Saturday, February 11, 2012

Beware of MSG

Did you ever eat a meal at a restaurant or friend’s house and feel tired or get a headache shortly after or feel terrible the next day? Or maybe you are so used to eating many highly processed foods that you feel lethargic  and dull all the time. Very likely the cause could be MSG or Monosodium Glutamate, a cheap food additive meant to add flavor to processed foods. The problem is that MSG may cause overeating, weight gain, addiction, stimulates the pancreas to make insulin, deceives the tongue into thinking a food is highly nutritious and filled with protein, allows food manufacturers to add less real food to a product, and overstimulates the brain.(1) Organs or health conditions that are adversely affected by MSG: allergies, increases blood pressure, blood vessels and headaches, damaging brain cells, digestive system, endocrine system, hearing and ringing in the ears, heart rate and irregular or racing heartbeat, hypoglycemia, hypothalamus and thyroid dysfunction, lungs and asthma, nervous system and multiple sclerosis, pancreas and type 1 and 2 diabetes, and impairs vision.(2)
Some people are more sensitive to MSG than others. People with the following conditions may be more sensitive to MSG ingestion than other people: autism, alcohol use, CoQ10 deficiency, damaged liver, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, Gilbert’s syndrome, hypoglycemia, magnesium deficiency, Parkinson’s disease, allergies, type 1 diabetes, and vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 deficiency.(3)
Many believe that much of the poor health conditions of the US public can be attributed to the daily consumption of MSG. And, drug companies may be pressuring the FDA to not ban MSG since they reap huge profits from people seeking treatment for their poor state of health.(4)
My personal experience has been that when I ate a food with MSG in it I would not feel well afterwards usually experiencing a painful headache for a day or longer. So, I learned to avoid ingesting MSG since I felt much better by doing so. After all, there are plenty of healthy ways of making flavorful foods without using harmful MSG. I avoid Asian restaurants unless they specifically stated no MSG on the menu, I avoid fast food restaurants, and I avoid food products that contain MSG. Unfortunately, avoiding MSG is not as simple as reading an ingredient label and looking for the word MSG since food manufacturers hide MSG under many different names. For an extensive list of what foods to avoid, follow this link: In general, I avoid eating highly processed foods that have a long ingredient list especially with foods I don’t recognize. I buy fresh produce and make my own foods at home or buy minimally processed foods with only a few whole food ingredients that I recognize, like organic lemon juice and organic kale.
MSG Truth has extensive info compiled by food scientist, Carol Hoernlein: (1, 2, 3)
Truth in Labeling also has much information and what action one can take: (4)
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Anonymous said...

I have heard that nama shoyu is harmful. I use Kikkoman shoyu for dressing, etc. I also hear that our brain is harmed by MSG. Is that true?


Roland & Naoko said...

Hi Mayumi,

Speaking from personal experience, I have found MSG to be harmful, always giving me a headache, so I avoids foods with MSG in it at all cost. I personally never eat the Kikkoman soy sauce. Even Nama Shoyu feels harmful to me, so I avoid it too. The gluten free, low sodium Tamari in very small amounts (less than 1 tsp.) seems to be the healthiest if you must have soy sauce. Best would be to avoid all soy sauce since it appears to be a highly processed food that is not necessary to eat and not conducive to health. I use just a tiny bit of natural sea salt or Himalayan pink salt for that salty taste. We sell both on our website.

For a more detailed explanation, please read my recent blog here:

Thank you for writing to us!

Roland Oehme
Green Harmony Living
PO Box 10164
Baltimore-Towson, MD 21285-0164
Online Store:

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ayahe fia said...

In my country, too much MSG ads in tv, so make people opinion that you never make a delicious food without MSG :(

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