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MSG – It will excite you!

Written by  //  October 29, 2012  //  General Information, Good Stuff You Gotta Know!  //  6 Comments

MSGMSG – What you need to know!

MSG – monosodium glutamate, we all know it, eat it in our food, put in if not every prepared food available – almost every.  The FDA says it is GRAS – generally regarded as safe yet Neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock calls it “The Taste That Kills”.  This is one of those times that as a sweet friend pointed out, I have so much to say that she can tell I am typing full speed ahead in my article.  The typos are very evident but I am always so passionate about what I am writing I usually can’t wait to get it all down.  I will try to slow down here mostly because it is somewhat technical and I really want you to get the gist of what I am trying to say here.

In my research, I found many website pleading the cause of the dangers of MSG, but few had references.  You know that while I may agree with what is said I cannot put the information forth without substantiating the content.  I will tell you, I found it very difficult when it came to MSG.  In a video by Dr. Blaylock he said that even Ralph Nader, a great consumer advocate said he wasn’t willing to take on the cause because of all of the difficulties he faced from powerful food companies, their lawyers even our very own FDA.  I did however find numerous scientific papers, many of which were from outside the US.

What I have decided to do is take the common information from many websites, substantiate what I could, give you the best information I could find and let you decide for yourself.

People complain of the following symptoms when ingesting MSG:

  • Headache
  • Flushing
  • Sweating
  • Facial pressure (I get that) or jaw tightening
  • Numbness, tingling or burning face, neck and other areas
  • Rapid fluttering heartbeats (heart palpatations)
  • Chest pain (I get that too)
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Tiredness

I am sure there are more but the list is ample. This list comes from The Mayo Clinic.

There does not seem to be any dispute that MSG in an excitotoxin.   An excitotoxin basically means to excite and toxin meaning poison.  It causes brain cells to become excited and causes certain cells to fire rapidly, causing eventual death to that cell.  This is one of the statements I had to substantiate.  Unfortunately, I did.

“Nerve cells are damaged and killed by excessive stimulation by neurotransmitter such as glutamate and similar substances” Excitotoxins are amino acids that also serve ans neurotransmitter in the brain which include glutamate and aspartate (aspartame – you know, the sweet stuff).  2

The number one source of excitotoxin comes from the prepared foods we eat and food manufacturers add it intentionally.  One reason is it enhances the flavor of food.  Food, otherwise sitting in a can loses flavor over time.  MSG helps to correct that and helps make the food taste better.

There is another reason.  MSG produces leptin resistance.  Leptin is the hormone secreted by your pituitary that tells you that you are full.   Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have identified a signaling pathway in the brain that’s sufficient to induce cellular leptin resistance, a problem that decreases the body’s ability to “hear” that it is full and should stop eating.  What this means is that we will not be able to discern that we are full and in fact eat more!  Don’t think that food manufacturers don’t know this.  They want you hungry and want you eating more.  Everyone always says that after eating chinese food we are hungry an hour later.  It’s not a joke.  We are not hungry, we just don’t know that we are full!


MSG is also directly linked to diseases in the retina, alzheimers and other diseases and known to cause lesions in the brain.

If all of that is not enough, humans are five times more sensitive to MSG than any other animal.  3

Excitotoxins play a critical role in the development of several neurological disorders, abnormal neural development, certain endocrine disorders and neuropsychiatric disorders (Ikonomidou and Turski, 1995). MSG-treated animals as neonates or in the first days of life were shown to suffer neuro-endocrine disturbances including; stunting, abnormalities of the reproductive system, and under-development of certain endocrine glands (Nemeroff, 1981). These results may lead us to consider MSG as a new member of the endocrine disrupting chemicals group. 4

In an article from PubMed entitled “Harmful effects of MSG on function of hypothalamus-pituitary-target gland system” the article speaks of the negative impact on neonatal mice.  What affect is MSG have on our children?

Okay, you get it.  Now I will make you angry.  Food manufacturers have approximately 40 different names of foods that can contain MSG.  Here is the list:

(Information provided by the Truth in Labeling Campaign)

Names of ingredients that always contain processed free glutamic acid:

Glutamic acid (E 620)2,  Glutamate (E 620)
Monosodium glutamate (E 621)
Monopotassium glutamate (E 622)
Calcium glutamate (E 623)
Monoammonium glutamate (E 624)
Magnesium glutamate (E 625)
Natrium glutamate
Yeast extract
Anything “hydrolyzed”
Any “hydrolyzed protein”
Calcium caseinate,  Sodium caseinate
Yeast food, Yeast nutrient
Autolyzed yeast
Textured protein
Soy protein, soy protein concentrate
Soy protein isolate
span style=”color: #000000;”>Whey protein, whey protein concentrate
Whey protein isolate

