Thursday, April 19, 2012
According to a spokeperson for the National Restaurant Association, "three out of four good restaurant operators are now using glutamate." Note that this makes glutamate sound like a good thing. Except that monsodium glutamate (MSG) is an excitotoxin like Asparatame, known to kill off brain cells. First MSG and other excitotoxins excite the cells to death, giving consumers that buzzy feeling.
But there is nothing appealing about watching mice fed MSG to fatten them up for obesity studies. Those mice can't stop eating, and it looks like they are on super fast food, just gobbling up that food, soon looking like giant balloon mice next to the normal mice, the ones not fed MSG.
Humans are five times more sensitive to MSG than mice are so it is mind boggling that MSG would be so prevalent in our food supply. Dr. George R. Schwartz, author of "In Bad Taste: The MSG Symptom Complex," notes that MSG may be used to cover up bad tasting, spoiled, or old food. Of course, it apparently makes us eat a whole lot more of it, just want to buy more and more of it.
Not to be left out, the fast food industry includes MSG in much of its food. For instance, Kentucky Fried Chicken has MSG in the chicken breading mix, gravies, and all food products. Let's leave nothing out.
Oh, and about your next flight. According to Dr. Schwartz, "The prepared meals offered to passengers on airplanes or trains are likely to contain MSG unless the individual in charge is very knowledgeable."
At your grocery store, here are some of the items most likely to contain MSG:
Flavored potato chips and prepared snacks
Canned soups and dry soup mixes
Canned meats, box dinners, and prepared meals
Poultry injected broth
Diet foods, salad dressings, cured meats and lunch meats are likely to contain MSG, too.
MSG comes under nearly 50 different names, but here are a few hints:
Sodium caseinate or calcium caseinate
Autolyzed yeast or yeast extract
Possible sources of MSG include textured protein, Carrageenan or vegetable gum, seasonings or spices, flavorings or natural flavorings, whey protein and soy protein, whey protein isolate and soy protein isolate, soy sauce, or extract. Just a partial list.
It is mind blowing that an excitotoxin is allowed to be called natural flavoring. There isn't anything natural about this freak of nature, this lab experiment. And certainly MSG is not what anyone has in mind when they read flavoring, spices, or seasonings on the label.
What snack might have MSG? Doritos with Nacho Cheese Flavor is the poster child for anti-MSG groups, but it could be Fritos Bar-B-Q Flavored Corn Chips, Pringles Sour Cream Chips, Frito Lay's Nacho Cheese Dip, or those Slim Jim snacks.
MSG is closely associated with people having headaches, sometimes severe headaches, such as migraines. It could be nausea, diarrhea, bloating, cramps. Or tightness around the face and chest, weakness, dizziness, palpitations. And it could be blurring of vision, seeing shining lights, difficulty focusing, which is why some refer to it MSG brain fog or foggy thinking.
Depression, paranoia, rage reactions, ADD, panic attacks, confusion, and insomnia are symptoms, according to Dr. Schwartz. Muscle aches, weakness, jaw stiffness, back pain, tendinitis, and arthritis are other symptoms.
Of course, asthma is one of the most serious, especially many people have ended up in the hospital and apparently at least a few had such severe symptoms they died.
The symptoms for children can include behavioral problems, chest discomfort, thirst, headache, stomachache, tiredness and depression, nausea, dizziness, even losing control of bowel and bladder function. And that is only a partial list, not including asthma, shortness of breath, and swelling of tongue and throat.
According to Dr. Schwartz, headaches, including migraine headaches, are a common symptom. Letters at the back of "In Bad Taste" give an idea of the suffering people often suffer through before finding answers.
Some researchers seem to be indicating that MSG and other excitotoxins can make the brain look like swiss cheese or like that of a stroke victim over time. The links to Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Lou Gerhrig's Disease, Huntington's Chorea, and other neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, and other diseases is are scary.
Of course, I am still in shock to see it in black and white that something like 75 percent of restaurants (or good restaurants) use glutamate. For some reason, I had a hard time grasping that, even when a researcher readily agreed with me that it was true. It was hard enough to absorb the fact that something like 80 percent of all processed, prepackaged, and prepared foods have MSG of some form in them. And most fast foods apparently. And let's not forget the salad dressings, soups, and other common offenders. And it is even in sun screens.
And when the sign says "NO MSG" on the restaurant door, many experts report that the restaurant still likely has MSG in its food. It is just in a form different from monosodium glutamate. One of the other nearly 50 names.
Excitotoxins such as Aspartame have even been associated with MS-like symptoms.
"In Bad Taste" by Dr. Schwartz provides a lot of helpful information in a way that is understandable--except for one thing. Why is MSG even in our food supply? Our shampoo? Our sunscreen? Why are excitotoxins in anything at all?