Article read on wisdomthheals.com .... This begins a series of articles discussing today's food market. Currently, I am adding articles first, then adding my own article once related or referenced articles have been posted. ~j
Surprise! Your Food Contains MSG! byWisdomThatHeals
If you think this article doesn’t concern you because you don’t eat foods that contain MSG then you should think again because MSG is disguised under many names on ingredient lists and should be avoided at all costs if you value your brain. It can be considered more toxic to your long term health than cigarettes, alcohol and most drugs.
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is used as a flavor enhancer in many foods. It is believed that it stimulates glutamate receptors in the tongue which mimics meat-like flavors making a meal more “savory”. It also deceives your brain into craving more food that contains the substance even if you are already full. It is added to canned soups, crackers, meats, snack foods, salad dressings, infant formulas, frozen dinners and MANY, MANY other processed and packaged foods that you find in your local supermarket and even health food stores. It is added to food at restaurants, fast food chains and even school cafeterias.
So What is MSG?
MSG is an Excitotoxin which means that it is an amino acid that also serves as a neurotransmitter in the brain. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals used by your nervous system to communicate messages throughout the body. Excitotoxins, in excessive quantities, over-excite the neurons in your brain to the point of exhaustion which leads to cellular damage and eventually to the cell’s death. Excitotoxins, like MSG and Aspartame, have been linked to learning disabilities, Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s chorea, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Obesity, Eye Damage, Headaches, Fatigue, Disorientation, Depression and Cancer, just to name a few. Excitotoxins are known to not only promote cancer growth but they also make cancer cells more mobile which allows cancer to metastasize (spread) more easily and quickly throughout your body.
The link between MSG and obesity lies in the fact that MSG not only makes you eat more food than you are actually hungry for but it also reduces the thermogenicity of brown fat which can make people gain weight even when they decrease their caloric intake.
Chemically, MSG is the sodium salt of an amino acid called glutamic acid and is about 78 percent free glutamic acid, 21 percent sodium, and up to 1 percent contaminants. The problem with MSG actually lies in the FREE GLUTAMIC ACID. The fact is that many natural foods contain Glutamatic acid but it is most often bound to other amino acids which helps to slow down the absorption of Glutamate into your blood stream. FREE GLUTIMIC ACID, on the other hand, is absorbed very rapidly and thus travels through your blood stream in dangerously high concentrations that your body is not able to handle.
Almost every organ in the body contains glutamate receptors, which means that as you eat MSG, there are numerous pathways for it to be absorbed and to enter your bloodstream in large quantities. Once it enters your bloodstream, it travels to your brain where there are glutamate receptors on both sides of the blood brain barrier thus allowing glutamate to freely cross the blood-brain barrier and damage your brain.
In addition to the excitotoxic effects of MSG and Aspartame, the metabolization of these substances also produces formaldehyde in the body. This formaldehyde creates a very strong bond with cellular DNA and takes a very long time to remove. As the formaldehyde accumulates, it causes irreparable damage to the cell allowing disease to manifest more easily.
MSG Symptom Complex is an immediate reaction to the ingestion of free glutamatic acid which can initially cause:
1) A burning sensation in the back of the neck, forearms and chest 2) Numbness in the back of the neck, radiating to the arms and back 3) Tingling, warmth and weakness in the face, temples, upper back, neck and arms 4) Facial pressure or tightness 5) Chest pain 6) Headache 7) Nausea 8) Rapid heartbeat 9) Bronchospasm (difficulty breathing) in MSG-intolerant people with asthma 10) Drowsiness 11) Weakness.
Soy has one of the highest levels of glutamate known in the plant kingdom making it particularly dangerous to ingest. Hydrolyzing soy releases this glutamate so make sure to avoid anything with hydrolyzed Soy anything. A 25 year study even revealed that people who eat the most soy in their diet tend to have the highest percentages of Dementia and brain atrophy. You can read about the others dangers of soy here:
There are over 40 labeled ingredients that contain glutamic acid and some foods tend to form glutamic acid during processing (hydrolyzing, Autolyzing, Yeast Enzymes, Etc.). The following list was taken from Dr. Mercola’s article on MSG.
