Thursday, June 30, 2005

MSG - Not as toxic as the people who claim it is.

On a recent surfing trip through the Internet, I discovered that I was not one of the people listed by the ironically named "Truth in Labeling" website as denying their outrageous and melodramatic claims about monosodium glutamate. Imagine my shame and humiliation! Well, consider this to be the electronic equivalent of throwing down the gauntlet - if they don't list me within one week, I challenge them to a duel of wits. I don't care if it is unsporting to fight an unarmed opponent - they have given me grave offense!

Folks, let's try to inject a little reason into these poor deluded souls - I might suggest using the large veterinary syringes, since their reason deficit appears to be extreme. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is simply the sodium salt of glutamic acid - a very common amino acid.

Immediately upon ingestion - literally as soon as it hits your saliva - it dissociates into glutamate (the ionized form of glutamic acid) and sodium (a component of table salt). Thinking that this causes neurological disorders, obesity (unrelated to simply stuffing too much food into your pie-hole) and other mysterious ailments is madness. And I mean that in a caring way.

If you eat anything containing protein, your own stomach acids and proteolytic enzymes will liberate large quantities of glutamate, much of which will become ionized upon reaching the alkaline environment of your duodenum (assuming that your pancreas is working). The only difference between getting a load of MSG in your soup and getting a load of glutamate from your steak is in the timing. MSG provides glutamate in a "pre-digested" form, which may explain the people who experience a headache from eating foods with MSG.

However, apart from headaches (and the data is still not rock-solid on that), no other health problems can be laid at the (metaphorical) feet of MSG. If the folks at "Truth in Labeling" or "MSG Myth" (another unintentionally ironic title) had any data to support their claims, they would have more than assertions, anecdotes and wild, unsubstantiated conspiracy "theories" on their websites. Seriously, these folks are worse than the thimerosal-causes-autism crowd.

There. That should be enough to get me my rightful place on the MSG "wall of shame."



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stood behind a man in line for some grocery store/deli Chinese food. This man was practically growling at the clerk for admitting that the store poisoned it's food with MSG.

A few months later the deli proudly announced that there was no MSG in their Chinese food any more.

I suppose they will sell more Chinese food now because of that claim. It seems to taste about the same.

Anyway, the man who was growling at the clerk really seemed a bit off his rocker. It's not like the clerk was making the decisions for what went into the food anyway!

Thanks for this information on MSG. It really puts it into perspective.

The autismismercurypoisoning crowd like to scream and pound their chests about all the toxins in vaccines, one of which is ....MSG!!!

I haven't seen why MSG might be in the vaccines or what the antivaxers would connect it to.

I'm pretty sure, that by now someone is blaming MSG in vaccines for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) or wrinkles.

03 July, 2005 16:01  

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