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  1. #1
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    Monday’s medical myth: MSG is a dangerous toxin

    Monday’s medical myth: MSG is a dangerous toxin

    Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is widely viewed as a dangerous food toxin that is responsible for adverse reactions to Chinese food and other meals. But is it really the MSG that’s to blame? Glutamate is a naturally occurring amino acid, used chiefly in our body to make protein. Most of us normally eat…

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    1. Merlin Thomas

      Adjunct Professor of Preventive Medicine at Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute
    Disclosure Statement

    Merlin Thomas does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.
    The Conversation

    The Conversation is an independent source of information, analysis and commentary from the university and research sector—written by acknowledged experts, curated by professional editors and delivered direct to the public. read more

    90% of the glutamate in our diet comes from protein, not MSG. Kevin H Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is widely viewed as a dangerous food toxin that is responsible for adverse reactions to Chinese food and other meals. But is it really the MSG that’s to blame?
    Glutamate is a naturally occurring amino acid, used chiefly in our body to make protein. Most of us normally eat around 10 grams of glutamate every day, much of which is released into the body when we eat and digest protein. Some protein-rich foods – such as meat, fish, chicken, dairy products, legumes and corn – are especially rich in glutamate.
    But glutamate has another important property: it tastes good. When glutamate touches the taste receptors on our tongue, it gives food a savoury taste (known as unami). Mixed with our meal, glutamate is said to balance, blend and enhance the total perception of flavour. But not just any glutamate; we can’t taste glutamate that is locked in protein. For it to tickle our taste buds, it must be in a “free form”.
    Some (tasty) foods – tomato products, fermented soy/fish/oyster/steak/Worcestershire sauces and long-matured cheeses such as stilton and parmesan – are high in free glutamate. Ever wonder why parmesan makes the bolognese taste better (and more meaty)? It’s the glutamate!
    Jason Sandeman Because MSG has such a bad name, many manufacturers use other sources of glutamate to give processed foods the extra taste. These include vegetable, corn, yeast or soy protein extracts, in which the glutamate has been released from the protein by enzymatic digestion or chemical hydrolysis. When dissolved in water, the free glutamate in these extracts is chemically identical to that contained in MSG and enhances flavour in precisely the same way.
    Most of us would usually eat around half to one gram of free glutamate every day as additives to our food. In Asian countries, this figure is double, reflecting the use of soy and other fermented products in cooking. A highly-seasoned banquet in a Chinese restaurant may contain up to four to five grams of free glutamate.
    But glutamate isn’t just found in Chinese restaurants. Many American-style fast foods contain just as much glutamate to enhance their flavour and your experience, beyond that of their competitors. Even Vegemite contains 1.4% free glutamate.
    A burger and chips might contain as much MSG as you'd eat at a Chinese restaurant. Jaryl Cabuco | Fitted.Life A small proportion of people experience transient symptoms when they consume large amounts of free glutamate (more than four to five grams) in a single meal. These reactions vary from person to person but may include headaches, numbness/tingling, flushing, muscle tightness and general weakness.
    A number of scientific studies have tried to replicate this experience. Most have been too small, used unrealistically high doses of MSG, and were not undertaken in the context of food (or even with intravenous doses). Try eating a whole jar of Vegemite in one sitting and you will soon see why people don’t feel so well afterwards.
    More rigorous studies have failed to confirm a reproducible response to meals containing MSG, even in self-attributed “MSG sensitive” individuals. Most reactions to a Chinese banquet probably have little to do with the MSG, as many of the same people who are “MSG sensitive” have no problems with Vegemite or parmesan cheese.
    Foods such as peanuts can trigger asthma attacks but there's no evidence that MSG has the same effect. EuroMagic It has also been suggested that MSG can trigger an asthma attack. While there are lots of anecdotal reports (again, usually after Chinese food), challenge studies with MSG-rich meals have generally failed to confirm these findings. There are many other things in food that can trigger an attack in sensitive individuals, from dairy products, eggs, peanuts and sulphites, to food colourings. But none are vilified like MSG.
    Finally, it has also been suggested that MSG leads to weight gain and obesity. Of course we have a great tendency to eat more of anything that tastes better, so this comes as little surprise. MSG has even been used to promote the appetite of frail elderly people.
    The consensus among clinicians and scientists is that MSG is safe for human health. Very high doses may affect some people for a short time but there may be far more dangerous consequences that come from overeating this Christmas.

