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Salt, Sodium and Monosodium Glutamate

Be Still

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Please note that most salty/savory prepared foods (found in boxes and cans or frozen) contain MSG or free glutamic acids, and some (like ramen noodles) contain high amounts. There are people who are highly sensitive to it and react with many unpleasant sx. There is no high salt, prepared food that is safe from MSG.

V8 likely contains some sort of glutamic acid in its ingredient: flavorings. The same is true for boxed/frozen macaroni and cheese, instant stuffing mix, boxed potato side dishes, most chip dips, soups of any kind (dried, canned, frozen or purchased ready made and hot,) hot dogs, bacon and salad dressings. Many ?staples? of college life are foods with high MSG counts.

Foods labeled ?No MSG?, can and do have MSG/glutamate in them and as long as the company is not adding pure MSG this is legal. Soy sauce is a product that contains glutamic acid as result of its manufacture. Flavorings and seasonings (autolyzed yeast, yeast extract, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, etc.) all have MSG in their recipes, it doesn't have to be listed, and the product can legally say, "No MSG added."

People that are sensitive to MSG/glutamate can have very strong reactions including tachycardia, blood pressure swings, chest pain, breathing irregularities and a host of neurological symptoms, as well as others.

GABA; gabapentin (Neurotin) and other drugs are developed to inhibit the action of glutamate receptors which can be overly sensitive in certain diseases (AD, PD, Epilepsy, Huntington?s Disease-a brain deterioration disease, etc.) Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter, and drugs are being developed to block this action, because like some of us with other neurotransmitters (epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine) it is possible to have too much in the brain and have an oversensitive response to it.

If you are getting strong reactions out of the blue, check what you are eating. Especially if you tend toward the hyperadrenergic I would consider this. MSG/glutamine gives me powerful surges. I tried one L-Glutamine capsule, recommended in CFS circles for boosting the brain, and oy!

Aspartame/Nutrasweet is another chemical that can cause these same reactions, each person?s tolerance varies. BTW, Aspartame has been implicated in weight gain.

I don?t recommend the common suggestion of trying to prove it to yourself by eating large portions of suspect foods, but you could try to eliminate them and when you have a reaction, you could check product labels. Unfortunately, the only way to be sure is to cook from scratch, something beyond many of us.

MSG is very hidden in food labels, because it is an inexpensive flavor enhancer, so many products contain it and it?s troublesome. There are a few easily found informative web sites if someone wants more information on the ingredients that contain MSG and the reactions common to it.

So many of us have mystifying reactions and are medication resistant, that looking at this may provide some relief. :)

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Thanks for posting this. I do sometimes have severe episodes after eating and I thought it was that I was eating "too much" salt. Now I realize that I was probably eating MSG, since I know I alredy react badly to it (I had to go the hospital after eating chinese food with MSG once).

I already stay far away from prepared foods because they usually make me sick, now I guess I know why.

For those who care, Whole Foods sells MSG-free all-natural chicken sausage (I'm a sausage addict but had to stop eating it because of the MSG until I discovered the sausage at whole foods.)

Anyways, thanks again for posting this.


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Be Still,

I love your POTS sign. How did you make it?

I so agree with you about the prepared foods. I know I feel poorly when eating them, but sometimes I do it anyway when my hubs prepares something with it because I am so grateful that he cooks and it tastes so good.

But I try to steer clear of canned/prepared anything.

I notice I even feel bad when eating the prepared (dried) potatoes with the flavorings.

BTW, is glutamic acid the same thing as MSG?

And what is it about the glutamic acid/MSG that is so bad? Did you say it excites the nervous system? Yikes.

The sad part is, some of these foods taste so good, yet they make us feel bad.

On another note,there was a thread on aspartame a few months back. My hubs, on his own stopped ingesting anything with aspartame and he lost many of his body aches and pains. Yayyy!!!! It's become a non-issue. He also stopped getting buzzing in his head.

Seems we can be sensitive to anything. Just have to be aware.

