Ever read a food label, only to be confused by what many of the ingredients listed mean? Perhaps you may notice such words as hydrolyzed protein, sodium caseinate, monosodium glutamate, or natural flavorings. Food processing companies are in fierce competition with one another, using price, quantity, packaging, and taste to acquire more consumers. When it comes to taste, what chemicals do many food processing companies use, and what are their dangers?
MSG, or Monosodium Glutamate, is a flavor enhancer that was discovered in 1908 by a Tokyo, Japan professor. It was introduced to the American soldiers during World War II, after American quartermasters realized that Japanese rations had very good taste. With such success, it was introduced to the mainland United States in 1948. Since that time, the quantity of MSG production has doubled every decade. Its first adverse reactions of obesity and numbness were reported in 1968. Conditions from ingesting MSG can include changes in blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, chest pains, muscle swelling, asthma attacks, temporary blindness, dizziness, headaches, seizures, numbness, anxiety, behavioral problems in children, hyperactivity, insomnia, loss of mental acuity, slurred speech, joint stiffness and pain, digestive issues, blurred vision, prostate swelling, memory dysfunction, obesity, and skin reactions. It is particularly harmful for pregnant and lactating women, and infants. Research studies have shown:
- At least 25 percent of the US population react to Glutamic acid from MSG food sources
- A study by Ohguro found that MSG exposure to animals over a 3-6 month period led to significant risk for retinal damage of the eyes
- In 1998, the EPA approved the use of processed free Glutamic acid to be used to spray fruits, grains, and vegetables.
- An article in a 1999 peer-reviewed journal, called “The Toxicity / Safety of Processed Free Glutamic Acid (MSG): A Study in Suppression of Information”, found that exposed lab animals suffering brain lesions, neuroendocrine disorders, and obesity. Disease conditions such as ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive degeneration of neurons and motor cells of the brain), Alzheimer's disease, seizures, and stroke are associated with the consumption of glutamate derivatives.
MSG, or Monosodium Glutamate, has over forty different names. It is a neurotoxin that acts like a poison, by stimulating neurons in the central nervous system to an excitable state that can lead to neurological degeneration. Its main component, Glutamic acid, can penetrate the hypothalamus of the brain, (which regulates weight control), by breaking through the natural “blood-brain barrier”, affecting brain function, and causing further health issues. MSG is inexpensive to produce, and is used by many food manufacturers for frozen dinners, soups, condiments, infant formulas, processed baby food, shakes, snack foods, and others. It is also used by many restaurants, supermarkets, and school cafeterias. Currently the FDA has very little regulation. According to the book “Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills”, by Dr. Russell Blaylock:
Additives that contain MSG: Monosodium Glutamate, Glutamic Acid, Hydrolyzed Protein, Sodium and Calcium Caseinate, Yeast Extract, Textured Protein, Autolyzed Yeast, Hydrolyzed Oat Flour
Additives that frequently contain MSG: Malt extract and flavoring, Maltodextrin, Bouillon, Broth, Stock, Natural Flavoring, Natural Beef or Chicken Flavoring, Seasoning, anything Protein fortified, soy sauce, anything ultra-pasteurized or fermented
Additives that may contain MSG or Excitotoxins: Enzymes, Soy Protein Concentrate and Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate, Carrageenan, Gelatin, Rice Syrups
The FDA has done very little to alert consumers of the dangers of consuming MSG. There are currently no regulations requiring food manufacturers to share the amounts of MSG it produces in processed foods. In addition, the FDA allows many ingredients that contain MSG to be classified and grouped under the names, flavors, flavorings, natural flavors or natural flavorings . Only monosodium glutamate and hydrolyzed protein need to be disclosed, leaving about 35 other MSG hidden terms that food companies do not have to publish to consumers.
MSG and Glutamic acid are dangerous chemicals that many food companies and establishments use to enhance the taste of food. Eliminating foods in your diet that contain these dangerous poisons are very beneficial for your health, and should especially be avoided by pregnant mothers, infants, and children. And as always, understand the ingredients in your food labels!