cancer, and it's making the cancer
multiply very rapidly.
Mike: Given all this evidence, how
has the industry managed to suppress this information and keep
this chemical legal in the food supply?
Dr. Blaylock: Donald Rumsfeld was the one who pushed a
lot of this through, when he was in the chairmanship of the G.D.
Searle Company, NutraSweet division. He got it approved through
the regulatory process, but once it was approved, the government
didn't want to admit that they had made a mistake. They just
continued to cover it up, like the fluoride thing and the milk
You're not going to criticize milk, or these other food-based
problems in the media, because they are smart enough to
advertise in newspapers, magazines, health magazines and
journals. They have all the media outlets covered. The only
place that they don't have covered is talk radio and the
internet. The health blogs can tell the truth.
No matter how much a newspaper wants to tell the truth, they're
not going to do it. This is the kind of pressure these people
are under. Even if you have a good writer who wants to write the
story, his editor is going to override him and prevent it or
water it down considerably. You see this in journals like the
Journal of Clinical Nutrition or Journal of the American College
Look at who funds them:
The Monsanto Company, and
they used to be sponsored by G.D. Searle. They're not going to
want to put articles in their journal that will infuriate their
primary source of income.
Even medical and nutrition journals
are controlled by these people.
Mike: It's the unholy alliance between the scientific community
and big business.
Dr. Blaylock: Right. Another big scandal concerning the research
is something new we found. We discovered that outside of the
brain, there are numerous glutamate receptors in all organs and
tissues. The entire
GI tract, from the esophagus to the colon,
has numerous glutamate receptors. The entire electrical
conducting system of a heart is replete with all sorts of
The lungs, the ovaries, all the
reproductive systems and sperm itself, adrenal glands, bones and
even the pancreas are all controlled by glutamate receptors.
They act and operate exactly like the glutamate receptors in the
So, when you're consuming MSG, the level of glutamate in the
blood can rise as high as 20-fold. You get very high glutamate
levels in the blood after eating a meal containing MSG. You're
stimulating all of the glutamate receptors. That's why some
people get explosive diarrhea and dyspepsia, because it
stimulates the receptors in the esophagus and small bowel.
Others may develop irritable bowel, or if they have irritable
bowel, it makes it a lot worse. If they have reflux, it makes
that a lot worse. The thing about the cardiac conduction system
glutamate receptors is this may explain the rise in sudden
What you see in almost all these cases is low magnesium. When
the magnesium level is low, the glutamate receptors become
hypersensitive, and so people - athletes in particular, if they
are not supplementing with magnesium - are prone to sudden cardiac
death, because of the glutamate receptors.
If they eat a meal or
something that contains glutamate or drink a diet cola before
practice, it will produce such intense cardiac irritability,
they'll die of sudden cardiac death. We know the sudden cardiac
death is due to two things: Most commonly arrhythmia and
coronary artery spasm.
Both of which can be produced by
Mike: Of course, that death certificate doesn't say they died
Dr. Blaylock: No, and it's not going to, because the admitting
physician doesn't know the first thing about any of this
They've never heard of it. In fact, most cardiologists
I've spoken with have never heard of this. They didn't know
there are glutamate receptors throughout the electrical
conduction system and in the heart muscle itself.
You have a
million patients in this country with arrhythmias that are
life-threatening, and no one's telling them to avoid MSG and
aspartame, yet it's a major source of cardiac irritability.
Mike: It's absolutely astounding.
Now, didn't baby food manufacturers voluntarily remove this
ingredient in the '70s?
Dr. Blaylock: They said they would, but they didn't. What they
did is take out pure MSG and substitute it with
protein and caseinate. If you look at a number of toddler foods,
many have caseinate, hydrolyzed protein, soy extracts, broth, all
a significant source of glutamate.
Mike: We're destroying the nervous systems of these babies.
Dr. Blaylock: Exactly. Now, one of the things we're hearing a
lot about is childhood obesity. One early observation with
exitotoxicity is it makes animals grossly obese.
Mike: If they banned MSG, the drug companies would lose
billions. Think about how much money they make treating all of
Dr. Blaylock: Here the government
has all these big plans for controlling carbohydrate intake and
controlling cereals and sugar and all that. Those things add to
the problem, because what we find in MSG-exposed animals is that
they prefer carbohydrates and sugars over protein-rich foods.
That was one of the characteristics of this type of obesity.
