Afterthoughts on the MSG post, or Hang’em From the Lamp Posts

Hi readers.  Thanks for stopping in.

The comment responses to the post about MSG [Culinary Risk Taking – MSG – Root Hog or Die ] surprised me, mainly by the fact a relatively small pool of readers included so many who’ve with MSG reactions.  Curiosity led me to do a few web searches for statistics on MSG related ailments.

Surprising results. is so disheartening as to make it a lousy place to begin unless you want to ruin your next meal, while naming just about everything you might eat in the future as targeted for more MSG by the food industry.

Blowing The Whistle On MSG Is Our Responsibility, Get The Word Out    also provides a lot of potentially helpful information without raising the spirits about it all:

With special thanks to: Wayne Erickson MSG Information Center

Extracted from: What is MSG?

See also: Food-borne Neurotoxins and Tinnitus Part 2: Monosodium Glutamate

I wondered if there could be an actual chemical causing the massive obesity epidemic, so did a friend of mine, John Erb. He was a research assistant at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, and spent years working for the government. He made an amazing discovery while going through scientific journals for a book he was writing called “The Slow Poisoning of America”. In hundreds of studies around the world, scientists were creating obese mice and rats to use in diet or diabetes test studies. No strain of rat or mice is naturally obese, so the scientists have to create them. 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; causing rats (and humans?) to become obese. They even have a title for the fat rodents they create: “MSG-Treated Rats”.

I was shocked too. I went to my kitchen, checking the cupboards and the fridge. MSG was in everything! The Campbell’s soups, the Hostess Doritos, the Lays flavoured potato chips, Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper, Heinz canned gravy, Swanson frozen prepared meals, Kraft salad dressings, especially the ‘healthy low fat’ ones. The items that didn’t have MSG marked on the product label had something called ”Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein”, which is just another name for Monosodium Glutamate. It was shocking to see just how many of the foods we feed our children everyday are filled with this stuff. They hide MSG under many different names in order to fool those who carefully read the ingredient list, so they don’t catch on. (Other names for MSG: ‘Accent’ – ‘Aginomoto’ – ‘Natural Meet Tenderiser’ etc.) But it didn’t stop there.

When our family went out to eat, we started asking at the restaurants what menu items had MSG. Employees, even the managers, swore they didn’t use MSG. But when we asked for the ingredient list which they provided, sure enough MSG and Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein were everywhere. Burger King, Mcdonalds, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, every restaurant, even the sit down ones like TGIF, Chilis’, Applebees and Denny’s use MSG in abundance. Kentucky Fried Chicken seemed to be the WORST offender: MSG was in every chicken dish, salad dressing and gravy. No wonder I loved to eat that coating on the skin, their secret spice was MSG!

So why is MSG in so many of the foods we eat?.. Is it a preservative or a vitamin? Not according to my friend John. In the book he wrote, an expose of the food additive industry called “The Slow Poisoning of America” he said that MSG is added to food for the addictive effect it has on the humanbody.

Even the propaganda website sponsored by the food manufacturers lobby group supporting MSG explains that the reason they add it to food is to make people eat more. A study of the elderly showed that people eat more of the foods to which it is added. The Glutamate Association lobby group says eating more benefits the elderly, but what does it do to the rest of us? ‘Betcha can’t eat just one’, takes on a whole new meaning where MSG is concerned! And we wonder why the nation is overweight? The MSG manufacturers themselves admit that it addicts people to their products. It makes people choose their product over others, and makes people eat more of it than they would if MSG wasn’t added.

Not only is MSG scientifically proven to cause obesity, it is an addictive substance! Since its introduction into the American food supply fifty years ago, MSG has been added in larger and larger doses to the pre-packaged meals, soups, snacks and fast foods we are tempted to eat everyday.The FDA has set no limits on how much of it can be added to food. They claim it’s safe to eat in any amount. How can they claim it safe when there are hundreds of scientific studies with titles like these?:

‘The monosodium glutamate (MSG) obese rat as a model for the study of exercise in obesity’. Gobatto CA, Mello MA, Souza CT, Ribeiro A.Res Commun Mol Pathol Pharmacol. 2002.

‘Adrenalectomy abolishes the food-induced hypothalamic serotonin release in both normal and monosodium glutamate-obese rats’. Guimaraes RB, Telles MM, Coelho VB, Mori C, Nascimento CM, Ribeiro Brain Res Bull. 2002 Aug.

‘Obesity induced by neonatal monosodium glutamate treatment in spontaneously hypertensive rats: an animal model of multiple risk factors’. Iwase M, Yamamoto M, Iino K, Ichikawa K, Shinohara N, Yoshinari Fujishima Hypertens Res. 1998 Mar.

‘Hypothalamic lesion induced by injection of monosodium glutamate in suckling period and subsequent development of obesity’. Tanaka K, Shimada M, Nakao K, Kusunoki Exp Neurol. 1978 Oct.

