The Glutamate/Aspartate Restricted
By Dogtor J.
Post Number One:
The Glutamate/Aspartate Restricted
Hi Everyone,This thread is something I prepared for the Epilepsy forum. I have also posted it on 4-5 other applicable forums on
BrainTalk (ADHD, child neurology, fibromyalgia), some at the request of their members and others "just because". Why the latter?
I believe that this is one of the most important things that I know.
The disappearance of my chronic pain and
the dramatic response of epileptic dogs to this diet (the GARD, as it is now being called) are what catapulted me into
the Internet consulting business and changed my life forever. Hopefully it is changing other's lives as well. It taught me
a VERY important...no CRITICAL...fact, that the food sources (The "bound" forms) of the non-essential, neuroactive amino acids
glutamate and aspartate are, in fact, entering the brain and exerting an effect just like the "free" forms of these
amino acids do (MSG and aspartame...errrrrrh!). You all must know by now how MSG and aspartame worsen your pain.
what are these food sources of glutamate and aspartate??? Yep, they are the same guys: gluten grains, dairy, and soy, along
with others that I list that will make sense as you read them.
Once again, all of this should make perfect sense. Many
of you have seen reductions in pain by avoiding MSG and aspartame so you are primed and ready to take this to a new level
and see how the food sources of these same amino acids are loaded with these non-essential neuramines that are driving
our nervous systems whacko while providing overloads of estrogens. As estrogens also sensitize the neurons to the action of
these amino acids, the neuro/pain part of the spiral is especially easy to see (e.g. PMS, catamenial seizures, post partum
Throw in the immunosuppressive effects of these foods and the fact that viruses are critically
involved in sooooo many of our conditions (immune-mediated and cancers), and it is very easy to see how the spiral is getting
tighter and tighter. These neurological pandemics (e.g. ADHD, depression, fibromyalgia) with which we are faced DO have some
very palpable explanations, don't they?
So, I hope that you get something out of this thread. Yes, it is long (surprise,
surprise. ) but this is the most important thing I have ever done. This is my last three years of medical research in a nutshell but
in a conversational tone. This is what it has been ALL about. So, take your time. There is no law that you have to read it
all at one time.
Hope this helps,
Post Number Two
I am glad that this
topic has generated some interest. Thank you for your encouraging your PMs and Emails. I didn't think that my passion for
this subject could get any greater until I read some of your responses and family histories. It is obvious that my medical
history is not the only one that cries out "food intolerance" (gluten, casein, soy, corn) as the underlying theme. It is so
cool to see many of you understanding how the pathophysiology of the intestinal damage(primarily of the duodenum and jejunum) sets
us up for soooo much of what is afflicting us, including the onset of opportunistic infections.
And again, the same
foods that are damaging our intestinal lining, compromising our immune systems, and preventing/blocking proper absorption
of essentials nutrients are the ones that are providing the staggering amounts of the non-essential amino acids glutamate
and aspartate, the parent proteins in MSG and aspartame respectively.
So, for the first time, I have come up with an
acronym for the diet. Funny, never saw it before...GARD..the Glutamate/Aspartate Restricted Diet.
sources of these non-essential amino acids are the gluten grains (wheat, barley, rye), cow milk products with casein
(especially cheeses), soy, the bean family (navy, black, pinto, garbanzo, lima, lentils), nuts (especially peanuts, cashews,
pistachios), seeds (sunflower,pumpkin), and foods with MSG and aspartame. Rice is moderately high, coming in between wheat
and corn. Corn is more of an issue in the villous atrophy syndrome than rice and is thereby more of an allergen/immunostimulant.
Oats are interesting. They are considered safe by many celiac authorities so their gluten appears to be different, at least
less concentrated, than wheat, et al . BUT they are high in glutamate according to food charts that I have.
are a MAJOR source of glutamate, which should be no surprise when we see that they are soy's close cousin, another
legume. To top that off, most peanut butter is LOADED with hydrogenated oils, as they take the valuable peanut oil out and
replace it with hydrogenated oils that are cheaper, give it a smoother texture, and act as "natural" (errrrrh) preservative
so that it can stay on your pantry shelf.(I eat only Smucker's Natural. It has to stay in the fridge.)