It's very difficult to exercise the weight off and almost
impossible to diet it off. The appetite is out of control, but
the metabolism is also out of control. They have metabolic
syndrome on top of obesity, and so then you have a state of leptin insensitivity. In terms of obesity, they have a leptin
It has been shown that you can produce
insensitivity very easily with MSG.
Mike: Is there any hope, in your
view, that the world may wake up to this, and some day these
ingredients may be banned?
Dr. Blaylock: It's possible, but you know, it's only going to be
by public exposure, through the blogs and sites like yours. Once
the public gets wind of it and is convinced that this is real,
then there'll be an uproar over it. There's just a deception.
The average consumer looks at it and goes, "Well, it says that
it contains no MSG, so it must be okay."
Mike: I find a lot of the vegetarian foods, or so-called health
foods, use yeast extracts.
Dr. Blaylock: The worst of the things they're doing are the soy
extracts. Soybeans, naturally, have one of the highest glutamate
levels of any of the plant products. When you hydrolyze it, you
release the glutamate, such as with the soy protein isolates.
The glutamate levels are higher than a lot of what you'll find
in other MSG-containing products, yet the vegetarians are just
eating it like it's the healthiest thing in the world.
a 25-year study done, which looked at people who consumed the
most soy products, and they followed them for 25 years and did
serial CT scans of their brain. They found out that the people
who consumed the most soybean products had the greatest
incidence of dementia and brain atrophy.
These people are destroying their nervous system, and I talked
to a lot of them who complained of severe migraine headaches. I
said, "Get off the soy," and they do, and that migraine headache
goes away. In addition, you have very high manganese levels,
which is toxic to the very same part of the brain that produces
You've got a mixture of toxins with soy products,
and the people think they are eating a healthy, nutritious
product. It's destroying their nervous system, as well as other
Mike: In this whole debate of soy versus cow's milk, we find
misinformation in both camps.
Dr. Blaylock: I wouldn't recommend
either one. If you're obsessed with milk, use goat's milk. It's
closer to human milk, but I wouldn't recommend cow's milk or soy
milk. I think people ought to avoid soy products as if they were
Mike: Have you taken a lot of heat
from NutraSweet or any of these other companies? I mean, have
you been threatened with lawsuits or anything for going public
with this information?
Dr. Blaylock: No, they leave me alone. I know too much. They've
never bothered me.
When I wrote the book, George Schwartz warned
"Are you sure you want to write this book? If you do,
they're just going to hound you to death." I said, "Yes, I want
to write the book."
So, I wrote it with one thing in mind: that
they would not be able to refute it.
I researched the subject every kind of way you can research it
the toxicity of glutamate. They know I know that,
because I had exchanged letters with some of their biggest
defenders. They all realized that they couldn't answer my
arguments. So they leave me alone.
They're afraid that if it
comes to a big standoff between me and them, they're going to
Mike: They don't want this
information going on the public record.
Dr. Blaylock: No, they don't want
that. What they're doing is the old ploy of just ignoring and
hoping it will go away. Of course, they put pressure on
magazines, journals and newspapers not to interview me. They are
trying to keep me in the shadows where they hope most people
don't hear anything I have to say. It only works for so long.
Since I first wrote the book in 1995, proof supporting my
viewpoint has increased enormously. The new material on
peripheral glutamate receptors absolutely killed these people.
They have no defense against that.
The new information on the
dramatic increase in cancer aggressiveness is something that
they are terrified of.
Mike: Now you find these receptors outside the brain.
Dr. Blaylock: Right. Now, see, I
proved it can enter the brain and that all that nonsense about
the brain being protected from glutamate by the blood-brain
barrier was a lie.
What researchers have shown is that there are
glutamate receptors on both sides of the blood brain barrier and
that when you expose these receptors to glutamate, it opens up
the blood brain barrier. So, the glutamate itself can open the
barrier, and I list all the conditions under which the barrier
For instance, as you get older, your barrier becomes
less competent. Almost all Alzheimer's patients have incompetent
barriers. Heat stroke, seizures, autoimmune disorders and
multiple sclerosis are all associated with an incompetent blood
You're talking about tens of millions of people affected by
barrier disruption, and they are out there gobbling up
aspartame, MSG and other excitotoxins, and no one is telling
them they are making their neurological conditions infinitely
worse. I don't know how many seizure patients I've gotten off
their medicines by just getting them off
MSG and giving them
magnesium. They quit having seizures. They were on maximum
dosages of medications and still having seizures.
neurologists and neurosurgeons that treat seizures are not aware
Mike: It's not profitable to teach
people how to avoid these ingredients.
