MSG and Depression

Glutamate Blockers

Currently the drugs on the market to treat long term depression (LTD) are glutamate blockers as well:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=11769825&dopt=Abstract

Some pharmaceutical companies are now pinning their hopes on glutamate antagonists to treat many NMDA related diseases including depression and schizophrenia because NMDA receptors are triggered by glutamate and the aspartic acid found in aspartame.

As of this writing (August 7, 2006), a study of 18 patients with depression was conducted using ketamine - a glutamate blocker that targets the NMDA receptors.  This treatment helped over 70% of those patients within one day of treatment  - giving hope to many patients and physicians that depression sufferers need no longer wait several weeks for conventional anti-depressants that work on dopamine and seratonin. 

http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/63/8/856

This conclusion gives credence to the idea that MSG, by increasing blood levels of free glutamic acid, which lowers dopamine levels, and increases prolactin, affects depression on several levels. 

It also begs the question, do people who steal ketamine (Special K) - an anesthesia drug used on humans and animals, do so to self-medicate for pain and mental illness? 

MSG, the U.S. Military, and Depression

Unfortunately a major unintended study of the effects of MSG and depression was carried out by the U.S. military.  MSG, until recently, MSG was actually required in the rations of U.S. troops.  These individuals were being fed MSG in every meal.  They are suffering right now from a high rate of suicide that is alarming those in charge.  Recent news articles are addressing this rise in depression and suicide among U.S. troops and what the military is doing to prevent further tragedy.  Perhaps the military brass should look no further than the M.R.E s that they were feeding the troops.

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