8

votes

If glutamic acid (MSG) is natural, why is it bad?

Answered on June 24, 2018
Created January 24, 2011 at 2:22 AM

Glutamic acid is produced naturally in the human and mammalian body. It is naturally present in the meat we eat and is responsible for the pleasurable taste of 'umami' which makes meat taste good. So if this is the case, then why does glutamic acid (aka MSG) cause a negative reaction in some people?

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 29, 2013
at 05:09 PM

I really wish Blaylock didn't sell the cure, in addition to identifying the problem. It really does look bad.

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on January 15, 2013
at 06:27 AM

the dose makes the poison!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 23, 2011
at 07:53 AM

People aren't getting sick from a 100% natural food because it contains natural amounts of glutamates. Most natural whole foods don't contain anywhere near as much "glutamic acid" as MSG and things like hydrolyzed vegetable protein or yeast extract. There are more rare cases where someone who has had too much MSG damage(from eating processed foods/fast food which is loaded with it or diet soda) and may react when eating even beef or something. But once they heal they can usually tolerate normal amounts. It takes time for the brain to recover from excitotoxic damage and deal with glutamates.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 19, 2011
at 09:58 PM

I hate corn so much so it makes sense.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 19, 2011
at 08:58 PM

its not the same. and people eating more processed food in asia also get more ill. Probably the people more get ill in china from worse working coditions in factories than from msg. This question is sarcastic and mean. Why do people in north korea dont have food? I dont think whole asia uses msg and all msg isn the same. Also they have different medical system. More acupunture and traditional medicine. And who proofed that people not have headache from msg in ASIA? Who would fund such a study? Probably not MC donalds or some big factories? Just see the pangasius fish farming case.just money

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 19, 2011
at 05:37 PM

Japanese also eat more Omega 3's in fish, which is also neuroprotective against MSG. But now Japan is suffering from huge health problems just like us, so even if people can do good in school...doesn't mean anything. MSG affects everyone differently, the general thing is that it's all negative and the effects get worse every decade of use. The problem is MSG is in everything and you won't know how much % of MSG can be in something like corn starch or Magnesium Citrate.

Fda7109dbdcb020364ec1ea9eb918027

(30)

on February 20, 2011
at 10:42 PM

They are fairly high in free glutamate as well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glutamic_acid_(flavor)#Concentration_in_foods

Fda7109dbdcb020364ec1ea9eb918027

(30)

on February 20, 2011
at 10:42 PM

They are fairly high in free glutamate as well. [Source](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glutamic_acid_(flavor)#Concentration_in_foods)

Af842c68e3d07fa0e35b4274f3acaeec

on February 13, 2011
at 07:25 PM

Travis, the paleo paradigm is a great framework to work from, but we must not depend on it solely in our decisions on nutrition. Grass-fed butter would be off limits in that case, as would most vegetables we eat, as they have been artificially selected to the forms that we now consume. If glutamate naturally occurs in meats and other foods, perhaps it is not as harmful as it's been made out to be. Perhaps it's only the artificial version, MSG, that has harmful effects. Again, I'm only calling for a logical analysis of the data available, not arguing one way or another.

Af842c68e3d07fa0e35b4274f3acaeec

on February 13, 2011
at 07:21 PM

Travis, the paleo paradigm is a great framework to work from, but we must not depend on it solely in our decisions on nutrition. Grass-fed butter would be off limits in that case, as would most vegetables we eat, as they have been artificially selected to the forms that we now consume. If MSG naturally occurs in meats and other foods, perhaps it is not as harmful as it's been made out to be. Again, I'm only calling for a logical analysis of the data available, not arguing one way or another.

5672b2d190891342389e764cc4056ca9

(1304)

on February 08, 2011
at 02:48 AM

Well, I quoted the passage on the rats because I thought it was funny that rats "need glasses" after being given MSG. I'm glad it was well received...

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on February 07, 2011
at 10:55 PM

Hmm, luckily Dr. Blaylock sells a supplement called Brain Repair Formula. Only $97.48 a month!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 07, 2011
at 06:45 PM

Source? From what I understand soy, corn, casein, and wheat contain tons of "bound" glutamic acid but without some sort of high temperature cooking, hydrolysis or factory processing it will not contain "free" glutamic acid

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 07, 2011
at 06:44 PM

Source? From what I understand soy, casein, and wheat contain tons of "bound" glutamic acid but without some sort of cooking/processeing it will not contain "free" glutamic acid.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on February 07, 2011
at 06:26 PM

Correction: these are highest sources of free glutamic acid, which is an excitotoxin, and does the same as Msg without the sodium bond.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 07, 2011
at 06:02 PM

Short answer: Yes those do contain lots of natural "glutamic acid" but it's what we MAKE from that natural glutamic acid is what is bad. We take "natural glutamic acid" and made "free glutamic acid" out of it. Ok that wasn't too much shorter, MSG is a tough thing to explain lol.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 07, 2011
at 05:58 PM

There is where it can get confusing. Just a correction, while soy, wheat and corn do contain a huge source of "natural glutamic acid" it is not "MSG". MSG is the factory created form which looks like these words: Monosodium Glutamate(made from any source of natural glutamate, usually soy or wheat), hydrolyzed wheat protein(made from wheat), autolyzed soy protein(made from soy), citric acid(made from corn). As you can see "MSG" or "free glutamic acid" is a product of isolating "glutamic acid" from the "complete versions". If it's not complete, it's not natural and is factory created aka toxic.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 07, 2011
at 05:48 PM

