Lurking in your kitchen cabinets are the silent killers worse than nicotine and alcohol, known as monosodium glutamate MSG. It is a flavor enhancer, and one of the worst food additives. It is in salad dressings, frozen dinners, canned soup and even in baby formula and food. Though MSG makes food taste fresher and better, it is doing damages to your health.

What is MSG?

Kikunae Ikdeda, the Japanese inventor is the one that identified the natural flavor enhancing substance of seaweed. From this substance, the man-made additive was created. MSG is approximately 78% free glutamic acid, 21% sodium, and up to 1% contaminants. There is a misconception that MSG is a flavor or “meat tenderizer.” However, it has little taste and when consumed people think the food tastes better and has more protein. MSG does this by tricking tongues, using a fifth basic taste: umami.

Why MSG is Dangerous

MSG is an excitotoxin. That means it overexcites the cells in the body to the point of damage or death, causing brain damage to varying degrees.  It can potentially worsen or even triggering learning disabilities, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease and more. Free glutamic acid is the neurotransmitter the brain, nervous system, eyes, and other organs use to initiate certain processes. Glutamate receptors can be found both within the heart’s electrical conduction system and the heart muscle itself. When MSG is consumed, the glutamate receptors get over- stimulated and produce cardiac arrhythmias. If magnesium stores are low, like for athletes, the glutamate receptors are so sensitive, and even low levels of such excitotoxins can result in cardiac arrhythmias and death.”

Other adverse effects linked to regular consumption of MSG, include:

  • Obesity
  • Eye damage
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue and disorientation
  • Depression

“Short-term reactions” known as MSG Symptom Complex occurs in some people, particularly those who eat “large doses” of MSG or have asthma. MSG Symptom Complex can involve symptoms such as:

  • Numbness
  • Burning sensation
  • Tingling
  • Facial pressure or tightness
  • Chest pain or difficulty breathing
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness

Keeping MSG Out of Your Diet

You can assume that processed foods contain MSG, or one of the pseudo-ingredients in it does. The toxin can be avoided if diets are limited to whole and fresh foods. You should watch out for MGS in restaurants as well. Either request that no MSG is to be added to your meal or you can ask your server which items on the menu are free of MSG. to be on the safe side, know which ingredients to watch out for on packaged foods.