monosodium glutamate

In 1968, a letter to the editor in the New England Journal of Medicine noted that when the writer and his friends would go to Chinese restaurants, they would often have a certain set of unpleasant symptoms afterward: numbness in the back and arms, palpitations, a general feeling of weakness. This wasn’t a scientific paper or a medical paper. It was a letter to the editor—which anybody can write—proposing a question. The writer was a doctor, but not a specialist in anything that would have to do with MSG chemistry. He wondered whether there was a connection between what he and his friends ate at the Chinese restaurant and their symptoms.

He also noted that Chinese restaurants often used MSG as a seasoning, and that that was one thing that distinguished Chinese restaurants from other restaurants—so consuming large quantities of MSG might have had some connection to that set of symptoms. The journal gave his letter the title “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome,” and then printed a number of follow-up letters in later issues under the same title. That’s part of the reason that these anecdotal letters to the editor got more attention than they deserved. The media picked up on the catchy title, neglected the fact that the letters were mostly speculation, and encouraged the belief that MSG was known to cause these symptoms in people who go to Chinese restaurants.

But the important thing to know is that, hundreds and hundreds of studies later, there is no evidence that MSG causes the symptoms of Chinese Restaurant Syndrome. This was an unfortunate episode that should teach us a lot about carefully reading proposals of cause and effect between something we eat and some effect that it might have. Eating is a very complicated subject, diet is a very complicated subject, and foods are very, very complicated materials. It’s usually very difficult to draw a straight line from one ingredient to a particular symptom or a particular problem. In the case of MSG, the record is about as clear as it can be: there is no connection between consuming MSG in any form and the symptoms that are often called Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.


PBS’s Mind of a Chef letting you know what’s actually up with MSG. Turns out, not only is MSG completely natural, but it’s not bad for you (unless you eat tons of it, but that goes for anything.)

MSG is one of the most common naturally occurring non-essential amino acids (meaning your body doesn’t or can’t make it on its own). It’s found in everything from tomatoes to aged steaks, and is one of the main components of the umami in Japanese cooking, so it’s also a large part of what makes things like soy sauce and miso taste so good. 

So, MSG is perfectly fine to eat and makes a lot of foods taste better and some food wouldn’t taste the way it does without it, but everything in moderation! Don’t go dumping it onto your food, it’s a seasoning and flavor enhancer on its own much the same way that salt is.

handsoffire asked:

What's the deal with monosodium glutamate? I've heard that the glutamic acid in it isn't toxic as it has been believed, but I also hear that it is used to make lab rats gain weight. What's going on chemically and is it safe?

Glutamates add an ‘umami’ flavour to foods, which is a Japanese word essentially meaning ‘pleasant savoury taste’. It’s naturally found in a wide range of foodstuffs - a few examples are meats, parmesan & tomatoes, amongst many others. 

When you add salt to a dish, you obviously perceive the taste as salty. When you add MSG, you’re also stimulating the taste receptors on your tongue, but in this case those that respond to the ‘umami’ flavour.

MSG was in the past linked to migraines, hypertension & heart disease - to be fair, it still is if you do a quick google search. This kicked off when a Doctor wrote in a scientific journal (not specifically about MSG) that he experienced uncomfortable symptoms after visiting Chinese restaurants. From this rather ambiguous anecdote came ‘Chinese Restaurant Syndrome’, which was (incorrectly) linked specifically with MSG.

Some research on rodents showed that MSG could have unpleasant effects - but this research was carried out using ridiculous amounts of MSG per kg of body weight, far more than a human would comparably consume. One test used 20g per 100g of rat food - a huge amount when you consider that the average consumption figure for UK adults is around 4g a week.

A review of the research in 2006 found that there was no consistent clinical data to support the claims that MSG caused a variety of conditions. All countries that have any form of food licensing department have passed MSG as safe at normal dietary levels. So, MSG really gets a horrendously bad rep for no good scientifically proven reason. Neither glutamic acid, or MSG (the sodium salt of glutamic acid) are in any way toxic at levels regularly consumed.

Hope that makes it a bit clearer!


FOOD CHEMICALS:  Junk Food Additives Known to Cause Digestive Problems Sending People to Emergency Ward.  When Will the Healthcare Community Make the Connection?


There are multiple food additives contained in popular junk food that have been sending people to the emergency ward with severe digestive problems.  The additives in question are known culprits for triggering digestive and gastrointestinal problems.  Unfortunately, the link between synthetic and industrialized food chemicals and adverse health reactions still largely goes unrecognized by the healthcare community.  We hope that they will begin to review the scientific research and clinical reports from within their own field soon so that we can all begin the process of finally putting warnings labels on foods containing these chemicals of concern.