Yea it's true, and those 3 foods are used to make MSG. Examples: Hydrolyzed soy protein(from soy), autolyzed wheat protein(from wheat), citric acid(made from corn). All are MSG aka "free glutamic acid". Quite different from the "natural glutamates" that are in these foods naturally.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 07, 2011
at 05:43 PM

I forgot to mention that people who have had lots of MSG damage can indeed react to "natural glutamates" found in wheat and possible meat. But overtime with the avoidance of "free glutamic acid" people can usually then ingest the natural forms in cashews, meat, wheat. Of course wheat is never a good thing to eat anyway...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 07, 2011
at 05:41 PM

MSG is a neurotoxin. I'm willing to bet many in the paleo community had health problems relieved not just from avoiding grain but also because the paleo diet means no processed food which is laden with MSG. People who eat out get sick from "fraken sauces/oils" as they say and blame it on the soy. Sure soy sucks, but you guys are forgetting about the MSG!. Or you've never known about it, which is understandable since corrupted people have kept it hidden from the masses very well.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 07, 2011
at 05:38 PM

MSG is a neurotoxin. I'm willing to bet many people have many health problems relieved not because they went paleo and avoided grains. But also because going paleo means you aren't eating processed food which are laden with MSG and hidden "free glutamic acid" which is the same thing.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 07, 2011
at 05:31 PM

It makes processed food addicting and causes health problems, a most unsavory food additive.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 07, 2011
at 05:30 PM

This is a relatively new thing being looked into. Basically Dr. Russell Blaylock is THE expert right now. He's all we got and if you read his book or read some of his stuff on the Internet you'll have a better understanding of what MSG is and how it effects the brain. And they administered large doses to animals because animals are actually not as affected by MSG as humans. Human beings react far more to it, MSG is the perfect drug to put into food as an addictive additive if you think about it. It can't be detected as an allergen and can't be considered an intolerance. It's slow cell death.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 07, 2011
at 05:26 PM

Natural "glutamic acid" isn't the problem, it's "free glutamic acid" aka MSG which is indeed usually made from wheat, soy ect. Examples of "free glutamic acid" ingredients are: For Wheat: Hydrolzyed wheat protein For Soy: Autolyzed soy protein For Corn: Citric acid(factory created kind) Ect.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 07, 2011
at 05:25 PM

Natural "glutamic acid" isn't the problem, it's "free glutamic acid" aka MSG which is indeed usually made from wheat, soy ect. Examples of "free glutamic acid" ingredients are: For Wheat: Hydrolzyed wheat protein For Soy: Autolyzed soy protein For Corn: Citric acid(factory created kind) Ect. For more Paleo hacks: http://paleohacks.com/questions/20210/if-glutamic-acid-msg-is-natural-why-is-it-bad#ixzz1DILlWP2X

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 07, 2011
at 05:25 PM

Natural MSG isn't the problem, it's "free glutamic acid" which is indeed usually made from wheat, soy ect. Examples of "free glutamic acid" ingredients are: For Wheat: Hydrolzyed wheat protein For Soy: Autolyzed soy protein For Corn: Citric acid(factory created kind) Ect.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on February 07, 2011
at 05:17 PM

ugh people, just because someone is a surgeon doesn't make them credible. There are surgeons that believe in homeopathy and psychic powers.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on February 07, 2011
at 05:09 PM

How are the rats treated? I wouldn't be surprised if it was injected or something ridiculous. I'll look into it after work.

0242b468fe1c97997749db416c92e7ed

(4528)

on February 03, 2011
at 02:02 AM

I haven't read Blaylock's book, but I've read a lot from both camps, and I think it's safe to say the jury's still out on MSG. Given that the Japanese are world leaders in longevity, though, it’s kind of hard to believe that the MSG is doing them a lot of harm.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on February 03, 2011
at 01:57 AM

Joe, this is a strange sort of Twilight Zone we find ourselves in where paleo diet adherents defend MSG.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 03, 2011
at 01:44 AM

It was written by a ex brain surgeon who is very credible. Nowadays he spends his time researching the effects of MSG and exposing the lies found in many of the studies. Just read the book and decide for yourself, this Dr. Russell Blaylock is credible and he has great evidence as to what MSG is and does to the brain.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on February 03, 2011
at 01:42 AM

Well it must be true if someone wrote it in a book...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 03, 2011
at 01:42 AM

If you read what Dr. Russell Blaylock says about most studies, you'll see how they basically lied their way through them. He explains in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQQGkMhjWig&feature=related Many companies depend on MSG to sell their products that would taste horrible otherwise. There is corruption in the studies.....

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 03, 2011
at 01:39 AM

Sometimes the best evidence of something is what you hear from thousands of people from around the world. In the case of MSG, the proof is right here. This website is full of people who have linked MSG to their lifelong suffering: http://www.msgmyth.com/ Good site, there is lots of research done by the owner. You can't trust the studies, lots of them are corrupted because of ties with food companies and unsavory individuals who make money from addictive food additives like MSG. MSG creates food addicts, it's not in the best interest of those that sale MSG-laden food if it was called harmful

Medium avatar

(39821)

on February 03, 2011
at 01:36 AM

Luckily, most all of us are easily able to avoid it with a paleo diet. I was trying to think of something I eat that comes in a box or with a list of ingredients and I can't. If it has ingredients listed, the only one is the item itself: "Butter."

