Monosodium Glutamate Dangers

MSG Is Big Business
Recently, I was criticized for a blog I wrote: Hidden Toxin in Food. I’m always amused when a comment is almost as long as my post. I was taken to task because I presented only one “dubious website” as a reference and “peer-reviewed studies don’t show any of these horrible effects” for MSG. Most troubling is this misinformed person assumes a conclusion other than his own must come from a “quack.”

Peer-reviewed studies don’t always tell the truth. We need to wake up and smell the coffee. Who do you think pays for many of the “studies”? The very industry that wants the public to believe the additive is safe. Experts assured us for 30 years trans fats were better for us than naturally saturated fats like butter. Boy, were they wrong!

Try telling a person, who gets a migraine after ingesting something with MSG, that MSG is “safe” (Chinese Restaurant Syndrome). It took 30 years for the government to admit trans fats were unhealthy. I believe MSG is the next additive to have required labeling/warning. It may take a while, but it will.

Mae is astonished that someone said Nonna quoted a ‘quack.’ (Photo by Frozen Exposure)

MSG is Naturally Occurring
MSG is a flavor enhancer commonly used in processed foods and restaurants, especially Chinese and fast food restaurants. MSG enhances your ability to taste a savory flavor called umami. This is the flavor found in protein-rich food.

My critic has drunk the Kool-aid, “MSG metabolizes in your body the same way foods with naturally occurring glutamates do – milk, tomatoes, mushrooms, seaweed… consuming either MSG or milk will cause you to digest the exact same glutamate. The only thing special about MSG is it’s just been stabilized with sodium so you can easily sprinkle it on foods.”

Oh really? Just because MSG is naturally occurring in food is a misleading statement. Cocaine and the poppy flower are naturally occurring. So are opium and heroin. For that matter, so is marijuana. is a site with the latest independent research regarding the animo-acid based food additives, Monsodium Glutamate and Aspartame. Carol Hoernlein, a former food process engineer and food scientist says,  “MSG sellers argue that MSG is exactly like the glutamate in the human body, therefore it must always be good. It is not so simple.  There are contaminants in processed MSG…The food industry’s claim that free glutamate is as harmless as bound glutamate is disingenuous at best.”

MSG Dangers
The naysayer trusts the FDA’s recomendations, “It should also be mentioned that MSG appears on the FDA’s ‘Generally Recognized As Safe’ listing with a detailed explanation as to why it is considered safe for consumption.” I image being reminded that MSG is on the GRAS list was supposed to put me in my place. It only fired me up!  The FDA was wrong about trans fat, BPA safety and red dye #2 which was banned in 1976 after a link to cancer was found. (Artificial food colorings are highly controversial as they have been linked to allergies, asthma, hives, and ADHD. They are often derived from petroleum.)

The FDA is wrong about MSG, too! Think for just a moment that MSG is able to pass from the mother to her unborn baby. Those most vulnerable are the elderly, children and infants. Studies in the 1970s found 25 percent (some say today it’s up to 40 percent) of the population react negatively to MSG.

Russell Blaylock, M.D. is a surgeon, author of Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills, lecturer and educator. This is the person the comment-writer referred to as a “quack” in my previous blog about MSG. Dr. Blaylock serves as the medical consultant for the Fluoride Toxicity Research Collaborative. He was recently awarded the Integrity in Science award by the Westin Price Foundation. The playground isn’t the only place that name-calling occurs.

My challenger’s conclusion, “The bottom line is that there’s little reason for adults to avoid foods with glutamates/glutamic acid.”

Come on, he can’t be serious! The Mayo Clinic warns that MSG may cause “headache, flushing, sweating, sense of facial pressure, numbness, tingling or burning in or around the mouth, rapid heartbeats, chest pain, brochospasm, shortness of breath, nausea and weakness.”

Check out these links for more information about MSG (for my critic a little do-diligence might be a good idea before you call someone a quack):

[1] The Silent Killer

“The Shocking Dangers of MSG You Don’t Know,” video Part 1

[2] Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, Samuels, Jack “MSG Dangers and Deceptions”

[3] “What Exactly is MSG?”

[4] eMediaWire “Athlete Alert: Renowned Neurosurgeon Identifies Aspartame & MSG in Sudden Cardiac Death” April 15, 2005

[5] “This is What the Data Say About Monosodium Glutamate Toxicity and Human Adverse Reactions”

[6] Food Inc.


2 thoughts on “Monosodium Glutamate Dangers

  1. neofutur says:

    Same here, my wife had very frequent headaches ( mor than 3 times a week ) before we met and married.

    For years I always read the ingredients of what I m eating and try to avoid all the pruducts adding glutamate or false sugars.

    After some months living together, my wife adopted my way of eating safely, and now, 1 year later, she have nearly no more headaches . . . probably unrelated to the fact she is nearly no more eating MSG ?

  2. Rhonda Bolich-Lampo says:

    It’s not a scientific study by any means but I have known for years that if I should happen to eat MSG at a restaurant I get an MSG headache. I avoid MSG at all costs. It’s just not worth the headache!

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