MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) Poisoning

| Modified on Dec 08, 2023

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, the 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.

Continue reading below for feedback from Earth Clinic readers about MSG poisoning and natural remedies that can help detoxify the body.

Msg Facts

Posted by Staff (Earth Clinic) on 09/28/2012

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:

Replied by Wayseeker
(Modesto, Ca/ Usa)

Dear Staff: I am a little concerned that 'whey' was mentioned as a psuedo-nym for MSG. Surely you don't mean the grass-fed protein shake type of whey? How could "they" get away with that kind of misleading misinformation? Trying to make whey look bad, when such a good glutathione booster?!! --T.

Replied by Pomegranate
(Sw Us)

Hey the poster is absolutely correct. Whey protein powders (most of the brands) are a denatured food product. When any food (almost any but definitely milk) is cooked low and slow, or processed in a certain way (hydrolyzed, autolyzed etc), the glutamates are freed, creating a very tasty flavor, but trouble for some. Unless you have an excess of glutamate, or your body has trouble clearing excess glutamate, it's tolerated well by people. These lucky folks will be OK for now and sometimes infuriating smug, but they may not be so lucky in the future. There is evidence that eating too much glutamate may lead to Alzheimer's and other similar brain diseases in later years.

Some people have more glutamate receptors in the brain than GABA receptors, and these will have a hard time with whey. There is a brand out there that is not denatured, but I still wouldn't eat it.

Replied by James
(Rugby, Uk)

I'd just like to add that for myself having anything with msg in sets my acid reflux off really badly. So those of you with acid reflux keep away from it especially!

Replied by Holly

Amen to that. And what a 'pretty' word 'denatured' is. :) Good Lord. 'Toxitized' is more like it :). Anyway, thank you for your explanation of 'whey'. As one who thought she was going a little nuts when msg-dizzyied I tried to explain to my cast-iron tummy'ied friends that no, I really can't have any of that soy sauce or that way over-boiled spaghetty sauce, your explanation made a lot of sense to me.

Replied by Holly

Thank you! My goal now, honed over the last few years of increasing msg sensitivity, and now down-right visible, allergic reaction to soy sauce, is: if it doesn't fall off a tree, isn't pulled out of the ground, or wasn't just hit over the head -- don't eat it.

What I hope for, in the future, is more understanding from others - friends and relatives - who don't feel msg effects (yet). Really, I'm not nutty. I don't want to seem rude or ungrateful. I just want to feel healthy. Really I would love to eat that soy sauce soaked, surgared up Galbi beef - but I know, from too much past experience, that the dizziness, confusion, aching joints, swollen fingers, dead feeling stomach (for the next 3-5 days), migraine, incontenince, and rash or hives --- just isnt' worth it. :)

Replied by Jim
(Apache Junction, Az)

Twice lately, I've gotten a really bad stomach ache from Arby's. Not a normal one but due to a gall bladder attack. My gall bladder Always reacts to MSG that way and I can tell the difference between an MSG attack and a regular stomach ache. Arby's claims it doesn't use MSG but what about other "flavor enhancers" like disodium inosinate or disodium guanylate?

Replied by KT

Dear Jim,

My husband's best friend has a daughter who used to work at Arby's and at the time she worked there they did not use real beef.

I learned the hard way that the gallbladder needs saturated fat to contract.

You could be reacting to any combination of things...even the bread because GMO's are in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. I do not believe anyone can legitimately claim "non-GMO" just due to wind and bird droppings. This makes assimilation difficult. Degrees of infiltration will vary.

There is a list of hidden sources of MSG @

There is a book called, "A Consumer's Dictionary of Food Additives" by Ruth Winter, M.S. that is very good...not 100% but is informative if you can obtain a copy.

I truly hope you find some answers that help you. It has taken me over two decades of piecemeal learning by the process of elimination how toxic our entire food supply has become.


Replied by Andrew Butter

I just got hit by what I think was MSG poisoning

I went to get my health check for my driving license - required in U.A.E. for anyone over sixty

Night before I'd been at the company Christmas splash, drank a bit, ate a lot of fancy food in a swanky the morning I felt a bit woozy, but nothing an expreso couldn't fix

So they took my blood pressure.. normally if I drink, morning-after it's 140/90

It was 190/120


I didn't feel bad particularly, but the doctor wasn't going to give me a "Medical Fitness Certificate", and he had that look they get when they think they will need to talk to the loved-ones soon.

My wife had noticed I came back from work with a red face for the past few weeks...coincided with opening of a Pakistani Restaurant near us, she said I was drinking too much, I said "don't worry"

190/120 is so, something...I got freaked out - didn't a day my BP went down to 147/100...that must have been it!!

Next day, went to lunch at the Pakistani restaurant that just opened up near where I work...came home at 18:00...BP 170/110

Thinks...Could it NOT be the drink? Perhaps it's the food from the Pakistani restaurant...VERY TASTY

Goes on internet...remembers sensitivity to MSG in the past

So they say the cure is drink in liters 3%-to-5% of body weight (one liter = 1 kilo) to flush out the glutamate

That causes arteries to BP goes up, so I did that

Then I figured..."alcohol dilates arteries"...I drank 1/4-bottle of whisky

BP went down to 130/90 in two hours

Glad to know I'm not dying

Replied by Martin
(New York)

Might also have been high salt content in food. I stopped going to a delicious Mexican restaurant in my neighborhood because a burrito they served sent my blood pressure soaring for at least a day. Turned out to be the salt they added to the chicken. No MSG in that food. Scary to go from feeling great to feeling very ill.

Replied by Charity
(Faithville, Us)

L taurine is what the body uses to process MSG

Replied by KT

Dear Charity,

Would you kindly tell me where you got this information?


