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MSG: A Public Health Menace
Found In Most Packaged Foods
"Plain and Simple: MSG is a drug added to our foods that causes widespread toxicity."
George R. Schwartz, M.D
In Bad Taste­The MSG Symptom Complex

By Larry Cook

In many Philippine provinces, as in the rest of Asia, it is not uncommon for people to eat dogs, after poisoning them with one or two tablespoons of monosodium glutamate (MSG), placed inside a roll of bread. The dog salivates, loses consciousness and involuntarily spasms until breathing stops.2

You can find MSG in the spice section of your local supermarket, as monosodium glutamate­MSG, under brand names such as Ac'cent and in many seasoning mixes. It is used in most processed foods-candy, cakes, donuts, dairy products, snack foods, frozen entrées, salad dressings and soups, to name a few. And it is often disguised under different names: Hydrolyzed Protein, Sodium Caseinate or Calcium Caseinate, Utilized Yeast or Yeast Extract, Gelatin, Textured Protein, Carrageenan or Vegetable Gum, Seasonings or Spices, Flavorings or Natural Flavorings, Chicken, Beef, Pork, Smoke Flavorings, Bouillon, Broth or Stock, Barley Malt, Malt Extract, Malt Flavoring, Whey Protein, Whey Protein Isolate or Concentrate, Soy Protein, Soy Protein Isolate or Concentrate, Soy Sauce or Extract, zest, gourmet powder, and more.3

MSG was first developed in Japan by Dr. Ikedia in 1909, and gained widespread acceptance in the Orient. In 1948, it was introduced to the American food industry as a flavor enhancer for otherwise bland food products, during a national convention in Chicago, attended by all the major food producers, including Campbell Foods, Continental Foods, General Foods, Nestles, United Airline Food Service, Libbey, Pillsbury and Oscar Mayer.4

MSG is a drug. It has no flavor of its own. It synthetically heightens our awareness of food by altering the way the tongue, the nervous system and the brain communicate with each other. It intensifies the flavor of savory foods by causing neuron cells in the mouth to over-react to different flavors. Unfortunately, these overstimulated cells exhaust themselves and die, causing microscopic scarring throughout the human system.5 Within 30 minutes of eating processed foods high in MSG, neurons swell up like balloons and die after three hours. In lower doses, neuron cells die after 18 to 24 hours.6

Psychiatrist Dr. John Olney at Washington University in St. Louis, said during a Neuroscience meeting that "Over twenty years ago [over 30 now] glutamate was shown to cause brain damage to infant animals. Since then, it has become increasingly evident that glutamate and closely related substances are neurotoxins that can cause human neurodegenerative diseases."7 Dr. Olney conducted more studies on rodents and found that MSG damaged the hypothalamus gland and caused obesity, behavior changes, endocrine changes, stunted bodies, seizures and infertility. And hypothalamic neurons responsible for growth regulation, puberty onset, memory & learning8 , endocrine functions, appetite, sleep cycles, waking patterns and the biological clock, were destroyed. He also discovered that children typically take in enough MSG in one bowl of commercial soup to raise blood glutamate levels to levels found to cause severe brain cell damage in experimental animals.9

In a 1974 questionnaire, Dr. Liane Reif-Lehrer, a noted researcher at Harvard Medical School, investigated people's reactions to MSG. Almost 30 percent of the 1,529 respondents reported dizziness, nausea, abdominal pain, visual disturbances, fatigue, shortness of breath, weakness, headache or tightness around the face. Emotional reactions ranged from depression and insomnia to "feeling tense."10

More than 500 million people worldwide and approximately 5 percent of Americans severely react to even small amounts of MSG, and up to 30 percent have a noticeable reaction. Many scientists and researchers label MSG as a neurotoxin and suggest that it may contribute to Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig's Disease, Huntington's Chorea, Parkinson's Disease and other Neurological Diseases.
A reaction may be caused by as little as 1/10th of a teaspoonful or 1/2 gram. Many packaged meals contain 3 grams or more. Common reactions include dizziness, headache, flushing and burning sensations.11 The more we ingest, the greater the reaction, sometimes as severe as death. Infants, senior citizens, asthmatics, people with neurological and immune disease health challenges, heart or digestive tract problems and severe mood or depression problems are highest at risk.

MSG is never safe-even if you don't react to it. Avoiding all forms of MSG is the best choice for those who desire vibrant health.

1 "In Bad Taste­The MSG Symptom Complex," by George R. Schwartz, M.D., pg. 2
2 "In Bad Taste­The MSG Symptom Complex," by George R. Schwartz, M.D., pg. 61
3 Gnomes, HTTP://www.nomsg.com/#Hidden Sources
4 "In Bad Taste­The MSG Symptom Complex," by George R. Schwartz, M.D., pg. 9
5 The Lighthouse Press and The Feel Good Handbook, http://thelighthousepress.com/
6 Experimental studies show that glutamate acts as a trigger that opens the sodium channel on the cell membrane and allows calcium to enter the neuron, triggering an enzyme called phospholipase C within the cell, which then triggers the release of arachidonic acid, damaging the cells interior. The arachidonic acid is attacked by two enzymes called lipoygenase and cyclo-oxygenase, further triggering an explosive release of free radicals (superoxide and hydroxyl radicals) which brings on cell death. The normal concentration of antioxidants in the brain is not enough to handle the excess free radicals produced in this way. The Leading Edge Research Group, http://www.trufax.org/research/f36.html.
7 Society for Neuroscience 19th Annual Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona, October, 1989; The Psycho-Social, Chemical, Biological and Electromagnetic Manipulation of Human Consciousness by Val Valerian, Leading Edge Research Group, pg. 175
8 Science Service Report 1993, studies by James Golomb of NY University
9 "excitotoxin Food Additives: Functional Teratological Aspects," Dr. John Onley, Progressive Brain Research, Vol. 18, 1988, pg. 283
10 "In Bad Taste­The MSG Symptom Complex," by George R. Schwartz, M.D., pg. 13; Federation Proceedings, April 1977
11 The Lighthouse Press and The Feel Good Handbook, http://thelighthousepress.com.