Commonly used food additives linked to digestive and gastrointestinal problems include (but are not limited to): 

Carrageenan; Maltodextrin (MSG); Monosodium Glutamate (MSG); Autolyzed Yeast Extract (MSG); Citric Acid; Disodium Phosphate; Sodium Caseinate; Disodium Inosinate (MSG); Disodium Guanylate (MSG)

. .

From the Book:

“The Essential Chemical-Free Shopping Guide:  How to Shop and Eat Chemical-Free”


Super Spicy Snacks Send Kids to Emergency Room

Super spicy chips and snack foods have come under attack as being unhealthy, with certain school districts even going so far as to ban some brands from their schools. But now doctors say there’s another reason spicy junk food should be avoided: It can result in a trip to the emergency room.

Emergency room doctors said they were seeing kids and some adults coming into the ER with gastritis, an inflamed stomach lining, or other stomach ailments after eating bags of spicy snack foods.

Lupakan! MSG tidak berbahaya bagi tubuh karena :
  1. Glutamat pada MSG identik dengan asam glutamat yang ada di protein, sayuran, daging, dan sumber-sumber alami lainnya.
  2. MSG diproduksi dari hidrolisis protein, atau dari hasil fermentasi.
  3. Chinese Restaurant Syndrome yang sering dikaitkan dengan MSG ternyata juga dapat ditimbulkan oleh asam glutamat alami. Sehingga gejala ini lebih terkait dengan ‘glutamate intolerance’ dibanding akibat MSG.
  4. 95% glutamat yang dikonsumsi akan dimetabolisme oleh sel-sel usus halus. Sehingga hanya 5% yang akan masuk ke aliran darah.
  5. Batas aman konsumsi asam glutamat adalah 16 gr/kg tubuh per harinya. Sehingga bagi seseorang dengan berat badan 70 kg batas aman konsumsi MSG harian adalah sekitar 1,1 kilogram.


Spread the message folks!

The link between Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and Obesity

If fried snack chips had a warning printed right on the bag that said, “Warning: these chips will make you obese,” would you still buy them? Would you still eat them? Well, in a sense, you do see that warning on chips; just read the ingredient list. Research suggests that monosodium glutamate causes obesity, making unhealthy snacks even unhealthier than you may have suspected.

I’m sure you already know that tortilla and potato chips aren’t health foods, right? They’re made with fried fats, they almost always harbor hidden toxic chemicals (acrylamides), and if they’re flavored, they usually contain monosodium glutamate (MSG). This is basically arecipe for obesity.

But how does MSG cause obesity? Like aspartame, MSG is an excitotoxin, a substance that overexcites neurons to the point of cell damage and, eventually, cell death. Humans lack a blood-brain barrier in the hypothalamus, which allows excitotoxins to enter the brain and cause damage, according to Dr. Russell L. Blaylock in his bookExcitotoxins. According to animal studies, MSG creates a lesion in the hypothalamus that correlates with abnormal development, including obesity, short stature and sexual reproduction problems.

Based on this evidence, Dr. Blaylock makes an interesting point about the American obesity epidemic, especially among young people: “One can only wonder if the large number of people having difficulty with obesity in the United Statesis related to early exposure to food additive excitotoxins, since this obesity is one of the most consistent features of the syndrome. One characteristic of the obesity induced by excitotoxins is that it doesn’t appear to depend on food intake. This could explain why some people cannot diet away their obesity.” As an increasing number of elementary schoolstudentsbring snack-size bags of chips to school in their lunch boxes, the MSG-obesity link demands parental caution.

Instead of passively watching modern society become obese and then commenting on it, we need to change it at the start. That begins with you, the consumer. By avoiding foods with MSG, you are not only protecting your health and your family’s health, you are also protecting society’s health by not supporting companies that use MSG. Use your buying power to show that you don’t accept manufactured foods that use MSG or any of the other hidden forms of MSG such as yeast extract, hydrolyzed vegetable proteins and autolyzed proteins.

