Monosodium Glutamate

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a chemical that is added into many foods and is scientifically proven to be harmful to our health. MSG is a non-essential amino acid called glutamic acid, which occurs naturally in foods such as tomatoes, mushrooms, aged parmesan cheese, and fermented products, like soybean. These naturally occurring MSGs are okay for you, however when they become processed they become harmful to you. Parents are often unaware of the presence of MSGs in their baby’s formula, which often contains processed soybean, therefore young children can be very affected as well.

Monosodium glutamate, or MSG, is a flavor-enhancing food additive used in Asian cooking. It also has become commonly found in fast foods and prepackaged food products such as chips and soups. However, MSG in food can trigger severe side effects, such as: headaches, flushing, sweating, facial pressure or tightness, numbness, tingling or burning in the face, neck, and other areas, rapid, fluttering heartbeats (heart palpitations), chest pain, nausea, weakness, and depression. MSGs are clearly very harmful to our health and few people can associate these side effects to the food they consume.

MSG is a form of sodium contain foods, which looks like salt, and the problem with consuming sodium is that it makes people retain water, therefore, gain weight. Many people are unaware that the reason they are gaining weight is because of a food additive.

Even when there is no sign of MSG on the label, it is still commonly hidden in many prepared foods. That’s because it goes by a wide range of other names, including: hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed protein, hydrolyzed plant protein, plant protein extract, sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate, yeast extract, textured protein, autolyzed yeast, and hydrolyzed oat flour.

What’s even more appalling than MSGs being in everything is that it seeps into the brain cells despite the blood-brain barrier causing further harm. The blood–brain barrier is a highly protective barricade which keeps out things your brain shouldn’t be in contact with; and the brain depends on a accurate control of chemicals to function well. Even small changes of the concentrations of chemicals can make serious interruptions in brain function. When a type of chemicals known as “excitotoxins” enters the brain, they over stimulate the neurons of the brain until they die off, which can destroy some neurons permanently. Monosodium glutamate is a confirmed excitotoxin, therefore, it tricks your brain into thinking the food tastes amazing, and makes your crave it.

Research by the neurologist and author of the book “Excitotoxins: the Taste that Kills,” Dr. Russell Blaylock, MD, ( shows that MSG gradually infiltrates the brain, bypasses the blood-brain barrier and reaches spike concentrations in the brain three hours after consuming it. The high levels of MSG in the brain remain for 24 hours after consuming the food. According to Dr. Blaylock, MSG can be especially harmful to people who have experienced some sort of brain injury.

In a magnesium deficient patient, the presence of excessive amounts of MSG exaggerates muscle spasms.

For children with autism, which is a complex neurobehavioral condition that includes impairments in communication skills, MSG severely affects them. Children with autism have unusual levels of GABA and glutamate, along with dysfunctional glutamate receptors, piled on top of that they have leaky gut syndrome and chronic inflammation. What this all means is that they are extra sensitive to MSG and that consuming MSG can cause them to have abnormal behavior, and lose control. Removing MSG from an autistic child’s diet can have a huge and positive effect on their behavior.

There was also a study where a woman with fibromyalgia, lupus, and severe migraines cleaned up her diet of MSGs, and as a result her lupus and migraines disappeared.

In summary, everyone is affected by MSGs, whether it’s a small amount, or a large amount. It is important for people to cut out MSGs from their diet. Since the primary function of MSG is to stimulate the savory taste factor, there are many foods available that can also enhance the flavors in cooking and take its place. For example you could substitute in meat, fish, tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, onion, sea salt, and herbs to enhance flavour instead of using monosodium glutamate.