Why You Really Do Need to be Concerned
About This Common Food Additive
You probably know it as the stuff that causes “Chinese restaurant syndrome,” but do you also know that it contributes to unhealthy spikes in insulin, high blood pressure, and hormone imbalances? Food industry giants would have you believe that the ubiquitous additive known as MSG ( Monosodium Glutamate), is as natural as home grown carrots. After all, they argue, it’s just an amino acid found naturally in many foods including proteins, soy beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, and parmesan cheese.
But MSG is far from natural. It is actually a chemical made by combining the amino acid glutamate with a sodium atom. This highly processed substance is a long way from your grandmother’s home grown tomatoes. Though the body uses glutamate for a number of critical processes, it gets what it needs from whole foods where glutamic acid is always bound up in a protein chain with other necessary co-factors.
Delivered directly to the blood stream in the form of MSG, excess glutamate can interfere with normal metabolic processes and cause serious health issues. Because it is a vasoconstrictor and keeps calcium channels open it can raise your blood pressure and interfere with blood pressure medications. It also stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin, causing hypoglycemic attacks which can have you raiding the refrigerator soon after a meal. Experts think MSG also has serious neurological and hormonal effects, and may contribute to diabetes and hypothyroidism.
Since the presence of MSG is often disguised in such innocuous sounding ingredients as “hydrolyzed vegetable protein” and “natural flavoring,” it is difficult to avoid if you eat processed foods. Be smart and stick with unprocessed whole foods.