Replied by Thepresent08

My legs swell up from MSG. I didn't realize immediately then I started to notice it as I ate different foods. I am very careful about what I eat. I avoid all processed foods but they sneak MSG in restaurants and after a while the back of my legs start to swell. I'm very happy I have found ways to flush it out asap!

General Feedback

Posted by Wydo (Ventura, Ca, United States) on 03/29/2011

Is there an antidote for glutamic acid? Is it the same as MSG? Thank you

Replied by Citygirl27
(Richardson, Tx, Usa)

Wydo from Ventura, CA: MSG overexcites the neurons til they become damged and die. According to Dr. Blaylock, Vitamin E, DHA (from DHA or Fish oil capsules), Zinc and Magnesium are the best antitodes to MSG. Zinc in particular is a very good calcium channel blocker. What is that? MSG opens the door for calcium to flood your brain and build up on the dendrae (brain cell endings) which slows down their reaction time and causes alzheimers and other neurodegenerative diseases. Zinc is a calcium channel blocker and closes that door effectively for about 3 hours after Zinc intake (useful if you know you are about to consume suspect food). Magnesium helps control that more effectively, and DHA and Vitamin E help maintain the mitochondria in brain cells. What is that for? Mitochondria are what keep cells alive, their energy centers. When these mitochondria are compromised as is with MSG intake, the cells malfunction then die. Hope that wasn't too technical but it is important to understand how this functions so we know how to combat it. When I began taking these, my headaches after my noodles stopped, as did my flinching and RLS.

Replied by Loria
(Roanoke, Va)

Very interesting! I have been seeing a doc for ventricular arrhythmia (they can't find out why I have it, either), and he prescribed slow release magnesium for me, even though my tests have come back with NORMAL magnesium levels. Do you think doctors know the link between MSG and arhythmias? I have had severe classical migraine since I was 3 years old, and I am a type 1 diabetic. HARD to get off aspartame when you are a diabetic, and I consider it poison, too. I heard Taurine may help with MSG sensitivity. Damn! This crap is in everything I eat-all my fav foods. I wondered why folks lined up for BLOCKS to get Chik-Fil-A chicken.... loaded with the stuff! I am overweight, and I find I overeat MOST after foods high in MSG. This is NOT FUNNY! I saw the studies on how to make obese mice... Give them MSG... which I now call 'RAT POISON"!

Replied by Charlie
(Kuala Lumpur)

Dear Loria,

Have you recovered from ventricular arrhythmia after taking Magnesium? Hope to hear from you.

Information on Msg

Posted by Carly (Seattle, Wa - Usa) on 02/10/2012

Hello, Here is the most comprehensive list I have seen of foods to stay away if you are attempting to avoid MSG:

I started thinking about fast foods and MSG after talking about MSG with a fellow ECer. Quite a while back I realized that after I stopped eating MSG for a month or so - if I ate at Arby's - the roast beef in their sandwich had so much MSG in it that it actually made the tip of my tongue hurt! Funny, I had never noticed it before. The web said that Arby's took out MSG a decade ago. Well, they may have taken out MSG, but there is something going by another name that is MSG in that meat as far as my tongue is concerned!

KFC is also a huge user of MSG and does the same thing to me. There is actually so much added to the chicken coating that I can "feel" it on my tongue.

I hardly ever eat any fast food anymore. It seems to be in almost everything.

I believe that the addictive nature of the chemicals / high fructose corn syrup (a GMO item) and MSG are responsible for the obesity and poor health of Americans today.

I am 50. When I was a child I do not recall there being more than 2 or 3 kids in my entire grade school who were overweight. Look around you the next time you are out in a crowd.... It is shocking how obese we are as a society. Don't even get me started on the rate of childhood diabetes these days!

My opinion - ALL are due to the additives in fast and processed foods!

I don't have a severe, life threatening allergy to this nerve excito-toxin called MSG, thank God. I don't know how people who do even cope. I just get a pounding headache a few hours after eating an offending food item, which can last anywhere from a day to three, - depending on how much I ingested - which is total misery.

Anyway, just a few random thoughts and a cool website I thought I would throw out there.

Carly :)

Replied by Timh
(Louisville, Ky, Usa)
2063 posts

I can always tell if I've had too much MSG when my nail beds or cuticles get very tender & red for about 1 day; also get hyper and maybe some anxiety.

As avoidance from food additives can be unproductively restrictive, I always keep my pocket size Vit. Bottle on hand while eating out. Here's a good protocol to protect the body from these nasty foreigners: before you even enter the parking lot of the restaurant take 1grm Vit-C (preferably w/ bioflavonoids), while eating take 1 or 2 whole food multi, selenium, CoQ10 or Ubiquinone, fish oil, and any superfood antioxidant ( I am currently taking "Grapeseed/GreenTea/PineBark Extract" in caps). There are some really good flavonoid rich superberry complex extracts available in tabs or caps.

As one ages (as if I really need to reiterate this), these nutrients become increasingly necessary or total avoidance of additives would be necessary. This fact is probably how these unhealthy yet stimulatory agents are allowed in our foods to begin with. Whatever studies are done probably don't include people over 40 or 50. So, many or most folks of the younger ilk slam this stuff down and go buzzing right along (they actually like its stimulation on the palette and brain).

Replied by Holly

I fully agree with you. I'm 50 too and 1) see overweight kids every where, where as a kid there was like only 2-3 out of a class of 30, at most, and 2) have found if I totally cook for myself and so only eat food that nothing was added to - I'm ok, feel great, and my weight is good. BUT --- if I eat out, or if friends cook (who think I'm nutty) and just a dash of that 'natural fish sauce', or just throw in a hot dog - I'm toast. I end up going through a range where the best is just being dizzy for a couple hours, to having hip and knee joints ache, to swollen fingers, to incontenince (oh so joyful), to a sick stomach for 3-5 days, to full on please-help-me migraines. I know this now about me, I can handle it, avoid eating out unless have to because of work or relatives - and most of the time that works. Luckily for me (unlucky for her) my Mom has Celiac disease so she totally understands what I experience and totally doesn't take it personally if she cooks something for relatives and I (like she) doesn't eat it, but eats something different.