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 03, 2011
at 01:34 AM

The reason that people would ever react to "natural glutamate" such as the kind found in meat, mushrooms is because they already have significant damage done by the unnatural version called "MSG" or "free glutamic acid". In order for those people to fix this issue they must avoid the factory created kind for a period of time so their brain heals itself. After that many people that were hyper-sensitive to MSG can then eat the natural kind that exists in meat, mushrooms. So yes the artificial version is what's wrong here, not the natural version that nature intended us to eat.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 03, 2011
at 01:32 AM

It's not dose dependant. How do you know that those who ingest MSG and get no reaction aren't having invisible damage done? MSG has been proven to show "damage over time"! This is serious stuff, good thing for us at paleohacks.com we avoid MSG anyway so we don't have to worry about it. But as for your loved ones, they are killing themselves slowly by eating Free Glutamic Acid aka MSG that doesn't exist naturally.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 03, 2011
at 01:30 AM

That's a terrible research/study. Don't believe it. No one is safe eating a neurotoxin.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 03, 2011
at 01:29 AM

MSG is a neurotoxin, just because someone doesn't notice symptoms doesn't mean it's not doing damage. NO ONE is immune to neurotoxins!

5f0158c23fcb5636e57b4ce097784da0

(1386)

on January 25, 2011
at 09:32 AM

usually within 15-30 minutes (only works on empty stomach)

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on January 24, 2011
at 11:48 PM

How soon will you feel these effects if you do?

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on January 24, 2011
at 04:37 AM

I suspect that some folks tend to over-diagnose themselves with "fad" diagnoses, such as MSG allergy, systemic yeast infection, and chronic epstein-barr infection. An MSG reaction, also known as "Chinese Restaurant Syndrome," is dose-dependent and not a true allergy ( http://allergies.about.com/od/preservativeallergy/f/msgallergy.htm ). A tiny dose of MSG is probably harmless.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on January 24, 2011
at 04:09 AM

But there are many who say even the tiniest dosage leads to severe illness. Maybe they are just allergic to the salt version, but if that also occurs naturally, it still begs the same question.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on January 24, 2011
at 02:40 AM

So very tasty, yet so morally ambiguous. MSG is a fickle mistress.

  • 62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

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24 Answers

best answer

3
5672b2d190891342389e764cc4056ca9

(1304)

on January 24, 2011
at 09:26 AM

I don't question whether MSG has negative effects on some people: it has on me and many people I know. I take it for granted, and I hope the following quote is enough to prove my point:

"MSG treated rats and mice produce offspring that have learning problems, eating disorders and need glasses because their eyesight isn't very good after the MSG treatment." (Source: http://www.medicalcorps.org/fat-rat.htm)

Now, moving on to Eva's question: like Ed, I also think that it's probably only a matter of higher concentration and/or quantity in the artificial version. It is telling, that foods high in naturally-occurring MSG are also in a more or less "concentrated" form: dry mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, cheese, and they can cause problems to people especially sensitive to glutamate.

It would make a lot of sense that the body struggles to properly metabolize a high/concentrated MSG intake, with the many ill effects people complain about. Being a neurotransmitter and a potential excitotoxin there is a lot that can go wrong with an artificial version of it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 03, 2011
at 01:34 AM

The reason that people would ever react to "natural glutamate" such as the kind found in meat, mushrooms is because they already have significant damage done by the unnatural version called "MSG" or "free glutamic acid". In order for those people to fix this issue they must avoid the factory created kind for a period of time so their brain heals itself. After that many people that were hyper-sensitive to MSG can then eat the natural kind that exists in meat, mushrooms. So yes the artificial version is what's wrong here, not the natural version that nature intended us to eat.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on February 07, 2011
at 05:09 PM

How are the rats treated? I wouldn't be surprised if it was injected or something ridiculous. I'll look into it after work.

5672b2d190891342389e764cc4056ca9

(1304)

on February 08, 2011
at 02:48 AM

Well, I quoted the passage on the rats because I thought it was funny that rats "need glasses" after being given MSG. I'm glad it was well received...

11
6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on January 24, 2011
at 03:29 AM

Good question.

First of all, glutamic acid and MSG are not exactly the same. Glutamic acid is the amino acid form of the compound, chemical formula C5H9NO4, which is a natural part of proteins. Glutamic acid can also be made in the human body, since it is a non-essential amino acid.

MSG is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, chemical formula C5H8NNaO4. It occurs naturally, but is also manufactured and added to foods as a flavor enhancer.

I suspect that the side effects from consuming MSG are related to dosage and rapid absorption rather than to an allergy. If you were truly allergic to it, you could not consume anything with protein in it, since some MSG is formed after hydrolysis of proteins in your intestines. MSG is a water-soluble salt and can be rapidly absorbed from the stomach without requiring passage into the small intestine (unlike intact proteins).

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on January 24, 2011
at 04:09 AM

But there are many who say even the tiniest dosage leads to severe illness. Maybe they are just allergic to the salt version, but if that also occurs naturally, it still begs the same question.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11478)

on January 24, 2011
at 04:37 AM

I suspect that some folks tend to over-diagnose themselves with "fad" diagnoses, such as MSG allergy, systemic yeast infection, and chronic epstein-barr infection. An MSG reaction, also known as "Chinese Restaurant Syndrome," is dose-dependent and not a true allergy ( http://allergies.about.com/od/preservativeallergy/f/msgallergy.htm ). A tiny dose of MSG is probably harmless.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 03, 2011
at 01:32 AM

It's not dose dependant. How do you know that those who ingest MSG and get no reaction aren't having invisible damage done? MSG has been proven to show "damage over time"! This is serious stuff, good thing for us at paleohacks.com we avoid MSG anyway so we don't have to worry about it. But as for your loved ones, they are killing themselves slowly by eating Free Glutamic Acid aka MSG that doesn't exist naturally.

