Nasty Additives: Monosodium glutamate (MSG)

Nov 29

Nasty Additives: Monosodium glutamate (MSG)

Normally I post my weight loss results here on Mondays, but I’ve decided to move that to Wednesdays as that’s when I’m talking about my 50th birthday Challenge, so if you want to see how I’m progressing there, check back on Wednesday!

Today’s Nasty Additive is Monosodium Glutamate

Ok, this additive is no big surprise. We’ve been hearing about it for ages, and most of us try to avoid it. However, avoiding it is difficult because they no longer list it as MSG. It goes under a number of seemingly harmless names.   Here is a list of MSG’s “hidden names” – if you see these on a package, you’re ingesting MSG.

The debate is still ongoing regarding the dangers of ingesting MSG. There’s an excellent article on Wikipedia entitled “Glutamic acid (flavor)” that lists some of the research and the findings that have occurred over the past several years. Some people are quite sensitive to it, and others find that it causes weight gain that is stubborn to get rid of.

While the debate is ongoing, I believe that it’s always better to be safe than sorry! I’ve listed some findings here that may be of interest to you. Note that the symptoms described below may well be more anecdotal than research based, but if you experience them, it might be wise to simply remove MSG from your diet and see if your symptoms improve.

According to, and

MSG is Always In MSG is Often In Other Surprising Sources
  • Autolyzed yeast
  • Calcium caseinate
  • Gelatin
  • Glutamate
  • Glutamic acid
  • Hydrolyzed protein
  • Monopotassium glutamate
  • Monosodium glutamate
  • Sodium caseinate
  • Textured protein
  • Yeast extract
  • Yeast food
  • Yeast Nutrient
  • Barley Malt
  • Bouillon
  • Broth
  • Carrageenan
  • Enzyme-modified substances
  • Flavoring
  • Flavors
  • Malt Extract
  • Malt flavoring
  • Maltodextrin
  • Natural flavor/flavorings
  • Natural pork/beef/chicken flavoring
  • Pectin
  • Protein-fortified substances
  • Powdered Milk
  • Seasonings
  • Soy protein
  • Soy protein isolate or concentrate
  • Soy sauce
  • Soy sauce extract
  • Stock
  • Ultra pasteurized food
  • Vegetable gum
  • Whey protein
  • Whey protein isolate or concentrate
  • Salad dressing
  • Frozen meals
  • Packaged and restaurant soups
  • Cheese
  • Reduced fat milk
  • Chewing gum
  • Ice cream
  • Cookies
  • Vitamin enriched foods
  • Beverages
  • Candy
  • Cigarettes
  • Medications
  • I.V. Materials
  • Supplements, particularly minerals
  • Baby foods, baby forumlas

According to Monosodium glutamate is known to cause a long list of side effects and health problems. Here are some to watch out for:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Asthma attacks
  • Burning, numbness, or tingling in or around your mouth
  • Brain damage
  • Cancer
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Damage to your unborn child
  • Death due to an MSG reaction
  • Diarrhea
  • Eye inflammation
  • Flushing
  • Free radical damage to your blood vessels (this can lead to a heart attack or a stroke)
  • Headaches (including migraine headaches)
  • Heart disease
  • Memory loss
  • Nausea
  • Pressure or tightness in the muscles in your face
  • Fertility problems (for both men and women)
  • Rapid, fluttering heartbeats
  • Seizures
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stuttering or speech problems
  • Sweating
  • Swelling of the brain (brain edema)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Weakness
  • Weight gain (the weight you gain from eating MSG is very difficult to lose)

This is a particularly difficult additive to avoid. For the most part, the only way to do it is to eat fresh, unprocessed food.

If you have any comments about MSG and your own experience, research, etc., please share in the comments section below.

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* Any link with an asterisk (*) denotes an affiliate link or a source with some kind of payback for me.
The advice offered in this blog is based upon the author’s own experience. The author is not engaged in rendering professional advice or services to the readers. The ideas, procedures, and suggestions in this blog are not intended to replace a consultation with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. All matters regarding your health require medical supervision. The author shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity that incurs any loss, damage, or injury caused directly, or indirectly from any information or suggestion in this Program.
* Any link with an asterisk (*) denotes an affiliate link or a source with some kind of payback for me.
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