The experts speak on MSG and obesity:

Olney, J.W. “Brain Lesions, Obesity, and Other Disturbances in Mice Treated with Monosodium glutamate.” Sci. 165(1969): 719-271. Humans also lack a blood-brain barrier in the hypothalamus, even as adults. It is for this reason that Dr. Olney and other neuroscientists are so concerned about the widespread and heavy use of excitotoxins, such as MSG, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, and cysteine, as food additives. In his experiments Dr. Olney found that high-dose exposure to MSG caused hypoplasia of the adenohypophysis of the pituitary and of the gonads, in conjunction with low hypothalamic, pituitary, and plasma levels of LH, growth hormone, and prolactin. When doses below toxic levels for hypothalamic cells were used, he found a rapid elevation of LH and a depression of the pulsatile output of growth hormone. In essence, these excitotoxins can cause severe pathophysiological changes in the central endocrine control system. Many of these dysfunctional changes can occur with subtoxic doses of MSG. One can speculate that chronic exposure to these neurotoxins could cause significant alterations in the function of the hypothalamus, including its non-endocrine portions.
Excitotoxins by Russell L Blaylock MD, page 263

“Consuming MSG leads to obesity”

Early exposure in life to high doses of glutamate, or the other excitotoxins, could theoretically produce a whole array of disorders much later in life, such as obesity, impaired growth, endocrine problems, sleep difficulties, emotional problems including episodic anger, and sexual psycho-pathology.
Excitotoxins by Russell L Blaylock MD, page 89

The stress-induced abnormalities in blood-brain barrier permeability suggest differing MSG effects dependent on existing states of relaxation or stresses. The suggestive evidence for MSG-induced neuroendocrine effects is substantial, coupled with the observation of increased obesity in children.
In Bad Taste by George R Schwartz MD, page 39

With this enormous consumption of foods laced with MSG additives, it is no wonder that we have an obesity problem in this country, especially when you combine the hypothalamic lesion caused by MSG to the high-fat and -carbohydrate diets of young people. Of particular concern is the suggestion that MSG ingested by pregnant women may actually cause this lesion in children while they are still in the womb.
Health And Nutrition Secrets by Russell L Blaylock MD, page 180

This also means that, while pregnant, mothers of diabetic children also consumed very large amounts of these excitotoxin-containing foods. Also, many parents feed their babies table food from an early age—food often laced with large amounts of MSG. In addition, large numbers of babies are also fed formula, and many formulas are known to be high in excitotoxins such as caseinate. I have already cited studies showing that gross obesity is frequently linked to excessive MSG consumption in test animals.
Health And Nutrition Secrets by Russell L Blaylock MD, page 182

Particularly disturbing is the later obesity after MSG exposure during the neonatal and infant period even after only a short or limited exposure.
In Bad Taste by George R Schwartz MD, page 22

With all of these endocrine malfunctions you would expect these mice to develop abnormally, and they do. Consistently, the animals exposed to MSG were found to be short, grossly obese, and had difficulty with sexual reproduction. One can only wonder if the large number of people having difficulty with obesity in the United States is related to early exposure to food additive excitotoxins since this obesity is one of the most consistent features of the syndrome. One characteristic of the obesity induced by excitotoxins is that it doesn’t appear to depend on food intake. This could explain why some people cannot diet away their obesity. It is ironic that so many people drink soft drinks sweetened with NutraSweet® when aspartate can produce the exact same lesions as glutamate, resulting in gross obesity. The actual extent of MSG induced obesity in the human population is unknown.
Excitotoxins by Russell L Blaylock MD, page 81

“Animal studies demonstrate link between MSG and obesity”

The obesity effect of MSG in animals requires evaluation since unexplained obesity is increasing in our population, along with hypertension and diabetes. MSG-induced obesity in animals may carry long-term significance for humans.
In Bad Taste by George R Schwartz MD, page 22

Since his early observation, other studies have confirmed that MSG cause gross obesity in animals. At an international neuroscience meeting, Dr. Olney was asked if he thought the reason Americans were so obese was, in fact, due to their high consumption of MSG additives. The question was never answered, but since that conference in the 1970s, America has undergone this virtual epidemic of gross obesity, especially among its youth.
Health And Nutrition Secrets by Russell L Blaylock MD, page 180

This MSG-induced obesity was characterized by a preference for carbohydrates and an aversion for more nutritious foods, just as we are now witnessing in our youth. Also, excess weight was extremely difficult to exercise off or diet off in these experimental animals.
Health And Nutrition Secrets by Russell L Blaylock MD, page 182




How to Avoid MSG during the Holidays!

For those people who need to avoid MSG and are looking for a symptom-free holiday season, read the ingredients labels on the food you are planning to serve.


Avoid ingredients that say:


MSG or Monosodium Glutamate   

*Look out for Hidden sources of MSG! Avoid:   

Autolyzed Yeast;

Calcium Caseinate;

Corn Oil;

Gelatin Glutamate;

Glutamic Acid;

Hydrolyzed Protein;

Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein;


Monoammonium Glutamate;

Monopotassium Glutamate;

Plant Protein Extract;

Sodium Caseinate;

Soy Sauce;

Textured Protein;

Textured Vegetable Protein;


Whey Protein;

Whey Protein Isolate;

Yeast Extract


Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer widely used in packaged/processed food.  Industrialized versions (as opposed to naturally-occurring versions) of MSG are common additives (either by processing it into the food or by directly adding it) in a wide variety of packaged/processed foods, sauces, nondairy creamers, protein powders, dressings, dips, mixes, condiments, soups, and snack foods. 