So, 70% of the
calories in the standard American diet (SAD) comes from dairy products and wheat alone. Wow! Think of the pizza, cheeseburgers,
mac and cheese, waffles, pancakes, muffins, toast, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with a big glass of milk, cookies and
milk, cake and milk, cereal and milk, brownies and milk...you get the idea.
But, for those that have been led to believe
that sugar is the root of all evil, we have a slew of sugar-free products with aspartame, including almost every single chewing
gum except my favorite...Big Red. That's it. Please read the labels. Then you have almost every single soup containing MSG,
most prepared Mexican and Chinese foods with MSG, and 90% of prepared foods with blood brain barrier damaging hydrogenated
oils. Starting to see why epilepsy, ADHD, chronic pain, and insomnia are skyrocketing?
The fact that these two amino
acids are non-essential should be one clue. Our body can make all it needs of these. What do these two proteins do in our
body? Among other things, they are the main neurotransmitters in the brain. Glutamate is essentially what makes the impulse
cross the synapse. There is a "nurse cell" known as the glial cell that helps control the level of glutamate at the synapse.
When it becomes diseased or dies, the glutamate level can build up and cause major problems, including seizures or the death
of the neuron. In ALS, the latter happens. I am convinced that in epilepsy, the former happens. I also contend that the seizure
is therapeutic, burning up the glutamate in the brain to prevent this neurotoxin from killing the brain. It is a glutamate
cascade that accompanies our death from whatever cause that actually kills the brain.
Blood (serum) glutamate levels
are controlled by enzyme systems in the liver and kidneys. This gets complicated so I won't elaborate. But, you can read about
this by putting "glutamate, liver" in your search and read to your content or level of understanding. Enzyme systems are essentially
a vitamin and protein combination and my original epilepsy (and pain) paper found on my site (http://dogtorj.tripod.com./id2.html) contends that the malabsorption syndrome created in the gut by the
same foods that provide the glutamate/aspartate keeps us from absorbing the vitamins needed to create these vital glutamate-controlling
enzymes in the liver. I still believe that is is very likely and a vital component to those with "idiopathic" epilepsy, but
I am now studying the vital role of viruses in this process.
I will not get into the viral thing now as we have a "lively"
thread going on that topic right now on this forum. A wise person (whom I now respect much more) pointed out that I need to
be careful in this area. For one thing, I may be scaring some of you with all of this talk of viruses. Plus, much of this
is still "theory", as medical authorities have yet to state definitively which viruses cause what. Please understand: I am
not trying to frighten you into trying this diet. I look at the viral connection as being vital to our understanding of what
is going wrong and see it as HOPE-giving information. I would rather the "enemy" have a face and know how he got here
and what he plans to do than write it all off to "idiopathic" or "bad genes" or worse..."bad luck". I think this should encourage
people, especially when they see that there IS somthing that they can do about it rather than take simply take cover-up drugs
(or worse...immunosuppressive drugs...errrrh) for the rest of their life. The diet is a huge first step.
And that is
the last point for this thread. I am NOT advocating that anyone stop their meds. No, NO, NO. I don't do that with my canine
patients until I am convinced that the diet has helped. I have them go through a seizure cycle or two before reducing their
meds THEN I taper the drugs slowly once I am convinced. Certainly, because of the dramatic results I have seen in dogs that
were not yet on meds, I feel like I could stop many epileptic dogs meds right away and be fine in doing so. BUT, I know that
some of them have other issues like liver disease, chronic viral encephalitis (distemper virus, etc.), OR cheat on the diet
by eating other pet's foods. Compliance is a big issue when you are dealing with pets... and owners that love their pets to
This concept has been proven to be effective to me frontwards and backwards many times over the
past three years. The rapid response to the diet change (commercial duck and potato diets for the dogs), the complete response
in some, and the seizures that consistently occur 6 hours after making a mistake (if they are not on AEDs) have all spoken
volumes about this diet..the GARD. (Man, I like that. )
The 6 hour connection is really phenomenal to see. The
"free" forms of glutamate and aspartate (MSG/aspartame) hit the brain in about an hour. Heard of the "MSG rush"??? When these
levels drop off in another hour or so, we become "HUNGRY" again ("What's up with that Chinese food, anyway?" asks the comedian.).
Our brain LOOOOOVES that stuff. See food addiction on my site (http://dogtorj.tripod.com./id6.html).