Replied by Mary
(Arcadia, Ca)

Hello I become very allergic to MSG. All kinds of things happen to me. I recently found something you can take that keeps away the bad side effects. It is taking 1/4 tsp of Cream of Tartar. it really works and I feel fine after. I just have to make sure I don't eat out too often. Please take care,

Information on Msg
Posted by Bill (San Fernando, Luzon, Philippines) on 03/04/2010

Hi Everyone...Just to highlight some dangers of disguised MSG, its labeling, and its effects:

"U.S. food regulators and chemical companies are intentionally making it difficult to avoid M.S.G., by using other names to hide its presence in ingredients lists. Yes, they really are trying to dumb us down, and these deceptions are allowed as a matter of official policy."

"Common Names Used To Hide M.S.G. In Ingredients Lists
Calcium Caseinate
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)
Textured Protein
Monopotassium glutamate
Hydrolyzed Plant Protein (HPP)
Yeast Extract
Sodium Glutamate
Autolyzed Plant Protein
Yeast Food
Yeast Nutrient
Glutamic Acid
Sodium Caseinate
Autolyzed Yeast
Vegetable Protein Extract
Soy Protein
Hydrolyzed Corn Gluten
Natural Flavor *
Artificial Flavor
Spice *
Senomyx **

* Since the F.D.A. has intentionally left "Natural Flavor" and "Spice" without meaningful definitions, the chemical companies freely use these names to hide the presence of toxins in your foods. The system works this way by design.

** Senomyx -- We are not going to report what this chemical is, because you would have trouble believing us. Read about it yourself, and stay away from it. Naturally, the F.D.A. has awarded it a G.R.A.S. (Generally Recognized As Safe) rating, with it only having been "scientifically" tested by its manufacturer (wink). Now get this, for here comes the real kicker: this stuff is going to be marketed to the health-conscious consumers in much the same way that canola oil has been. Are there any doubts remaining about what the real agenda is?"

"[MSG's] commercial use is permitted only due to its marketing before the 1958 Food Additive Amendments to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which in effect grandfathered hundreds of substances which had never been tested for safety, including MSG..."

"Certain neuroscientists have, for years, warned that consumption of neurotoxic amino acids (glutamic acid, aspartic acid, and L-cysteine) place consumers at risk -- with most risk to newborns and young children whose immature blood-brain barriers leave them less well protected than more mature people. There is now additional and growing concern on the part of neuroscientists that the glutamate that we eat may cause or exacerbate neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease."

"Industry has begun to proliferate products with the words 'No MSG', 'No Added MSG', or 'No MSG Added' on product labels when the products contain hydrolyzed protein (which invariably contains MSG) -- a practice that is clearly in violation of existing FDA regulations. Hidden MSG is not limited to use in food. MSG sensitive people have reported reactions to soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners, and cosmetics that contain hidden MSG. The most obvious common hiding places are in ingredients called 'hydrolyzed protein' and 'amino acids'. Drinks, candy and chewing gum are also potential sources of hidden MSG... Binders and fillers for medications, nutrients, and supplements, both prescription and non-prescription, including internal feeding materials and some fluids administered intravenously in hospitals, may contain MSG. Reactions to MSG are dose related, i.e., some people react to even very small amounts of MSG while others usually only react to relatively more. MSG-induced reactions may occur immediately after contact or after as much as 48 hours."

-- Aspartame Poisoning Information Canada

"The Documented Effects Of M.S.G. Consumption
- Epilepsy
- Vision Disturbances
- Panic Attacks
- Heart Attacks
- Parkinson's Disease
- Huntington's Disease
- ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
- Alzheimer's Disease
- Brain Lesions
- Retina Damage
- Obesity
- Food Cravings
- Depleted Nutrients
- Hyperinsulinemia
- Stunted Growth
- Crosses Into The Fetus
- Ocular (Eye) Destruction
- Liver Damage
- Diabetes
- Kidney Damage
- Vastly increased chance of ADD,ADHD, Asperger's or Autism
- Severe Headache
- Shortness Of Breath
- Chest Pains
- Asthma
- Slowed Speech
- Gastrointestinal Disturbances
- Swelling
- Numbness of Hands, Feet, or Jaw
- Chronic Bronchitis
- Allergy Reactions
- Irregular Heart Beat
- Unstable Blood Pressure
- Pain in Joints or Bones
- Abrupt Mood Changes
- Tingling in Face or Chest
- Pressure Behind Eyes
- Difficulty Swallowing
- Anxiety Attacks
- Explosive Rages
- Balance Problems - Dizziness or Seizures
- Mini-Strokes
- Fibromyalgia
- MS
- Tenderness in localized areas, neck, back, etc.
- Chronic Post Nasal Drip
- Sleep Disorders
- Blurred Vision
- Chronic Fatigue
- Extreme thirst or Dry Mouth
- Hypoglycemia
- Difficulty Concentrating and Poor Memory"

Information from:

One of the best ways to remove or neutralize MSG from your body is to supplement with Taurine. This is a required amino acid for your body that is non-toxic and easy to purchase. Taurine completely neutralizes the effects of MSG.

Replied by Pr
(Houston, Texas)

More on MSG Senomyx

Senomyx has four savory flavor ingredients that were discovered and developed in-house and have received regulatory approval in the U.S. and many additional countries. Nestlé is currently marketing products that contain one of Senomyx's Savory Flavor Ingredients in the Pacific Rim and Latin America.