Anything “…protein”

*Names of ingredients that often contain or produce processed free glutamic acid:

Carrageenan (E 407)
Bouillon and broth
Any “flavors” or “flavoring”
Citric acid, Citrate (E 330)
Anything “ultra-pasteurized”
Barley malt
Pectin (E 440)
Anything “enzyme modified”
Anything containing “enzymes”
Malt extract
Soy sauce
Soy sauce extract
Anything “protein fortified”
Anything “fermented”


*The following are ingredients suspected of containing or creating sufficient processed free glutamic acid to serve as MSG-reaction triggers in HIGHLY SENSITIVE people:
Corn starch  

Corn syrup  

Modified food starch 
Lipolyzed butter fat
Rice syrup
Brown rice syrup  

Milk powder 
Reduced fat milk (skim; 1%; 2%)   
most things low fat or no fat  
anything Enriched
anything Vitamin enriched

(1)    Glutamic acid found in unadulterated protein does not cause adverse reactions.  To cause adverse reactions, the glutamic acid must have been processed/manufactured or come from protein that has been fermented.

I checked the FDA government website about MSG.  They said although their was evidence showing the negative impact with regard to brain lesions in mice, there was no evidence showing this was the case with humans and concluded that it was still gras.  (Generally regarded as safe).

I wonder:

a) What will it take?  and

b) What will happen when they are finally held accountable for supporting the almighty dollar over human life?

  2. Death by Profit Margin by Ronald L Myers, CNC WNHO – World Natural Health Organization
  3. Dr. Russell Blaylock, “The Taste That Kills”
  4. African Journal of Biotechnology Vol 11(48) pp 10816-10823 10.5897/AJB12.1262 ISSN 16845315©2012 Acanemic Journals

5.       Excitotoxins, Neurodegeneration and Neurodevelopment,  Russell L. Blaylock, M.D

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6 Comments on "MSG – It will excite you!"

  1. Fitness Wayne | Paleo Diet and Exercise October 29, 2012 at 9:27 pm · Reply

    Wow, I had always heard that MSG was bad but never knew it was that bad. Since I generally follow a paleo diet I probably eat very little MSG but now I need to make sure it isn’t in any of my seasonings. The really crazy thing is how many different ingredients contain MSG. How is a person suppose to remember all of those? Manufacturers should have to tell you if there is MSG in a product.

    • Eileen October 29, 2012 at 9:35 pm · Reply

      Glad you find the articles helpful. The best way to be sure you are not getting msg in your food is to eat as much unprocessed food as possible. That means more work on our part because we have to prepare it but aren’t we worth the effort. Read your labels. If you can’t say it, then don’t eat it!

  2. Arnette October 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm · Reply

    Hi Eileen, I did not know – I thought that I only had to look for the MSG content and I would be good. Even in chinese rest., I ask for meal with no MSG and I always wonder how they can really bring my meal so fast. Plus I still tend to get the sweating flushed feeling or head hurting pressure. So eating out just got harder!! (though I usually stick with just protein (meat) and salad. Thank you for the article!!

  3. Robert October 30, 2012 at 8:11 pm · Reply

    Well said, I have found in the past when I ate too many foods containing MSG I did not feel well at all. I felt anxious and sometimes would get headaches. I follow the Eileen theory if it does not come naturally I am not going to partake to the best of my ability. Health advocates have been needed for so many years, I am glad you are one of them.

  4. Terri November 6, 2012 at 2:24 am · Reply

    Thanks for the information, I am confused by your list of ingredients. Is MSG in all those on the list. I always thought Whey Protien or anything protien was good for you. Is getting hard to know what to eat. I do not have the time to cook a lot and as of now I carry half of my kitchen with me to work.
    A natural Doctor even started my family member on Whey Isolate for him to help his muscles because he has MD.
    Wow! it does not pay to eat.

    • Eileen November 6, 2012 at 12:13 pm · Reply


      I understand your confusion. Labeling is a very misleading practice. Please don’t be discouraged. We can only do the best we can. That information comes from That wasn’t the only source though. There are many and they all pretty much include the same information. Discounting that whey is not paleo, if you want to use a whey protein powder look for one that is from grass fed beef, hormone and antibiotic free and hopefully no artificial sugar. One I know of is from Stronger Faster Healthier. It unfortunately does contain a small amount of stevia (I wish it didn’t) but I think it is great on all other levels. Just remember, we can only strive to do the best we can. Don’t make yourself crazy. Being paleo will help you so much and improve your health and energy tremendously. Hang in there and feel free to ask any questions. Hope this helps.

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