  2. #2
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    It's Thursday isn't it?

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    Yes i just had a look at the calander.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Wilson
    Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is widely viewed as a dangerous food toxin that is responsible for adverse reactions to Chinese food and other meals
    I don't think so! it is a standard food additive that some people find nauseating, or worse, depending on the amount used

    I react to food if a lot has been thrown in, feel nauseous and sweaty, have even been sick. A small amount doesn't bother me

    I get the symptoms after eating a meal without knowing that MSG has been used, so it is not psychological

    Many of those "research' articles have been written by people who are not to be 100% trusted, for whatever reason (connections with the industry etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Wilson
    Merlin Thomas does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.
    good, but the article keeps stating that glutamate and MSG are not the same (one being naturally occuring, the other manufactured), then goes on to mix up the two, using examples such as

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Wilson
    many of the same people who are “MSG sensitive” have no problems with Vegemite or parmesan cheese.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Wilson
    that MSG is safe for human health
    that may be so, but who wants to feel nauseous after eating a meal?
    I have reported your post

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    For many years I had apparent adverse reactions to MSG. My wife liked to use it to add flavor to food. She (not I) noticed that a few minutes after eating food with MSG, my face and ears turned a bright red. She stopped using MSG in the kitchen, but when eating in restaurants, she would sometimes see that same reaction. About a dozen years ago I had surgery to clear three partially blocked arteries. Since then, I stopped having any reaction to MSG. I've even ingested it, on purpose, just to verify that I no longer have any reaction to it.


    I discussed that with a doctor. He speculated that the MSG may have constricted the partially blocked blood vessels, causing the visible reaction. Once the arteries were cleared, the reaction stopped. If that is correct, then healthy individuals may have little to fear from eating MSG. Unless you have an unknown blockage of an artery, in which case it could possibly bring on a heart attack. (That's my two-cents-worth, not the doctor's.)

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    All anecdotal stories, there's no research that confirms any of that.

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    The article has a very fallacious title too; nobody has said that MSG is a dangerous toxin, not even it's critics

    it just makes some people feel ill. one way or another, in dependent doses

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Wilson
    All anecdotal stories, there's no research that confirms any of that.
    maybe so, but who needs research when the facts on a personal level are so clear

    who pays for any research into MSG?

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    My 'ol Lady uses it with the only effect of a slight woody.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy
    The article has a very fallacious title too; nobody has said that MSG is a dangerous toxin, not even it's critics
    nobody ?

    About 265,000 results (0.36 seconds)

    Search Results
    1. Everyday Toxins: mercury, fluoride, MSG, Aspartame, Margarine

      curezone.com/diseases/toxins/
      MSG - Mono Sodium Glutamate "MSG has been found to be more toxic than all other food toxins, poisons and allergens.!!! Patients have stronger reactions to ...
    2. Understanding brain damage and endocrine disorders caused by ...

      Understanding brain damage and endocrine disorders caused by MSG
      16 Aug 2004 – Understanding brain damage and endocrine disorders caused by MSG. MSG is a neurotoxin, potentially toxic to everyone -- potentially toxic ...
    3. Food Additives: Toxins to the Human Body

      www.naturalworldhealing.com/Dentalinfo/food-toxin-dangers.htm
      Food Additives: Potent Toxins to Human Health. MSG, Aspartame, Splenda. [from: The Slow Poisoning of America]. Food for thought?! Webster's Dictionary: ...
    4. MSG: Causes obesity, is toxic and destroys your brain

      www.infiniteunknown.net/.../msg-causes-obesity-is-toxic-and-destroy...
      3 Jul 2008 – A friend forwarded an email about MSG and its connection to obesity, toxins, and addictiveness associated with the use of MSG. I am the author ...
    5. MSG Flavoring - Spice - Toxin

      www.earthtym.net/ref-msg-flavor.htm
      They make these morbidly obese creatures by injecting them with MSG when they are first born. The MSG triples the amount of insulin the pancreas creates; ...
    6. Scam Watch - MSG glutamate and toxins

      ALS Scam Watch - monitoring online fraud with terminal illnessmsg-glutamate-toxins.php
      The following information has been brought to our attention as a likely scam or fraudulent website/product/therapy/service.
    7. [PDF] MSG: Not Just Another Scare: Toxin Additives in Your Food and Drink

      www.present-truth.org/7-Health.../MSG-Toxic%20Additive.pdf
      File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
      MSG: Toxic Additive Temcat's House Health Secrets Resource Collection: 2. The brain has several elaborate mechanisms to prevent accumulation of MSG in ...

