What Is MSG & Why You Should Avoid It!

By: March 13, 2009 41 Comments
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I feel like every time I write an article, it’s always negative… I’m either telling you to avoid shit, warning you about some health hazard or revealing a scam. But hey, the truth is the truth right? And that’s what I’m going to bring to the table, take it or leave it.

Honestly… if the food, health and supplement corporations looked past the f**king dollar signs and used common sense, I wouldn’t be sitting here busting their ass. But who am I kidding? We live in capitalism and that’s not going to change. But that doesn’t mean I have to, and you don’t have to either.

So on with today’s topic. MSG. This substance (like aspartame) is one of the “slow poisons” that’s killing us and the reason we couldn’t pin-point and nail this crap is because it hides behind 10 or 15 names on the ingredient list. (I borrowed the term from John E. Erb’s book called: The Slow Poisoning Of America. You should check it out)

That’s right, the food companies KNOW its bad, and they KNOW that if someone reads the ingredient list on their product, and finds the technical term for MSG (Mono-Sodium Glutamate) they will not buy.

So they have a bunch of different names for it, but they all pretty much mean MSG. Same shit, different pile… Know what I mean?

Before we get into the names, let’s see why this substance is used so extensively and why it’s so bad for us.

You see, the core reason for using MSG is pretty innocent… In fact its down right brilliant. MSG takes the flavours of any food and enhances them to the max, then uses it’s addictive qualities to make sure the customer keeps coming back for more. Sorta like my charming personality…

You can quite literally take any dish, sprinkle on some MSG and you instantly have something that smells and tastes better, along with the fact that it now has addictive qualities. When Lays’ says “Betcha can’t eat just one”… They aren’t kidding, they mean it! With the amount of MSG in their chips, they KNOW you can’t eat just one. Its is a corporation, it’s not stupid. Well… at least not business wise.

So if that’s the case, where do all these health hazards come in? Well as you can probably guess, the use of MSG sounds too good to be true, and it is. Look, if they genuinely had a substance that could do what MSG does with 0 side effects… I wouldn’t bother.

But the simple fact of the matter is, these companies just cannot be bothered to spend the time or money to create an outstanding product that is addictive in its OWN right, so they go and buy this junk and sprinkle it on. It’s kind of like having a Ford Pinto with a really sexy paint job, a body kit and some shiny rims. No matter how you look at it, the fact remains… It’s still a shitbox!

Here’s what you an expect if you consistently consume MSG:

  • Risk of diabetes. Msg has shown to trigger a dramatic production of insulin in people who consume it. And what does insulin do? It causes the body’s cells to take up and absorb glucose from the blood. So if you keep eating MSG, your sugar absorption is surely going through the roof, whether you like it or not.
  • Migraines & Headaches
  • ADHD
  • Autism
  • Rare cases of Alzheimer’s
  • Obesity
  • Be addicted to the product like a mindless sheep

And that’s just the beginning. If you want to see more studies done on the crapness that is MSG, goto www.pubmed.com an type in MSG or monosodium glutamate and see for yourself.

One last fun fact: when doctors want obese mice for their experiments, do you know what they do? They pump them full of MSG at a young age, then feed them normally and let them grow up normally. But there is nothing “normal” about the rats, they’re huge!

So, you might be asking yourself. “Gee FJ… That sounds bad, how do I avoid this stuff?”

Well that’s good question fellow minion. The truth is that it’s VERY hard to avoid 100% of MSG. It’s been used in the food industry since the 1950′s… And therefore it has made itself quite the presence in our foods.

But, being diligent as I am, I have dug up the “fancy” names that companies use to cloak MSG with. Make no doubt about it, if you see these on the ingredient list… DO – NOT- BUY. Some of you will be giving up a few of your favourite foods, just warning you ahead of time. Get ready.

Sodium glutamate

Autolyzed yeast
Calcium caseinate
Gelatin
Glutamate
Glutamic acid
Hydrolyzed corn gluten
Hydrolyzed protein (any protein that is hydrolyzed)
Monopotassium glutamate
Monosodium glutamate
Natrium glutamate (natrium is Latin/German for sodium)
Sodium caseinate
Textured protein
Yeast food
Yeast extract
Yeast nutrient

So there you have it. The inside scoop on why ya can’t eat just one! But I betcha you’ll be much healthier in the years to come if you avoid this stuff. Now, for those that have been eating this substance without knowing, what should you do? Well that’s easy… a detox. But here’s the hard part, how do you maintain yourself after doing a detox?

You make sure that you eat clean. And I’m not talking about eating 4 bowls of salad a day, I’m talking about knowing how to properly portion your meals to make sure your system runs at peak efficiency and you don’t get any bloat what so ever. Go HERE to check out more.

That’s all for now. Here’s to being fit & sexy 4 life!

-FitJerk

Also, be sure to check out the brand new Social Fitness Site called Fitmarker!

‘The monosodium glutamate (MSG) obese rat as a model for the study of

exercise in  obesity.’  Gobatto CA, Mello MA, Souza CT, Ribeiro IA.  Res Commun

Mol Pathol Pharmacol..  2002.


‘Adrenalectomy  abolishes the food-induced hypothalamic serotonin  release

in both  normal and monosodium glutamate-obese  rats.’  Guimaraes

RB, Telles MM, Coelho VB, Mori C, Nascimento CM, Ribeiro.  Brain Res  Bull.

2002 Aug.


‘Obesity induced by neonatal monosodium glutamate treatment in

spontaneously hypertensive rats:  An animal model of multiple risk  factors.’

Iwase M, Yamamoto  M, Iino K, Ichikawa K, Shinohara N, Yoshinari Fujishima.

Hypertens  Res. 1998  Mar.


‘Hypothalamic

lesion  induced by injection of monosodium glutamate in

suckling period and  subsequent development of obesity.’  Tanaka K, Shimada M,

Nakao K Kusunoki.  Exp Neurol.  1978 Oct.

About the Author:

Turns fat asses into good looking bad asses. Also a National deadlift record holder and the undisputed flip-cup champion. If you want to train under him, Click Here to fill out an application, and he just may consider working with you.
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Comments (41)

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  1. james davis says:

    does msg expand in your stomach like a yeast would expand

  2. - Fit Jerk - says:

    As far as I know, MSG isn’t like yeast and I’ve never heard of it “expanding” in your stomach before… I’m assuming you were just shooting from the hip when asking this question, but if you come across evidence that suggests otherwise, post a link.

  3. Helene says:

    Thanks so much for this important contribution to Take Charge of Your Health Care Carnival. I\’ve seen these ingredients , and now I know that they are MSG in disguise.

  4. jlewis says:

    Glutamate (which is used to manufacture msg) is found in abundance in virtually all natural foods – from meat, poultry, fish, cheese and milk (including human breast milk) to tomatoes, mushrooms and many other vegetables. Glutamate is the most commonly found amino acid in nature, the average diet provides between 10 grams to 20 grams of bound glutamate (bound in protein) and 1 gram of free glutamate (not bound in protein).
    The human body treats MSG the same as natural glutamate found in food. For instance, the body does not distinguish between free glutamate from tomatoes, cheese or mushrooms and the glutamate from MSG added to foods. Glutamate is glutamate, whether naturally present or from MSGIs it safe?
    Yes. MSG is one of the most extensively researched substances in the food supply and has been studied for more than forty years. Numerous international scientific assessments have been conducted, involving hundreds of studies. None of these have conclusively linked MSG to asthma or the infamous ‘Chinese Restaurant Syndrome’. Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) reviewed the safety of MSG in 2003, concluding ‘there is no convincing evidence that MSG is a significant factor in causing systemic reactions resulting in severe illness or mortality’.

    Examples of foods naturally high in glutamates include:

    Hard cheeses like parmesan
    Tomato concentrates and sauces
    Stocks cubes and concentrates
    Sauces such as soy, fish, oyster etc
    Spreads such as Vegemite®, Promite®, Marmite® etc.
    Foods containing added Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)

    • brandon says:

      vegemite, promite and marmite? what does this have to do with proving that msg is good for you? it sounds like your response is just a promotion for these substances. You stated msg is the same as a naturally produced glutamate, that is not true. It contains un naturally processed glutamates that confuse and trick the body. for more check out http://www.msgtruth.org/whatisit.htm.

    • Steph says:

      Is that right, would u mind telling my son this, u idiot, u really need to do ur research, I’ll have u know glutamate which is artificially added to foods cause my son to have more seizures so i have ur PROOF right here!!!!!

  5. I realy appreciate for such a wonderfull effort for above.

  6. jim morrison says:

    fucking ass kike good article except msg is okay for you as long as u have a healthy diet and fucking exercise u shitty i eat mcdonalds chinese here and there and im fine. msg is just bad for fucking fatties because well…there fatties msg just makes them bigger and makes there cock not work as well cuz of the decrease in blood flow. fuck this website, this article and everyone. your hypotholumuses are making me want to grab an innocent infant and bite of its penis then spit it into your throat, castrate your liver and blend it into a poisionous alcoholic smoothee and make you die because i will also sew up your asshole and uniary tract so ur fecal matter sits inside of you having no where to go u mother fucking cuntscabs!

    HAHAHAH im just kidding good article

  7. - Fit Jerk - says:

    @Jim

    You are one disturbed person. Like… more so than me. That’s rare.

  8. Hasan says:

    FIRST OF ALL you ROCK. How do you know this stuff, and I really love the way you write the content it stays funny. And the topic and it’s knowledge stays intact, AMAZING. When I started reading you post I have to read the whole of cause I just can’t leave it in the middle I have never read a whole post before in my life EVER.

    Keep it up.

  9. Mrs.Sugiyama says:

    Thank you for the information. I only have one grip: you can’t actually prove that MSG causes Autism (unless you actually can, in which case I would love to hear more!). They have no idea at this point what does cause it, and stating MSG as a cause is irresponsible, and discredits you. My 4 year old has Autism and has always eaten an organic, natural diet. I’ve been an organic health freak for years. I enjoyed the information you gave, but now wonder about your credibility…

    • - Fit Jerk - says:

      First of all… scientific research is ever-changing and therefore opinions are constantly improving and changing as well. People who were in the era of Charles Atlas were all about isometric training. People in the Arnold era were all about isolation. Now we have HIIT and another methods.

      You’re telling me that all of this should be “discredited” because new information is available? That’s foolish. There are very little “concrete” rules in this field and you better get used to it. Consequently, My credibility does not hang on a thin string related which is tied to MSG, it hangs on one thing and one thing alone: RESULTS – Which I consistently deliver, point blank period.

      As for the information you’re looking for. Go read “The Slow Poisoning Of America”

  10. Jim says:

    Protip: MSG stands for makes shit good. There is no real evidence that msg is bad for anyone. The real concern is the incredible amount of sodium period.

    • Kurt says:

      bro… i’m allergic to MSG, everytime I eat something that has it, I get diarrhea, and I puke for about 12-16 hours. My symptoms are pretty much like like gastro but more intense. There are many ppl out there who are allergic to this shitty ass product, cuz their lazy asses don’t wanna spend an extra 0.04$ to get a healthier food inhancer.
      so to tell you that MSG is shit and companies who use it are fucking retarded and don’t deserve to be making food.

      • - Fit Jerk - says:

        diarrhea and puking… sounds like a day after a night of serious partying. But yes, MSG has known to cause some really fucked up side effects so you case is probably not the worst

  11. amanda says:

    lmao. the writer is amazing. funny stuff. i actually see”no msg” a lot. but never knew what it meant. so i googled it and ended up with this website. love it.

  12. Sheryl says:

    This is a very interesting article and I must say I love your style of writing. I looked up what msg can do to the body because I have a son that has a lot of behavior issues and we have been trying to get help for him for years. He is 10 years old and the closest we have come to a diagnosis is that they suspect he may have Aspergers Syndrome.

    Here’s where msg comes into it……..
    We have never really been able to pinpoint an actual food that sets off his bad behavior until last weekend. Last week we had a reasonably good week with him (as good as you can get with a child with behaviors like his), then on Saturday night we went and got Chinese for dinner. Honestly, the change was incredible. It wasn’t long after we had eaten dinner that he started behaving badly and within three or four hours he had lost control. He was at his ultimate worst! It was then that we started to wonder whether it was msg that could be affecting his behaviour.

    I am about to go and do my grocery shopping so I have my list of foods to avoid and I am including some other additives and preservatives too, I got the list from Sue Dengate’s book ‘Fed Up’. I am going to try him on a diet with no preservatives and no msg and see if it makes an improvement.

    It’s now 4 days since he ate the Chinese and the anger has finally worn off and now he is having a ‘silly’ stage. Hopefully he’ll go back to normal once this silly stage passes.

    Also, with the Chinese meal – my 12 year old son ate dinner and five minutes later was lying on the sofa because he felt sick. I wonder would it have anything to do with the msg???? My guess is yes!

    • - Fit Jerk - says:

      Thats interesting Sheryl, big ups for sharing that. Yeah the effects that MSG has on people is so fucked, I’m surprised it’s still legal for use. An improvement in his diet will, without a DOUBT have a positive effect on his behavior. Let me know how it goes.

      Goodluck to your son.

  13. mike says:

    LOL! NO MSG that me heatlh food from now on and get rid of my fillings too they have mercury in them

  14. Nick says:

    A question posted on the mayo clinics website about MSG and a response from an actual doctor not a conspiracy theorist like yourself.

    Answer
    from Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
    Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer commonly added to Chinese food, canned vegetables, soups and processed meats. Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified MSG as a food ingredient that’s “generally recognized as safe,” the use of MSG remains controversial. For this reason, when MSG is added to food, the FDA requires that it be listed on the label.

    MSG has been used as a food additive for decades. Over the years, the FDA has received many anecdotal reports of adverse reactions to foods containing MSG. These reactions — known as MSG symptom complex — include:

    Headache
    Flushing
    Sweating
    Facial pressure or tightness
    Numbness, tingling or burning in face, neck and other areas
    Rapid, fluttering heartbeats (heart palpitations)
    Chest pain
    Nausea
    Weakness
    However, researchers have found no definitive evidence of a link between MSG and these symptoms. Researchers acknowledge, though, that a small percentage of people may have short-term reactions to MSG. Symptoms are usually mild and don’t require treatment. The only way to prevent a reaction is to avoid foods containing MSG.

    so yes it does have some minor symptoms but nothing like the death trap that you have portayed it as being. Its irresponsible to speak from a position of authority when you yourself are so far from it. People are better off looking for answers from their own physician instead of consulting the many contradicting websites out there. Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. But we do not need to perpetuate this myth any longer. Just eat clean and healthy people, but dont blame MSG for your eating 4 portions of chinese food, your just fat.

  15. Lady Gray says:

    MSG only becomes quite harmful to an individual if you have an adverse reaction (allergy) to the components of its make up. Like any other allergy foods. I practically grew up with it all my life since I was a child and continue to make use of it today.

    Case in point, I envy lots of people who can drink alcohol. But as a natural born & raised Asian before I migrated to the USA and integrated into the American lifestyle, I was born without my body being able to manufacture any ADH Enzyme. ADH = Alcohol DeHydrogenase. The ADH Enzyme breaks down and processes the alcohol in the individual drinker’s blood system. But lacking this valuable Enzyme, Alcohol then, becomes poisonous to me and manifests itself in either Rashes or Angry Welts of Hives, depending upon intake and content of alcohol. It is as if I was near a Poisoned Oak or Poisoned Ivy.

    Not only does this happen to me & my siblings & cousins on my dad side and his siblings & my nieces & nephews & their kids (this genetic defect of a curse unfortunately hops from generation to generation), 2 much of it can send any of us in the Emergency Room due to Anaphylactic Shock. So, as you have suggested, you can imagine we have to watch out for various products like hors d’oeuvres, cooking wines & sherries used in meats & sauteed mushrooms, European Chocolates, Cough Syrups, etc…

    It doesn’t bother any of the rest of the world’s populations 2 drink alcohol or use it in other various foods. So it is with MSG. As I reiterated before, I don’t have any side effects to using them slightly on my cooking habits on a daily basis. Therefore, I respectfully disagree that it is bad for the entire human kind. Only to those unfortunate to be highly allergic to the substance.

    Hope that this helps clear up some confusion. Keep smiling, as it makes people wonder what you’ve been up to. =)

  16. Jonden says:

    First off, great article. I was considering doing some japanese cooking, but one of the ingredients in a sauce i was looking at was msg. so I googled it and ended up here.

    Chinese food in particular is one of the highest in msg, but surely the ancient chinese people weren’t sprinkling all their food with MSG right? is MSG just a western addition to these foods?

    • - Fit Jerk - says:

      MSG is not just a western addition, but it definitely a new age creation that is ending up by the bucket load in asian foods.

      • Moe says:

        I don’t understand why everyone here has to be such a fucking idiot, first off fit jerk is simply making you dumb asses aware and educated on to what’s in the shit we consume, he’s not telling you not to eat it nor is he telling you, your going to die. Hes simply making you aware of the shitty shit out there. And because good people research and find out this stuff is in our daily foods and tell us to look out for it, and million dollar companies hire people to blog about it not looking out for it doesn’t make this guy wrong. He’s simply telling you the shit is bad lower your intake if you can. I actually am a restaurant owner in prospect heights, Brooklyn ny. And let me tell you something 80% of my customers are very very aware of all this ingredients listed above as well as I am, and I make sure that my usage of it is very minimal and by that I mean it’s ONly in products I purchase, I dont add it nor condone it. I wish it wasnt in any of the products I purchase unfortunately it is. But you can’t knock this guy because he’s helping you be aware. It’s just like asbestos back in the day yeah let’s install it everywhere it’s grey material, years late research is done and boom that was a bad idea a very bad idea. This goes the same for msg. Good luck fit jerk. And keep doing your thing. I appreciate these blogs. And let the ignorant fucks take their comments somewhere else

  17. KP says:

    Nick,

    I don’t know what research you’re quoting, but look here: http://www.feingold.org/Research/msg.html

    Only people who have an interest in promoting MSG, glutamate, et al usage would disregard all of the studies. I mean what is ‘definitive’ evidence? Do we need to start coming out of the womb with one arm for something to be declared dangerous?

  18. patty says:

    is the msg used in different products thesame?or are ther varying flavours of the msg

  19. Alexis says:

    I saw that you listed “gelatin” above, and was wondering why that might be up there as a disguise for MSG. Gelatin contains naturally occurring protein polymers from animal bones and connective tissue, especially the nonessential acids glycine and proline, but doesn’t seem to contain manufactured MSG, let alone much naturally occurring glutamate.

    Why is gelatin as an ingredient an unsafe choice on the food label?

  20. Rebecca Hite says:

    THANK YOU for this article…….after watching my mother die of a freak brain tumor, I have sworn off all artificial sweetners….they hide under other names too that the public isn’t even aware of! That you for the info on msg….it totally sucks too and now I will add that to my bandwagon. I am printing up the list of msg names and will be looking even closer at my food labels when I shop.

  21. Meg says:

    First and foremost, I’m not agreeing or disagreeing that MSG is bad for you. I just wanted to point out a couple things.
    You said that MSG would increase your risk of diabetes because MSG increases the amount of insulin in the body, thus enabling the body to use the glucose. While this is true, this would actually be beneficial to people with diabetes. Most of the time, the problem is that a diabetic’s body isn’t producing enough insulin or is resistant to it. So, increasing the amount of insulin would actually help to get the glucose out of the blood and would be a big help to diabetics.
    Also, I think you should be more concerned with the amount of added salt. Added salt can cause far worse problems in the body. It can lead to edema, hypertension, heart disease, and furthermore heart failure.
    While I appreciate you trying to educate people on the harms of added substances to food and being amusing while doing so, I would hope that next time you make your article a bit more well rounded than one sided. I’m not saying MSG is good for you or bad for you, I would just like a bit more information next time.

  22. Jess says:

    This is for muff I mean meg.. this artical was specifically about MSG not other additives such as salt.. maybe you should read and know the facts a little more before you start putting your 2 cents out there. Just in case you didn’t know… Insulin is an anabolic hormone, meaning it’s responsible for growth and repair – that’s a good thing … up to a point. When there’s too much insulin produced and circulating throughout the body, the cells of the body become insulin resistant to protect themselves from being overdosed. When that happens, a lot happens, and it’s all bad. All chronic lifestyle diseases that dominate our culture today (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases) are either directly caused or indirectly influenced by insulin resistance.