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on January 15, 2013
at 06:27 AM

the dose makes the poison!

10
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on February 07, 2011
at 05:16 PM

I am procrastinating, but this is a great example of why skepticism is important for those of us in the niche health community. When you see a study you need to look at whether it was :

  • in vivo or in vitro. In vivo is in real life living creatures. In vitro is in cultures. Lots of things are toxic in vitro that are not toxic in vivo like vinegar or hot peppers.

  • abnormally large amounts administered. Like in Masterjohn's Jimmy Moore interview with the million peanut butter sandwiches, animal studies often use ridiculous amounts per body weight mass that you'd never encounter even in the worst Chinese restaurant. The oral admin to maternal rats study required the rats to eat the equivalent of me (a 110 lb woman) eating half a pound of MSG a day!

  • administration technique. The " Effect of perinatal monosodium glutamate administration on visual evoked potentials of juvenile and adult rats. " study above INJECTED baby rats with MSG. When was the last time you injected MSG into yourself.

I'm not saying MSG is good or harmless, I'm saying nearly all the evidence against it presented here is garbage.

The strongest evidence against it is how it is used as an agent of hyper-palatability, IE to make foods that abnormally palatable and encouraging overeating.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on February 07, 2011
at 10:55 PM

Hmm, luckily Dr. Blaylock sells a supplement called Brain Repair Formula. Only $97.48 a month!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 07, 2011
at 05:31 PM

It makes processed food addicting and causes health problems, a most unsavory food additive.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 07, 2011
at 05:30 PM

This is a relatively new thing being looked into. Basically Dr. Russell Blaylock is THE expert right now. He's all we got and if you read his book or read some of his stuff on the Internet you'll have a better understanding of what MSG is and how it effects the brain. And they administered large doses to animals because animals are actually not as affected by MSG as humans. Human beings react far more to it, MSG is the perfect drug to put into food as an addictive additive if you think about it. It can't be detected as an allergen and can't be considered an intolerance. It's slow cell death.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 29, 2013
at 05:09 PM

I really wish Blaylock didn't sell the cure, in addition to identifying the problem. It really does look bad.

6
0242b468fe1c97997749db416c92e7ed

(4528)

on January 25, 2011
at 02:54 AM

I'm in the camp that thinks that MSG is probably rather benign for most.

Dr. Eades (Protein Power) blogged on MSG a few years ago: http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/uncategorized/savory-monosodium-glutamate/

Another 2008 NY Times article about the stigma of MSG: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/05/dining/05glute.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1&th&emc=th

Medium avatar

(39821)

on February 03, 2011
at 01:57 AM

Joe, this is a strange sort of Twilight Zone we find ourselves in where paleo diet adherents defend MSG.

0242b468fe1c97997749db416c92e7ed

(4528)

on February 03, 2011
at 02:02 AM

I haven't read Blaylock's book, but I've read a lot from both camps, and I think it's safe to say the jury's still out on MSG. Given that the Japanese are world leaders in longevity, though, it’s kind of hard to believe that the MSG is doing them a lot of harm.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 03, 2011
at 01:42 AM

If you read what Dr. Russell Blaylock says about most studies, you'll see how they basically lied their way through them. He explains in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQQGkMhjWig&feature=related Many companies depend on MSG to sell their products that would taste horrible otherwise. There is corruption in the studies.....

Af842c68e3d07fa0e35b4274f3acaeec

on February 13, 2011
at 07:21 PM

Travis, the paleo paradigm is a great framework to work from, but we must not depend on it solely in our decisions on nutrition. Grass-fed butter would be off limits in that case, as would most vegetables we eat, as they have been artificially selected to the forms that we now consume. If MSG naturally occurs in meats and other foods, perhaps it is not as harmful as it's been made out to be. Again, I'm only calling for a logical analysis of the data available, not arguing one way or another.

Af842c68e3d07fa0e35b4274f3acaeec

on February 13, 2011
at 07:25 PM

Travis, the paleo paradigm is a great framework to work from, but we must not depend on it solely in our decisions on nutrition. Grass-fed butter would be off limits in that case, as would most vegetables we eat, as they have been artificially selected to the forms that we now consume. If glutamate naturally occurs in meats and other foods, perhaps it is not as harmful as it's been made out to be. Perhaps it's only the artificial version, MSG, that has harmful effects. Again, I'm only calling for a logical analysis of the data available, not arguing one way or another.

6
0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

on January 24, 2011
at 02:59 AM

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/id/QAA400215

A comprehensive review of the scientific data conducted from 1992 to 1995 by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), an independent group of scientists, at the behest of the FDA, found no connection between MSG and any short- or long-term health problems. Nor did it find evidence linking MSG or other glutamates to Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease or neurodegenerative diseases, although articles in the media have suggested such a connection.

However, the FASEB review did conclude that people who eat large amounts of MSG (three grams or more per meal) on an empty stomach and people with severe and poorly controlled asthma can develop such symptoms as numbness, burning sensation, tingling, facial pressure or tightness, chest pain, headache, nausea, rapid heartbeat, drowsiness and weakness. Note that three grams is a lot of MSG. The amount in a typical serving of food to which MSG is added is less than 0.5 grams.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/monosodium-glutamate/AN01251

However, researchers have found no definitive evidence of a link between MSG and these symptoms. Researchers acknowledge, though, that a small percentage of people may have short-term reactions to MSG. Symptoms are usually mild and don't require treatment. The only way to prevent a reaction is to avoid foods containing MSG.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 03, 2011
at 01:30 AM

That's a terrible research/study. Don't believe it. No one is safe eating a neurotoxin.

