You are probably aware that it's smart to ask a Chinese or Thai restaurant if they use MSG but did you really know why or that MSG is now hidden under numerous other names?
Here, courtesy of truthinlabeling.org , are a few of the names that MSG hides under:
Hydrolyzed protein(any protein that is hydrolyzed)
Hydrolyzed corn gluten
There is also a list at their site of many other substances that often contain MSG.
In the action alert from California Citizens for Health Freedom which goes into detail about the very real connection between MSG and obesity, Legislative Advocate Donna Russell gives a list of restaurants that use MSG and states:
"Burger King, McDonalds, Wendy's, Taco Bell, every restaurant, even the sit down ones like TGIF, Chilis', Applebees and Denny's use MSG in abundance. Kentucky Fried Chicken seemed to be the WORST offender: MSG was in every chicken dish, salad dressing and gravy. No wonder I loved to eat that coating on the skin, their secret spice was MSG!"
"I went to my kitchen, checking the cupboards and the fridge. MSG was in everything! The Campbell's soups, the Hostess Doritos, the Lays flavored potato chips, Top Ramen, Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper, Heinz canned gravy, Swanson frozen prepared meals, Kraft salad dressings, especially the 'healthy low fat' ones. The items that didn't have MSG had something called Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, which is just another name for Monosodium Glutamate.
It was shocking to see just how many of the foods we feed our children everyday are filled with this stuff. They hide MSG under many different names in order to fool those who catch on."
WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL?
Apart from the obesity issue, what's the big deal about MSG and why should it be avoided? Dr. George R. Schwartz, M.D., senior editor of Principles and Practice of Emergency Medicine has this to say about what he has observed in his practice:
"In our experience, patients have developed neurological conditions similar to Giles de la Tourette Syndrome, Trigeminal Neuralgia, and unspecific symptoms mimicking multiple sclerosis and muscle degeneration.
In our practice we have observed reactions of severe palpitations, heart rhythm disturbances and liver abnormalities. Psychological disturbances including depression and anxiety attacks have also been seen after MSG ingestion.
Gastrointestinal distress, headaches, dizziness and mental confusion are not unknown in these reactions, and asthma attacks are of great concern.
Particularly distressing are the hyperactivity and learning disorders that can be attributed to the absorption of monosodium glutamate by children."
WHERE ELSE IS IT HIDDEN?
According to truthinlabeling.org:
"MSG reactions have been reported to soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners, and cosmetics, where MSG is hidden in ingredients that include the words "hydrolyzed," "amino acids," and "protein."
Low fat and no fat milk products often include milk solids that contain MSG.
Drinks, candy, and chewing gum are potential sources of hidden MSG and of aspartame and neotame. Aspartic acid, found in neotame and aspartame (NutraSweet), ordinarily causes MSG type reactions in MSG sensitive people. Aspartame is found in some medications, including children's medications...
...According to the manufacturer, Varivax–Merck chicken pox vaccine (Varicella Virus Live), contains L-monosodium glutamate and hydrolyzed gelatin both of which contain processed free glutamic acid (MSG) which causes brain lesions in young laboratory animals, and causes endocrine disturbances like OBESITY and REPRODUCTIVE disorders later in life. It would appear that most, if not all, live virus vaccines contain MSG.
Reactions to MSG are dose related, i.e., some people react to even very small amounts. MSG-induced reactions may occur immediately after ingestion or after as much as 48 hours."