Dr. Blaylock: If you look at the
neuroscience literature, you can't pick up an article that's not
excitotoxicity. The hottest topic in neurosciences is
glutamate receptors and excitotoxins.
Mike: Are they talking about it in
the food or just as a chemical?
Dr. Blaylock: They won't mention food, but they talk about the
glutamate receptor and what happens when you activate it.
Mike: What about the argument from
I actually got into a debate with a veggie
burger manufacturer, because I wrote an article that said their
product had yeast extract in it, and yet the front label said,
"100 percent all-natural ingredients." They said, "Well,
glutamate appears naturally in other foods, like tomatoes and
What's your answer to that kind of defense?
Dr. Blaylock: Sure, but you see, all
of these types of glutamate are bound. They're in
polypeptides. They are bound in amino acids groupings. They're
not free amino acids. If you have it as a complex protein, you
absorb it slowly in your GI tract.
the GI tract, there are
almost no free amino acids if you eat foods such as tomatoes.
The level of free amino acids is nil; it's almost all absorbed
as combined amino acids, and then it's only broken down in the
liver, where it's released in very low concentrations that the
body can deal with. Our bodies were never intended to have free
amino acids in such high concentrations.
Well, when you hydrolyze these proteins - or you use yeast extract
or enzymes to break down these various proteins into their free,
released amino acids - they're not natural any longer.
done is artificially release the amino acids in an unnatural
way, and when they enter your GI tract, they are absorbed as
free amino acids, then your blood level of that glutamic acid
goes up significantly. As I said, it can go up as high as
20-fold, in some cases 40-fold. Your blood brain barrier is not
constructed to handle such high levels of glutamate, because it
doesn't naturally occur that way. It can handle the lower
levels, but it can't handle these very high levels.
argument, "Oh, it's natural," is just a lot of nonsense.
Mike: I do find that many manufacturers claim to be natural
health companies, or health food companies, as a cover. They
don't really follow that philosophy, because they'll use these
Dr. Blaylock: Sure, and they use all kinds of backhanded ways.
Mike: Here's a practical question that's actually been burning
in my head for about eight years: Is there anything that a
person can take to block the absorption of MSG or glutamate as a
Dr. Blaylock: Well, not necessarily to block it. You have other
amino acids that can't compete for glutamic acid absorption. So
that may be one way to help reduce the rate at which it would be
Mike: Which aminos would those be?
Dr. Blaylock: Those would include
lysine. They would compete for the same carrier system, so that
would slow down absorption. There are a lot of things that act
as glutamate receptor blockers.
You know, like silymarin,
curcumin and ginkgo biloba. These things are known to directly
block glutamate receptors and reduce excitotoxicity. Curcumin is
very potent. Most of your flavonoids reduce excitotoxicity.
Magnesium is particularly important, because magnesium can block
the NMDA glutamate type receptor. That's its natural function,
so it significantly reduces toxicity.
Vitamin E succinate is
powerful at inhibiting excitotoxicity, as are all of your
They found combinations of B vitamins also block excitotoxicity.
Mike: Let's talk about restaurants.
I can't even eat at restaurants anymore at all, even those
natural restaurants. They don't know they have MSG, because it's
in one of the sauces or something.
Dr. Blaylock: I talked to them, and
"We get our food in these big crates, so there's no
It's the same thing for hospitals. I talked
to a hospital dietitian and she said,
"We can't tell because it
comes in a crate, and they won't put the ingredients on it. It
just says Salisbury steak or whatever."
They don't know, so it's hard for them to come out and tell
their customers, "It's free of MSG." What they mean when they do
say that is,
"We didn't put any in there ourselves."
sauces are particularly high, as are their salad dressings,
especially the ones that are creamy, but not the ones that are
Mike: Gravy mixes almost always have
Dr. Blaylock: Yes, they'll put
hydrolyzed protein in it. They're selling taste. I mean, that's
why a person prefers one restaurant to another. The food tastes
better. Then they go home and feel sick and don't understand
One of the things that has been noticed about sudden cardiac
death is that most that have it, other than athletes, die after
eating a meal in a restaurant. I suspect it's because these
people have low magnesium. They eat the meal, the glutamate
stimulates the glutamate receptor in the cardiac conduction
system as well as the hypothalamus, and they have a sudden
I was in a bookstore in Oxford, Miss. This young guy was there,
and he just dropped and died. We took him to the hospital and
tried to resuscitate him, and we couldn't. He was only 26 years
old, and he had just eaten a big bowl of soup at one of the
restaurants. Well, I talked to the person that was there, and he
said they use a lot of hydrolyzed protein and MSG.
eat a meal, have a soup before the meal, get this huge dose of
MSG, and drop dead from the arrhythmia.