3
F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

on April 19, 2011
at 05:06 PM

I'm gonna use Dr. Mike Eades' response to a similar question on his MSG article (which is quite good btw):

Mike, have you read Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills by Russell Blaylock?

His credentials seem solid and he believes MSG is neurotoxic, as it crosses the blood-brain barrier and ???over excites??? neurons. I???d be interested if it does (or obviously hasn???t) changed your thoughts on this subject.

*Hi John??? Yes, I???ve read Excitotoxins. And I found Dr. Blaylock???s arguments convincing until I dug a little deeper. It turns out that glutamate does indeed ???excite??? neurons, and does so by allowing calcium to enter the cells. This excitation of the neuron is offset by the ???calming??? influence of GABA, which acts in opposition to glutamate. The GABA-glutamate axis in the brain is much like the insulin-glucagon axis in the metabolic system. One needs both to function properly. Since the tiny bit of MSG used to season foods breaks down into glutamate and sodium ??? both normal constituents of the human body, and, in the case of glutamate, actually made by the human body ??? it???s difficult for me to image how a little bit of glutamate added to the body???s large circulating stores could substantially influence the neurons. If taken in large amounts, perhaps, but a pinch, occasionally, I don???t think will hurt. And maybe if a person is deficient in magnesium there could be a problem. Magnesium is Nature???s calcium channel blocker, so inadequate magnesium might not offset the influx of calcium driven by glutamate. This is just a hunch, but, because ??? according to the latest survey I read ??? about 75 percent of Americans don???t even get the already-too-low RDI of magnesium, maybe it???s the widespread magnesium deficiency that allows whatever negative effects experienced by some people when consuming a lot of MSG to happen. I don???t have magnesium consumption figures at hand for the Japanese, but given what they eat, I would assume they get a lot more magnesium in the standard Japanese diet compared to what we do in the standard American diet. The strongest argument for the harmlessness of MSG is the fact that it???s used in such large quantities in Asia by enormous numbers of Asians without any apparent epidemic of negative effects. The Japanese, for example, use MSG (and believe it???s healthful) in large quantities and outlive everyone else on earth despite the fact that most of them smoke. And they???re blowing the tops out of all the admission processes in American colleges, leaving US students in the dirt, so it can???t be affecting their cognitive abilities. If MSG were truly harmful, I would suspect the Japanese would suffer its ill effects. But, again, perhaps the greater intake of magnesium by the Japanese is protective. Which may be why they live longer, after all. Cheers??? MRE

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 19, 2011
at 05:37 PM

Japanese also eat more Omega 3's in fish, which is also neuroprotective against MSG. But now Japan is suffering from huge health problems just like us, so even if people can do good in school...doesn't mean anything. MSG affects everyone differently, the general thing is that it's all negative and the effects get worse every decade of use. The problem is MSG is in everything and you won't know how much % of MSG can be in something like corn starch or Magnesium Citrate.

3
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on February 03, 2011
at 01:04 AM

This is a good article from a few years ago in the Gardian newspaper on the subject of MSG.

If MSG is so bad for you, why doesn't everyone in Asia have a headache?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 19, 2011
at 08:58 PM

its not the same. and people eating more processed food in asia also get more ill. Probably the people more get ill in china from worse working coditions in factories than from msg. This question is sarcastic and mean. Why do people in north korea dont have food? I dont think whole asia uses msg and all msg isn the same. Also they have different medical system. More acupunture and traditional medicine. And who proofed that people not have headache from msg in ASIA? Who would fund such a study? Probably not MC donalds or some big factories? Just see the pangasius fish farming case.just money

2
A15af22bd729ec030e8f47d1189b6eaf

(774)

on December 25, 2011
at 03:26 AM

So yeah since glutamic acid is a run-of-the-mill organic acid, it will, as soon as it comes into contact with water or even an alkaline solution, dissociate into its glutamate form (and an OH3+ ion) or even react with the base (think sodium), thereby forming a salt. So free Glutamic acid will still end up as glutamate in your body, whichever way you prefer twist and turn the issue.

Wikipedia and google are your friends, as always.

For dosage questions, i strongly suggest buying some pure sodium glutamate from your local supermarket/chemist and doing the n1. See how you go.

In the meantime, i'll happily continue reducing my stock to a demiglace and enjoying its glutamaty goodness.

2
F9a0b72f38860d7601afd5a45bb53394

(3618)

on March 08, 2011
at 05:09 AM

MSG is not glutamic acid, any more than table salt is sodium. Rather, MSG is a salt made WITH glutamic acid. That's what the "monosodium" part means--the glutamic acid has been joined to a sodium atom. I'm curious how often salts made with proteins occur in nature and, if they aren't that common, whether that's why some people react so badly to MSG--if a protein salt is kind of a freak of nature, of course some of us won't deal with it well.

MSG's always made in a lab. Glutamic acid is naturally occurring.

