MSG – Monosodium Glutamate

25 Sep

“She is like the merchant ships; she brings her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.” Proverbs 31:14-15

While many may not take these verses literally by getting up before dark, I believe these verses are extremely important as they put emphasis how a woman should work hard to benefit her family by finding the best available food out there and she should disciplined in her ways of providing. One way to do this, I believe, is to be well educated about the food you are preparing for your family.

I’ve always heard, “Avoid MSG at all cost!” I’ve seen signs at chinese food restaurants that proudly proclaim, “NO MSG!” Though, I’ve never actually done any research on MSG to see exactly what it is and why it is bad.

I decided to do some searching to find out what foods actually contain MSG. I came to find out that nearly ALL packaged products (which is what? 80-90% of our grocery store?) contain free glutamate (MSG).


So What is MSG?

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is a salt made from the amino acid Glutamic Acid (Glutamate). Many manufacturers use this as a flavor enhancer for foods. The human body has a natural controlled amount of glutamate, therefore glutamate in its original bound form is natural. The problems arrise from the processed glutamate. Manufactured MSG contains contaminants as a result of the processes it goes through. The natural glutamate is changed from its original form, which causes the MSG to be “free” from its bound form, thus being labeled as “free glutamate”. (For a MUCH better explaination, I recommend reading this article)

Here is the main problem with free glutamic acid – It is the very same neurotransmitter that your brain and many organs including your ears, eyes, nervous system and pancreas in your body use to initiate certain processes in your body.

So there we have it. It messes with our normal bodily functions, causing numerous health problems in the process. Now I know why MSG is bad.

So, what does MSG look like on the average food label?

Ingredients to Avoid: These are ingredients that contain the highest percentage of factory created free glutamate.

MSG Gelatin Calcium Caseinate
Monosodium glutamate Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP) Textured Protein
Monopotassium glutamate Hydrolyzed Plant Protein (HPP) Yeast Extract
Glutamate Autolyzed Plant Protein Yeast food or nutrient
Glutamic Acid Sodium Caseinate Autolyzed Yeast
Vegetable Protein Extract Senomyx (wheat extract labeled as artificial flavor)

You ready to have your heart broken? Check out what popular foods include free glutamate. *sigh*

*What Foods to Avoid*

Now, of course I have been avoiding pre-packaged frozen foods and pre-packaged things such as crackers, cookies, etc. as much as I can for a while now but I never really thought about ketchup, seasoned salt, canned soups, etc. I’ve always known that anything that comes pre-packaged is not the healthiest and most nutritious way to eat but I never would have thought these things contained MSG!

So what does this mean for our family?

A while ago we decided we wanted to start living a more healthy lifestyle. One of my goals is to eventually make the majority of our foods from scratch, using the most nutritious options available. Well, seeing as we live on a one (part-time) income at the moment, making all foods from scratch is not entirely possible at this time in our life. I can however eliminate some of the not-so-healthy-msg-containing foods from our diet though, as well as continue to take baby steps toward a more natural and healthier life.


Autism Contributor?

Food for Thought — These are lists of theories associated with MSG (in plain terms so they are easy to understand).

The one that struck me the most actually co-insides with my thoughts on autism! My brother is autistic and so over the years I have looked at a lot of research on autism. I’m hoping that someday I can at least find some reasonable explanation for his autism. This one, though, really has me wondering if MSG could be a culprit. Obviously, genetics play an important role in whether or not a person becomes autistic, but I firmly believe it is a combination of genetics and environmental factors that have lead to the increase in autism. Here is their “food for thought” on the subject:


MSG injected into mice reduces free glutathione levels

Glutathione protects children from mercury poisoning by chelating mercury

Both Mercury and glutamic acid are still found in certain vaccines

Vaccines are suspected of being an environmental trigger for autism in children

Mercury in the environment is increasing due to air pollution


One Response to “MSG – Monosodium Glutamate”

  1. buxi September 25, 2009 at 7:39 pm #

    i read a good book about msg and aspartame writen by russell blaylock. very good.i lost a lot a weight since i quit msg, it makes peoplo obese besides other ilnesses.
    good article!

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