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MSG is safe in small amounts, or so you think

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 by: Cindy L.
Tags: MSG, cancer prevention, MSG effects

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(NaturalNews) MSG is a flavor enhancer added to loads of processed foods. Conventionally considered to be safe for consumption, MSG has even been touted to be beneficial, as it can help reduce salt intake while keeping food tasty. Although some consumers claim they experience what is known as the MSG symptom complex after ingesting the additive, studies are quickly highlighted to assert the absence of link between MSG and the symptoms, as well as conditions like asthma and obesity. Even if MSG produces undesired effects, it is because it is ingested in large quantities. So if you consume MSG in small amounts, you are safe, right? That is exactly what food companies would have you believe.

How safe is MSG exactly?

The effects of MSG

MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is a sodium salt of glutamic acid, a non-essential amino acid. Glutamate is actually found naturally in many foods, and is also produced by the body for healthy metabolism and brain functions.

However, excessive glutamate has been found to contribute to many neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Lou Gehrig's disease, stroke, encephalitis, and brain infections. And since MSG consumption actually increases glutamate levels in the body, you could unknowingly be eating your way to dementia.

A 1968 study by Washington University found that excessive consumption of MSG led to brain cell damages in lab animals. Subsequently, the use of MSG was discontinued in many baby foods.

MSG use can lead to lesions in the hypothalamus that is in turn linked to abnormal development, such as obesity, short stature and problems with sexual reproduction.

MSG ingestion can over-stimulate the heart's electrical conduction system, triggering sudden cardiac arrest or arrhythmia, especially in people with low magnesium levels.

Glutamate in the form of MSG is also known to alter genetic functions and increase free radicals. Hence, it should not be surprising that studies show MSG can stimulate the growth of malignant tumors. In fact, drugs that block glutamate have been found to actually help shrink tumors.

Studies have also found that free glutamate (MSG) precipitated type II diabetes in animals.

Since glutamate plays a major role in the sensation of pain, consuming foods high in MSG can actually increase pain levels.

Are you really consuming just small amounts of MSG?

MSG does not have to be labeled exactly as "MSG" on food packaging. Some synonyms for MSG include "Glutamate Textured Protein", "Glutamic Acid Yeast Extract", "Gelatin Yeast Nutrient" and "Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein". Many ingredients used in processed foods also contain MSG, for example, monopotassium glutamate, glutamic acid, gelatin, hydrolyzed plant protein, autolyzed plant protein, sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate, textured protein, yeast extract, yeast food or nutrient, and autolyzed yeast.

And restaurant owners definitely do not announce that they add MSG to help their foods taste good.

So what this means is that you may be consuming more MSG than you actually know. And the effects of all the MSG you have consumed add up over time.

You do not need to consume a lot of MSG to be hurt by it. For example, the 1968 Washington study found that just one-quarter teaspoon of MSG can upset the digestive system and trigger allergies in many infants.

The safe way with MSG

A bit of MSG could just be too much MSG. Hence, the safest way to go is really to go WITHOUT MSG.

Reducing or even eliminating the intake of processed foods would be crucial. Preparing fresh foods whenever possible is the best thing for overall health.

Sources for this article include:

Blaylock, Russell L, MD. Natural Strategies For Cancer Patients. New York, NY: Kensington Publishing, 2003. Print.

Fischer, William L. How to Fight Cancer & Win. Rev ed. USA: Agora South, 2000. Print.

Bollinger, Ty. Cancer: Step Outside The Box. 5th ed. USA: Infinity 510 510 Partners, 2011. Print.

About the author:
Cindy L. has a keen interest in natural healing. She was previously trained in Psychology and is currently receiving training in Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has written on depression (at HolisticDepressionHelp.com) as well as other ailments (at Insights On Health.com).

Her belief in holistic living extends beyond health - her passion for green living can be seen in her website at All Recycling Facts.com.

Follow her at Health on The-Journey-Of-Life.

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