  11. #11
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    Gives me insomnia if I get any sort of regular intake.

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    ^ Yes, I have noticed that effect as well. First experienced it with the Thai cup noodles so it was easy to pinpoint.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Wilson
    nobody ? About 265,000 results (0.36 seconds)
    anything can be a dangerous toxin if eaten in excessive quantities

    we are talking about using MSG in food, where relatively small amounts are used

    some people experience discomfort from eating it

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    That's a non answer.

    You said "nobody has said that MSG is a dangerous toxin"

    I replied with a the first 7 of quarter of a million results on google for "MSG Toxic".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Wilson
    nobody has said
    so where is the result with what nobody did say ?

  16. #16
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    The key health issue with MSG is its sodium content. Its 13% sodium, compared to salts 40%, but you can end up eating quite substantial amounts of the stuff and it does need to be factored into your dietary sodium intake.

    Given the large and widespread exposure to MSG, if it had serious medical effects on humans.... it would have been noticed by now

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    It makes food taste like shit.

    It makes people feel like shit.

    Therefore, it is shit.

  18. #18
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    ^I think its more that good food does not need MSG
    people only really add MSG to shit food, not understanding that it simply strengthens rather than improves the shit flavour of their food.

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    add THC instead of MSG

    that's what your grandmother did

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    Quote Originally Posted by peterpan View Post
    My 'ol Lady uses it with the only effect of a slight woody.
    You're old lady gets a woody !!!!!

  21. #21
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    I comes as no surprize Willy is a champion of one of the world's slimiest corporations; Anjimoto.
    Right up there with King scum like Monsanto.

    Bravo Willy you just managed to climb down futher on the ladder of dipshitisms. I didn' t think there was waa lower rung,, but you found it, congratulations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Wilson View Post
    That's a non answer.

    You said "nobody has said that MSG is a dangerous toxin"

    I replied with a the first 7 of quarter of a million results on google for "MSG Toxic".

    Ok, Willy, a few have said it is, not all those references you posted though

    water is dangerous if you drink too much

    arsenic can be useful in small doses, but apparently is a dangerous toxin

    same for belladonna

    same for many things, so calling something a dangerous toxin is a bit meaningless without more details

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by hazz
    Given the large and widespread exposure to MSG, if it had serious medical effects on humans.... it would have been noticed by now
    it has been noticed, and commented on by many, although the effects are not serious, apparently

    it is always difficult to know how serious a poison is if the effects are not obvious until 20 years later (like liver failure etc)

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy
    it has been noticed, and commented on by many,
    anecdotal stories do not make it true.

    weight of numbers is a logical fallacy.


    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy
    it is always difficult to know how serious a poison is if the effects are not obvious until 20 years later (like liver failure etc)
    Are you now suggesting that MSG is toxic/poisonous/dangerous because it persists in the body over yeas and accumulates ?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by hazz
    Given the large and widespread exposure to MSG, if it had serious medical effects on humans.... it would have been noticed by now
    it has been noticed, and commented on by many, although the effects are not serious, apparently

    it is always difficult to know how serious a poison is if the effects are not obvious until 20 years later (like liver failure etc)
    This is why there are large scale long term studies into peoples lifestyles and their long term effects. If MSG had long term serious medical effects that took 10-40 years to be noticed, there is an exceptionally good chance of its being noticed in these studies unless its something that effects less than 1 person in 10-30,000. Its though these studies that we know, for example, that scape does not cross from sheep to people.... so eating sheeps brains is not a health risk.

    As I said before, the principle risk of consuming large amounts of MSG is the sodium intake that comes with it and the fact that you are probably eating shit food that needs MSG to make it palatable.

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