By Dr Janey
MSG or Monosodium glutamate is a chemical flavouring added to food to impart a meaty flavour to foods. It is generally accepted as the most common, as well as the most toxic chemical food additive in processed foods today!
So what exactly does MSG do to you when you consume it?
Well MSG is recognised not only as an excitotoxin and neurotoxin (ie it stimulates the firing of nerve cells to the point of exhaustion and death), but it is also acknowledged as a carcinogen (ie it causes cancer!)
When MSG is metabolised in the body it releases formaldehyde (you know the stuff used to preserve weird and wonderful creatures in biology jars!) which then binds with the DNA of your cells causing damage to those cells. When you consume MSG week in and week out (knowingly or unknowingly) the damaging effects accumulate resulting in a host of different symptoms in the body ranging from headaches and migraines, to sleeping disorders and illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and cancer to name just a few….
In addition to this, MSG is known to cross the blood brain barrier entering the brain and particularly the hypothalamus. Scientists have demonstrated that mice fed MSG develop retinal lesions and become severely obese. The reason for this is that MSG causes lesions in the hypothalamus, a region of the brain that is responsible for regulating energy. Those individuals that consume it therefore develop addictive-type eating habits for the foods that contain it, leading to compulsive eating disorders and obesity.
How do you know whether you’re consuming MSG or not?
Well that’s the really tricky part! Manufacturers, wise to the fact that their customers are becoming ever more savvy in reading and identifying ingredients on food labels, choose instead to hide the presence of MSG by calling it numerous different names.
Take a look at this list. Ever noticed any of the following ingredients listed on your food packaging and wondered what they were……..?
Textured soy protein, plant protein extract, hydrolysed protein, calcium caseinate, sodium caseinate, bouillon, yeast extract, malt flavouring, gelatin and other innocuous sounding ingredients such as broth, seasoning, stock and even natural flavouring!
Some of these names sound rather harmless don’t they? Well the truth is……each of the above names listed indicates the presence of MSG!
Unless you are aware of the various names it masquerades under, you and your family could very easily be consuming this toxic and addictive chemical food additive every week (and possibly even every day!)
It may also be helpful to know the types of food MSG is likely to be added to. Although this is not an exhaustive list, it will give you some idea of the most common ‘guilty’ food types…….
Condiments, commercial salad dressings, gravies, soups, processed meats such as polony, ham, vienna sausages etc as well as crisps. If you tend to take supplements in the hope of countering any deficiencies in your diet, then you’re probably taking in MSG there too. For vegetarians who opt for veggie burgers or veggie sausages, MSG is added to promote that meaty flavour as well as to soy products and soy sauces. Most fast foods have MSG -look no further than many of the big names in fast food for a generous portion of MSG! In fact, most ready-made, fast or processed food invariably contains it!
And it doesn’t end there…….protein shakes used by dieters and body builders contain MSG (ironic when you understand MSG’s propensity for causing obesity!), it’s added to cosmetics and it’s in our vaccines, and perhaps most disturbingly it can be found in infant and baby formulas setting up a whole new generation that is vulnerable to obesity and the various diseases it predisposes to!
So, how on earth do we avoid this seemingly ever-present and highly damaging chemical in our foods? Quite simply we can do one of the two……
1. Become familiar with all the names under which MSG masquerades and avoid those products that contain it
2. Follow the golden rule of health – avoid all processed foods in your diet!
In summary; if you haven’t prepared and cooked your own food with the original, natural and organic ingredients and then eaten it without adding commercially prepared condiments, you are very likely eating a meal that is richly laced with MSG!