Mike: Could this explain some sudden
infant deaths as well, you think?
Dr. Blaylock: Oh yeah. I mean, look
at the popularity of these soy infant formulas. Mothers are
crazy to give their kids soy formula. There is a lot of concern
about it. There's concern about the fluoride level, the
manganese level, and the glutamate levels in these soy infant
Mike: At Wal-Mart, I saw bottled water with added sodium
fluoride. It's fluoride water.
Dr. Blaylock: Oh yes, it's for babies. They have a picture of a
baby on it.
Mike: So, is there a website or a
newsletter that people can visit or sign-up for?
Dr. Blaylock: My website is
www.russellblaylockmd.com. I also have a newsletter. It's at
www.BlaylockReport.com. It's by subscription, but you can buy
individual newsletters as well.
You don't have to get the whole
year. It's issued monthly, for $3.98 a piece. It covers
everything to do with health, not just MSG.
I try to cover a lot of common subjects and bring people up to
date on the new thinking and research. I go through all the
medical research. Usually I'll go through everything that
conventional medicine has to offer. A lot of times they have
good physiology, a good
pathophysiology, but then, they switch
over and start talking about drugs.
I'll go through all the good pathophysiology material they have, and then I'll look up all
the nutritional research that's been done that can correct those
Mike: I see. Here's an off-the-wall question: If MSG and all its
different versions, as well as aspartame, were outlawed
tomorrow, what changes would we see in the next five years in
terms of public health?
Dr. Blaylock: I think you'd see a significant drop in obesity
and metabolic syndrome. You'd see a tremendous drop in certain
cancers. You would certainly see a tremendous drop in the
neurodegenerative diseases, and all of these diseases that are
The neurodegenerative diseases are just exploding. Things that
used to be rare, we're seeing all the time now. It's just
frightening. And when you look through the neurosciences
literature, they have no explanation. They don't know why it's
increasing so rapidly, but it's because we have such a large
combination of toxins.
For instance, we know that
neurodegenerative diseases are connected to mercury, aluminum,
pesticides and herbicides, and the way they produce brain damage
is through an excitotoxic mechanism.
So, we are all exposed to those toxins, and then when you add
MSG and excitotoxins to the food, you tremendously accelerate
this toxicity. That's why we're seeing this explosion in
neurodegenerative diseases; Alzheimer's and autism and ADD and
Parkinson's - all these things are increasing so enormously
because we are exposed to products that are excitotoxic...
This is what no one's been able to explain. You look at one
person's research and they'll say, "Alzheimer's is related to
mercury exposure," and then another one says, "No, it's related
to pesticides," and yet another one says it something else, but
they're all operating through the same mechanism. All of these
things operate by increasing brain immune activity, and that
So that's why all of them seem to be
related, because they're all doing the same thing to the brain.
Mike: What about the American Diabetes Association? Given that
aspartame actually promotes obesity, based a lot of the work
you've uncovered, I find it curious that the ADA so strongly
Dr. Blaylock: I don't, considering they receive huge amounts of
money from the makers of aspartame. They fund their walk-a-thon
and all that kind of stuff, so they get tremendous amounts of
money from the makers of aspartame, and money talks.
Whether they're just deluding themselves and choosing not to
believe it's toxic, refusing to look at the evidence, or they're
just concerned about the money and could care less, I don't
know, but when you look at the pathophysiology of diabetes and
the effect of aspartame, it's absolute nonsense for anybody who
has diabetes to be on aspartame.
Particularly in a neurological
aspect, it's going to make it a lot worse.
Mike: What about other popular
chemical sweeteners like
Dr. Blaylock: There's really not a lot of research in those
areas. They have some basic research, like with Splenda, showing
thymus suppression. If that holds up in other research, it's a
If you're suppressing the thymus gland in a
child, that's affecting the future of their immune function. You
can increase everything from autoimmunity to producing
immune-related diseases, to infections and cancers. The
implications of thymus gland suppression are enormous.