The "bound" forms in food (for example, wheat gluten is 25%
glutamate by weight) take about 5-6 hours to hit the brain. "Ahhhh....That's why I wake up like a shot at 1-2 AM after
eating dinner and dessert at 7-8 PM.!" Yup. Food did this to me for years. The sleep aids helped but not really much. Now
I sleep like a baby (which is really a dumb expression isn't it? Who wants to wake up every hour wet and hungry? Haha). I
sleep well... we'll leave it at that.
The other proof of the bound forms of these "excitotoxins" (as Dr. Russell Blaylock
refers to MSG/aspartame) doing their thing is ADHD and chronic pain (e.g. fibromyalgia). I go into great detail on these pandemic
conditions on my site. However, I am now studying the potential viral links in ADHD. The link to EBV (Epstein Barr) has been
studied for quite sometime now in fibromyalgia. I believe there could be a guy like that involved in ADHD as well. For current
thoughts on this, put "ADHD, virus" in your search.
But to me, epilepsy is the main topic. It has been from the beginning
of my work and I have believed that the GARD will help prevent seizures in people as well. It has already. I will send Email
and PM testimonials to anyone that is interested. Also, check out the Gluten Sensitivity/Celiac section of BrainTalk for more
discussion and testimonials.
I hope this helps,
PS. I will follow this post with a chart of foods high
and low in glutamate/aspartate.
Post Number Three
Here is the list from my site. It can be
found at the end of my original epilepsy paper found here:
http://dogtorj.tripod.com./id2.htmland at the end of my pain paper found here:
Here's the list:
Foods rich in glutamate
1) Grains: Wheat, barley, and oats are highest. Corn and rice are lower than the previous three
but higher than potatoes.
2) Dairy Products: All Cheeses (cheddar, Swiss, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, PARMESAN) are
very high. Casein is very concentrated in cheese and is 20% glutamic acid by composition.
3) Beans: Soy, Pinto, lima,
black, navy, and lentils
4) Seeds: Sunflower, pumpkin, etc.
5) Peanuts: Very high, as are cashews, pistachios,
and almonds. I have more detailed charts on the site to show exact values for the various nuts. Everything in moderation applies
when eating nuts of any kind. So, I do not recommend you reach for nuts when you are really hungry unless you can stop after
a few. Nuts are very good for you..in moderation. For example, seven almonds a day gives you what you need .
Diet drinks: Primary source of aspartate (aspartame)
7) Prepared foods, soups: 70% of prepared foods and many
soups have MSG
8) Meats: Note- All meats are naturally rich in glutamate and aspartate. Lamb (and eggs) are the lowest,
while rabbit and turkey are the highest.
However, I believe that the amount in a normal serving of meat should not
be enough to cause problems. I think that it is all of the other "unnatural" sources when combined with the meats that are
causing the main problems in dogs. However, in the worst epileptic people, I could believe that eating a large amount of meat
(like a 14oz New York strip) could create a problem, especially when you consider the following.
One of my newest concerns
is the presence of glutamate in the flesh of grain-fed animals, especially chickens, turkeys, and cattle. This is s topic
of discussion on the celiac forums and we are now believing that this is a real concern and could explain why some celiacs
are not responding to elimination diets. Catfish are also grain fed.
But, the fact is that 60-70% of the American Diet
is wheat and dairy (with heavy emphasis on cheese). This combined with the amount of artificial sweeteners being consumed
and the addition of SOY has led this country into an epidemic of pain syndromes, including fibromyalgia. Epilepsy is definitely
on the rise in pets and the combination of wheat and soy in pet foods is playing a huge role. I am seeing first time epileptic
dogs within three weeks of starting such diets.
Foods lower in glutamate and aspartate:
4) Lamb and eggs are relatively low (compared to beef, chicken,
5) Tree nuts (e.g. pecans, walnuts, macadamias) NOTE: These are relatively low when compared to peanuts
and cashews. I have more detailed charts on the site to show exact values. Again, everything in moderation applies when eating
nuts of any kind. I do not recommend you reach for nuts when you are really hungry unless you can stop after a few. Nuts are
very good for you..in moderation. 7 almonds a day gives you what you need .