Senomyx has entered into product discovery and development collaborations with seven of the world's leading food, beverage, and ingredient supply companies:

Ajinomoto Co., Inc., Cadbury plc, Campbell Soup Company, The Coca-Cola Company, Firmenich SA, Nestlé SA and Solae. These collaborations provide Senomyx with research and development funding, milestone payments based upon achievement of research or development goals, and royalties on sales of products incorporating our flavor ingredients. We are primarily responsible for the discovery, development and regulatory approval of our new flavor ingredients, while each collaborator will bear the costs and responsibilities for manufacturing, marketing, selling and distributing its consumer products that contain Senomyx flavor ingredients. This arrangement is intended to allow Senomyx to benefit from our collaborators' brand recognition, global market presence, established sales and distribution channels, and other industry specific expertise.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Jackie (Belfast, Northern Ireland, Ireland) on 06/19/2010

Hi... can anyone confirm if l-glutamine is good or bad for people who are very sensitive to MSG. i have read on this site that it is an antidote to msg and that it displaces it. however on many other sites it says to avoid it if you are sensitive to MSG. can someone please clarify?

Replied by Dan
(Land O Lakes, Florida)

I am particularly sensitive to foods with high free glutamate content whether it be MSG or any other form and I feel great when taking L-Glutamine. 1 yea so far

Replied by Cheryl A.
(Surrey, Bc)

I react to l-glutamine and to d-glutamine. I stay away from anything that as glutamine in it and anything that has flavours or seasoning. Make it from scratch including soy sauce and you can live with the problem. Just don't buy anything that has been processed.

Replied by Edwina
(Orlando FL)

Sadly I was raised on frozen food, hot dogs and McDonald's. During my childhood in the late 60's and 70's, “convenience foods” were considered a boon to many “modern” mothers. Especially mine, who was widowed young. Supposedly MSG toxicity is cumulative. I believe it, because now in my 50's if I have even one meatball from a packaged meal, I get a blinding headache, and violently sick to my stomach. 24 hours later, I can barely move, have difficulty breathing, heart palpitations; AND an unquenchable thirst! It is an absolute nightmare. For the people asking about L-Glutamine triggering similar symptoms as MSG: I am sad to report that I can NOT tolerate L-Glutamine supplements at all. I get the same horrible symptoms that I get from consuming MSG in foods, just my experience after many tests. I also do not tolerate any roasted nuts very well. I occasionally eat a few raw nuts; but even raw walnuts can trigger a mild headache. (Walnuts are high in naturally occurring L-Glutamine.) I have noticed Vitamin A helps me, magnesium Glycinate, taurine, and raw coconut water, as one contributor mentioned. It has to be raw coconut water, nothing packaged. I also take potassium to offset the high sodium imbalances after accidentally ingesting MSG. I eat very simply 98% of the time. Eggs from my own chickens, raw goat or cow milk from local farms, and raw cheese and butter. I can't recommend raw milk enough, do some research, it's been an absolute God send for me. Look into Weston Price, wonderful website with lots of information and great resources. I hope this helps someone; for many years, it has been a very confusing, uphill battle to understand what was wrong with me. After many meals, I would not only react as if I'd been poisoned; BUT I FELT like I was poisoned!! Meanwhile, everyone else who has eaten the same meal as I had, felt absolutely fine. So bewildering and depressing! I believe I developed this debilitating allergy due to constantly consuming foods laced with MSG from the time I was 3yrs old until about 35yrs old, when I started searching for answers. Sending my best wishes to any and everyone caught in the nightmare of navigating MSG toxicity.. 🙏🏼

Msg and Natural Flavorings

1 User Review
1 star (1) 

Posted by Carly (Seattle, Wa - Usa) on 08/31/2011

Hi Kimmi -

You recipe sounds delish - however one problem... those chicken "flavoured" ramen noodles are chock FULL of MSG.

I had the worst reaction ever after eating them. I love the taste, but they make me sick as a dog.

Just saying, anyone who has issues with nerve toxins and wants to stay away from MSG should not eat this!


Replied by Kimmi
(Park City-wichita, Ks)

So sorry, Cindy! I didn't even realize they were full of MSG til last night, when I was reading the ingredients, as MSG also just happens to (perhaps) cause me to have a herpes OB. Ugghh!! I guess I can't use my bouillon granules, either, for that reason, too... Too bad, too.. I was trying to be frugal by using that instead of canned chicken broth. (My luck, THAT has MSG, too! )
This may be why my immune system has been so compromised, too.. Not sure, though. Now I have to figure out what to do with the huge box of Marucan Ramen noodles we got a couple of weeks ago. :/ Siiighh... Sucks... they're so

Msg and Natural Flavorings
Posted by Deirdre (Atlanta, Georgia) on 01/03/2010

Is anyone interested in calling attention to the posting of the words "natural flavors" on labels in the products that we eat and drink? I am seeing it on many products that have organic ingredients. After reading the feedback on EC about natural flavorings and MSG causing heart palpitations and cardiac arrhythmia, I think this might be something worth pursuing. I am going to start writing the companies of products in my house that have "natural flavors" posted in their list of ingredients and inquire more about these flavorings. I have a few brands of tea and juices that I will start with! When I get a response, I will post it on the site. Anyone interested in doing the same? It would be great to compile a list of products with "natural flavors" and company responses. Be interesting to see how companies respond to consumer inquiries on this subject.

According to the Truth in Labeling website, here's how you inquire about MSG:

"If you want to find out if there is processed free glutamic acid (MSG) in a product, you must ask the manufacturer for information about "free glutamic acid." Don't ask about "MSG." Manufacturers find it convenient, when speaking to consumers, to tell them that there is no "MSG" in their product, meaning that there is no ingredient called "monosodium glutamate." Even if a manufacturer tells you there is no MSG in a product, there may be autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed pea protein, carrageenan, sodium caseinate, enzymes, and a whole slew of other ingredients that contain or create processed free glutamic acid (MSG) during manufacture.

