Why MSG should be Banned for Consumption.
There is still a raging debate going on in regards to MSG, and whether it is safe for consumption.
Let’s take a closer look at MSG, especially since labelling laws in Australia are too lax to provide enough information to consumers regarding MSG in food.
Are we unknowingly poisoning our kids with the food that they eat?
If you think you don’t consume MSG, think again.MSG is often labelled as flavour enhancer 621, but other glutamates that aren’t so easily recognised can also be added to foods.
The catch here is the company can then label their product MSG FREE, even though that product may contain other glutamates, some of which have been shown to have adverse health effects.
MSG is only prohibited in Australia for use in baby foods. But essentially, this only means for products that are marketed for infants, it doesn’t cover anything else that a child of one may consume such as biscuits/crackers or chips.
Another day, another marketing loophole.
But MSG its natural, right? Wrong, sort of.
Part of the argument for MSG is that it is natural and occurs naturally in foods. Well this is true, but MSG is not in its natural state, it is a free glutamate, meaning several chemical steps have been taken to free the glutamate from its normally bound protein molecule.
Your body can use natural glutamate as it is bound to protein and present at low levels. When naturally occurring glutamates are eaten they are released slowly and the brain takes up what it needs for normal function.
MSG is not bound, it is free form and therefore the body cannot regulate how much affects the brain. To say they are the same is utterly absurd. The levels of chemically processed glutamate added to foods are highly concentrated and on top of that, they are found in much higher levels than naturally occurring glutamate.
Lobby groups such as The Glutamate Association appear at first as grass roots organisation. But unfortunatly it is not. This group aim to dispel any evidence that MSG may cause harm to health. But look closely and you will find the organisation is supported by mostly food manufacturers. Food manufacturers that are only interested in keeping MSG in food and off consumers labels.
Conflict of interest perhaps?
Remember back to when smoking was healthy?
I can’t recall seeing any recipe books calling for the addition of MSG to a homemade dish to make it taste better.
The sad fact is, the product that needs the MSG added is of such a substandard quality that it need chemicals to manipulate its taste.
Food manufacturers do not care about you health unfortunately and the FDA and other Governing organisation such as FSANZ (Food Safety Australia and New Zealand) cannot be relied upon to do this either.
Manufacturers use MSG as a flavour enhancer, the end result is to get the consumer wanting more and more of their product. That almighty dollar at the expense of what?
Your kids health……
So, let’s look at how its poisoning you..
The body uses MSG as a nerve transmitter in the brain, in addition to this, there are also glutamate-responsive tissues in other parts of the body. When any of these body functions are altered, it can lead to an array of problems, including neurological dysfunction, this has been demonstrated many times over in laboratory mice.
As health professionals will know, most neurological disease are labelled ‘idiopathic’, meaning ‘of unknown cause, this is frustrating when there are known neuro-toxins in food that are allowed to remain there and be considered safe.
Did you know?
MSG is used to induce seizures in mice being used for medical experimentation proving that it is indeed, neuro-toxic.
Hammering thy Pancreas – A lesser known effect of MSG.
Previously in the article I mentioned glutamate responsive tissues in the body.
One of the lesser known effects of MSG is its ability to distort the normal function of the beta cells within the pancreas.
The pancreas has an important job and that is for it to recognise when blood sugar levels are getting too high (or too low), in the case of a blood sugar level too high, it then secretes insulin to bring those levels back to homeostasis. This process will cause fat storage, but this isn’t the most concerning effect.
If you have eaten a Chinese meal or perhaps another flavoursome sort of take away, do you notice that you are starving the next morning, perhaps ravenous?
MSG works causing the pancreas to drive out insulin, this effectively creates a yo yo effect on blood sugar, insulin pumps out, blood sugar becomes low, you have the urge to eat again.
Not only is it hunger that this induces, it causes a blood sugar low that can leave some people shaky and sweaty and looking for food. One product (MSG), affecting one type of cell, then creating an undesirable metabolic cascade.
If MSG can do this to one cell, what could it do to all of the other cells in the body?
This is only a small example of the effects of MSG.
Numerous independent studies over the last few decades have consistently found unusual side effects from the additive, yet for other reasons, our government food bodies declare it as completely safe with no recommendation to even limit.
During my time in health care, I have lost count of the amount of people diagnosed with illnesses of ‘unknown cause’.
You have to be your own health advocate in your life, this means educating yourself on food and knowing what to look for when purchasing foods, especially foods for children. Each person is different therefore will react to substances in different ways. Being aware of you own body and keeping track of symptoms can often pin point a trigger.
A good ‘moto’ to follow is
“If man made it- Don’t eat it”
Although sometime not practical, every time you make a choice on what food to buy, keep this in mind.
Heidi Dahlenburg is a Registered Nurse and Naturopathic Clinician with 19 years in Professional Health Care. With a passion for preventative health, Heidi is continually immersed in studying and keeping up to date with the latest research on important health matter. Spending 13 years in the hospital system pushed Heidi to begin speaking and writing on the topic of preventative health, patient education and integrative healthcare.
Always seek the advice of you doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.