Thursday, January 05, 2012

MSG, I Found You

            In the last few years I have become more familiar with MSG (monosodium glutamate or free glutamic acid.)   In my very early twenties, I began getting horrific migraines which not only altered my vision, made me nauseous, caused numbness but also altered my communication.  There were times I could understand conversations around me but was not able to express my own thoughts.
After a few years of suffering I finally met out naturopath who helped me look into possible triggers.  One potential trigger was MSG.  MSG is actually just one component of Free Glutamic Acid.  Free Glutamic Acid is essentially placed in food to make it more desirable.  It works as a neurotransmitter which excites our neurons making food taste so much better.  In other words, it enhances flavours so that even the blandest of foods taste great.
Due to MSG’s addictive properties it has been linked to obesity.  MSG can also create migraines, strokes, seizures, paralysis, slurred speech, irritable bowel, diarrhea, chest pain, runny nose, rash, a rapid heart rate, joint pain, depression, insomnia, and much more.
            MSG is not only found in food but can also be hiding in beauty products, infant formula, vaccines, pharmaceuticals, chewing gum and waxes on produce. The unfortunate part about our governing food administration is that MSG does not have to be labelled as MSG or monosodium glutamate to actually be in your food.  There are many ingredients that actually contain MSG.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Here is a shortened list of ingredients which are known to contain MSG:                               
Yeast Extract
Autolyzed yeast
Corn oil
Whey protein concentrate
Any hydrolyzed protein

Here is a shortened list of food items which often contain MSG or create it during processing:
Low fat or not fat milk products
Bouillon/Stock (beef or chicken)
Soy sauce
Worchester sauce
Dry food mixes (seasonings, gravy, soups, sauces etc.)
Parmesan items

Without naming any brands do check major soup companies, flavoured chips, flavoured crackers, and salad dressings.  


  1. Now I've always thought MSG was a man-made substance/chemical that was ADDED to foods for the reasons you listed above -- I didn't know it is something that naturally exists in all proteins! (Which would explain why using it as an additive can be "justified.") You've probably already seen this info, but after reading your post I googled msg and read how it stimulates the pancreas to release insulin even if there are no carbs in the food -- so no wonder it has links to weight issues (

    What I don't understand is why they would put it in the wax that's on produce! But your post (which B read first) saved me from juicing some oranges with the peels on! Thanks for the info, Irene!

  2. My son went through the same thing as a teen. He was having debilitating migraines complete with paralysis. We were told to stay away from MSG, but also to begin taking magnesium every day. Apparently MSG depletes the magnesium in your system, also not good and causing symptoms. This worked very well and he never had another episode after avoiding MSG and taking magnesium daily.

    1. NEWA, Thanks for that great information. I didn't know MSG depletes your magnesium levels...very interesting. I am glad you figured out the problem.

  3. After my twenties, I too started migraines just the way you describe.