January 1, 1995
Ingestion of monosodium glutamate (MSG) is known to produce a
Variety of adverse reactions in certain people. These reactions,
Although seemingly dissimilar, are no more diverse than the
Reactions found as side effects of certain neurological drugs.
We do not know why some people experience reactions and others do
Not. We do not know whether MSG "causes" the condition underlying
The reaction, or whether the underlying condition is simply
Aggravated by the ingestion of MSG. We only know that the
Reactions listed below are sometimes caused or exacerbated by
Ingestion of MSG.
All forms of MSG (free glutamic acid that occur in food as a
Consequence of manufacture) cause these reactions in MSG-
Sensitive people. Names of offending ingredients used to hide
MSG in products include: MSG, glutamic acid, glutamate,
Hydrolyzed protein, sodium caseinate, autolyzed yeast, yeast
Nutrient, yeast food, natural flavoring, and a host of other
Ingredients. In addition, the MSG produced when a protease
Enzyme or other reactive agent is allowed to interact with
Protein during product manufacture can bring on these same
Adverse reactions in MSG sensitive persons; and there is often no
Clue on the product label that such an interaction is taking
Numbness or paralysis
Extreme drop in blood pressure
Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
Loss of balance
Behavioral problems in children
Shortness of breath
Hives or rash
Temporary tightness or partial paralysis
(numbness or tingling) of the skin
Extreme dryness of the mouth
Swelling of prostate
Truth in Labeling Campaign, P. O. Box 2532, Darien, IL 60561
Facts and Statistics:
Who should NOT have MSG?
Note: The homeopathic, "Food Additive Detox Drops" produced by Professional Health Formulations and sold through professionals helps the body get rid of MSG, sulfites, aspartame, and other food additives. I would never be without these drops because it's almost impossible to manipulate my life to avoid those things which I am allergic to and I often get exposed to them-- unfortunately. I personally know of one life these drops have saved.
Top Adverse Reactions Associated with MSG:
Listed in order of frequency according to the FDA
Other Adverse Reactions to MSG:
Syndromes Associated with MSG:
"Chinese Restaurant Syndrome": The syndrome occurring 15 to 20 minutes after ingesting Chinese restaurant food containing MSG believed to be responsible for racing heart or palpitations, chest pain, general weakness, headache, and numbness at the back of the neck radiating down the arms and back, facial pressure, anxiety, eyelid twitching. The syndrome lasts up to several hours and sometimes leaves one with a hangover effect.
MSG symptom complex is thought to be responsible for poorly controlled asthma and asthmatic symptoms following ingestion of MSG.
Migraine Headaches: MSG seems to be a common cause of migraines. I have muscle-tested that the headaches can happen up to 36 hours after ingesting MSG. For those people ingesting MSG every day in something, it's kind of hard to track down the core cause of a headache when you are not thinking more than a few hours ahead!
Reaction Times and Duration of Symptoms:
Reactions and duration of symptoms times vary for all symptoms and can occur immediately upon ingestion and up to up to 48 hours after ingestion of MSG. While MSG reactions vary widely from one individual to another, the reactions are markedly consistent for each individual.
For example: If your particular reaction to eating MSG is a dangerously racing heartbeat and flushing skin these symptoms will consistently be your reaction each time you consume MSG.
For me, I start to feel a heart arrhythmia (palpitations), mild asthma, anxiety, nervousness, my feet start to swell, my eyelids twitch and slight nausea--every time the MSG load gets to be too much in my body. If I'm lucky, I have my Food Additive Detox Drops with me, and yes, I have an extra bottle backed in my luggage! (Along with the food I pack around every time I travel.)
Question: I eat foods with naturally occurring MSG (glutamic acid). How come I don't react to that?
As the theory goes, most proteins, such as meat and other types of natural food products, are quite rich in glutamic acid in the form of protein. This is slowly broken down with digestion so you're delivering the amount in slower and smaller quantities than if you were eating food highly seasoned with MSG.
When you ingest MSG in it's free form, glutamic acid, it doesn't have to be broken off of a protein chain so it can absorb more quickly and in higher doses. When this happens, the body just can't keep up and the liver gets overloaded.
A quick test to see how your liver is doing in the detoxification arena: Look at the tips of your fingernails. Do you see reddish lines just at the tips? If so, your liver is overloaded. You will need to find out why, cut some MSG foods out of your system, eat more raw fruits and vegetables and possibly add a liver cleanser of some kind to your regime.
SOURCES OF MSG:
Monosodium Glutamate is Naturally Occurring in:
Names on Food Labels that Always Contain Some MSG and the names of ingredients sometimes (but not always) used to hide MSG:
Note: Products labeled "no MSG added" are not necessarily free of MSG.
Food Label Names That Often Contain MSG, or Create MSG During Processing:
Note: Sodium guanylate and Disodium inosinate are two expensive flavor enhancing chemical food additives that most always are associated with MSG because MSG is cheap and used to extend the food additives.
Some Hidden Sources of MSG:
Auxigro WP Plant Metabolic Primer contains around 30% MSG and is meant to be sprayed on beans, lettuce, peanuts, tomatoes and potatoes. (Is this REALLY necessary?)
Depressing, isn't it? No wonder I do so well on the Zone and Blood Type diet. I have to prepare my own food and eat simply. I'm eliminating most of the things on these lists! Kind of boring, but I sure do feel a lot better.
History of MSG
Japanese cooks have traditionally used pieces of Kombu, a seaweed, to flavor broth and stews. In 1908 a Japanese scientist, named Kikunae Ikeda, became curious about why his wife used Kombu to season the family's soup. Taking his curiosity to the laboratory, Ikeda isolated the flavor-enhancing component of kombu and identified it as the sodium salt of glutamic acid, or monosodium glutamate (MSG).
Kikunae Ikeda, thinking ahead, took out a patent on the manufacturing of this white powder flavor enhancer that he'd isolated, as well as subsequent patents on commercial manufacturing processes to use it.
By 1933, monosodium glutamate had become an important, even predominant, ingredient in flavoring oriental food. It wasn't until World War II that the United States became intrigued by this potent flavor enhancing powder as a way to enhance the flavor of army field rations.
In 1948, the Armed Forces Chief Quartermaster convened an eight-hour symposium that was attended by all the major American food manufacturers and sellers. The topic of this historical one-day meeting was "Marvelous Uses for the New Flavor Enhancer, Monosodium Glutamate."
Leading food industry representatives returned from the 1948 meeting, excited about what they'd learned about how MSG could increase the flavor and palatability of their commercial food products. Moreover, not only does MSG increase flavor and aroma, but it also suppresses undesirable "off" flavors. It could make marginal food taste better, and could even eliminate the "tinny" taste of canned foods.
This "discovery" coincided perfectly with the rise of fast and commercially prepared food products in this country. Competing fast food companies eagerly took advantage of this new flavor enhancing powder.... Until, today MSG, in all its guises, is difficult to avoid. The effects of those historical eight hours can still be witnessed on supermarket labels today as you can see by the many names and forms MSG is now known as.
Not only does MSG provide "mouth satisfaction" and "total intensity of food", but some believe that MSG may even provide a fifth basic taste sensation (in addition to sweet, sour, salty, and bitter), what the Japanese call "umami", roughly translated as "tastiness."
Your best bet on avoiding MSG?
Some Best-Bet Foods: