MSG Allergy

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no-msgMSG (mono sodium glutamate)  is the sodium cousin of glutamic acid and believed to be the cause of countless illnesses ranging from mild headaches to severe neurological disorders. Glutamatic acid is a non-essential amino acid, meaning that the body will produce what the body needs and we don’t have to rely on getting more from our diet.  It is a very important body acid as the brain uses glutamic acid as a neurotransmitter.

Why MSG?

The MSG food additive is made by mixing glutamate with salt and water and is a process similar to the way soy sauce is made.  It is believed to be added to as many as a million processed food products and is commonly used in restaurants to further taste. MSG is used by the food and restaurant industry because they believes it improves taste. However, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) states that it is used because it is much cheaper than using herbs and other natural spices to improve the taste of food.

MSG Side Effects

The use of MSG in food can result in:

  • Numbness
  • Burning sensation
  • Tingling
  • Facial pressure or tightness
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty breathing for asthmatics
  • Brain seizures

The MSG-Alzheimers Connection

Recent studies have shown a connection to MSG and Alzheimer’s disease as well as obesity and increased potential for strokes. The media has appeared to jump to the conclusion that obesity and stroke may lead to Alzheimer’s.However, it would seem that MSG may be a primary reason for the rise in Alzheimer’s cases in those patients that are also obese and have had strokes. The fact of the matter is; MSG is a known neurotoxin which can dramatically effect brain cell function.

msg-allergyRead ALL food labels

It is best to avoid food products which are suspected to contain msg all together. However that can be quite a challenge since food manufacturers are allowed to add msg containing ingredients without labeling it as such. Here are just some of the hidden label tricks used by manufacturers:

  • Certain gelatins
  • Calcium Caseinate
  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)
  • Textured Protein
  • Monopotassium glutamate
  • Hydrolyzed Plant Protein (HPP)
  • Yeast Extract
  • Glutamate
  • Autolyzed Plant Protein
  • Yeast food or nutrient
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Sodium Caseinate
  • Autolyzed Yeast
  • Vegetable Protein Extract
  • Senomyx (wheat extract labeled as artificial flavor)

About the Author:
Donna Bocowski is a certified nutritionist practicing in Chicago, IL

The Dangers of MSG

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