If you are told that all of the MSG in a product is "naturally occurring," thank the manufacturer for that meaningless information, but explain that all processed free glutamic acid (MSG) is referred to as "natural" by the FDA -- so "natural" tells you nothing. In fact, as the word "natural" is defined by the FDA, the food ingredient "monosodium glutamate" is "natural."

It is the amount of processed free glutamic acid in the product that will determine whether or not you might suffer an MSG reaction. If the manufacturer claims not to know whether or not there is processed free glutamic acid (MSG) in his or her product, ask that the product be analyzed for free amino acids, including free glutamic acid. There are tests for measuring free glutamic acid. The AOAC Official Methods of Analysis (1984) gives one method. There are others. The cost of testing should be no more than $100...

Replied by Lisa
(Thousand Oaks, Ca, USA)

Apparently, there is a problem with _____'s amino acids in this regard. In the raw food community many are up in arms about this because people have looked into it and yes, it is in there just not listed of course as they have a reputation for being "natural and healthy". They (the raw community) are saying to use nama shoyu instead. Just thought I should let everyone know about this. Lisa

Replied by Heather
(Miami, Fl)

Yes yes and yes! I love this idea. I wrote in last month about Lea & Perrins steak sauce causing atrial fib in my mother and me, so I will write this company first and let you all know.

Replied by A
(Somewhere, Usa)

I would like to share my recipe for mayonnaise that I like very much.

Cooked Mayonnaise
Makes 3 Cups

Combine in saucepan:
1/3 c. unbrominated, unbleached, unenriched, natural white flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 t. salt
Add: 3/4 c. water
1/2 c. white vinegar
Cook over low heat, stirring until thickened. Remove from heat and pour into blender. While beating, add:
2 cloves garlic
2 whole eggs
Continue beating and slowly add:
2/3 c. salad oil
Chill before serving.

Replied by Heather
(Miami, Florida)

Sorry I forgot to follow up on my post about the Lea and Perrins Sauce and MSG. I wrote the manufacturer last month and got this response from their customer service: "We checked the L&P Worcestershire Sauce formula and there is no free glutamic acid. Please let me know if anything further is needed." I don't believe this after myself and my mother experiencing erratic heart rhythms on several different occasions!

Msg and Supplements

1 User Review
1 star (1) 

Posted by Linda (Enfield, Nh) on 03/04/2010


Be careful with supplements. They are FULL of MSG ingredients. I had a four-month MSG headache because of a calcium supplement with maltodextrin. Having heard that a calcium deficiency caused headaches, I would take extra and make the headache worse & worse. It was a nightmare that messed up my life well beyond the miserable four months. Now I'm having the same trouble finding a magnesium supplement that doesn't give the same headache, though I don't know which of the ingredients is the problem.

Replied by Merryanne
(Orange City, Florida, Usa)
115 posts

This is Merryanne in Centeral Fl.,,I am sorry to here about your discomfort with the supplements,,,I get mine in pure form without fillers etc... I hope yu are feeling better soon.

Replied by Bob
(York, England)

But what has Maltodextrin to do with MSG? Maltodextrin is simply Maizesugar. Maybe you were wrong. Which reliable Supplement Manufacturer would put MSG in a Calcium Pill? There is no need for a taste enhancement in a pill that you swallow!

Replied by Mavric
(Charlotte, Nc)

Msg isnt just used for flavor enhancement bob. Why dont you take sometime and really learn about something before making a comment.

Replied by Robin Little
(Alamogordo, Nm)

Linda from Enfield, NH

Magnesium is very important for msg sensitive ones. It is much easier to absorb through the skin using Epsom salts baths or magnesium oil.

Also when I feel an msg migraine coming on I take an advil - it blocks the receptor sites, and the migraine never gets established. (I don't like to do this, I am on a strict msg-free diet but sometimes I mess up - or someone else does.)

Replied by Msgfree
(Monterey, C.a)

I read in a article that if a person is allergic to msg and consumes msg along with calcium supplements it only makes matters worse for that person. Aside from any discomforting symptoms people also sufffer from memory loss or lack of concentration.

Replied by Debbie
(Melbourne, Australia)

MSG and even aspartame are being put into supplements these days. Google Excitotoxins.

Our food sources are coming more and more from a few sources and more and more have things in them (like medicines) which are not good for your health.

Replied by Pomegranate
(Sw Usa)

I have the same problem with maltodextrin in supplements and meds. It gives me the usual migraine I get from natural flavors etc. Powder City cuts their "pure" powders with it, the picamilon, at least. They responded by denying that of course. I have to avoid it, and if it's not declared, and I ingest it, I feel like a truck ran over me for about a week.

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Posted by Kss (Tucson, Az) on 06/27/2011

Hi, just now read the post on msg and reports of heart rhythm abnormalities. I respectfully disagree regarding msg's potency. All animals and all humans -- including those of Asian descent -- react to MSG with a variety of adverse physiological symptoms ranging from mild to severe. MSG is a potent neurotoxin. Even in the smallest amounts, it can -- among other things --affect heart rhythm, which is a neurological/electrolytic hiccup in the heart. It is also added to most "natural" and organic prepared foods, and nearly all "natural" pet foods. Check out the Truth in Labeling site for a long list of symptoms and pseudonyms.

Replied by Citygirl27
(Richardson, Tx, Usa)

You are spot on. This is because MSG increases cysteine uptake, and cysteine competes with taurine. Taurine is a heartbeat regulator, so when Taurine uptake is restricted, voila, cardiac arrythmias or other heart issues. MSG is one of many things put in our foods now that increases cysteine levels :( . Hence why Taurine supplementation is important for anyone consuming suspect food. Taurine Knowledge courtesy of Dr Blaylock. I am his biggest fan!