Ingredients that ALWAYS contain MSG:
Autolyzed Yeast Calcium Caseinate Gelatin Glutamate Glutamic Acid Hydrolyzed Protein Monopotassium Glutamate Monosodium Glutamate Sodium Caseinate Textured Protein Yeast Extract Yeast Food Yeast Nutrient
Ingredients that OFTEN contain MSG or create MSG during processing:
Flavors and Flavorings Seasonings Natural Flavors and Flavorings Natural Pork Flavoring Natural Beef Flavoring Natural Chicken Flavoring Soy Sauce Soy Protein Isolate Soy Protein Bouillon Stock Broth Malt Extract Malt Flavoring Barley Malt Whey Protein Carrageenan Maltodextrin Pectin Enzymes Protease Corn Starch Citric Acid Powdered Milk Anything Protein Fortified Anything Enzyme Modified Anything Ultra-Pasteurized
Food Additives that contain Excitotoxins other than just MSG include:
Aspartame Autolyzed anything Barley malt Beef base Beef flavoring Beef stock Broth of any kind Carrageenan Caseinate Chicken base Chicken broth Chicken flavoring Chicken stock Disodium anything Dough conditioner Gelatin Gelatinized anything Glutamate Gaur gum Hydrolyzed anything Kombu extract L-cysteine Malt or malted anything Milk solids Natural flavor Nutrasweet Pork base Pork flavoring Protein concentrate Protein extract Seasoned salt Seasoning Smoke flavoring Solids of any kind Soup base Soy extract Soy protein anything Soy sauce Spice Stock Textured protein Textured vegetable protein Umami Vegetable gum Whey anything Yeast extract
If that wasn’t bad enough, Emerald BioAgriculture manufactures a “Crop Growth Enhancer” called Auxigrow, which is tainted with MSG. So even if you are miraculously able to avoid MSG in the ingredients of your food, you still wont know if the crop was sprayed with MSG during growth. So What Can You Do To Protect Yourself From MSG?
Well short of avoiding all processed foods and never eating food that you have not meticulously cooked yourself there are a few herbs and minerals that can help to protect you from excitotoxins like MSG.
Magnesium helps to slow down glutamates from overloading glutamate receptors. Magnesium deficient people are most prone to MSG Symptom Complex and Cardiac Death due to MSG. You can find Magnesium in green, leafy vegetables, whole grains and many beans and nuts. You can also find supplements on the internet or in your local health food store.
Curcumin (found in Turmeric) and the herb Ginko Biloba also help to block glutamate receptors. Turmeric is a spice that you can add to your food and Gingko Biloba can be found in supplement form or as a fresh or dried herb to make teas and tinctures from.
Omega 3 fatty acids also block excitoxins and help to repair cellular damage. You can find Omega 3 Fats in Krill Oil Supplements, Green Lipped Muscle Supplements, Flax Seeds and a few other plant and animal sources.
Red Clover Essential Oil has been shown to produce a significant decline in brain cell neuron damage.
While eating out, try to avoid white sauces or Gravy on your food and creamy salad dressings as they tend to contain the most Glutamate. Opt instead for salad dressings that have an oil base or better yet just use olive oil and lemon.
This blog, in no way, covers all the dangers of MSG and other Excitotoxins but you can read the following book for a more detailed account of these poisens.
- For Educational Purposes Only - Not meant to diagnose or treat any medical condition -These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA - These statements are my opinions and conclusion from the knowledge I have thus far
Resources: 1. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/04/21/MSG-Is-This-Silent Accessed: 04/21/09, Author: Dr. Joseph Mercola 2. http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_17608.cfm Accessed: 04/22/09, 3. http://www.naturalnews.com/026157.html Accessed: 04/30/09, Author: Paul Louis Fassa 4. http://www.naturalnews.com/026216.html Accessed: 05/07/09, Author: Paul Fassa 5. http://www.naturalnews.com/026244.html Accessed: 05/14/09, Author: Barbara Minton 6. The Truth About Aspartame, MSG and Excitotoxins, An Interview With Dr. Russell Blaylock Author: Mike Adams, Truth Publishing International 7. http://www.foodsafety.gov/~lrd/msg.html Accessed: 05/21/09