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Commercial Production of MSG

Commercial Production of Taste Enhancers or MSG

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, industrialists began to manufacture free glutamic acid, or MSG. The manufacturing process involves strong acid and high temperatures to hydrolyze, or breakdown, proteins which result in mixtures of D-glutamic acid, pyroglutamic acid, as well as large amounts of the sodium salt of L-glutamic acid, and other amino acids.

The high temperature hydrolysis of protein sources is far different from enzyme degradation of food proteins that takes place in the body during food digestion at normal body temperatures of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or 37 degrees Centigrade.

L-Glutamic acid is found in the brain in small amounts. Its concentration is tightly controlled in its role as a neurotransmitter.

But when L-Glutamic acid, as the free salt, is added as a taste enhancer in large quantities to all processed foods, and ingested, it is toxic to brain cells, exciting them to the point of death.

Dangers of Free Monosodium Glutamate

Information about the dangers of free glutamic acid is found in the following references.

“MSG Dangers and Deceptions” by J L Samuels in Health and Healing Wisdom, from Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation 1998, 22:2:28. The Samuels have also established a website, as noted previously, that gives extensive information about monosodium glutamate and other brain excitotoxins.

Other references are Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon with Mary Enig Ph.D. p.49-50. Russell L. Blaylock M.D. is a neurosurgeon and author of Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills 1996, Health Press, Santa Fe. Dr Blaylock’s book contains almost 500 references to the scientific literature that exposes the truth about the dangers of free amino acids as excitotoxins.

Free vs. Bound Glutamic Acid

Protein, found in many foods, contains bound glutamic acid, along with 19 other amino acids. Eating and digesting proteins in food does not cause brain damage or adverse reactions.

The free salt, monosodium L-glutamate, can produce dangerous neurologic reactions in sensitive individuals, such as dizziness, violent diarrhea, and even anaphylactic shock, especially when used in the quantities recommended by the industry as a food additive.

Long term free glutamate use is correlated with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases in adults and neurological damage in children. Animal studies have linked MSG with brain lesions, retinal degradations, and obesity.
• If MSG isn’t harmful, why do food manufacturers attempt to hide its presence?
• And why is it necessary for the manufacturers and users of MSG to do everything they can to disguise its use from consumers.
• Are those tactics necessary to continue its financial dominance?
• Why is it necessary for the FDA to shield in every way possible the monosodium glutamate industry?

Is it because most of the people in the FDA have close ties with the industries they are supposed to regulate?

And could it be that many are realizing the dangers of MSG and related substances?

Government organizations also take the industry position with regard to the cause of heart disease, cancer and other modern nutritional diseases.

Placebo vs. Test Sample

The International Glutamate Technical Committee was setup by the glutamate industry to support the use of monosodium glatamate as a food additive. According to J. L. Samuels, this organization has known all along that the placebo used in industry supported research contained the powerful excitotoxin aspartame. This would guarantee that the placebo would give the same results as the MSG test sample.

Dr. Blaylock reviewed test results from many industry supported research projects. In none of these studies was the content of the placebo revealed.

Using material in a placebo that would give reactions similar or identical to free glutamate in the test sample can only be described as fraudulent. In this case they would choose only those people who were sensitive to glutamate in any of its formulations. This would guarantee that the subjects would react to both the placebo and the sample containing glutamate.

This would then be reported as saying that glutamate is safe, because the reaction to the test sample and the placebo were the same. And the FDA has no qualms about accepting this type of industry supported research.

Another twist to industry sponsored research when using placebos to which MSG-sensitive people would react (placebos containing free monosodium glutamate, aspartame, carageenan, or free amino acid salts), would allow them to eliminate potential subjects who would react to the test sample of free monosodium glutamate. This would be another way they could say MSG does not cause any problems in their tests for sensitivity to the taste enhancer.

Mrs. Samuels reported her daughter, a college student, applied to take part in a glutamate study. She was refused because her daughter said she was not very sensitive to glutamate. Instead of looking for a cross section of the population, they select whom they want so they can guarantee the outcome. And it is tragic that our government is agreeable with such procedures.

There has been no study even attempting to determine the least amount of processed free glutamate that might cause an adverse reaction in an MSG-sensitive person. This ought to be the least that could be done to protect those individuals sensitive to MSG.

Click here to continue information on toxicity of MSG and government protection of the industry.

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