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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Whey Allergy

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whey allergyMilk can be divided into two main parts with the first being the watery thin elements called whey and the second being casein. Whey is approximately 20 percent of the proteins found in milk. There are believed to be over 30 types of allergy-causing proteins in milk and casein is the considered to be the most prevalent.  The proteins lactalbumin and lactoglobulin, which are present in the whey proteins are also believed to cause allergic reactions.  It is interesting to note that the molecular structure of casein is similar to gluten and those with celiac disease may also have a allergy reaction to casein.

Many people confuse an allergy to cow’s milk with a lactose intolerance when in effect both of them have totally different affects on the body.  A milk allergy is like many other allergies which creates an immune system response while a lactose intolerance only occurs in the digestive system. There are however, similar symptoms between a whey or milk allergy and a lactose intolerance. Furthermore, a whey allergy has the same symptoms as dairy allergies since many dairy products are made with milk.

Digestive Whey Reaction

Both whey allergy sufferers and lactose intolerance can experience similar symptoms within the digestive system. However, the whey allergy sufferer is more likely to experience more serious reactions such as stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. The whey in cow’s milk can create a allergic symptoms ranging from a few minutes to hours later.

Respiratory Whey Reaction

Whey allergies can cause very similar symptoms as other seasonal allergies, such as  a runny nose, sneezing and itchy eyes.  An asthma attack is also a possible occurrence in persons who have a whey allergy if they consume enough to produce a more severe reaction.

Skin Whey Reaction

A whey allergy can create skin reaction similar to other seasonal allergy symptoms. These skin reactions include eczema, hives and rashes. However, whey allergy sufferers are more likely to experience swelling around their mouths, accompanied by a tingly feeling or redness.

About the author: Coleman Baker is a dairy farmer in Jacksonville Texas.

A Talk About Cow’s Milk Allergy (CMA)

Chocolate Allergies

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For children and adults of all the ages, eating chocolate is a passion.  Chocolate is present in hundreds of thousands of candy, beverage and desert products. And to top it off,  the antioxidants found in chocolate makes us feel less guilty when we give ourselves more often then we should.

However, there are many people worldwide who cannot indulge themselves in the pleasure of chocolate without consequences to their health and well-being.

The exact cause of Chocolate Allergy

Fermented cocoa beans, roasted and then ground can contain added ingredients such as gluten, soy, corn syrup, milk, fruits, different kinds of nuts and additives to obtain the desired taste and color.  More time than not, it is the added ingredients which cause an allergic reaction not the chocolate itself. Unfortunately, the number one added ingredient found in chocolate is milk which is believed to be the common cause of food related allergies in the world.

Symptoms of Chocolate Allergies

There are many symptoms of an allergy to chocolate such as headache, rash, heartburn, hives, itching in the rectum and trouble with breathing just to name a few. One of the most severe allergic reactions to chocolate is asthma and is responsible for thousands of emergency room visits every year.

An allergist may diagnosis allergies to chocolate by blood tests or skin tests. Blood tests are considered to be the most accurate form of diagnosing a chocolate allergy.

Chocolate Allergy Prevention

Here are a few tips:

  • Chocolate allergy can be prevented by avoiding the chocolate containing products.(easier said than done!)
  • Strictly follow the instructions of your allergist, especially if you have been informed that you have severe allergic tendencies.
  • Seek out more pure forms of chocolate without added ingredients and test reactions by tasting small amounts.

About the Author: Dr. Donald Dibbern, MD in Portland, OR

Allergic to Chocolate

Oyster Allergies

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I have become allergic to oysters. What can I do about it or should I just avoid them?

Best Answer:

An oyster allergy is less well known than other seafood allergies. As other shellfish related allergies, symptoms can range from mild such as oral allergy syndrome to the severe such as anaphylactic shock. Seafood related allergies are the most common of all food allergies worldwide.

The technical term for oysters are bivalve molluscs and an allergy to oysters is also associated with allergy to other bivalves such as clams, mussels, and scallops.  If someone has been diagnosed with an allergy to one mollusc, they will usually be advised by their physician to avoid all molluscs. It is interesting to note that people with a known allergy to shrimp can usually consume molluscs without reaction. However, there are rare cases where an individual is allergic to both types of shellfish. Furthermore, persons which are known to be allergic to finfish (such as cod or salmon) do not generally have allergies to shellfish.

All shellfish allergies are primarily due to an individual’s reaction to tropomyosin, a protein present in shellfish.  Symptoms of a oyster and shellfish allergy are:

  • Urticaria (hives) and angioedema (swelling)
  • Urticaria (hives) of the hands from handling seafood
  • Asthma
  • Vomiting, looses stools and abdominal pains
  • Mild to severe Atopic Eczema
  • Anaphylaxis leading to the possibility of death

Source: Yahoo Answers

1990–Viva Las Vegas, Part 6 (Oyster Allergy)