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Monosodium Glutamate

MSG: How bad is this stuff for you? I know it’s in a lot of the Chinese food I eat and occasionally in canned food. Does it cause the body to retain water like other sodium compounds? What the deally?

When i eat MSG, i get an allergic reaction.
Kinda like having an astma attack. Tight chest shortness of breath.

So for some of us it’s really bad for you!

For most people? It doesn’t do anything except make food taste better.

A lot of people seem to think that MSG is only found in chinese food - and that most of them have stopped using it. You can find it in just about any processed food that contains meat, most beef jerky and frozen dinners contain it, as do lots of “seasoning” salts and crap.

The skinny? About 10% of people are allergic to it, for most people it’s just fine.

I use it every day, sprinkled on a chicken breast with some other herbs it really brings out the meaty flavor. Don’t stress about it.

my roomate constantly has headaches, and swears he doesn’t get them when he doesn’t eat meat. I thought that to be pretty darn weird.

after we lived together for our first month, I was gonna use some of his chinese seasoning sauces. Most of the food he cooks (which is pretty much chinese food, all the time) smells really good.

After checking the ingredients, I was surprised to find that EVERY sauce in our place that he had purchased has MSG in it.

While I’m sure that a little here, or there is probably safe for most folks, eating it every day probably isn’t nominal.

To say there isn’t a correlation with his diet to his headache patterns would be pure denial.

I personally avoid MSG at all costs as I don’t seem to feel 100% after eating it. As for my roomate, he thinks I’m full of shit and on a high-horse after I told him about it (surprisingly, he hadn’t heard of MSG before).

MSG is the cause of the infamous chinese restaurant syndrome which is a headache caused by too much glutamate in the brain (glutamate is one of the most important neurotransmitters in the brain).

[quote]CU AeroStallion wrote:
my roomate constantly has headaches, and swears he doesn’t get them when he doesn’t eat meat. I thought that to be pretty darn weird.

after we lived together for our first month, I was gonna use some of his chinese seasoning sauces. Most of the food he cooks (which is pretty much chinese food, all the time) smells really good.

After checking the ingredients, I was surprised to find that EVERY sauce in our place that he had purchased has MSG in it.

While I’m sure that a little here, or there is probably safe for most folks, eating it every day probably isn’t nominal.

To say there isn’t a correlation with his diet to his headache patterns would be pure denial.

I personally avoid MSG at all costs as I don’t seem to feel 100% after eating it. As for my roomate, he thinks I’m full of shit and on a high-horse after I told him about it (surprisingly, he hadn’t heard of MSG before).[/quote]

MSG is notorious for causing headaches. It’s one of the most common migraine headache triggers there is. You could EASILY find an internet article to show your stubborn roommate if he won’t believe you.

seems to speed me up, can’t sleep and feel like i have a hangover, nasty

I recall reading some literature about MGS. Some of the milder stuff range from causing indigestion to it being a supposed carcinogen.I used to usse it a lot grwing up, but since becoming more nutritionally aware, I try to keep my sodium intake in general fairly low.

[quote]6foot5 wrote:
MSG: How bad is this stuff for you? I know it’s in a lot of the Chinese food I eat and occasionally in canned food. Does it cause the body to retain water like other sodium compounds? What the deally?[/quote]

Monosodium Glutamate isn’t all bad and, in fact, may offer bodybuilding benefits. For example, Glutamate studies in both humans and animals confirm its insulin promoting action.

The negative publicity directed toward Glutamate/Glutamic acid is largely the result of its role as the primary excitatory amino acid in the body. High levels of Glutamate being associated with neurodegenerative disorders.

Below is a revised monograph that I wrote for Glutamate/Glutamic Acid for the textbook, Essentials of Sports Nutrition (Humana Press), that will be released later this year. I wrote the attached over a year ago, so it’s very possible new data has surfaced. Irrespective, the below info should answer your questions. - chris

COMMON NAME: Glutamic Acid/Glutamate

OTHER NAMES: L-Glutamic acid; L-Glutamate; L-Glutamic acid, (ion)1-; 1-Aminopropane-1,3-dicarboxylic acid; 2-Aminopentanedioic acid; Glusate; Glutacid; L-2-Aminoglutaric acid; L-Glutaminic acid; Pentanedioic acid, 2-amino-, (S)-; alpha-Aminoglutaric acid; Glutaton; Glutaminol

COMMON USES: Increase Protein Synthesis
Delay Onset of Muscle Fatigue
Increase Work Output
Improve Gut Integrity
Increase Insulin

REVIEW: Glutamic acid is one of nature?s most abundant amino acids ? animal protein contains 11%-22% Glutamate, and some plants contain as much as 40% Glutamate. In humans, Glutamate is one of the most abundant amino acids in the free amino acid pool in muscle, as well as being found in high concentration in the liver, kidney and brain. The average daily turnover in sedentary humans is about 48g/d, however, despite such a high turnover the average human only holds a mere 20mg or so of Glutamate in the plasma. Such overwhelming disparity between intra- as opposed to extra-cellular concentrations is evidence of the many important functions Glutamate plays within tissues. Specifically, Glutamate is the primary amino acid taken up, in to muscle, during rest and exercise ? Glutamate is essential to the transamination (conversion of amino acids to alpha-ketoglutarate) of the branched chain amino acids and the deamination of most amino acids during the synthesis of urea. Glutamate directly contributes to the synthesis of ammonia, aspartate, alanine and glutamine, as well as glutathione, and is generally regarded as the primary excitatory neurotransmitter within the central and peripheral nervous systems ? Glutamate was shown to be active in signaling approximately 1/3 of all CNS synapses. These major roles in all brain and muscle (and, liver and kidney) functions help explain why Glutamic acid is one of the three most prevalent free amino acids in human breast milk ? Glutamic acid and taurine are the highest in colostrum; taurine then remains stable, whereas Glutamic acid increases 2.5x and glutamine increases 20x. In fact, Glutamic acid and glutamine, collectively comprise greater than 50% of the total free amino acids in breast milk at three months lactation. Yet, despite all of its functionality and specificity within the TCA cycle, Glutamic acid remains a nonessential amino acid and has limited data of its use as a supplement during exercise. In a double-blind, crossover study, Mourtzakis and Graham provided active, healthy, adult subjects 150mg/kg b.w. Glutamate (as monosodium glutamate, or MSG), 40 minutes prior to exercising at 85% VO2max for 15 minutes on a cycle ergometer. Blood and VO2 was measured prior to, during and post-exercise. Glutamate significantly increased VO2 during exercise (5.3%), however, there was no shift in fuel utilization ? REE (respiratory exchange) did not differ between groups. Plasma ammonia, which rises during exercise as amino acids within muscle are broken down, was almost 25% less during exercise in those taking Glutamate as compared to placebo. This was accompanied by a dramatic rise in plasma Glutamate (>18x), aspartate, alanine and taurine, with steady but only modest increases in plasma glutamine. It?s also worth noting that this study confirmed previous works that show an immediate and dramatic increase in insulin upon ingestion of Glutamate ? Graham et al found that 150mg/kg b.w. of Glutamate (as MSG) tripled insulin, and that this rise in insulin occurred prior to any measurable increase in plasma Glutamate. Thus, providing evidence that hepatic Glutamate metabolism may directly stimulate insulin release. Animal data also provides evidence of an anabolic, anti-catabolic and potentially ergogenic benefit of orally consumed glutamate, however, more safety and human use studies are needed.

DOSE:Insufficient data