Replied by Miko
(Orlando, Florida)

Just want to ask which is better, Taurine supplements or foods with Taurine. I read that Taurine can be found in fishes like mackerel and salmon; livers of chicken and beef but I don't know how much should be taken daily to remove MSG from the body?

Replied by Jeannie
(Fleming Island, FL)

I will start with I am food additive sensitive, BUT My family and I went to our local hibachi and sushi restaurant that we have eaten at several times. The sushi was great as always but the dinner was bitter to me which is the same taste I get with preservatives. My family gobbled their whole dinner down with me only have a small portion of mine. The rest of the 24 hours has been absolute misery. None of us were able to sleep. The crazy/real to life dreams were insane. The entire night I was felt like I was freezing but drenched in sweat. After nearly 18 hours later I still have a cold sweat and can't seem to get warm enough. My son wasn't able to go to school he felt so bad with weakness nausea and headache. I was very near to contacting poison control when I started googling our symptoms. How is this considered safe for human or animal consumption?! ? I know my harsher reaction is due to my sensitivities but I have only felt this bad after a true bought with food poisoning. The FDA should recognize and treat these chemicals as they do poisons and bring in the CDC for real evaluation!

Replied by Timh
(Ky, Usa)
2063 posts

@Jeannie: In an event like that I would take several spoons or oz's of Colloidal Silver to kill any pathogens and if that didn't work I would take a hot bath w/ several squirts of povidone iodine.

And for safety or prevention I would also take several doses of herbal parasite formula. Sushi can and often does harbor the fish tapeworm eggs. Also other raw foods can harbor Fluke stage which can rapidly multiply in the body and adults can entrench for their lifespan while releasing thousands of offspring. The herb Myrrh is indicated specifically for the flukes.

As for the food additives, one would need to have optimal antioxidant defenses to withstand an uncommonly high level during a meal. I would call the restaurant and ask if and what additives are used. Vit-C is indicated for these acute reactions. OTC antihistamine may also help. Your histamine levels were probably thru the roof during this episode; just guessing but seems likely.

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Posted by Anna (Great Barrington, MA) on 01/09/2009

I was in the grocery store today after reading about MSG last night on various internet sites. I started reading the ingredients on bottles of mayonaisse and juice, 2 items on my grocery list. Every single bottle of mayonaisse had "natural flavors" listed as an ingredient, as did 97% of the juices. Are we to believe that Natural Flavors = MSG?


Replied by Rosy
(Orlando, Fl)

All natural flavorings should be assumed as MSG, if not the manufactured kind, then the naturally occurring kind, which is just as bad.

I would make your own mayo if you are trying to avoid MSG.

Here's the recipe I used

1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (no MSG)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or Celtic salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup Virgin Coconut Oil (Liquid)

1. Put the eggs, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper into a food processor or blender: Then with the processor or blender running on low speed, start adding your oils very slowly. Start out with drops and then work up to about a 1/16-inch stream. It should take about two minutes to add the oil.
2. Continue blending until there is no free standing oil.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

It is supper yummy!

Replied by Joyce
(Joelton, Tn)
495 posts

Hello Anna,

Yes natural flavors or natural flavoring = monosodium glutamate (MSG). Devious, aren't they? Try finding a broth or bouillon without MSG. Does this tell you something about Tyson's raw chicken that may contain "up to l5% chicken broth"? Read raw chicken & beef ingredients on Perdue brand.

Now if you want to get more enlightened, start reading ingredients for "hydrolyzed plant (corn, coy, pea, etc) protein" because it = both monosodium glutamate and aspartame. Read the ingredients on what is supposed to be canned vegetables. In a can of Glory brand canned turnip greens and same brand of canned black eye peas, I found MSG, hydrolyzed plant protein, and natural flavors listed on both. Just imagine the total volume of MSG/aspartame people unaware of this are ingesting. I haven't looked at all the other brands, but I have also found some Allen brands of canned green beans have MSG and some don't.

No one should be surprised that obesity, diabetes type 2, Parkinsons and Alzheimer's disease are so rampant in our modern culture that relies so heavily on processed foods. Try finding a pizza with sauce that isn't loaded with MSG - also take a look at those tomato ketchup bottles ingredients kids love so much. Alzheimers is now striking those in their 30's. Only a year or so ago, they were saying it was hitting people in their 60's & up. I suspect it is hitting people even younger than the 30's. According to Blaylock in his book Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, the older people and the very young are more susceptible to brain destruction from MSG & aspartame; the elderly because of defects in the brain/blood barrier and the young because of immature development of the brain/blood barrier. I think this translates to it isn't the schools dumbing our kids down but the excitotoxins in our food supply that is destroying their brain cells.

Make sure you don't get low on potassium (most of us are low on it these days) because it competes for the same receptor sites as the MSG & aspartame.

Replied by Joyce
(Joelton, Tn)
495 posts

The last sentence in previous reply to MSG question should have read "magnesium" (not potassium) competes with MSG for sites in the brain.

Replied by Jim
(Atlanta, Georgia)

MSG, or rather monosodium glutamate has to be listed on the label no matter what. It cannot be listed as "natural flavor", "flavor" or "flavorings", but rather must be listed by its specific common or usual name... monosodium glutamate.

Exceptions to this regulation as stated in the Code of Federal Regulations are 1) where the food is presented without a label such as in a restaurant or eating establishment ? this will also apply to "to go" or "take out" orders; 2) in a general grocery store where the product is prepared at the store level and is sold as a RTE (Ready to Eat) item, as in products sold at the deli counter.