Thanks for the info. I really appreciated it.

P.S. You've quite possibly just explained a strange reaction I've had to certain foods from childhood. It's like a light bulb went off. I just realized that I always felt "different" after ingesting the usual canned chicken noodle soup and other canned soups and prepared foods. I just figured I was nuts as usual, when feeling wired or weird after eating them. This has been going on for a very long time for me. I definitely will keep this info in the back of my mind the next time I eat canned/prepared anything.

The problem is, when I am sick, I do NOT want to stand around cooking/making my own soup. Know what I mean?

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The problem is, when I am sick, I do NOT want to stand around cooking/making my own soup. Know what I mean?

I SO know what you mean. I have had success with eating very simple, easy to prepare whole foods meals, I'm just going through a rebellious period right now and don't want to. Somehow I'm reminded of the nursery rhyme:

There was a little girl,

who had a little curl,

right in the middle of her forehead.

And when she was good,

she was very very good,

and when she was bad she was horrid. :)

As to my POTS avatar, I stumbled across it while Google image searching. I couldn't believe it. Actually, I've seen it before, because it's supposed to be funny with STOP being spelled backwards, but it really struck me the other day. I'm glad is makes people smile.

MSG is a salt of glutamic acid (MSG=Monosodium GLUTAMATE) and glutamic acid is an amino acid that is found in animal and vegetable protein, even in mother?s milk. It is a nonessential amino acid, which means our bodies can produce it on their own. In nature, is is bound-up, to other things. Now, it is produced/manufactured in it?s free form, and that might change everything about how we assimilate it.

The reason food with MSG tastes so good is because in addition to taste receptors on our tongue for sweet, sour, salty and bitter, we have, are you ready?, receptors for fat and MSG! In fact, that?s one thing that clues me in to the presence of MSG, if a food tastes TOO good. My son gave me some candy recently, and in my current rebellious state I ate it. He said it was the only candy that he knew that adults got addicted to. It tasted too good. I said, ?There?s got to be MSG in there somewhere!? Of course, there was not. But, there was citric acid, and in researching it I found that people who react to MSG can react the same way to citric acid! I?m very sensitive to this stuff.

Back to the lecture: For ages, Orientals have used seaweed, which has a significant amount of glutamic acid, to flavor things. At one point the flavor component was isolated, and MSG began to be produced, but it was a slow, costly process. In the late 1950?s a fast/cheap way of producing MSG was found, that of bacterial fermentation (that doesn?t sound tasty) and contains contaminants not found in natural forms. By 1968 we had ?Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.?

The thing about it is, everything in moderation, right? Our bodies produce tiny amounts and never in free form. Nowadays, we bombard our systems with it, in free form, and it has neurotoxin properties. Russell Blaylock M.D., a neurosurgeon, wrote a book, ?Excitotoxins, The Taste That Kills,? and it fueled a controversy over this subject. He claims that MSG and aspartame excite brain neurons to death. He?s saying we?re not just dealing with unpleasant symptoms from these chemicals, they?re doing damage to the brain.

Unfortunately, MSG can cause hypothalamic lesions, which is why it is critical for us to look at this. Glutamic acid can cause migraines. This may be a simple, free way to help ourselves.

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As someone who has had horrible migrains since about 16 and after many trips to dr and er, finally a few years ago went to a neurologist and after seeing me started me on an elimination diet. As soon as a processed food was added I had a migraine. After much testings of foods it came down to MSG, all added nitrates, some colorings and diet sodas. He told me MSG is a neurotoxin. You have to watch eating out, reading labels, calling companies and checking there ingrediant lists... It makes eating sometimes a drag. I crave lawsons chip dip! But just have to watch everyone else eat it! They hide MSG in everything, even yogert. WHY YOGERT? who knows, it's so crazy. Organic is where your pretty safe, but it's so expensive. It gets me so made when I get a migraine after eating something that was suppossed to not have msg in it but I can tell just by my symptoms that it has it in it no matter what they say. Same for artifical sweetners he said to stay away from them.


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