So, the GARD should be mostly
lean meats, vegetables, fruits/berries, limited nuts, potatoes, and eggs while also limiting known allergens. My site
discusses primary versus secondary food allergens. The good news is that if we stay off the primary ones long enough (dairy,
wheat/gluten grains, soy, corn) we may be able to eat the secondary ones again.
Remember: Like sufferers of the many
conditions that afflict us, epileptics are obviously on a spectrum of affliction. Spending time on this forum has made this
painfully clear, especially after reading about the worst cases. My heart goes out to you all. That being said, I feel certain
that, as in the pets, there will be those that will respond to minimal changes in diet and those that will require Herculean
efforts in the elimination of the foods above. Also keep in mind that I have had pets that were seizure-free on these duck
and potato diets for 6-12 months but that had a seizure within 6 hours of making a mistake (e.g. stealing a waffle). But,
I do feel certain that as they (and people) get farther down the road, they will become more resilient to mistakes. This is
in part due to the elimination of the casomorphins and gliadomorphins (from casein and gluten) that take up to a year to be
eliminated from the brain. Again, this is explained on my site.
Please feel free to Email me through my site with any
PS. I will also post a chart for you to see which foods are rich in ESTROGENS. You will see
an interesting pattern. Most of you know that estrogens are "inflammatory" and sensitize neurons to glutamate (catamenial
seizures, PMS). Progesterones are your friend. They are calming, anti-inflammatory (stronger in some regards than cortisone),
and they can help suppress seizures. Too bad there are not dietary sources of these, right? Yes, that is one of the other
problems. These same foods are RICH is estrogen but low in progesterone. Balance is everything, isn't it?
Now, for the GOOD news:
On these dietary restrictions, I just want to make one thing very
clear. We are restricting the level of glutamate and aspartate in the diet because the neurons of the brain
(and their associated supportive cells called glial cells, or astrocytes) are diseased and cannot handle the high levels of
this non-essential, neurostimulating amino acid in our typical diet. By eating what has become the Standard American Diet
(S.A.D.), we are absolutely bombarding our brain with these “excitotoxins” in the form of grains, dairy, soy,
and the rest.
But, it is the fact that the brain is unhealthy that
explains why we are seeing the syndromes such as epilepsy, ADHD, insomnia, fibromyalgia, and various neurodegenerative diseases.
I need to reemphasize this point for a number of reasons but mainly to establish why a person would develop one of these conditions
and another not while eating the same foods. There must be something that distinguishes that person from the other…and
there is…there always is. These things are covered elsewhere on the Website, but this might be a good time to
check out my newest section, Viruses-Friend or Foe?
Here’s the point: When we are in the throws of one of the excitotoxin-related
disorders, we need to reduce our consumption of the foods rich in these amino acids as much as possible. Doing so places a
big Band-Aid on the situation and yields notable and often remarkable results in a short period of time. Dogs have stopped
seizing in 24 hours. I felt noticeably better in four days. My fibromyalgia was improved in less than a week and gone
in a month.
The phenomenal thing is that the long-term recovery also comes
from the same diet. The principle reason this disease-producing cycle was set into motion to begin with was the damage effects
of the “big 4” (gluten, casein, soy, and corn) on the intestinal villi and their ability to absorb vital nutrients.
This combined with the showering of the body with exctotoxins, allergens, lectins, estrogens, and other substances from these
same foods sets us up for the disease states that follow. Once the immune system starts to suffer from the same process, we
are pretty much done.
The good news (yes, there is some good news) is that
once we are off the “big 4” long enough, the process does reverse. Imagine the benefits of your body properly
absorbing the calcium, iron, iodine, B complex, vitamin C, and trace minerals it so desperately needs. Imagine a brain, liver,
and entire body that is getting what it needs to repair and thrive and in an environment free of the top four human, dog,
and cat food allergens (cow milk, wheat, soy, and corn), which are also providing major quantities of allergens, damaging
lectins, estrogens, depressants (casomorphins/gliadomorphins), and excitotoxins. Do you think you might just start feeling
But there’s more good news (and this is the main reason
for placing this information here on this page). Once you have recovered…your brain, liver, and immune system are back
to normal or close to it…then you can go back to eating some of those sources of glutamate and aspartate that are not
one of the “big 4”. Again, the reason for the more severe restriction of these other foods was to place a Band-Aid
on the situation- to provide relief for your ailing brain and liver (which regulates the glutamate in the bloodstream) by
reducing the load of these potentially harmful neuroactive amino acids on these unhealthy organs. Once the nervous system
and liver have recovered, most of us can go back to eating the nuts, seeds, beans, and meats that we were limiting
in the beginning.