But glutamic acid? Very common, and in lots of foods. If it were exactly the same thing as MSG, MSG sensitives would get sick a lot more often than they do.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 23, 2011
at 07:53 AM

People aren't getting sick from a 100% natural food because it contains natural amounts of glutamates. Most natural whole foods don't contain anywhere near as much "glutamic acid" as MSG and things like hydrolyzed vegetable protein or yeast extract. There are more rare cases where someone who has had too much MSG damage(from eating processed foods/fast food which is loaded with it or diet soda) and may react when eating even beef or something. But once they heal they can usually tolerate normal amounts. It takes time for the brain to recover from excitotoxic damage and deal with glutamates.

2
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on February 07, 2011
at 04:45 PM

The Dose makes the poison.

The biggest sources of natural MSG, wheat corn soy casein... coincidence that those are avoided? I think not.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 07, 2011
at 05:25 PM

Natural "glutamic acid" isn't the problem, it's "free glutamic acid" aka MSG which is indeed usually made from wheat, soy ect. Examples of "free glutamic acid" ingredients are: For Wheat: Hydrolzyed wheat protein For Soy: Autolyzed soy protein For Corn: Citric acid(factory created kind) Ect. For more Paleo hacks: http://paleohacks.com/questions/20210/if-glutamic-acid-msg-is-natural-why-is-it-bad#ixzz1DILlWP2X

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 07, 2011
at 06:44 PM

Source? From what I understand soy, casein, and wheat contain tons of "bound" glutamic acid but without some sort of cooking/processeing it will not contain "free" glutamic acid.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 07, 2011
at 05:26 PM

Natural "glutamic acid" isn't the problem, it's "free glutamic acid" aka MSG which is indeed usually made from wheat, soy ect. Examples of "free glutamic acid" ingredients are: For Wheat: Hydrolzyed wheat protein For Soy: Autolyzed soy protein For Corn: Citric acid(factory created kind) Ect.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 07, 2011
at 05:43 PM

I forgot to mention that people who have had lots of MSG damage can indeed react to "natural glutamates" found in wheat and possible meat. But overtime with the avoidance of "free glutamic acid" people can usually then ingest the natural forms in cashews, meat, wheat. Of course wheat is never a good thing to eat anyway...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 07, 2011
at 05:25 PM

Natural MSG isn't the problem, it's "free glutamic acid" which is indeed usually made from wheat, soy ect. Examples of "free glutamic acid" ingredients are: For Wheat: Hydrolzyed wheat protein For Soy: Autolyzed soy protein For Corn: Citric acid(factory created kind) Ect.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 07, 2011
at 06:45 PM

Source? From what I understand soy, corn, casein, and wheat contain tons of "bound" glutamic acid but without some sort of high temperature cooking, hydrolysis or factory processing it will not contain "free" glutamic acid

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 07, 2011
at 05:48 PM

Yea it's true, and those 3 foods are used to make MSG. Examples: Hydrolyzed soy protein(from soy), autolyzed wheat protein(from wheat), citric acid(made from corn). All are MSG aka "free glutamic acid". Quite different from the "natural glutamates" that are in these foods naturally.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 07, 2011
at 05:58 PM

There is where it can get confusing. Just a correction, while soy, wheat and corn do contain a huge source of "natural glutamic acid" it is not "MSG". MSG is the factory created form which looks like these words: Monosodium Glutamate(made from any source of natural glutamate, usually soy or wheat), hydrolyzed wheat protein(made from wheat), autolyzed soy protein(made from soy), citric acid(made from corn). As you can see "MSG" or "free glutamic acid" is a product of isolating "glutamic acid" from the "complete versions". If it's not complete, it's not natural and is factory created aka toxic.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 07, 2011
at 06:02 PM

Short answer: Yes those do contain lots of natural "glutamic acid" but it's what we MAKE from that natural glutamic acid is what is bad. We take "natural glutamic acid" and made "free glutamic acid" out of it. Ok that wasn't too much shorter, MSG is a tough thing to explain lol.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on February 07, 2011
at 06:26 PM

Correction: these are highest sources of free glutamic acid, which is an excitotoxin, and does the same as Msg without the sodium bond.

Fda7109dbdcb020364ec1ea9eb918027

(30)

on February 20, 2011
at 10:42 PM

They are fairly high in free glutamate as well. [Source](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glutamic_acid_(flavor)#Concentration_in_foods)

Fda7109dbdcb020364ec1ea9eb918027

(30)

on February 20, 2011
at 10:42 PM

They are fairly high in free glutamate as well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glutamic_acid_(flavor)#Concentration_in_foods

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 19, 2011
at 09:58 PM

I hate corn so much so it makes sense.

2
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on January 25, 2011
at 04:36 AM

The two things I have read in my own research is that naturally occuring glutamate is all pure L form glutamate. So if you eat meat, the naturally occuring glutamate you are consuming is supposedly all the same pure form your own body makes and uses. Whereas glutamate made artificially (ie not produced by the flesh of a mammal) is not 100% pure and has other forms of glutamate as well that might have strange effects. Our body has a lot of glutamate receptors all over and when we eat artificial glutamate that is not all in the form that is natural, it supposedly can have strange and unpredictable effects. Consider that glutamate is also a neuro transmitter, thus making it not surprising that intake of artificial impure glutamate could even have an effect directly on the brain. I liken it to the potential effects of eating a lot of oxidized PUFA in grain oil. If eating this PUFA, you are eating fat, and body takes it and makes use of it in your cell structure, but yet it is not the fat that is best for you to actually have in your cell structure. This grain oil PUFA is basically similar enough to natural fat that your body will take it up and use it, but the difference in it is enough to cause healthy problems. Perhaps the diff between natural glutamate and artificial glutamate can cause a similar scenario. SImilar enough to be taken and utilized by the body, yet different enough to cause problems, and the problems being more obvious and immediate in those that are more sensitive. Something to think about anyway.