When present sometimes it will say “MSG” on the label, other times it will say, “Monosodium Glutamate”, and other times MSG will not be labeled directly but will be present in one of several other ingredients listed on the label*.   In cases where MSG is processed into the food (as opposed to directly added), manufacturers may even use the words, “No added MSG” on the label.  This should be a red flag that the food item may well contain MSG.


The food additive monosodium glutamate (commonly known as “MSG”) has been linked in empirical studies and clinical trials to a myriad of adverse symptoms including…

headaches and migraines, 
diabetes/insulin resistance/impaired glucose tolerance,
weight gain / obesity,
skin abnormalities, urticaria, angioedema, intestinal disturbances,
respiratory problems including bronchoconstriction, especially for people with asthma,
enhanced threat to people with vascular disease,
cognitive impairment, difficulty concentrating,
hypertension, endocrine dysfunction, 
burning sensations, pressure,
and tightness or numbness in the face, neck, and upper chest
and more.

Food Hackers HandBook


Have you seen our video yet?

How (and Why) to Avoid MSG



Figured out that I have a MSG intolerance

I thought I had one before, but it was iffy, because I only got it after asian food. I now know that I get it from eating almost any MSG, so that rules out A LOT of soups, soy sauce, and sauces. The main thing being that I can no longer eat Campbell’s chicken noodle soup or frozen dumplings. Phooey. Immediate gastrointestinal distress, “Itchy” throat, body feels all icky etc.

It is interesting, because I have read some sources claim that it is not a thing, but it certainly is.

Anyway, I was wondering if any of you have this issue/condition, I know that very few people that have it?



Did you know that…

(1) Some waxes on produce contain MSG; (2) A wide variety of crops receive sprays containing MSG compounds that can soak into the fruit/vegetable.

Produce that may receive MSG (fertilizer/pesticide) sprays: beans, celery, cucumbers, grapes, green bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, lettuce, onions, peanuts, potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon.


Red Flags for MSG:

The food additive and flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate (commonly known as “MSG”) has been linked in empirical studies and clinical trials to a myriad of adverse symptoms including:

Headaches and migraines, diabetes/insulin resistance/impaired glucose tolerance, weight gain / obesity, skin abnormalities (incl.urticaria, angioedema), intestinal disturbances, respiratory problems including bronchoconstriction (this is especially problematic for people with asthma), enhanced threat to people with vascular disease, cognitive impairment, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, hypertension,  endocrine dysfunction, burning sensations, pressure, tightness or numbness in the face, neck, and upper chest, and more.


From the book:  Food Hackers HandBook


RogueSquid says: “Monosodium Glutamate: What is it? I wondered this myself and what it does to your body after a woman at work questioned whether or not we have MSG free food. MSG is a used as a flavor enhancer, which tends to be in Chinese food, Canned Vegetables, Soups and also Processed Meats (Basically any deli meat etc). MSG can cause certain health effects in some people, like headaches, sweating, chest pain, nausea & more. Although, most are not sure whether or not it does anything to people, I still say there is a little truth in everything. Also what’s the point in using flavor enhancers like this? Why not use the natural versions like salt, pepper etc.” Read more… Here.

Now I'm terrified..

…of the thought of eating American food when I come over in June.

I went to Hard Rock Cafe this evening and I found it very difficult to eat my meal. Every course I couldn’t finish.

What concerns me more though, is the after effects once I’ve eaten a meal, like tonight.
I just found out that Hard Rock, Domino’s, T.G.I Friday’s amongst other restaurants, use MSG in their menus.
I haven’t yet been to see anyone about this, but I am sure this is what’s making me ill. It’s all over the UK it seems, and now I’m concerned I’ll experience a more serious problem overseas.

Does anyone have any advice?

That damn MSG!

Tonight is girls night and for dinner we’re hitting up a fabulous Chinese restaurant! I always request MSG-free and say “NO!” to other crap-filled foods. I thought it would be a good idea to document my research on MSG.

