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MSG is awful for some and can't be good for others

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Old 06-28-2008, 04:19 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC, USA
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verbmerger HB User
MSG is awful for some and can't be good for others

I have suffered from MSG since I was a 6 years old. That was about the time restaurants started sprinkling it on salad bars. My experience began with immediate vomiting and diarrhea in the restaurant bathroom followed by crapping my pants in the car on the way home. Since then, I have tried to perfect the art of avoiding MSG, but the fact that it is slipped into an increasing number of products under various names is extremely frustrating. I'm sure many folks are affected negatively by this chemical and it can't be good for anyone. Recently, I read on an older post that it may be linked to heart fibrilaltion. Coincidentally, my father suffers from this condition and has made 3 trips to the hospital and had a surgical procedure done on his heart to correct it. I can't help but wonder if a lack of tolerance for MSG is hereditary and if his condition could be avoided by simply removing MSG from our diets. Are there any efforts (Bills) being proposed to ban this stuff? If not, what can a person do to help rid this product from everyone's diet, permanently?

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Old 06-28-2008, 05:30 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: emerald city
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rheanna HB Userrheanna HB User
Re: MSG is awful for some and can't be good for others


I too have a negative reaction to MSG, although not quite as negative as you and your father. I sympathise.

I don't think that campaigning for a law to ban it from foods is going to work, because too many people think it's a benign additive. I am greatful, however, that there seem to be laws in place in North America, and in Europe where I live, to insist that manufacturers list ingredients on the label of the product. As you note, msg is "disguised" under various names, and one must learn to read labels carefully and thoroughly. I do this anyway because I have gluten intolerance, and have learned to read for the long list of "disguised" names that indicates that there is probably wheat and/or gluten present.

The one suggestion that I can recommend is to buy separate ingredients and cook from scratch as much as possible. A single ingredient has nothing else added, except for maybe salt. I make my own bread, mayonnaise, spaghetti sauce (canned tomato paste has only salt added, and I add my own veggies and herbs and lean meat), etc. I often bring my own lunch when I go out. I am careful to order simple things when I eat dinner in a restaurant, and I avoid Chinese restaurants and chain restaurants entirely. Look for restaurants that cook things from scratch. Or order a salad from a place that you trust, and bring your own salad dressing that you know to be free of ingredients that are a problem for you.

It does seem funny to me that people say "well, msg is a substance found naturally in foods, and so therefore if you can eat those foods, then you can't possibly have a problem with msg being added as an extra ingredient!" Well, there's a big difference between the chemicals found naturally in whole foods vs the concentrated single chemicals that are isolated from those foods and added in high concentrations to our products. I have no problems eating tomatoes or mushrooms or other foods that are high in natural msg. When someone adds isolated msg to products, I get sick. What's wrong with the natural flavor of foods???

So, again, I sympathise. Learn to cook from scratch.


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