Sunday, April 26, 2009

MSG by any other name is still an excitotoxin

If you know me, you surely know I have suffered from migraines for awhile now. I had great success in reducing them through immunotherapy and learned a lot about foods and chemicals that are known to trigger headaches. One that usually gets me is MSG. In the latest Organic Consumers Association enewsletter, there was an article about avoiding MSG that caught my eye. I thought it was "bad" but not really toxic.

In fact, I appear to be wrong. Here's what they say:

"Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is one of the most common and hazardous food additives on the market. MSG is reportedly more toxic than alcohol, tobacco and many drugs. MSG is an excitotoxin, so it tricks your brain into wanting to eat more and more foods containing the ingredient, even if you are already full. Side effects of MSG include: obesity, eye damage, headaches, depression, fatigue and disorientation. Food manufacturers know that health-conscious consumers try to avoid MSG, so it is oftentimes not listed in a product's ingredients."
Bastards! If I have one pet peeve about food it's that labeling is too loosely regulated. Consumers should have all the tools at hand to determine what's in the food they are putting into their bodies and their children's. Isn't this simple, people? Geez.

Anyway, they went on to list all ingredients that *always* contain MSG:
  • Autolyzed Yeast
  • Calcium Caseinate
  • Gelatin Glutamate
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Hydrolyzed Protein
  • Monopotassium Glutamate
  • Monosodium Glutamate
  • Sodium Caseinate
  • Textured Protein
  • Yeast Extract
  • Yeast Food
  • Yeast Nutrient
Now you know. Make yourself a tiny little printout of this and put it in your wallet so when you're at the grocery store, you can use it as a reference. Yes, we are getting older. These are the things we have to do when our memories start going. :)

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