There have been reports of miscarriages associated with Splenda
in experimental animals. The problem is, we don't have a lot of
well-conducted studies on Splenda to ferret these things out,
and they're not going to do them. The best way to protect your
product is to never test it, or just to set up some phony tests
and report it in a journal that's friendly to your point of
That's what they did with certain vaccines. They did thousands
of phony studies and waved them around, claiming nothing was
found. You can design any study to find whatever you want.
Particularly, you can design it to have negative results.
the easiest thing to do.
Mike: We've got government health officials telling us mercury
is safe and we've got big business telling us both aspartame and
MSG are safe. It sounds like every poison in the food supply or
in organized medicine is perfectly safe.
Dr. Blaylock: We did that with lead. When they first started
questioning the safety of lead, the levels they said were safe
were just enormously high, and then a mere 10 years later,
suddenly we're finding out that lead is toxic at 10
micrograms/L. In the '60s, they were fighting over the same
The defenders of gasoline-added lead were saying lead
wasn't toxic, except in extremely high doses. Then neuroscience
literature was contradicting them, but nobody would listen.
Finally, the weight of the evidence was so overwhelming that
they found extremely low concentrations of lead were toxic and
accumulate in the brain.
It's the same thing with mercury. Mercury is even more poisonous
than lead. An infant is getting 150 times the dose of mercury
than the EPA safety limits. A hundred times higher than the FDA
Here's a little baby that's getting 150 times
higher a dose than the EPA says is safe for an adult.
Mike: What are the big points readers to take away? What do you
think they need to remember in order to protect themselves?
Dr. Blaylock: You need to abstain from all of these things.
Aspartame is not a necessary nutrient, and neither is MSG. The
weight of the evidence is overwhelming. If you want to avoid
obesity, metabolic syndrome, neurodegenerative diseases and
cancer, and if you don't want to make your cancer more
aggressive, then you need to stay away from these products.
The damage affects pregnant women, unborn babies and newborns.
It can produce changes in the brain that are irreversible,
depending on when it is stopped. What we've found is that it
reprograms the wiring of the brain, particularly the
hypothalamus, so it doesn't function normally.
are abnormal for the rest of their lives in terms of their
Mike: Well, hopefully the weight of this evidence will someday
become overwhelming, and government regulators will listen to
Dr. Blaylock: The pressure on researchers is so enormous. Dr.
Trocho came out with his research about the DNA damage by
aspartame. Then his career was assaulted by the makers of
He said he would never do another research project
concerning aspartame. Well, a number of researchers have said
the same thing. Once they published their results, the full
weight of these companies come down on their head.
will contribute millions to a university and threaten to pull
their donations if someone isn't quieted.
Mike: So there's blatant scientific censorship at work here.
Dr. Blaylock: There's blatant, and then there's just understood.
You have NutraSweet manufacturers donating several million
dollars to your university. The director of that laboratory, or
the president of the university, will just quietly let them know
that they'd really like to see such negative research come to a
The biochemical editor of the Chemical Abstracts Service, Dr.
John Yiamounuyiannis, went through that with
fired him because he refused to be quiet about fluoride
toxicity, and they had just received this huge grant from
His supervisor said,
"We'll lose our grant if
you don't get quiet about fluoride."
He wouldn't, and they fired
him. Researchers know this.
Mike: I want to commend you for being willing to stand up and
tell the truth about all of this. I think you're doing a great,
positive service to public-health.
Dr. Blaylock: You're the one doing the service, because you're
putting the word out there. Without you, I would just be sitting
in a room fussing at the walls. It's people like you that get
this word out and let people know what's going on in the world.
Mike: I wouldn't be surprised if they tried to pass a bill to
outlaw health talk on the internet.
Dr. Blaylock: They're trying to do it. You know, they passed a
law at one time in several states that no one but dietitians
could speak on the subject of nutrition. Several states had that
law passed. This meant Ph.D. biochemists couldn't talk about
health. It was ridiculous.
I'm sure that one day they're going
to have an internet bill saying there's just too much dangerous
material is coming over the internet on health issues, and we
need to regulate it.
Mike: Well, I want to thank you very much for all your time.
Dr. Blaylock: Thank you. I appreciate you giving me this