MSG (Mono Sodium Glutamate):
When you think of monosodium glutamate (MSG), what is the first thing that comes to mind? More than likely it is Chinese cuisine, however, this same ingredient is also found in several other food products we use everyday. Almost all processed foods on the grocery store shelves ranging from soups to crackers to meats contain MSG to enhance their flavor. MSG is also an ingredient in vaccines. To be able to make fully informed decisions regarding vaccination for you or your child, it is essential to evaluate what is and is not known about vaccine ingredients and their short and long term effects on the human body.
What is Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)?
Monosodium glutamate, also known as monosodium salt, monohydrate and L- monosodium glutamate, is the sodium salt of a common amino acid known as glutamic acid (glutamate). Glutamic acid is naturally present in our bodies and occurs naturally many foods such as tomatoes and cheeses. Glutamate is one of several amino acids linked into the chains of protein in the body. In the body, some amino acids are free to float around by themselves while others are linked into proteins to perform vital functions. For instance, some amino acids serve as neurotransmitters carrying nerve cell impulses throughout the body; they act as chemical messengers relaying news from one nerve cell to another. Glutamate is one such neurotransmitter that carries messages throughout the brain triggering nerve cells to fire. Other neurotransmitters such as gamma amino butyric acid then communicate with the firing nerve cells signaling them to cease firing when necessary, thus creating an important balance. In the presence of excess glutamate, this balance tips due to overstimulation of nerve cells and causes them to die.
The Role of MSG in Vaccines
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vaccine Excipient and Media Summary lists five vaccines that contain monosodium glutamate:
- Influenza (FluMist) Quadrivalent
- MMRV (ProQuad)
- Varicella (Varivax)
- Zoster (Shingles-Zostavax)
So what has MSG got to do with vaccines?
MSG is used as a stabilizer in vaccines. Stabilizers are added to vaccines to help the vaccine remain unchanged when it is exposed to heat, light, acidity or humidity.
MSG: An Excitotoxin Like Aspartame
Russell Blaylock, MD, a board-certified neurosurgeon and author of Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills has extensively studied the effects of MSG on the brain. He identifies MSG an excitotoxin. Excitotoxins are food and taste-enhancing chemicals found in many food products. Aside from MSG, other excitotoxins include hydrolyzed vegetable protein, aspartame (a food sweetener sold on the market as NutraSweet) and cysteine. Excitotoxins overstimulate certain neurons in the brain causing them to continue firing until they tire themselves and die. This overexcitement of neurons can cause brain damage of varying degrees and can potentially trigger degenerative diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease), Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's, all of which develop gradually. Several studies have shown the link between MSG consumption and severe headaches as a side effect. A 2009 study published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine used dissociated mouse neuronal culture and cell injury assays to determine whether relevant concentrations of MSG induce cell swelling or death. The study explains the mechanism behind MSG induced headaches that affect many people who have low tolerance to MSG. The authors state: Using neuronal culture technique and cell injury assay, we studied the effect of MSG on mouse cortical neurons, a commonly used in vitro preparation for cell injury studies. We demonstrated that incubation with MSG, at clinical relevant concentrations, induced swelling and injury of mature neurons. This finding may partially explain the headache induced by MSG intake.
They go on to explain:
Glutamate is an endogenous neurotransmitter required for a variety of physiological functions of neurons. Increased release of endogenous glutamate has been suggested to play an important role in neuronal injury associated with a number of neurological disorders.
The Verdict on MSGIt is clear that there are unanswered questions about the safety of MSG, not only as a food additive, but also as a vaccine ingredient. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), MSG is a "naturally occurring" substance since its basic ingredients are found in natures. It is critical to realize here that "naturally occurring" does not mean that the food additive being consumed is in its natural form. It only means that the manufacturing process began with something found in nature but the question is: Does that make it safe for consumption or injection? Although the FDA labeled MSG as "Generally Recognized as Safe" (GRAS) in 1959, since then it has acknowledged the existence of short-term reactions to MSG. These include numbness, headaches, fatigue, disorientation and heart palpitations that some people who have low tolerance to MSG may experience after eating foods containing MSG. Similar to most vaccine ingredients that have not been tested separately for safety, the long term cumulative effects of injecting MSG into the body and how it interacts with other chemicals and ingredients in vaccines is not known. What is known is that MSG is an excitotoxin that can cause neurons to die. Until adequate testing is done, the verdict on using MSG in vaccines is unsettled.