I suspect the reason for labeling some things, especially products label "Organic" as "MSG Free" is to achieve the marketing impact reaction of, "well, then if it doesn't say 'MSG Free' it must contain MSG."

The reference cites for my basic argument are listed below -

From the FSIS (Food Safety and Inspection Service) FAQ web-site:

What substances or ingredients can be listed as "natural flavor," "flavor," or "flavorings" rather than by a specific common or usual name?
Ingredients such as ginger, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, celery powder, and garlic oil may be listed as one of the three categories mentioned above. They may be designated as "natural flavors" because they are substances used chiefly for flavor. They do not make a nutritional contribution, are not derived from an animal species, and there are no health concerns linked to them.

How will I know if there is monosodium glutamate (MSG) in a processed meat or poultry product?

MSG is classified as a flavor enhancer by Federal regulation. When it is added to a product, it must be identified as "monosodium glutamate" on the label.

The actual cites for the FDA regulation are in the Federal Code of Regulations - 21 CFR 101.22; Natural Flavors is covered in subpart a(1, 2 and 3) and monosodium glutamate is covered in subpart h(5).

For FSIS there are two cites for the regulations: Meat (Beef, Lamb, Veal, Pork, others) 9 CFR 317.2; Poultry (Chicken, Duck, Turkey, Goose, others) 9 CFR 381.118.

Also listed in the USDA Food Standards and Labeling Policy Book is a section as below. Though the Labeling Policy Book indicates that these statements are "voluntary", trust me when I say that if an ingredient is one of the "big 8 allergens", specifically monosodium glutamate, it will be on the label.

D. Labeling of Ingredients of Public Health Concern

Because there are foods and food ingredients to which some individuals may have a sensitivity (i.e., an allergic reaction or intolerance), FSIS emphasizes the importance of accurate, informative product labeling. FSIS supports including voluntary statements on labels to alert people who have sensitivities or intolerances to the presence of specific ingredients, particularly the "big 8" allergens (wheat, crustaceans (e.g., shrimp , crab, lobster), eggs, fish, peanuts, milk, tree nuts (e.g., almonds, pecans, walnuts), and soybeans) and other specific ingredients (monosodium glutamate (MSG), sulfites, lactose, and Yellow 5 (tartrazine). FSIS provides the following example: "Contains: milk, wheat gluten, soy." FSIS further supports identifying the source of a specific ingredient in a parenthetical statement, (e.g., "whey (from milk)".)

There are always people who will do things illegally, but my position is based on the law.


Replied by Anita
(Mccomb, Ms)

Here is a very good recipe for Mayonnaise. I started making it to avoid the MSG in food.

Cooked Mayonnaise

Combine in saucepan:
1/3 c. sifted whole wheat flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 t. salt
Add: 3/4 c. water
1/2 c. white vinegar

Cook over low heat, stirring until thickened. Remove from heat and pour into blender. While beating, add:

2 cloves garlic
2 whole eggs

Continue beating and slowly add:

2/3 c. salad oil

Chill before serving.

Replied by Experience Matters
(Brookhaven, Ms)

First of all, if you are trusting the government to be responsible for your health, you will probably die an early, painful death, because they don't give a rip about it.

Secondly, consider what people will do for money. Corporate America is full of corruption. That's not to say that all is bad, any more than all of government is bad. But more often than not, corporate executives spend their day trying to figure out how to justify their jobs. So if they can find a way to make more money, they will. If it involves food additives that make you eat more, they don't care, as long as it's padding their pocket. This is the absolute truth: MSG IS hidden under other names. There are contracts in place that prevent disclosure of "secret" ingredients. So go on thinking that the government will protect with it's regulations if that's what you think. But when you come up with cancer, you'll be on your own. The government won't be there to help you.

Replied by Anders
(S.f. Ca)

Unfortunately, it is not just government or corporate titans at fault. It is much the public at large and consumers everywhere that are to blame.

Many are unaware or not that interested in gaining more knowledge about the foods that we eat and the products that we buy. For many of us, the assumption has been that if the food item is available at a market or in a restaurant, it must be safe to eat. But that may no longer be the case.

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Posted by Joyce (Joelton, Tn) on 01/08/2009 495 posts

MSG: I learned something else myself in looking this one up.That latest wrinkle of the manufacturers hiding the hydrolyzed plant protein under pea, soy, corn, etc. protein. I guess we are getting the word out somewhat or they wouldn't be shifting names for the most deadly form of all for MSG because it also contains aspartame.

The fact that they haven't attacked Dr. Blaylock personally at this time tells me that he is right in suspecting that they are attacking those helping him get the word out instead, because they know he can prove their lies in court and when that happens, their goose is cooked and they know it.

I wonder if we could get a good class action lawsuit going against the suppliers of monosodium glutamate & aspartame? I would love to see that happen. I know a lot of people who would love to join in that suit.

Replied by Talat
(Fairfax, Virginia)

Hello, Please tell me more about the hidden MSG. I am in shock that the FDA would pass this form of trickery. Thanks

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Posted by Roman (Chicago, IL) on 12/12/2007

This is under' the cold remedies cure catgory. Anytime I feel the slightest hint of a cold coming-on, I eat something that has MSG. flavored potato chips,and drink a glass of red wine,or a glass of orange juice. Monosodium-glutamate is also found in canned soup,not all of them use it,you need to read the label. This sounds funny-but it really works. When there was a rash of cold and flu outbreak at my workplace, I made this suggestion, but no-one took me seriously. But I never got sick.

Replied by Ted
(Bangkok, Thailand)
391 posts

Assuming you were right, still the monosodium glutamate would destroy the other functions pituitary, thyroid and most importantly, the control centers of the brain, the hypothalamus. There are countless research on the the dangers of monosodium glutamate. It should also be noted that a chicken soup, not in a canned one as it contains female estrogen, that is found in nearly all plastic lined canned foods and packaged food made from Bisphenol-A, where accumulative effects may also lead to miscarriage, obesity also.

