5 Neurotoxins In Your Favorite Food

Posted by John Coppola on 17 Feb, 18

There are many neurotoxins in food that impair brain function, nerve function and overall health.

What are neurotoxins?

They can also interrupt their communication process. Neurotoxins have the ability to alter the normal activity of the nerves resulting in damaged nerve cells.

The availability of neurotoxins has increased dramatically within the last few decades. Many of these neurotoxins are found in the food we eat and the water we drink. Even worse, they are also found in baby food.

The U.S. food and drug administration (FDA) allows 3,000 food additives to be used in Athe U.S. food supply and relatively few have been tested for safety.(1) Some of the worst offenders are not required to be listed on food labels, either.
The FDA Allows 3000 Undisclosed Food Additives In Various Foods.

Studies have shown that neurotoxins can shorten the life span of nerve cells. These toxins have been linked to brain disorders, Peripheral Neuropathy and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s Chorea and Parkinson’s disease.

5 Most Dangerous Neurotoxins

There are many more than just 5 neurotoxins commonly found in our food, beverages and water supply. These 5, that we are highlighting, are some of the most common and have been linked with Peripheral Neuropathy, Alzheimer’s, brain fog, headaches, anxiety, and depression.

1. Aspartame

One of the most popular artificial sweeteners, it is found in diet sodas, processed foods, diet beverages and of course, the little blue packets that go by the name of ‘Equal’ or Nutrasweet. Other artificial sweeteners that contain aspartame are AminoSweet and Spoonful.

Did you know that most aspartaime is made from the fecal matter of genetically modified bacteria.

Studies have linked aspartame to other disorders, as well, like – diabetes, migraines, kidney failure, seizures, blindness, obesity, neurological disorders, mental illness and brain tumors, anxiety depression, and ADHD (2)

Using Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners do not help you lose weight. They actually stimulate your brain to increase your cravings for more sweet foods and sweet drinks.(3) Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than sugar.

Many studies were falsified to hide the fact that animals fed aspartame developed seizures and brain tumors. Even once these facts came to light, this sweetener was approved by the FDA, anyway. (4)

Currently the FDA has 92 different categories of complaints filed against aspartame. (5) Based on this you would think they would be issuing warnings against the use of aspartame. Instead they are allowing the industry to produce more aspartame-based products and re-label artificial sweeteners as “High-Intensity” sweeteners. This re-branding is because the public is correlating artificial sweeteners with the health dangers that they carry. The FDA recently approved a new ‘High-Intensity” sweetener called Advantame. It’s made from combining aspartame with artificial vanilla flavoring.

2. MSG (monosodium glutamate)

MSG is pervasive in junk food, processed food, fast food, most restaurant food, canned food, pet food and even baby food. It is found in just about everything, but the alarming fact is that it is not required to be disclosed on labels.(6) The FDA only requires it to be listed on labels if it is 100% pure MSG. Spices, flavorings, and natural flavorings can contain up to 99% MSG, but don’t need to be identified on the label because it is under the 100% rule.

Generally, the the saltier the food, the more MSG it will contain. The worst offenders include foods like canned soups, ramen noodles, soy sauce and even health food items like soy veggie burgers.

Independent researchers have found that MSG plays a significant role in neurodegenerative brain diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease. It has also been shown to create extensive damage with peripheral nerves leading to peripheral neuropathy.

Because the public is becoming much wiser, MSG is frequently disguised on ingredient labels under alternative names. These common ingredients always contain MSG. (7) It’s important to recognize these deceptive names and avoid products containing them.

  • Hydrolyzed (vegetable) protein
  • Plant protein extract
  • Sodium Caseinate
  • Calcium Caseinate
  • Yeast extract
  • Textured Protein
  • TVP
  • Autolyzed yeast
  • Carrageenan
  • Malt Extract or Malt Flavoring
  • Bouillon
  • Seasonings
  • Spices
  • Natural flavoring (or just ‘flavoring’)

3. Sucralose

This artificial sweetener also goes by the brand name, “Splenda”. It is very popular in sugar-free products, especially sugar-free drinks. This artificial sweetener is 600 times sweeter than sugar.

Sucralose was accidentally discovered while doing research to create a new insecticide, which is why some researchers suggested that sucralose should be listed in the insecticide category. This neurotoxin is regarded as a chemical cousin to DDT.

Sucralose is a chlorinated compound. It is actually a sugar bonded with chlorine. When the body breaks this type of chlorinated compound, it releases toxic chemicals. As a result, there is a long list of common neurological side effects including peripheral nerve damage, headaches, migraines, dizziness, brain fog, anxiety, depression, and tinnitus. (8)
A major study on 250,000 soda drinkers found that drinking soda sweetened with aspartame, saccharin, and Splenda increases the likelihood of depression by 31%. (9)

A surprising side effect of sucralose is that it prevents nutrient absorption and reduces the number of good bacteria in your intestines by 50%. (10)

Safe, Natural Sweeteners
Two of the best alternatives to using an artificial sweetener are Stevia or Luo Han Guo (luo han).
Stevia is a natural sweetener that has been used for over 1500 years, originating in South America. It is produced by harvesting the leaves of the plant species, Stevia rebaudiana. It does not raise glucose (blood sugar) levels, so is safe for diabetics. The best form to use is the liquid form. It is the least processed.
Not all stevia on the market is pure. Truvia (brand name), which is marketed as a form of stevia, actually is made up of stevia leaf extract, erythritol and natural flavors. Remember, natural flavors are nothing more than MSG in disguise. This product is manufactured by the Coca-Cola Company. Need I say more.

Best Brands of Stevia are:

  • Sweat Leaf
  • Stevia in the Raw
  • Pure Via

A second all-natural sweetener, Luo Han, is also safe for diabetics. Luo Han is a very sweet and round dried fruit, grown in southern China. This fruit also goes by the names of “Monk Fruit” or “Buddha Fruit”.

4. Aluminum

This type of metal is commonly found in drinking water, baking powder, pots & pans, over-the-counter antacids, deodorants and vaccines. Aluminum is hard for the body to absorb, but citrate or citric acid can dramatically increase its absorption. Vaccines are one of the major contributors to aluminum toxicity, because the aluminum is injected directly into the body.
Aluminum has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease. In the 1970s, autopsies revealed that people who had Alzheimer’s had a larger than normal concentration of aluminum in the brain.

Research has shown that aluminum easily crosses the ‘Blood-Brain Barrier’ and enters the brain when it comes in contact with fluoride, another neurotoxin commonly found in drinking water. The conclusion researchers reached, “Aluminum fluoride is the compound in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.” (11)

5. Mercury

Mercury exists in various forms. Methylmercury is the form of mercury people in the U.S. encounter most frequently. The most common way people in the U.S. are exposed to mercury is by eating fish containing methylmercury. Mercury gets into the air from a number of sources. Once in the air, mercury eventually settles into bodies of water like lakes and streams, or onto land, where it can be washed into water. Microorganisms in waterbodies can change it into methylmercury, where it builds up in fish and shellfish.

Fish to Eat and Fish to Avoid
The following fish have the largest concentrations of mercury and should be avoided:

  • Orange Roughy
  • Mackerel
  • Shark
  • Swordfish
  • Marlin
  • Sea Bass
  • Grouper
  • Tuna
  • Tilefish

This next group of fish have the lowest levels of mercury and our considered safe to eat, especially if you are pregnant or a child.

  • Salmon
  • Herring
  • Haddock
  • Anchovies
  • Butterfish
  • Flounder
  • Atlantic mackerel
  • Sardines
  • Sole
  • Tilapia
  • Trout
  • Crab
  • Clams
  • Muscles
  • Oysters
  • Shrimp
  • Scallops

Mercury is also found in silver fillings and vaccines and Is a large source of exposure in our bodies.
Mercury is one of the most toxic neurotoxins, because it easily destroys brain and other nerve tissue.

Mercury buildup (toxicity) in the body has been linked with the following conditions:

  • Tremors
  • Headache
  • Visual Disturbances
  • Hearing Loss
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Ataxia

The bottom line…”Avoid These 5 Neurotoxins At All Costs”. It’s not that difficult and requires just a bit of diligence on your part. There are many healthy alternatives to allow you to reduce your exposure. Taking action will help you protect your brain and nerves.

This blog has been provided by Dr. John Coppola, D.C. and Dr. Valerie Monteiro, D.C. Dr. Coppola and Dr. Monteiro are the founders of the San Antonio Neuropathy Center, and Precision Sport & Spine. They are the leading experts in the field of neuropathy and specifically drug free nerve repair. They are the authors of the critically acclaimed book "Defeat Neuropathy Now .... In Spite of Your Doctor. The doctors have over 25 years of clinical experience.

If you would like to reach the doctors regarding a specific health problem, you may email them at info@bodiesrebuilt.com.


  1. International Food Information Council (IFIC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Overview of Food Ingredients, Additives & Colors, November 2004; revised April 2010
  2. Lindseth GN1, Coolahan SE, Petros TV, Lindseth PD., Neurobehavioral effects of aspartame consumption. Res Nurs Health. 2014 Jun;37(3):185-93. doi: 10.1002/nur.21595. Epub 2014 Apr 3.
  3. Bellisle F, Drewnowski A. Intense sweeteners, energy intake and the control of body weight. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007;61:691-700.
  4. Sugarman, Carole (1983-07-03). “Controversy Surrounds Sweetener”. Washington Post. pp. D1–2. Retrieved 2008-11-25.
  5. Dr. Betty Martini, FDA LIST OF 92 SYMPTOMS ON ASPARTAME (NUTRASWEET/EQUAL/SPOONFUL, E951, CANDEREL, ETC., Mission Possible World Health International
  6. Br J Nutr. 2011 Mar 24:1-10. Epub 2011 Mar 24. PMID: 21429276
  7. The Truth In Labeling, Names of Ingredients that contain processed free glutamic acid (MSG)
  8. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B: Critical Reviews, 16:7, 399-451
  9. BBC News, Diet Drinks’ ‘link to depression’ questioned, January 9, 2013
  10. Abou-Donia MB1, El-Masry EM, Abdel-Rahman AA, McLendon RE, Schiffman SS. Splenda alters gut microflora and increases intestinal p-glycoprotein and cytochrome p-450 in male rats. J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2008;71(21):1415-29. doi: 10.1080/15287390802328630.
  11. Garrett, Mario D. Ph.D., Is Dementia Caused By Aluminum Through Fluoridation? Psychology Today, July 15, 2014

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