Last Modified on Jun 20, 2014
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor additive that is commonly added to canned vegetables, soup, processed meats and Chinese food. While generally recognized as safe by the FDA, MSG is an additive that can cause health concerns when consumed consistently. A buildup of MSG in the system is termed as MSG toxicity.
What is MSG Toxicity?
MSG is a brain neurotoxin that can largely be considered a slow poison. Often disguised as a flavor additive by terms including “natural strawberry flavor” and “other natural flavors,” it is often difficult to pinpoint MSG in products. As such, repeated consumption of the additive serves as a silent but lethal poison.
Regular consumption of the product quickly leads to a number of associated symptoms, strategically named MSG toxicity. Symptoms of toxicity can be complex and difficult to identify. Nonetheless, common symptoms include headache, flushing, sweating, facial pressure and muscle tightness. Numbness, tingling in the extremities, heart palpitations, chest pain, nausea and weakness are all common.
Natural Remedies for MSG Poisoning
Obviously the key to treating MSG poisoning is avoiding the additive itself; however, additional measures can be taken to treat the symptoms of toxicity. Two of the most effective treatments for MSG toxicity are cream of tartar and water. When dissolved in water and drank, cream of tartar neutralizes MSG and eliminates symptoms. Additionally, cream of tartar creates an alkaline environment in the body, which in turn raises the pH of the body and stabilizes the system. Drinking plenty of water after consuming foods with MSG also helps eliminate the additive. Water naturally flushes the system and cleanses the body of the buildup of MSG.
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Now here is a natural compound that nevertheless should not be added to foods. MSG is a sodium salt form of one of the non-essential amino acids, glutamic acid. Not the tastiest thing on its own, when you add MSG to foods it greatly increases that item's savory flavor. Alongside various forms of sugar, it is probably the most effective and widespread food additive for increasing processed food's tastiness.
In the long run, MSG has not been proven to negatively affect human health. Still, that's of little comfort to the millions of people who experience the MSG symptom complex, a wide array of immediate symptoms associated with consumption of MSG. Briefly these include headaches and migraine, heart palpitations, profuse sweating, dizziness, brain fog, and respiratory issues.
Unfortunately, it can take a long time for those who are sensitive to monosodium glutamate to recognize that their symptoms are related to consumption. This is especially true for two reasons; first that MSG is among the food industry's favorite food additives, and second that they hide it under a literally dizzying array of alternate names.
If you are looking for MSG or glutamic acid on your food labels, here are a few of the terms you should be searching for: MSG, glutamic acid, glutamate, (or any variation on all the previous), yeast extract, hydrolyzed items, and soy or whey protein.
Plus a few good internet resources with lengthier lists: