A latest study conducted by the research team from American University reveals that certain dietary changes can improve the condition of Gulf War Syndrome. This is a neurological condition that is common in U.S veterans which served in the Persian Gulf War during the years 1990 and 1991.
Not many people know about it but Gulf War Syndrome is a real disease. The researchers investigated the effects of changed diet on the veterans which resulted in reduced symptoms including pain, stress, and fatigue.
Generally, Gulf War Syndrome symptoms appear to be the same as that of fibromyalgia. So it naturally builds an assumption that clinically tested treatments for fibromyalgia may also be used on the gulf war patients and it may actually heal them. One of these treatments was to subject the patients to a low glutamate diet which is why the researchers picked it as a potential treatment for GWI patients.
Gulf War Syndrome or GWI is directly connected to the brain. During the war, when these veterans were also subjected to certain neurotoxins that are common in chemical warfare crafts, chemicals, and pesticides, it is possible that it has changed their neurological response. It results in extreme pain mainly headache, GI symptoms, cognitive decline, and stress.
All these symptoms affect the quality of life even those who don’t experience any other medical condition. So switching to the low glutamate diet may help all these people to feel better about themselves and live a peaceful life. This study is now published in the journal Nutrients.
The researchers studied 40 U.S veterans who were suffering from GWI. Some of them were added to a controlled group while others were put on a low glutamate diet for at least one month. The results were calculated after a month and then they were challenged to confirm if the effects are long-lasting or they are returning back.
Those who don’t know about glutamate, it is added to many foods as MSG. This MSG is a food additive which is to keep the food safe from degradation and spoilage. Some products mention it on their level while many companies try to hide it in their ingredients list.
Some foods naturally contain MSG such as soy sauce, seaweed, fish, mushrooms, etc. This glutamate plays a role in pain management. When glutamate is high inside the body, the body suffers from excitotoxicity and the user experiences unexplainable symptoms. It may affect the physical as well as mental health of a patient. if the amount of glutamate is not controlled it may result in depression, PTSD, Alzheimer’s, etc.
But if the glutamate amount is controlled by controlling the food sources, there is a high possibility to get protection against excitotoxicity. More detailed research may determine if glutamate can treat pain related disorders or not. Right now this study is all set to start its next phase which are the clinical trials to know if these effects are common in larger groups.