2
5f0158c23fcb5636e57b4ce097784da0

(1386)

on January 24, 2011
at 10:09 AM

there is no question that MSG sensitivity is real for certain people. i was one of them. my suspicion is that a leaky blood-brain barrier (often goes together with leaky gut -> similar mechanism) is one of the main causes. also, some nutrient deficiencies can worsen the problem, as the brain normally has some metabolic mechanisms to protect from too high glutamate levels. -> heal the gut and BBB (get off gluten, restore gut flora, avoid food allergies), and supplement with known neuro-protective agents like Theanine, P5P, B12, Magnesium, etc.

btw, there is an easy way to test how leaky your BBB is: take 1-2g of GABA (e.g. 2 caps of http://is.gd/KZGFGe), if you feel anything (sleepiness, relaxation), your brain "leaks". (GABA and Glutamate normally can not readily cross the BBB - only when it's leaky)

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on January 24, 2011
at 11:48 PM

How soon will you feel these effects if you do?

5f0158c23fcb5636e57b4ce097784da0

(1386)

on January 25, 2011
at 09:32 AM

usually within 15-30 minutes (only works on empty stomach)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 03, 2011
at 01:29 AM

MSG is a neurotoxin, just because someone doesn't notice symptoms doesn't mean it's not doing damage. NO ONE is immune to neurotoxins!

2
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 24, 2011
at 04:32 AM

I've not seen any real studies on people claiming they've got MSG problems. Could be some disease like phenylketonuria that we don't know about yet. Could be something else.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 03, 2011
at 01:39 AM

Sometimes the best evidence of something is what you hear from thousands of people from around the world. In the case of MSG, the proof is right here. This website is full of people who have linked MSG to their lifelong suffering: http://www.msgmyth.com/ Good site, there is lots of research done by the owner. You can't trust the studies, lots of them are corrupted because of ties with food companies and unsavory individuals who make money from addictive food additives like MSG. MSG creates food addicts, it's not in the best interest of those that sale MSG-laden food if it was called harmful

1
Dcf75062bae6720750ca20a4c0d047e4

on May 12, 2013
at 01:25 PM

Here are two symptoms that are not mentioned in MSG studies: Rapid/weak pulse and violent dreams. I'm an American residing in Thailand, 15 years, and am unquestionably badly affected by MSG. It's sad, because nearly all Thai restaurants use the stuff in quantity. I know, within 30 minutes after ingesting MSG, because the ill-effects hit me tangibly. Headache, without a doubt, but a here are few words about violent dreams:

Many times, I've woken up in the middle of the night from some repetitive violent dream sequence. I also happen to have dry mouth and am thirsty. I think back to the evening's meal, and invariably it will prove to have been one of my infrequent trips to a Chinese or Thai restaurant. I've learned to say "no MSG, please" (mai aow pong charot) in Thai, but that's only effective about half the time. Even if a Thai chef acknowledges my request, he/she will still unwittingly use some of the many bottled sauces that are in every Thai kitchen - all of which contain large amounts of MSG.

1
F26fbc92b18f4689769d6f8746ea40f7

(334)

on March 12, 2013
at 04:06 AM

MSG is used in lab rats to study obesity (i.e. MSG is used as a standard protocol to render them obese). It's proven that MSG directly messes with leptin ... so really bad news if you try to keep you body in balance!

1
Medium avatar

on January 24, 2011
at 07:12 PM

I wouldn't be surprised if glutamates are what really cause autism due to their known excitotoxic effects that would be highly damaging during crucial developmental stages of an infant's brain.

0
83a6b5ba4f01e80ec4cd89d5cc9f3fc7

on June 24, 2018
at 05:28 PM

And look at chicken drumsticks, 1 cup's worth, 3101 mg of lysine, (good for our lips), but 5553 mg of glutamic acid and 3374 of aspartic acid. So those "bad" amino acids must be modified by being bound with others in natural form. That's usually how it goes, Man just has to screw things up.


0
83a6b5ba4f01e80ec4cd89d5cc9f3fc7

on June 24, 2018
at 05:22 PM

Free glutamic acid is the culprit here. There are many aminal acids that are recommended for various helath issues, and often it is recommended tney be taken alone without food. But I tend to disagree with that, I have looked up some studies on which ios better and the jury is still out on actual laboratory proof. Howeverm it woupd seem to me, since food \originally was designed to contain all our nutrients to work together (and it no longer does due to soil minerals deficiencies {in the Creationaist point view, due the the Flood}) it wouild make sense to me to take supplements with food. I know when free glutamic acid is added to fake food products to delibrately give people a vbuzz of sorts and get them hooked, well, there's the answer to that one.

Now on a similar subject, I have been researching lysine in foods to keep my lip clear of cold sores (and it's working, lucky for me, all high protein foods are high lyusine foods). However I also notice , using nutritiondata,  that they also are highest in aspartic acid and glutamic acid, Both no no's for the brain in free form. Still trying to find the data on those. But they evidently are rendered harmless and even helpful when part of a complex collection of molecules found in meat tissues. A cip of full fat cottage cheese for example has 1055 mg of lysine , and 2942 mg of glutamic acid and 1023 mg of aspartic acid. So there you go.

0
Dcf75062bae6720750ca20a4c0d047e4

on May 12, 2013
at 01:33 PM

Regarding the question: 'If MSG is so bad, why don't millions of Chinese have headaches?'

