The Hidden Dangers of MSG
Back in the 1960s, baby foods frequently came with MSG. MSG made babies eat more of the food, but the surprising discovery was that it created numerous health side effects in infants. Rumors abounded about the dangers of MSG. It was associated with everything from increased fat to lessened attention spans to allergy sensitivity.
There was a great deal of debate regarding these claims. Ultimately, MSG was removed from solid baby foods in the late 1960s. With that said though, MSG is still a popular additive to many restaurant and store bought foods, and nonetheless, not healthy.
Sadly, the dangers of MSG do not care whether you’re an adult or a baby when you consume food filled with MSG.
Here are a few dangers of MSG:
MSG: Addictive and Fattening
CBN released a report on MSG in the CBN News Medical Reporter, warning people from eating foods laced with MSG. While MSG has the most hazardous effects on the brain before children are six, people of all ages struggle with obesity.
Part of this comes because MSG, short for monosodium glutamate, makes food taste better. It is a flavor enhancer. According to Dr. Mercola, it “makes processed meats and frozen dinners taste fresher and smell better, salad dressings more tasty, and canned foods less tinny.” It also triggers your mind to tell you that you need to keep eating.
Risks of Eating Foods with MSG
Dr. Russell Blaylock has performed extensive work on the effects of MSG. He classifies MSG as an excitotoxin, which means that it excites the cells in response to the flavor. In his work, he has discovered strong links to brain damage, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s disease, obesity, and more.
Part of this stems from the fact that MSG is very similar to the neurotransmitters within the brain that handle neuro-impulses. This is what allows the flavor to excite the brain and the cells so intensely.
Currently, even the FDA admits that there are certain risks to eating MSG in certain individuals. They classify these individuals as those who eat excessively large quantities, but they do not quantify this precise amount.
In all of the research regarding MSG, additional side effects have been documented. These side effects include
Headaches and migraines
Cutting MSG From Your Diet
Cutting MSG from your diet can be difficult. You will often struggle with withdrawals. This typically manifests itself as a craving for salty foods such as McDonalds chicken nuggets or Chinese food. Drinking lots of water and eating fresh produce can help to reduce the cravings.
The hardest part is not cutting out the MSG. It’s keeping it out. You might assume that you can just look for monosodium glutamate on the food labels. After all, the FDA requires that food manufacturers report on all the foods and additives. However, monosodium glutamate has many different names. You can find it under the following names:
It may also show up under other names as well, as these are all different ways of saying that the food contains free glutemates. The free glutemates are the part of monosodium glutamate that make it toxic. MSG can even make appearances in supposedly health foods that you should never eat.
The best way to avoid eating MSG is to eat whole foods and prepare the food yourself. Even though this may take extra effort, it is the best way to ensure that you are consuming healthy foods that nourish your body.
While you will still have to be careful about not overeating, you will at least just have to deal with regular taste rather than an excitotoxin that makes you crave more even when you aren’t hungry.
Gailon Totheroh, “The Hidden Danger in Your Food,” CBN News: Health and Science, http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/107253.aspx (2007).
Dr. Mercola, “MSG: Is This Silent Killer Lurking in Your Kitchen Cabinets,” Mercola, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/04/21/msg-is-this-silent-killer-lurking-in-your-kitchen-cabinets.aspx (2009).
Dr. Russel Blaylock, Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills.