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IPFS News Link • Health and Physical Fitness

MSG and Free Glutamate: Lurking Everywhere

•, By Sally Fallon Morel

So, I ordered a plain crab cake with rice and vegetables — no sauce, no mayo. Boy, did that crab cake taste good! About midnight I knew why. I woke up with a dry mouth, a terrible thirst and a headache. The next day I felt sore all over, like I'd been in a fight. My hands felt like they had arthritis.

Fortunately, since I don't eat food containing MSG very often, the symptoms cleared by the next day. Unfortunately, I attended a reception that evening, and since I had skipped lunch and was hungry, I ate things I shouldn't have, including a peanut sauce I am sure came from a can. That night, the same thing happened, and the next day I was stiff and sore from head to toe.

Of course, I knew the reason why and just resolved to be more careful going forward. But suppose I was a person who ate a lot of processed or restaurant food and didn't know about the dangers of MSG. I would feel awful all the time: headache, dry mouth, excessive thirst, and aches and pains like arthritis.

I might be told I had the disease du jour: fibromyalgia. But there is no treatment for fibromyalgia so I would probably be treated for the runner-up disease du jour: Lyme's disease. The treatment for Lyme's disease is courses of antibiotics, which would probably make my condition worse.

If I complained to the doctor about the dry mouth and thirst, I would be tested for diabetes; and if I sought treatment for headaches, I'd end up on some pretty powerful pain killers.

Which brings us to the question: could all these conditions, especially the rheumatism-like achiness that plagues so many people, be due to MSG and similar substances added to virtually all processed food?

Glutamine Versus Glutamate

For example, MSG allows food manufacturers to make something that resembles gravy — which we make at home with good drippings, flour and genuine bone broth — with water, a thickener, artificial coloring and artificial flavors, especially MSG.