Aside from it’s main purpose of making food taste better, there are several monosodium glutamate side effects. MSG stimulates the taste-buds, making them more sensitive to flavor. This tricks your brain into thinking the food tastes better.
If that was all MSG did, there wouldn’t be an issue. But it isn’t. Monosodium glutamate side effects go far beyond this purpose, and not all of those side effects are positive. Equally unfortunate is that the FDA has not acted on the issues and MSG maintains the status of “generally regarded as safe”. Considering the negative side effects, MSG should be banned, especially since it is abused by the food industry so much.
Monosodium glutamate side effects?
- Some people are allergic to MSG: A small amount can cause anaphylactic shock. Like other allergies….peanut, wheat, citrus, shellfish etc. the reaction varies from mild to being life threatening. Because MSG is used in so many products, it should be banned. The reason is simple. When someone has a severe peanut allergy, they avoid peanuts and products containing peanuts. Products containing peanuts or potential traces of them are required to mark this on the packaging. Compare this with MSG where most processed foods contain it but, because of a loop hole in labeling laws, it does not have to be listed in the ingredients. This creates a very dangerous situation that needs to be addressed. Companies should at least be forced to label the foods correctly.
- MSG is addictive. When you eat it, it stimulates your taste buds and and makes you want more of the same. This causes you to overeat: Have you ever wondered why you can’t stop at one potato chip? These Monosodium glutamate side effects are the reason. You can be physically full, but MSG stimulates your hypothalamus which controls your appetite and makes you want to eat more. Long term use of MSG permanently damages the hypothalamus. This means that your body has no way of telling you when you are full so it is easy to overeat. MSG also makes insulin levels spike. When insulin spikes, blood sugar levels drop and this causes hunger. Food manufacturers know this and use MSG to make their foods addictive. MSG takes away a person’s choice in what they eat by causing an addiction. That is immoral and should be illegal. MSG can also be viewed as a major contributor to the incredible increase in diabetes in our society. It’s also a major factor in bulimia. MSG encourages people to binge. That’s why snack producers use it, so we will eat more of their products. Thankfully, people are becoming savvy to this and choosing not to eat food containing MSG. But companies deny even this personal choice for people. Because of the GRAS (generally regarded as safe) designation, they are permitted to include MSG as an ingredient in a list of so-called “secret ingredients”. These are ingredients that are not required on food labels because it may allow competitors to copy the recipe and steal the business. Take this one step further, some of these contain MSG and if companies list that product, they do not have to label the individual ingredients. The names of these common products include ‘Natural Flavorings’, ‘Naturally Flavored’, Artificial and Natural Flavors’. THESE ARE PRODUCT NAMES rather than FDA designations. These names hide the fact that those products are additives. The primary ingredient in most of those products is MSG, anytime you see them in the ingredients list, just replace the word with MSG…because that is what it means. Also be on the watch for ‘hydrolized vegetable protein’, ‘yeast extract’ and ‘glutamic acid’ (additive 620) as these are chemically identical to MSG.
- The most controversial of the monosodium glutamate side effects is what it does to your appetite: MSG is an “excitotoxin”. This is a chemical that stimulates your nervous system using a mechanism normally used to fight infection or remove damaged tissue. The human brain is normally sterile and doesn’t have the same type of immune system as the rest of your body. The main immune system is based on an inflammatory mechanism. Inflammation in the brain is potentially deadly, so your brain uses a glial system instead. The glial system secretes chemicals that rip invading particles apart and stimulate the brain. Guess what the mechanism of action for MSG is? Guess what the side effect is? The long-term effect of this is slow degradation of surrounding tissue. In effect, MSG kills neurons (brain cells) by exciting them to death! MSG has also been implicated in Alzheimer’s.
- MSG causes rapid growth in certain cancer cells: According to Dr. Russell Blaylock some cancers have glutamate receptors. “The total picture is, if you’re consuming a diet with glutamate in it, particularly high levels, you’re making your cancer grow very rapidly. I refer to it as cancer fertilizer.” Cancers with these receptors include several brain cancers, colon cancer, breast cancer, and others as well.
As you can see from these monosodium glutamate side effects, MSG should be avoided. Most modern Chinese restaurants understand this and have now removed this ingredient from their cooking.
The main problem now is packed and processed foods, and those at fast food restaurants. The bottom line is this. The only way to avoid large quantities of MSG is by not eating those foods.
Take a look at this great post about monosodium glutamate side effects from the Food Intolerance Network. Another great article about MSG can be found at CBN.com – The Hidden Danger In Your Food. The CBN article is a three part series on monosodium glutamate side effects.
This post does not constitute medical advice nor should it be substituted for professional medical advice. This post titled “Monosodium Glutamate Side Effects on Obesity” is intended for informational purposes only. Click the following link to read about more food additives to avoid.