John Erb, a research assistant at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, wondered what has been causing the rapid increase in the occurrence of obesity over the past 15 years. Though obesity is not a “one-cause condition,” some of his digging unearthed compelling evidence against what we already knew to be a danger: MSG (monosodium glutamate) in food.

MSG is only one of the little demons that make up a small but deadly group of offshoot amino acids called excitotoxins, “a class of substances… that bind to certain receptors (e.g., certain glutamate receptors) and may cause neuronal cell death.” (Other excitotoxins include hydrolyzed vegetable protein and aspartame.) These excitotoxins have found a good home under the protective blanket of “natural flavorings.”

Most obesity is caused by hormonal issues (usually brought on by eating too much of the wrong thing for too long) or hormonal dysfunction (such as hypothyroidism). Still, we cannot turn a deaf ear to the contributing players.

No strain of rat or mice is naturally obese, but, in hundreds of studies worldwide, scientists have created obese rodents by injecting them with MSG at birth. MSG triples the amount of insulin the pancreas creates, causing these animals (and, many researchers believe, humans) to become obese.

Given the evidence, you might wonder why food manufacturers continue to add MSG to their products. Well, it’s because when food is made with MSG, people eat more of it – far too much, in fact. Multiple studies show that MSG deadens the “fullness receptors” in the brain and on the tongue.

What’s the best course of action for you to take? The answer is simple: Eat unprocessed real food.

[Ed. Note: Jon Benson, a lifecoach and nutrition counselor who specializes in helping individuals discover a life-altering mind/body connection, offers practical advice for becoming stronger, healthier, and more energetic in the articles he writes for ETR’s free natural health e-letter. His work in the field of post-40 fitness and mental empowerment has helped countless thousands. Learn how you can do the same at www.fitover40.com or www.mpowerfitness.com.]