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All About MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) - Why do food companies use MSG?

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MSG does not affect food, instead it tricks your brain into thinking the food you are eating tastes good. Manufacturers can use inferior ingredients, and by adding MSG, mask the inferior quality and freshness of foods. It is used to disguise the tinny taste of canned products and to give a fresh taste to frozen or freeze-dried foods. Food companies are able to make their ingredients go much further with the help of this flavor enhancer, thus cutting their production costs. Inferior products and higher profits prevail at the expense of consumer health. MSG is not a preservative and does not protect food from contamination or spoilage.

Why do some people experience a reaction after ingesting MSG? MSG works like a drug, altering taste buds’ sensitivity. While all people do not seem to react to the current dose levels found in our food supply, about 30 percent of the population does respond adversely. As higher and higher doses of MSG are added to foods, more and more people are experiencing reactions.... Current levels added to food are fifty times higher than amounts used forty years ago—and the quantity continues to grow every year.

What kinds of reactions can MSG cause in people? Reported reactions to MSG include: headaches, migraines, stomach upset, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma attacks, shortness of breath, anxiety or panic attacks, heart palpitations, partial paralysis, “heart-attack like symptoms,” balance difficulties, mental confusion, mood swings, behavioral disorders (especially in children and teens), allergy-type symptoms, skin rashes, runny nose, bags under the eyes, flushing, mouth lesions, depression, and more. In addition, medical research has demonstrated glutamate relationships in Alzheimer’s Disease, ALS (Lour Gehrig’s Disease), diabetes, Huntington’s Disease, and Parkinson’s Disease.

NOTE: Scientists used to feel that infants were the group most at risk from MSG. Now, however, researchers have found a relationship between MSG and some of the dreaded neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, Parkinsonism, Huntington's disease, and Alzheimer's disease, which all affect the elderly.

Hidden sources: While MSG in its pure form must be labeled, food manufacturers are aware that consumers have become savvy to the term, “monosodium glutamate," and are now adding enormous amounts to our foods under devious and difficult-to-identify names—with the Food and Drug Administration’s approval. When added to another ingredient (frequently the case with carrageenan, for instance), the FDA does not require that MSG be listed as such on a label.

Food labels are arranged in descending order of ingredient concentrations. The earlier an ingredient below appears on a label, the higher the likelihood that the food contains MSG.

Definite Hidden MSG: autolyzed yeast, calcium caseinate, gelatin, hydrolyzed protein, sodium caseinate and yeast extract.

Possible Hidden MSG: textured protein, carrageenan, vegetable gum, seasonings, spices, flavorings, natural flavorings, chicken flavoring, soy sauce, beef flavoring, boullion broth, malt, whey, protein, soy protein, pork flavoring, smoke flavoring bouillon broth stock barley malt malt extract malt flavoring, whey protein isolate. whey protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, soy protein concentrate and soy extract.

Unfortunately, is impossible to provide an all-inclusive list because the food industry is always inventing new labeling deceptions to confound consumers.

We also suggest elimination of the excitotoxin, aspartame (Nutrasweet™ et al.), from your diet, as many people who react to one also react to the other. It is also important to know that MSG can also be found (though not always) in vaccines, flu shots, IV solutions (as maltodextrin), and in vitamin supplements. MSG is always present in any gelatin-encapsulated vitamin or supplement.

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