Is Monosodium glutamate (MSG) Harmful to You?

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Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a sodium salt of glutamic acid, a naturally occurring non-essential amino acid used as a food additive to enhance flavor. It is often found in Chinese food, canned vegetables, soups and processed meats.

Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified MSG as a food ingredient that’s “generally recognized as safe,” its use remains controversial. Today MSG is primarily made from bacterial fermentation of carbohydrates, and several studies indicate a number of health concerns associated with MSG including obesity, migraine headaches, food allergies, and hyperactivity in children. Other studies show some association between MSG and asthma. There have also been reports of some people having reactions after eating food containing MSG – reactions that include upset stomach, fuzzy thinking, diarrhea, heart irregularities, and/or mood swings.

According to information contained on the Evidence of MSG Toxicity website, there is evidence that suggests that MSG produced by any method causes or exacerbates cancer(Blaylock R. (ed). Blaylock Wellness Report. The Great Cancer Lie: It is Preventable and Beatable. October, 2008.). Ingredients/products that contain acid hydrolyzed proteins and ingredients/products that contain reaction flavors contain carcinogens. Much of the processed food in the United States contains carcinogenic acid hydrolyzed proteins. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been aware of the relationship between MSG and cancer since the early 1990s.

All processed free glutamic acid (MSG) – no matter how produced — is neurotoxic (kills brain cells) and is endocrine disrupting (damages the endocrine system). In addition, all processed free glutamic acid (MSG) will cause adverse reactions ranging from feelings of mild discomfort or simple skin rash to such things as irritable bowel, asthma, migraine headache, mood swings, heart irregularities, asthma, seizures, and depression when the amount of MSG ingested exceeds a person’s MSG-tolerance level.

While MSG can occur naturally in foods that contain sources of free glutamates, GOFoods does not add MSG to any of its products. It’s nearly impossible to completely avoid MSG because it is naturally occurring in many ingredients used in our food. More than 40 different ingredients contain the chemical in monosodium glutamate — the processed (manufactured) free glutamic acid — with names like maltodextrin, gelatin, citric acid, and sodium caseinate. It’s found in anything Autolyzed, Soy protein, Textured protein, and Whey protein. It is oftentimes found in barley malt, bouillon and broth, anything containing “enzymes”, any “flavors” or “flavoring”, anything “fermented”, malt extract, pectin, soy sauce, and most seasonings.

The presence of MSG is not only limited to our food supply either. MSG can be found in soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners, and cosmetics, where MSG is hidden in ingredients with names that include the words “hydrolyzed,” “amino acids,” and/or “protein.” Most sun block creams and insect repellents also contain MSG.

Binders and fillers for medications, nutrients, and supplements, both prescription and non-prescription, 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 can cause endocrine disturbances like obesity and reproductive disorders later in life. It would appear that most, if not all, live virus vaccines contain some ingredient(s) that contain MSG.

Steve Shenk Discusses MSG & Autolyzed Yeast

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