MSG, or mono sodium glutamate, is a salt and neurotransmitter. As a neurotransmitter, glutamate triggers the firing of nerve cells. Antagonistic to glutamate are taurine & gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) which stop nerve cells from firing. When this balanced system of neurotransmitters is out of whack there are health consequences; for example, a stroke can be identified by excessive glutamate in the brain which causes overstimulation.
With the help of an enzyme, excess glutamate can be converted to GABA. Another negative health effect caused by excessive glutamate is Type II Diabetes. Antibodies are created against the enzyme which converts MSG to GABA. GABA may be addictive.
MSG stimulates insulin production by the pancreatic beta cells, causing a spike in insulin, a drop in blood glucose, and a heightened appetite. MSG also “tricks” taste buds into falsely recognizing protein in the ingested food. Although MSG is a naturally occurring amino acid in our bodies, processed MSG is not fully recognized by the body as it contains MSG enantiomers.
Some major effects MSG has on our body include; migraines/headaches, inflammation, hives, weight gain, nausea, and upsets Irritable Bowel Syndrome. In rare occasions, MSG can cause tinnitus, vertigo, and nerve damage.
In conclusion, keep your eyes open for any foods containing MSG which also goes by; autolyzed yeast, yeast extract, maltodextrin, hydrolyzed protein, sodium caseinate, mono potassium glutamate, & textured protein.

Careful with your processed foods, Chinese food, and canned soups folks!



FOOD CHEMICALS:  Migraine Headaches and Food Additives

Prevent migraine headaches naturally by reading the ingredients labels and avoiding foods containing MSG and other problematic food additives…


5 Ways to Stop Migraines Without Prescription Drugs

Here are some helpful tips for not only treating migraines naturally, but also preventing them without the use of prescription drugs:

1) Avoid MSG or chemical flavor enhancers in food. Many processed foods contain chemical additives like monosodium glutamate (MSG), aspartame, nitrates, sulfites, and “natural” and artificial flavors that can act as chemical triggers, bringing on migraine headaches. For many people, simply cutting these additives from their diets is enough to greatly reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines, and perhaps even eliminate them.

Since many people are becoming aware of the presence of such chemicals throughout the food supply, however, some processed food manufacturers are now disguising them under different names. MSG, for instance, is often veiled with names like “yeast extract” and “spice extractive.” Other common food additives that contain potentially damaging free glutamic acid include carrageenan, maltodextrin, barley malt, brown rice syrup, milk powder, and textured vegetable protein.

Food Additives to Avoid Listing:



Oh, if only ignorance had a limit

Do you ever hear your teachers blabber ignorantly on a subject they’re obviously not informed on? Has it ever happened while they’re talking about something in their own area of expertise, making you wonder how did they even get a degree without even once stumbling over the facts by accident? 

I was pretty pissed today when my chemistry teacher in university discussed mono sodium glutamate (MSG) and explained to the class how proud Japanese people should be, that it was invented by a Japanese, how yummy and nice it made the food, how much money people gained by exploiting it. And yes, he said, there are some weird western people that say their head hurts after they eat it and they are making a huge deal out of it, but class be sure, my head never hurt at all, it’s really nice thing to eat.

And he never spoke of the proven side effects consumption of MSG might have. Effects like these: 

Cardiac - Arrhythmia, Atrial fibrillation, Tachycardia, Rapid heartbeat, Palpitations, Slow heartbeat, Angina, Extreme rise or drop in blood pressure

Gastrointestinal - Diarrhea, Nausea/vomiting, Stomach cramps, Rectal bleeding, Bloating

Muscular - Flu-like achiness, Joint pain, Stiffness

Neurological - Depression, Mood swings, Rage reactions, Migraine headache, Dizziness, Light-headedness, Loss of balance, Disorientation, Mental confusion, Anxiety, Panic attacks, Hyperactivity, Behavioral problems in children, Attention deficit disorders, Lethargy, Sleepiness, Insomnia, Numbness or paralysis, Seizures, Sciatica, Slurred speech, Chills and shakes, Shuddering

Visual - Blurred vision, Difficulty focusing, Pressure around eyes

Respiratory - Asthma, Shortness of breath, Chest pain, Tightness in the chest, Runny nose, Sneezing

Urological / Genital - Bladder pain (with frequency), Swelling of the prostate, Swelling of the vagina, Vaginal spotting, Frequent urination, Nocturia

Skin - Hives (may be both ..internal and external), Rash, Mouth lesions, Temporary tightness or partial paralysis, numbness or tingling of the skin, Flushing, Extreme dryness of the mouth, Face swelling, Tongue swelling, Bags under eyes”

Or even worse, the supposed long term effects of constant consumption are brain damage to varying degrees – and potentially even triggering or worsening learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease and more.

But hey, who cares if the students poison themselves daily as long as the economy’s running well, right? Let’s just enjoy our addictive poison and be proud Ajinomoto gains money for it!