It would be a lot safer to take L-Glutamine, which is a close cousin of the Monosodium glutamate, but doesn't have the brain damaging effects of the sodium attached to the glutamine molecules. The L-Glutamine has immune supporting effects and protect against cold. Adding l-glutamine with freshly cooked chicken soup (never canned), which is cysteine rich, with added vinegar would have been a better safer alternative. L-Glutamine is popularly used by body builders to reduce fat, but increase muscle mass, while monosodium glutamate does the opposite, by stimulating the appetite, but yet causes morbid obesity in rat studies, decrease growth and endocrine damages, so well known in many rat studies. A remedy for this cold require about two of L glutamine, with freshly cooked chicken soup and plenty of vinegar (or apple cider vinegar).

Replied by Terri
(West Virginia)

Ted, if a person took large doses of L-glutamine (10 grams daily) over a 4 month period, could it sensitize them to glutamate/MSG? Dr. Blaylock reports that L-glutamine can convert to glutamate and cross the blood-brain barrier. What do you think?

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Posted by Joyce (Joelton, Tn.) on 11/10/2007

... Most hospitals don't cook any more (just as schools also) but have the food catered and brought into the hospital. Our schools' meals are more atrocious than hospsitals' meals, by far. I would have laughed when I read that schools had petitioned the federal government and got an ok on counting the catsup packet served along with fries as a vegetable, if it hadn't been so pathetic and such potential of damaging our children. I have visited several elementary, middle & high schools over the past few years and seldom saw anything that wasn't grease-laden, sugar laden and most likely also MSG laden. Now with all the hype on the obesity epidemic in our kids (as well as our adultsl) they will probably also be laden with both MSG and aspartame. I agree with Ted that most of our obesity can be attributed to damage from MSG. We will probably see Alzheimer's moving on down into childhood then, as used to be called adult onset diabetes mellitus has, because I believe neurologist Russell L. Blaylock knows what he's talking about when he says that the most deadly form of MSG is any hydrolyzed plant (corn, soy, etc) protein because it kills off both calcium and sodium transport cells of the brain and central nervous system. It seems that separately, they only kill off one type of neuron.

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Posted by JOYCE (Joelton, Tn.) on 10/10/2007

On eczema, I believe removing the cause is the best cure. The causative factor is usually soap. No matter what kind - if it's soap, don't use it. One of our psychiatrists came in with a classic case of exzema (in his forties). I took one look at him and remarked, "that looks itchy, is it?" He said yes. When I caught him without an audience, I asked him if he ever tried leaving off soap for his eczema. He said he had and it got better at first, then got worse.

This almost threw me off track, until I thought to ask him what he used instead of soap. He replied that he didn't remember the name of it but it was some kind of medicated cream. I then suggested that he try leaving off soap again and not using any thing instead. He was surprised when told to just use a thick, wash cloth and water when bathing, nothing else, but agreed to give it a try. Several days later when he was next on call, he came in with the smoothest complexion and very happy with it.

People who forgo the use of soap also find that they have less body odor and attract fewer insect bites.

Again, on headaches, remove the cause, instead of looking for a cure. Aspartame (Nutrisweet) is well known for causing headaches. So is Monosodiumglutamate. If you want to find some other things they can cause, type in Excitotoxins, and hit search. For those who think MSG is only found in stir-fried (Chinese foods), make a list of the names MSG is hidden under in the ingredients list, then go into your kitchen and see how many of your foods have one or more of them listed in the ingredients.

Classic example is the 15% chicken broth that may be contained in a well-known brand of raw chicken that you must take home and cook...The MSG isn't mentioned because they didn't add MSG - they added chicken broth which contained the MSG.....Learn to protect yourself and your loved ones by learning these legal loop-holes. Oh, yes, you will also learn that that they are named excitotoxins because they excite the neural cells (Brain & Central nervous system) to death.

If you also research meta-bolic syndrome X (now called insulin resistance) by orthodox medicine) you will also find that excitotoxins are the same things that cause insulin resistance which ends up as full fledged Diabetes Mellitus,Type 2 which used to be called DM, adult onset, but was renamed to DM type 1 for juvenile onset and type 2 for adult onset, because children (even toddlers, are now developing type 2. So be your own health defender by learning all the names the excitotoxins are hidden under, stop buying these products, and write the supplier telling them why you aren't buying their product. You will only have to make one list because the excitotoxins are the same ones that makes us kick out excess insulin, proceed through insulin resistance, then to full fledged DM, type 2 and all of its complications.

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Posted by Bev (Elroy, WI) on 09/05/2007

to respond to the woman with the terrible boils. I suffer from horrific cystic acne. I discovered that if I eliminate all forms of hidden MSG [do an internet search to find all that it is in] that my skin is perfectly clear. I am so sensitive that I cannot even touch anything with citric acid or natural flavor which is a form of hidden MSG and is in most shampoos, liquid hand soap, prepared foods, pop etc. I convinced my husband to eliminate all hidden MSG and his headaches, ezcema and skin rash went away. Now when he has any exposure the itchy, weepy skin rash comes back and today it is back with a vengence. He had mustard on Sunday and it flared. By Monday evening it was drying up and he licked the spoon of the ice cream he served our children and during the night it erupted so bad he could hardly sleep.

A good rememdy for all these skin things is a 125 watt clear infrared bulb. Not only will this clear up the skin but is great for any aches and it healed my son of acute asthma. Asthma requires a one hour treatment 1-2 times daily or more. The more you use it the quicker it heals. The only draw back is having to stay stationary so long. My husband hasn't had time to sit under it the past two days so he is still in bad shape. He started on the vinegar and honey last night to see if a change in body pH will help.

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