Just remember- "Everything in moderation". Some individuals will
recover to such a degree that they could go back to eating all of the peanuts, lima beans, and steak they want without experiencing
a seizure, pain episode, or bad night's sleep. BUT, most will fall into a category somewhere in between this level of recovery
and where they were to start with, depending on several secondary factors, such how much we cheat with the "big 4", our age,
local pollution, and more. And after all, loading up on peanuts is not good for anyone. (All you need is about 6 peanuts
or almonds to get all that you need from them for the day. BUT, who does that???) Similarly, we do not need the cowboy-sized
serving of steak they throw at us at your favorite restaurant. (I have to keep telling myself that.)
So, please do not think that I am saying you cannot eat any of the
foods on the glutamate-rich list ever again. The formal name of the diet is the glutamate-aspartate restricted diet.
That is a relative term, with some individuals requiring a more severe restriction than others. But when it comes to the "big
4", I use the term elimination. If you are gluten, casein, soy, and/or corn intolerant, elimination is the key
to your optimal recovery. These are the guys that set us up for all of this mess. That is why I now "lovingly" call them the
four horsemen of the apocalypse. The effects they can have on man and animals is potentially catastrophic and hopefully
the reader now has a much better idea of why I have dedicated my life to this mission.
I hope this helps. And as always, if you need to contact me about
this vital topic, please Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a great site for looking up the nutritional profiles of
food, including their glutamate and aspartate content.
Simply click on the food
you are inquiring about, then scroll down toward the bottom of the page until you see the chart in the Nutritional
Profile section. There is a click-on link after that chart (just above the References section)
that reads "In Depth Nutritional Profile for (chosen food)" . Click on that link and then
just scroll done to the aspartate and glutamate listings. Make note of the serving size at the top of the
chart so that you'll be making an accurate comparison. You
will quickly see the huge difference between the glutamate/aspartate content of healthy fruits/vegetables versus
items such soy, wheat, barley, and the bean family (with the exception of green beans).
Post Number Four
Estrogens in Food
Now, here is the Website showing the foods
high in estrogens and those that block estrogen. These should be considered in formulating the ultimate diet for the
epileptic, I would think, as we know that estrogens are inflammatory and sensitive neurons to the action of glutamate (e'g
catamenial seizures, PMS).
Here's the site:
http://www.holisticonline.com/Remed....htm#containingHere's the chart:
Foods Containing Natural Estrogens
Note: Those is bold are also RICH in glutamate.
Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
Cowpeas (black- eyed peas)
Estrogen Inhibiting Foods
If you are suffering from breast cancer, PMS,
fibroids, ovarian cysts, and other situations that estrogen might exacerbate, the following estrogen inhibiting foods might
be of interest to you.
(except apples, cherries, dates, pomegranates)
White flour Now, this is really cool! Why would wheat
be on the list of estrogens rich in estrogens but white flour would be on the list of estrogen blocking foods? Doesn't
make sense right? Actually, it DOES and illustrates a VERY important point. What do you get when you add water to white flour?
Glue/ paste, right? What have I been saying about gluten again...it is "glue" and it does coat and stick to the villi of the
duodenum. In this case, it coats the villi and blocks the absorption of the ESTROGENS in the food. Now, how cool is that?
When I saw this site a couple of years ago, I had another "revelation". Even the bad things have a purpose.
In this case, the "glues" in the bad foods (gluten grains, dairy, and soy) don't just block the absorption of essential nutrients
(and drugs). They also help block the bad things in these trouble foods, like the estrogens and goitrogens....antinutrients,
like those found in soy. (Errrrrh.)
Whodathunkit? Yin and yang even apply to food.
Again, I hope this helps,
I hope you enjoyed your time here and got something important from your stay. It is
my goal to help all of mankind navigate through the jungle of medical information now available on the Internet and find the
truth about the origins of what we call "disease" as well as discover the natural solutions for these conditions.
We do have our health's destiny in our own hands more than we've ever
imagined, certainly more than most have ever been told. Think naturally and the answer will come.
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