Monosodium Glutamate, The Hidden Danger May Cause Obesity
America is undergoing an obesity crisis-from children to adults and elderly-the rate of obesity is growing at epidemic proportions, and people want to blame someone or something. While fingers are pointing all over from fast food restaurants to sugary sodas and couch potato lifestyles, there is a particular chemical listed in the ingredients of countless processed foods that may actually be directly contributing to obesity: Monosodium Glutamate (MSG).
In 1976, the National Institute of Health reported on the “induction of obesity in rodents by means of monosodium glutamate.” In short, the scientific community has known for decades that MSG caused rodents to become obese as scientists fed the critters the chemical in laboratories and watched them balloon in weight. However, recent research studying about 10,000 adults in China for about five and a half years has shown a strong correlative link between MSG consumption and obesity-the most conclusive study done to date regarding the effects of MSG on humans.
It is believed that the hormone leptin is being interfered with among those who consume a large amount of MSG, and leptin is identified as the hormone that signals the brain to shed excess stored fat and also to send signals to stop eating as there is no biological need to store more fat. If the brain does not hear these signals clearly, there is a greater chance for obesity. While it might seem that the obvious resolution to the MSG problem is to just avoid eating it, that might be more difficult to do than you think.
From snack foods and chips, soups and lunch meats, MSG can be difficult to avoid in the American food supply. Even if you do well to eat all natural whole foods on a regular basis, many restaurants serve up dishes with sauces, seasoning and salad dressings containing this ingredient.
MSG Goes By Many Names – MSG Names List
Even attempting to avoid MSG by reading labels can be confusing as it shows up on ingredient lists by different names:
- Any hydrolyzed protein
- Anything: protein
- Anything hydrolyzed
- Autolyzed Yeast
- Calcium Caseinate
- Calcium Glutamate (E 623)
- Glutamate (E 620)
- Glutamic Acid (E 620)
- Magnesium Glutamate (E 625)
- Monoammonium Glutamate (E 624)
- Monopotassium Glutamate (E 622)
- Monosodium Glutamate (E 621)
- Natrium Glutamate
- Sodium Caseinate
- Soy Protein
- Soy Protein Concentrate
- Soy Protein Isolate
- Textured Protein
- Whey Protein Concentrate
- Whey Protein Isolate
- Yeast Extract
- Yeast Food
- Yeast Nutrient
Obesity is not the only concern regarding MSG consumption. It is predicted that 15 percent of the population is allergic to MSG, and MSG sensitivity can result in headaches, nausea, numbness of face, neck and fingers, shortness of breath, sweating and even heart palpitations. While the Food and Drug Administration has determined MSG to be safe, all evidence suggests that this is not a healthy chemical. Food manufacturers and some restaurants use the ingredient or products with this ingredient as a food enhancer, but the apparent risks and complications far outweigh any flavor benefits.
What to Do?
If foods need enhanced flavor, perhaps using natural herbs, spices and aromatic vegetables would be a far better alternative to chemicals and likely will taste better, too. In addition, there are numerous nutrients that may help reduce the impact of MSG in your food. Supplements such as: CoQ10, Magnesium and B12 can help against glutamate toxicity.