I can't speak for bazillions of Chinese and all other East Asians who use copious amounts of MSG. I can surmise, however, that certain numbers do get msg-type reactions, such as headaches and irritable moods. I've heard various other symptoms from other people. Those Asians who get such ill-effects will unlikely equate them to ingesting msg, because it's not culturally acceptable to do so, or they just don't think to do so.  

Similarly, when heavy alcohol drinkers got liver problems, centuries ago, they would unlikely attribute those liver problems with drinking. In other words, people don't always pinpoint the cause of their ill-feelings with the likely causes. You could say that about many cancers and you can say that about migraines. Sometimes people know where their cancer or their headaches came from.  Other times they might get it wrong, and yet other times they might not even concern themselves about where their ill effects stemmed from. The latter explanation is how I presume many Asians react to ill-feelings such as headaches. 

Asians are also known to be deeply immersed in metaphysics and other sorts of hocus pocus. Sometimes their ill-feelings are attributed to ghosts or bad vibes - not unlike voodoo. Asians are also very much in to wild animal parts for (bogus) sexual enhancement - but that's a whole 'nother topic. 

0
43873f3cea4f22f91653b0f5ec7ab9d9

(401)

on March 12, 2013
at 02:13 AM

So how bad is it to take supplements encased in gelatin capsules? (My D3 and K2 are in them). I've heard that the gelatin capsules contain MSG. Also heard the same thing about other commercial gelatin products, even stuff like Great Lakes.

0
Bfb3b84e961d45f73c9272a86dfa7884

on March 12, 2013
at 02:00 AM

In general I avoid any food additives but am interested in the MSG debate. I have always taken the "MSG is harmful" stance however after the extreme/emotional responses from contributers such as 'justanotherhunt' and the generally scientific-based open-minded approach of those on the other side of the debate....I now tend to side with the latter.

0
9a63207eb5f6c70e2d35fc47db7de5ff

on January 24, 2013
at 04:45 PM

N-Acetyl Cysteine can negate some of the excitatory properties of excess glutamate in the body, and there is evidence for the fact that NAC is beneficial for conditions associated with excess glutamate like impulse control syndromes, OCD. NAC taken with meals is beneficial in so many aspects, not just for this. Its one of the supplements I'll be on until the day I die. But perhaps it could also marginalize some of these alleged negative effects of MSG, although I'd only expect "negative" consequences if MSG were consumed in large doses.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 19, 2011
at 08:49 PM

confusion chaos. there are serveral MSG on the makret. there is a cemical MSC there is a MSG made from natural things, there is yeast extract and there are other thing similiar to MSG.

So MSG is dangerous cause its not clear what is it. And a lot people have reactions on MSG and not report it. A lot people not wanna know if the body struggle with it.

And then how much MSG do you eat. In which size and what do you it with it together. How is your physical health. How is your health in general.

The best thing you can do make a experiment on msg and the different msg extracts.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 03, 2011
at 01:27 AM

For those of you that don't believe MSG and it's hidden additives aren't harmful to everyone I urge you to read "Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills".

Excitotoxins destroy your brain and body over time. For some people symtptoms could be a "headache" or minor pain. For others it can be anything from depression, anxiety to ADD/Autism ect.

MSG is not natural. The "natural" glutamate you're thinking of is the "bound form" called "glutamic acid" which exists naturally in meat and nature.

"Free Glutamic Acid" aka "MSG" is an isolated version of "glutamic acid" that is NOT natural and is factory created. This is the neurotoxic harmful version that should be avoided like the plague.

It's an excitotoxin like aspartame. It literally overexcites the brain to cell death. Leaving the person feeling tons of symptoms that could take 2 to 24 hours to manifest.

Please read that book, right now the effects of excitotoxins on the brain is the most studied thing by neurologist today. There is tons of proof that it's a very harmful neurotoxin.

The book "Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills" will change your outlook on MSG forever. Once you see the truth you will be SHOCKED.

MSG damage is not a myth, it's real.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on February 03, 2011
at 01:36 AM

Luckily, most all of us are easily able to avoid it with a paleo diet. I was trying to think of something I eat that comes in a box or with a list of ingredients and I can't. If it has ingredients listed, the only one is the item itself: "Butter."

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 03, 2011
at 01:44 AM

It was written by a ex brain surgeon who is very credible. Nowadays he spends his time researching the effects of MSG and exposing the lies found in many of the studies. Just read the book and decide for yourself, this Dr. Russell Blaylock is credible and he has great evidence as to what MSG is and does to the brain.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on February 03, 2011
at 01:42 AM

Well it must be true if someone wrote it in a book...

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on February 07, 2011
at 05:17 PM

ugh people, just because someone is a surgeon doesn't make them credible. There are surgeons that believe in homeopathy and psychic powers.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 07, 2011
at 05:41 PM

MSG is a neurotoxin. I'm willing to bet many in the paleo community had health problems relieved not just from avoiding grain but also because the paleo diet means no processed food which is laden with MSG. People who eat out get sick from "fraken sauces/oils" as they say and blame it on the soy. Sure soy sucks, but you guys are forgetting about the MSG!. Or you've never known about it, which is understandable since corrupted people have kept it hidden from the masses very well.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 07, 2011
at 05:38 PM

MSG is a neurotoxin. I'm willing to bet many people have many health problems relieved not because they went paleo and avoided grains. But also because going paleo means you aren't eating processed food which are laden with MSG and hidden "free glutamic acid" which is the same thing.

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