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.


What’s in nacho store bought nacho sauce:

Cheese Whey, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Modified Food Starch, Cheddar Cheese (Cultured Milk, Salt, Enzymes), Jalapeno Puree, Sodium Phosphate, Salt, Natural Flavors, Monosodium Glutamate, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Vinegar, Color Added (Including Caramel Color, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6), Oleoresin Paprika.

Our recipe only calls for three ingredients.

Get the all the details to this cheddar cheese nacho dip and some other delicious ones with mozzarella and goat cheese here. 

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!

What Teachers Do

People frequently share with me the clip of Taylor Mali’s amazing piece, “What Teachers Make.”

I wish I’d thought of it.

But, as I did not, I submit here instead: “What Teachers Do.”

Yesterday we had a school fundraiser. I was at work by 7:30 on a Saturday. After all the kids went home, I stayed behind and graded, so I could have my grades posted online before Monday.

That’s what teachers do.

At the fundraiser I got to hang out with the kids, get to know them in a different way. Together we determined that, “No one is too gangster for ice cream.”

Good to know.

On Friday a girl came to me and, after looking around to make sure no one was listening, whispered, “Can I take Claritin?”

See, she’s pregnant and I have been trying to teach her about not eating monosodium glutamate and taking prenatal vitamins, so she figured I might be able to help. When I said no, she was very disappointed, so we looked it up together. Then I explained to her what it meant to be in her “first trimester.”

You know, ‘cause that’s what teachers do.

On Monday a girl sat in my room and cried for a half hour after school. She did not want to talk about it. She just wanted to sit in my room and cry. So, I graded unobtrusively and waited. And then she told me about how her mother told her to find a place to live, as her mother can no longer afford to support them both. She talked to me about how there is often no food in the house. So, I showed her where I keep the healthy snacks for the pregnant girls. I also got her appointments with two kinds of counselors and gave her a hug. Now she checks in with me at least once a day. We don’t talk about much. We just hang out.

Sometimes, that is what teachers and students do.

Sometimes I am a tax accountant (1040 EZ only, please). Sometimes I am a defense attorney. Sometimes I am an insurance expert. Sometimes I am a nutritionist. Sometimes I am a therapist. Sometimes, I am something very much like a friend.

None of which makes me special.

That’s just what teachers do.

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?

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

New Justice League Report!!!

Several news items about the upcoming Justice League movie came out today on sites like Ain’t It Cool News and Dark Horizons. Here’s a summary of the coolest points from FIJMU!

  1. There will only be one Justice League movie, not a two parter as previously reported.
  2. The film will be over 3 hours long, not including the expected 20 minute end credits and the recently announced intermissions.
  3. Some of the special effects will be accomplished “digitally” using computer animation and compositing, like in Tron.
  4. The film will be narrated by Morgan Freeman.
  5. Batman will have several new transports beyond the Batmobile, such as a new Batcopter, a Batjetski, and a Batunicycle.
  6. Beyond the Justice League itself, other DC heroes will appear including Green Lantern, Ghost Rider, Joan of Arc, and Jesus.
  7. Steppenwolf has been confirmed for both the villain and the soundtrack.
  8. The film is being shot on the new Panasonic HC-X 1925b UHD/HDR 800 LG EG9600-Alexa Scarlett Dragon 65mm IMAX HFR 3D+5.1/XLR Pentax K-1000 Pan-Am Monosodium Glutamate 12-Ü, a camera with almost half the resolution of a 35mm frame.
  9. The film will be rated R, according to DC executives- “It’s time we take comics back from the kids. For too long comics have been enjoyed by children as well as adults and this is wrong. From here on out, superheroes will only be appreciated by people over the age of 21, like alcohol and car rental.
  10. The film will be so dark in photography that audiences will be given nightvision goggles to see it.
  11. The “butter” scene has been deleted and saved for Blu-ray.
Kuroo and Kenma goes to grocery
  • Kuroo: But we need nourishment! We need enough Riboflavin Kenma! And Monosodium glutamate is highly banned in our household so put away that junk food!
  • Kenma: B-
  • Kuroo: We need this dory, it is high in antioxidants. Also look for food that is rich in Omega 3 DHA. Stop eating too much seafood, Uric Acid is bad for the system-
  • Kuroo: *continues to say food science disses*
There is now a sixth taste – and it explains why we love carbs
Sweet, salty, bitter, sour, umami – and “starchy”? It seems we can sense bread-like flavours associated with complex carbohydrates as a taste in their own right
By Jessica Hamzelou

As any weight-watcher knows, carb cravings can be hard to resist. Now there’s evidence that carbohydrate-rich foods may elicit a unique taste too, suggesting that “starchy” could be a flavour in its own right.

It has long been thought that our tongues register a small number of primary tastes: salty, sweet, sour and bitter. Umami – thesavoury taste often associated with monosodium glutamate – was added to this list seven years ago, but there’s been no change since then.

However, this list misses a major component of our diets, says Juyun Lim at Oregon State University in Corvallis. “Every culture has a major source of complex carbohydrate. The idea that we can’t taste what we’re eating doesn’t make sense,” she says.

Complex carbohydrates such as starch are made of chains of sugar molecules and are an important source of energy in our diets. However, food scientists have tended to ignore the idea that we might be able to specifically taste them, says Lim. Because enzymes in our saliva break starch down into shorter chains and simple sugars, many have assumed we detect starch by tasting these sweet molecules.

Her team tested this by giving a range of different carbohydrate solutions to volunteers – who it turned out were able to detect a starch-like taste in solutions that contained long or shorter carbohydrate chains. “They called the taste ‘starchy’,” says Lim. “Asians would say it was rice-like, while Caucasians described it as bread-like or pasta-like. It’s like eating flour.”

The volunteers could still make out this floury flavour when they were given a compound that blocks the receptors on the tongue for detecting sweet tastes. This suggests we can sense carbohydrates before they have been completely broken down into sugar molecules.

When the volunteers were given a compound to block the salivary enzyme that breaks long chains of carbohydrate into shorter ones, they stopped sensing the taste of starch when given solutions containing only long-chain carbohydrates. This suggests that the floury flavour comes from the shorter chains.

This is the first evidence that we can taste starch as a flavour in its own right, says Lim.

Continue Reading.

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?
Chinese Restaurant Syndrome Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Chinese Restaurant Syndrome (CRS) is also known as glutamate-induced asthma, hot dog headache, or monosodium glutamate (MSG) syndrome. It is a condition characterized by various symptoms that are similar to an allergic reaction, and that occur after eating Chinese food.

The history of Chinese Restaurant Syndrome dates back to 1968, when Dr. Robert Ho Man Kwok described a collection of symptoms that occurred in some individuals after eating at a Chinese restaurant. He used the term “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” …