Identifying MSG sensitivity is extremely difficult. The strangle-hold that chemical, food, drug, cosmetic, fertilizer, and pesticide industries have on the lives of Americans are nowhere better illustrated than in the glutamate industry's ability to guarantee the unrestricted use of processed free glutamic acid (MSG). These industrial giants have promoted the fiction that the pollutants and carcinogens poured into our food, drugs, cosmetics, fertilizers, and pesticides are not pollutants and carcinogens. They, through their wealth and positions of power, are ultimately responsible for medical school curricula that minimize the extent of the toxic effects of certain pollutants and carcinogens -- and for physicians' failure to look to these pollutants and carcinogens as a basis for much of the disease that currently plagues us. It is they who make generous contributions to universities and medical schools that carry out their research designs. It is they who send friendly scientists on junkets around the world. It is they who are directly responsible for the refusal of the United States government to regulate the use of processed free glutamic acid (MSG) in food.
There is no straightforward way to identify MSG in food, drugs, cosmetics, or dietary supplements. So a consumer may have an MSG-induced adverse reaction, but, since MSG in food, drugs, cosmetics, and dietary supplements is not identified as such, the consumer may not realize that (s)he has come into contact with MSG.
Making matters worse, the "glutes" have sold the medical community on the fiction that reactions to MSG are allergic reactions--which is not true. The "glutes" urge physicians to give allergy tests to people who might be MSG-sensitive, knowing full well that the MSG adverse reaction is a reaction to a toxin, not a reaction to an allergenic substance, and, as such, is not IgE mediated. Traditional allergy tests only identify reactions that are IgE mediated. The only way to determine if a person is sensitive to MSG is to feed MSG to that person and observe him or her for as long a 48 hours after feeding; or to have the person keep a record of food, drug, cosmetic, and dietary supplement use and MSG reactions. Learning to pinpoint MSG as a reaction trigger, recognizing reactions that might be MSG-induced adverse reactions, and understanding where MSG is hidden in food, are essential to recognizing or diagnosing MSG-induced adverse reactions.
Its ever-expanding use by the food industry causes great concern in the medical profession because MSG overstimulates brain cell activity. It is neither a necessary additive, nor a harmless flavor enhancer like common table salt. MSG actually tricks your brain into thinking the food you are eating tastes good. Manufacturers can therefore use inferior ingredients to make a mediocre product seem tastier. Higher profits and low-quality products of little nutritional value prevail at the expense of consumer health.
MSG intolerance is not an allergic reaction, but a powerful drug reaction. Even in those people who do not suffer acute, immediate reactions to the substance, prolonged or acute exposure will destroy brain cells in anyone.
Many foods, such as soybeans and tomatoes, contain naturally high levels of free glutamate, which may cause MSG reactions in particularly sensitive individuals. The processed form monosodium glutamate is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, and it is the highly refined substance (which actually looks a lot like table salt) that is added in huge quantities to most processed foods at manufacturing facilities. Restaurants also frequently add MSG to their menu items. Many that advertise "No MSG added" may not add MSG to the food once it is prepared, but MSG may actually be present in the individual ingredients used to prepare their food.
|Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein||Autolyzed Vegetable Protein||Textured Vegetable Protein||Umami|
|Hydrolyzed Yeast Extract||Autolyzed Yeast Extract||Plant Protein Extract||Soy Protein Isolate|
|Sodium Caseinate||Calcium Caseinate||Yeast Extract||Other Natural Flavors|
|Textured Whey Protein||Natural Flavor||Maltodextrin||Barley Malt|
|Glutamate||Glutamic Acid||Gelatin||Monosodium Glutamate|
|Monopotassium Glutamate||Yeast Nutrient||Yeast Food||Natrium Glutamate|
|Hydrolyzed Corn Gluten||Hydrolyzed Protein||Whey Protein Protease||Malt Flavoring|
|Textured Protein||Autolysed Yeast||Carrageenan||Malt Extract|
|Natural Beef Flavoring||Natural Pork Flavoring||Natural Chicken Flavoring||Citric Acid|
|Ultra Pasteurized||Enzyme Modified||Soy Sauce||Soy Sauce Extract|
|Whey Protein Concentrate||Stock||Broth||Bouillion|
|Pectin||Soy Protein Concentrate||Barley Malt||Whey Protein Isolate|
|Protease Enzymes||Protein Fortified||Flavors & Flavoring||Natural Flavors & Flavoring|
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