Yes, that last study was not a typo, it WAS written in 1978. Both the “medical research community” and “food manufacturers” have known about MSG’s side effects for decades! Many more studies mentioned in John Erb’s book link MSG to Diabetes, Migraines and headaches, Autism, ADHD and even Alzheimer’s. But what can we do to stop the food manufactures from dumping fattening and addictive MSG into our food supply and causing the obesity epidemic we now see?

However, does offer something I think I’ll try.



Some MSG sensitive individuals report relief from some MSG symptoms by taking taurine.  The rationale behind this approach is that glutamate competes with the amino acid cysteine for uptake in the body.  An excess of glutamate will interfere with the body’s ability to convert cysteine into taurine, the other free form amino acid which acts as the body’s heartbeat regulator.    Taurine is the body’s water soluble anti-oxidant, and inhibitory neurotransmitter.  The body also uses taurine to make bile, which aids in the digestion of fats. 

The idea of taking taurine for accidental MSG ingestion is that since MSG may inhibit taurine formation, those with irregular heartbeat, digestive problems, epilepsy, vision disturbance, and panic attacks from MSG, may benefit from ingesting taurine instead of waiting for the body to make it. 

Unfortunately, most food scientists are not taught about taurine because adults are assumed to be able to make it and shouldn’t need to eat it.  It isn’t even listed in most tables of the amino acids.  However, taurine is so important in the body, that since 1986  it has been added to baby formula because it is essential for proper growth and development in humans.  Also, studies of people with epilepsy have shown that taurine levels in the brain after a seizure are unusually low.  Taurine is now being considered as treatment for diabetes as well as epilepsy.

Foods high in taurine include fresh fish and meat.  It is not found in significant amounts in foods of non-meat origin.  Heat for long periods of time destroys it.    It is interesting that the Japanese use much MSG, but also eat diets high in fish, and raw fish at that.  A Japanese meal of sushi contains much taurine, as well as MSG.  Chinese food, which often is cooked at high heat and also contains mushrooms, another source of free glutamate, and often mostly vegetables, would contain less protective taurine.

We buy our taurine online from here:  It is inexpensive and free of fillers and additives.

I’ve been puzzled about this high blood pressure condition of mine almost 20 years.   I was at a clinic for some regular testing the medicos insisted on doing every six months to find out whether I was dying yet of a type of cancer they can’t do anything about, but I’m high-risk for.  But  when they took my blood pressure it was off the charts.  They had me lie down and scurried around frantically trying to find a way of lowering it, without success.

I’ve been on blood pressure medication since that day and never even considered the possibility the cause for the original incident might have been something I’d recently eaten containing a lot of MSG.  When I quit going to doctors I had to buy the blood pressure meds from Mexico, now India, because it’s been 15 years since I had a prescription. 

I’m thinking I’ll get some of this Taurine and carefully monitor my blood pressure to see if it does any good.  Prinivil for high blood pressure is cheap enough coming from India without having to pay for a doctor to write it on a slip of paper in exchange for me slipping him a $50 bill.  But I’ve never been satisfied there wasn’t some other way of getting rid of high blood pressure.

Old Jules


15 responses to “Afterthoughts on the MSG post, or Hang’em From the Lamp Posts

  1. Quite quite terrifying and coincidentally last night my mother in law asked axactly that question, What is it that is Making our People so fat? There must be something. I am now even more adamant not to eat processed food, I do not want to be fattened UP!! c

  2. Reblogged this on Eremophila’s Musings and commented:
    Well said!

  3. I blame MSG for the fatal stroke of my step-mom. It really messed up her entire body. The stroke was an after-effect when the rest of her deteriorated.

  4. I have always tried to stay away from it, but my healthy diet is sometimes less satisfying. It may be impossible to keep it completely out of our diets. Thanks for the tip on taurine.

    • Morning DizzyDick: Here’s hoping the taurine works as well on your blood pressure as I’m going to insist it works on mine once I have some. I figure I’ll make it an offer it can’t refuse. Gracias, Jules

  5. I have been finding many indications that our modern food industry provides food that is not good for us, and a pharmaceutical industry that is ripping us off. I always appreciate a tip in these areas. I’m much obliged to you for sharing.

  6. A fascinating and scary read (I came by your blog from Celi’s KitchensGarden), my own knowledge of this subject is limited, but I do know when I’ve eaten food with a lot of MSG in as I do get a reaction, but your article has reminded me to re-check the labels of shop bought food. Thanks!

  7. Hey There Old Jules,
    I did not even consider MSG might be contributing to my blood pressure/heart realated issues. Even though I’ve been somewhat aware that the stuff was no good, I never really knew why. Now I do. Not that you need validation from me, but I find the most interesting info here. Thanks for this information.

  8. We have a marvelous Vietnamese pho place in Kona. BUT they use msg in their broth – so after a few times of noticing myself bloating up afterward (and the bags under my eyes the following morning), I stopped eating it. And it’s a shame – all those fresh veggies – that delicious broth – why couldn’t they create that without msg, I wonder? But the old lady who has cooked for the family forever will not budge. She offers an alternative: mushroom broth. It’s just not the same.

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