    Type 2 diabetes is believed to develop when:

    the receptors on cells in the body that normally respond to the action of insulin fail to be stimulated by it – this is known as insulin resistance. In response to this more insulin may be produced, and this over-production exhausts the insulin-manufacturing cells in the pancreas;
    there is simply insufficient insulin available; and
    the insulin that is available may be abnormal and therefore doesn’t work properly.

  23. Shya777 says:

    This is actually my first time visiting your site. I must say, I am very impress. I found this article on MSG to be very educational, informative and useful. I can say this has really given me more insight on my body intake and to become more appreciating to myself. Thank you so much for the information and continue to “do your thang!”

  24. John says:

    Bottom line here is almost all manufactured food contains some shit that has a bad effect on us msg is getting a worse name than others cause of scaremongering to all those that are anti msg think of this how many injections does an animal get during it’s lifetime before it’s slaughtered what additives goes into it’s food so it gains weight and the artificial fertilizer that makes grass grow but will ye all give up eating meat I think not

  25. bob says:

    you folks are funny i mean really you worry’s about msg slowly killing you but don’t worry about other things that slowly kill you like say the emissions from your cars you drive around house cleaning products cigs that alot of you prob smoke dust. the truth is that your overly paranoid on what harms you and no matter how hard your try to avoid things in the end you would prob die in the long run anyways from something you were trying to avoid but missed live life to the full and stop worrying so much on tit for tat crap

  26. Barbara says:

    I appreciate your time and effort you put into all your research. My question is, every time I go out to eat my hands swell, have you come across that as a side effect to MSG?

    • Fit Jerk says:

      MSG has so many god damn side effects, I wouldn’t be surprised if that was one of them. Hard as hell to be conclusive, but you can research the findings yourself. Find foods that have MSG in them, then find similar foods that don’t. Eat and compare.

      Personally, I haven’t heard of that one before.

  27. Mary says:

    Love the honesty on this site . lol so glad I came upon it , your an entertaining writer, keep up the good work Fit Jerk…..A coworker of mine recently changed her eating habit . She was your typical consumer of the American family diet. She had been given Rx for depression ( says it runs in her family ) ..makes her feel wonderful until she forgets to take the pill. Only two weeks ago she changed her diet to less meat and more unprocessed foods…..She says she can’t believe how good she feels already, even when she forgets her pill and is tapering off the Rx that regulates her serotonin. My thought ..Keep life “SIMPLE” your a creature of nature ….imagine you had to eat only what you could find in nature to eat and not something made in a lab. also everything in MODERATION . Personally I went on a strict no sugar diet…. thats a tough one… I was really good at it , but would puke if I went to a restaurant or ate at a friends house. (your also a social creature) . I now simply stay aware of what I eat and keep in mind ..could I grow this or raise this myself if I had to ? Thank you all for the insight ..Im going outside now to get some SUNSHINE…Keep feeling the love :)

  28. Nae says:

    O wow! You ppl are fucking jokes like really? His article was just to inform you moran’s on the dangers of msg from prolonged consumption & you simple minded twitts are trying to take it to atotally different level to prove what?? Clearly you all that had the negative arguments have no life & lack the basic intellectual skills of lets say… A pet hampster! Why do think other countries look down upon us Americans? B/c the average person IS a fukkin idiot, point blank period! You ppl are bashing this man who actually took the time, did his research, & was caring enough to share it with whom ever decided to inquire specific info on it. Then your going way off topic by incorporating your inconclusive information about shit that has absolutely NOTHING to do with the actual topic just to make yoursevles seem the least bit intelligent, so sad… Anyway, I always heard about msg but never really knew what it was & thanks to this article I am much more informed so thanks fitz…

  29. Bong says:

    Wow amazing. I am about to begin my fruit juice business having the ingredients of aspartame, sodium benzoate and the like.

    If I am to continue, then I know what to do with all these informations. Thank you.

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