(NaturalNews) Typically, individuals concerned about health read labels and question if the food they consume will promote vitality and balance. So it's particularly disturbing when a hazardous ingredient is allowed to infiltrate the food supply under a misleading name that hides its true identity. Thanks to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we now have monosodium glutamate (MSG) covertly present in food, as well as crops that are sprayed with a noxious pesticide riddled with the toxin. For those who believe buying organic produce and shopping at natural markets will protect you from this brain damaging, disease promoting agent - think again.
Health disorders triggered by flavor enhancer
If you experience migraine headaches, brain fog, weight gain or have hyperactive children, the culprit may be hidden within your favorite food. Also linked with neurological disorders, inflammation, diabetes, infertility and liver disease, MSG is a common additive which has serious health consequences. Take for example the hormone, leptin, which regulates hunger and satiety. When MSG is ingested, damage is caused to the hypothalamus region in the brain - thereby causing leptin resistance. Eventually, this important hunger taming mechanism will breakdown completely and the urge to eat will never stop.
Furthermore, researchers at the University of Yoyama in Japan found that mice treated with MSG developed inflammation, obesity, diabetes and lesions on the liver. The team believes the findings " . . . take on considerable significance in light of the widespread usage of dietary MSG and we suggest that MSG should have its safety profile re-examined and be potentially withdrawn from the food chain."
Another study at the Institute for Pathophysiology in Serbia discovered a correlation between MSG exposure during neonatal periods and lesions on neural structures and retinas in test animals. The researchers also noted an increase in neuroendocrine disorders such as stunted growth, obesity and infertility in later adulthood.
By any other name
When the health ramifications of MSG came to light in the late 1960s, the toxin was subsequently removed from commercial baby food and " . . . generally driven underground by a new movement toward natural, whole foods, " according to the New York Times. But food manufacturers soon realized their tasteless, inexpensive ingredients simply weren't as profitable (or addicting) without the flavor enhancer. So began the quest to disguise MSG under names like:
The toxin can also be labeled as "natural flavor" or "spice." Even low-sodium products usually contain MSG as a substitute for salt. Needless to say, junk and fast food harbor large quantities of the additive. Yet you may be surprised that 'healthy' prepared and convenience food can conceal MSG as a seemingly innocuous ingredient like plant protein extract. Soups tend to be some of the worst offenders, whether purchased at your favorite natural market or mainstream grocery store.
Monosodium glutamate is also found in kombu extract, carageenan (often used in non-dairy milk substitutes), Parmesan cheese, gelatin, over-ripe tomatoes and fresh produce sprayed with Auxigro or grown with omega protein refined fish emulsion and/or hydrolyzed feather meal. A request for the use of Auxigro on organic crops in all states is pending approval.
A comprehensive list of brands, aliases and foods that contain MSG can be found here.
About the author: Carolanne believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, she has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of green living for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.net, she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people who share a similar vision.