Hidden Sources of MSG

Monosodium glutmate, aka, MSG, has been linked to the following health complications:

  • Brain damage
  • Endocrine disorders (obesity and reproductive disorders)
  • Behavior disorders
  • Adverse reactions
  • Neurodegenerative disease
  • Obesity (study concluded MSG consumption was positively, longitudinally associated with overweight development among apparently healthy Chinese adults)
  • Migraine
  • Seizures
  • Cancer
  • Heart Irregularities
  • Asthma

So why is MSG so toxic? 

According to the truthinlabeling.org,  MSG can cause same reactions as those caused by drugs affecting the nervous system — such as Valium.  The glutamate receptors in many locations outside of the central nervous system (Gill, S.S., Mueller, R.W., McGuire, P.F., Pulido, O.M. Potential target sites in peripheral tissues for excitatory neurotransmission and excitotoxicity. Toxicologic Pathology 28(2):277-284, 2000) suggests that the readily observable toxic effects of MSG, are facilitated by glutamate receptors in the mouth, lungs, intestines, and muscle, for example; and that the fate of ingested MSG is not to come to rest in the plasma as elevated plasma glutamate and from there to be excreted by the liver. Rather, it would appear that the fate of ingested MSG is to move with dispatch to any glutamate receptors available to it; and to create an adverse or toxic reaction if any one of those peripheral glutamate receptors is weak, crippled, diseased, or otherwise unhealthy.

Relevant to the toxic effects of MSG on the young and elderly (whose weakened blood-brain barriers would be less able to keep excess amounts of MSG from getting into the brain), there is sound science that suggests that the glutamic acid in MSG may act as a “slow neurotoxin,” not resulting in observable damage such as dementia or neurological issues until years after the MSG was ingested. Another concern encompasses a number of pathological conditions such as addiction, stroke, epilepsy, brain trauma, multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, AIDS dementia, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, and degenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).  All are known to be affected by free glutamic acid.

Did you know that MSG can be used and hidden in processed foods, dietary supplements, cosmetics, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, and pet food? It can also be used in the waxes applied to fresh fruits and vegetables!

Currently, there are over 40 food ingredients besides “monosodium glutamate” that contain processed free glutamic acid (MSG).

The most common names for MSG are:

  • autolyzed yeast
  • maltodextrin
  • hydrolyzed pea protein
  • sodium caseinate

It can be very confusing to pinpoint if a food product contains MSG so I’ve included a reference below to clear up the confusion.

Autolyzed, hydrolyzed, glutamate, glutamic acid, hydrolyzed, autolyzed

 

HIDDEN SOURCES
OF PROCESSED FREE GLUTAMIC ACID (MSG)
NAMES OF INGREDIENTS THAT CONTAIN ENOUGH MSG
TO SERVE AS COMMON MSG-REACTION TRIGGERS

The MSG-reaction is a reaction to free glutamic acid that occurs in food as a consequence of manufacture. MSG-sensitive people do not react to protein (which contains bound glutamic acid) or any of the minute amounts of free glutamic acid that might be found in unadulterated, unfermented, food.

These ALWAYS contain MSG

Glutamate Glutamic acid Gelatin
Monosodium glutamate Calcium caseinate Textured protein
Monopotassium glutamate Sodium caseinate Yeast nutrient
Yeast extract Yeast food Autolyzed yeast
Hydrolyzed protein
(any protein that is hydrolyzed)
Hydrolyzed corn gluten Natrium glutamate (natrium is Latin/German for sodium)

These OFTEN contain MSG or create MSG during processing

Carrageenan Maltodextrin Malt extract
Natural pork flavoring Citric acid Malt flavoring
Bouillon and Broth Natural chicken flavoring Soy protein isolate
Natural beef flavoring Ultra-pasteurized Soy sauce
Stock Barley malt Soy sauce extract
Whey protein concentrate Pectin Soy protein
Whey protein Protease Soy protein concentrate
Whey protein isolate Protease enzymes Anything protein fortified
Flavors(s) & Flavoring(s) Anything enzyme modified Anything fermented
Natural flavor(s) 
& flavoring(s)
Enzymes anything Seasonings 
(the word “seasonings”)

 

In ADDITION…

The new game is to label hydrolyzed proteins as pea protein, whey protein, corn protein, etc. If a pea, for example, were whole, it would be identified as a pea. Calling an ingredient pea protein indicates that the pea has been hydrolyzed, at least in part, and that processed free glutamic acid (MSG) is present. Relatively new to the list are wheat protein and soy protein.

Disodium guanylate and disodium inosinate are expensive food additives that work synergistically with inexpensive MSG. Their use suggests that the product has MSG in it. They would probably not be used as food additives if there were no MSG present.

MSG reactions have been reported to soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners, and cosmetics, where MSG is hidden in ingredients that include the words “hydrolyzed,” “amino acids,” and “protein.”

Low fat and no fat milk products often include milk solids that contain MSG.

Drinks, candy, and chewing gum are potential sources of hidden MSG and of aspartame and neotame. Aspartic acid, found in neotame and aspartame (NutraSweet), ordinarily causes MSG type reactions in MSG sensitive people. Aspartame is found in some medications, including children’s medications. Neotame is relatively new and we have not yet seen it used widely. Check with your pharmacist.

Binders and fillers for medications, nutrients, and supplements, both prescription and non-prescription, enteral feeding materials, and some fluids administered intravenously in hospitals, may contain MSG.

According to the manufacturer, Varivax–Merck chicken pox vaccine (Varicella Virus Live), contains L-monosodium glutamate and hydrolyzed gelatin both of which contain processed free glutamic acid (MSG) which causes brain lesions in young laboratory animals, and causes endocrine disturbances like OBESITY and REPRODUCTIVE disorders later in life.  It would appear that most, if not all, live virus vaccines contain MSG.

Reactions to MSG are dose related, i.e., some people react to even very small amounts. MSG-induced reactions may occur immediately after ingestion or after as much as 48 hours.

Remember: By FDA definition, all MSG is “naturally occurring.” “Natural” doesn’t mean “safe.”  “Natural” only means that the ingredient started out in nature.

 

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