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Steve Shafley
02-21-2007, 08:07 PM
http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/?p=535

Nice piece by Dr. Mike Eades

Allison Barns
02-21-2007, 09:17 PM
This kind of thinking boils my blood almost as bad as MSG does!! You wanna give me a 2-day bout of back spasms? Give me MSG! Let me find out you did it deliberately to see what would happen and......I won't go there.

Yeah, some people may just think that they react to something, but I, myself, have had too many bad reactions, too much illness, and too much of loved ones getting really F*&^ing ill to speak or think kindly of the "it's all in your head" and "a little bit won't hurt" thinking. For some of us, a little bit WILL hurt!

Besides - I'm pretty darn sure MSG ain't paleo.

kevin mckay
02-21-2007, 09:21 PM
That shit consistently gives me one hell of a headache.

Steve Shafley
02-22-2007, 05:18 AM
It's very hard to sacrifice your sacred cows.

Allen Yeh
02-22-2007, 05:48 AM
Interesting article, I like that bit at the end on how they started adding garlic and onion to their friends food. That makes me think of the way my wife and I add garlic to just about everything even though the middle kid swears that he hates it and it makes him ill. It only makes him ill if he knows it's in there.

MSG is in a lot of prepared asian foods I know I ate a TON of them growing up *shrugs* I wonder....

Scott Kustes
02-22-2007, 07:02 AM
I err on the side of caution. It's probably not as bad as some say nor as good as the others say. Other than my 2-3 times yearly to tear a whole in a Chinese buffet, I avoid it. Eat real foods and you won't encounter MSG anyway.

Robb Wolf
02-22-2007, 08:23 AM
I have not read the article yet...will chime back when I do. I remember when I lived in Long Beach, CA the Cambodian family I lived with had bags of this white granular salt type stuff that they added to virtually all meals...turned out to be MSG.

Yael Grauer
02-22-2007, 09:57 AM
I guess it's like aspartame--some people claim it's an excitotoxin and some people say it's harmless... I thought I read somewhere that there was some correlation between MSG and neurodegenerative disease though.

Robb Wolf
02-22-2007, 12:50 PM
This is all pretty interesting stuff for me. If you read through the below citations I'd like to point out a few things:
1-Excitotoxins can come from a variety of sources...even shellfish has levels of glutamine that can cause neuronal damage in susceptible populations!2-glutamine/glutamate is a neurotransmitter AND an excitotoxin! Like I've said before the poison is in the dose. Normal, natrual processes can release or produce levels of glutamate that can damage neurons.
3-Aspartame MAY be en excitotoxin, but I still think it's tough to argue that a regular soda is better than a diet soda. Sugar is BAD news.

4-All of the studies exploring CRAN and intermittent fasting show a marked resistance to neuronal injury from excitotoxins...is the effect we see from thing like shellfish and MSG and artifact of EATING TOO MUCH TOO OFTEN? Insulin resistance increases the severity of excitotoxins, how do co-founders such as this play into these scenarios.

5-in the case of celiac Glutamic acid (glutamine/glutamate) is frequently derived from gluten. This may explain some of the associations folks with celiac make with MSG. Perhaps some of this is not immagined...perhaps not.







1: Neurotoxicology. (javascript:AL_get(this, 'jour', 'Neurotoxicology.');) 1994 Fall;15(3):535-44. Links (javascript:PopUpMenu2_Set(Menu7854587);)
Excitotoxins in foods.


Olney JW (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Search&itool=pubmed_AbstractPlus&term=%22Olney+JW%22%5BAuthor%5D). Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110.
Evidence is reviewed pertaining to excitatory neurotoxins (excitotoxins) encountered in human food supply. The most frequently encountered food excitotoxin is glutamate (Glu) which is commercially added to many foods despite evidence that it can freely penetrate certain brain regions and rapidly destroy neurons by hyperactivating the NMDA subtype of Glu receptor. Hypersensitivity of NMDA receptors during development makes the immature nervous system especially sensitive to Glu excitotoxicity. On the other hand, elderly consumers are particularly sensitive to domoic acid, a powerful excitotoxic Glu analog that activates both NMDA and non-NMDA receptors. A high content of domoic acid in shell fish caused a recent food poisoning incident that killed some elderly victims and caused brain damage and memory impairment in others. Neurolathyrism is a crippling neurodegenerative condition associated with ingestion of a legume that naturally contains BOAA, an excitotoxic Glu analog that hyperactivates non-NMDA receptors. Thus, the human food supply is a source of excitotoxins that can damage the brain by one type of mechanism to which immature consumers are hypervulnerable, or by other mechanisms to which adult and elderly consumers are peculiarly sensitive.
PMID: 7854587 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
1: Neurobehav Toxicol Teratol. (javascript:AL_get(this, 'jour', 'Neurobehav Toxicol Teratol.');) 1984 Nov-Dec;6(6):455-62. Links (javascript:PopUpMenu2_Set(Menu6152304);)
Excitotoxic food additives--relevance of animal studies to human safety.


Olney JW (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Search&itool=pubmed_AbstractPlus&term=%22Olney+JW%22%5BAuthor%5D). Evidence is reviewed supporting the view that excitotoxic food additives pose a significant hazard to the developing nervous system of young children. The following points are stressed: (1) although blood-brain barriers protect most central neurons from excitotoxins, certain brain regions lack such protection (a characteristic common to all vertebrate species); (2) regardless of species, it requires only a transient increase in blood excitotoxin levels for neurons in unprotected brain regions to be "silently" destroyed; (3) humans may be at particularly high risk for this kind of brain damage, since ingestion of a given amount of excitotoxin causes much higher blood excitotoxin levels in humans than in other species; (4) in addition to the heightened risk on a species basis, risk may be further increased for certain consumer sub-populations due to youth, disease or genetic factors; (5) despite these reasons for maintaining a wide margin of safety in the use of excitotoxins in foods, no safety margin is currently being observed, i.e., a comparative evaluation of animal (extensive) and human (limited) data supports the conclusion that excitotoxins, as used in foods today, may produce blood elevations high enough to cause damage to the nervous system of young children, damage which is not detectable at the time of occurrence but which may give rise to subtle disturbances in neuroendocrine function in adolescence and/or adulthood.
PMID: 6152304 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
1: Mol Cell Biochem. (javascript:AL_get(this, 'jour', 'Mol Cell Biochem.');) 2003 Jan;243(1-2):139-45.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query/egifs/http:--production.springer.de-OnlineResources-Logos-springerlink.gif (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/utils/fref.fcgi?itool=AbstractPlus-def&PrId=3055&uid=12619899&db=pubmed&url=http://www.kluweronline.com/art.pdf?issn=0300-8177&volume=243&page=139) Links (javascript:PopUpMenu2_Set(Menu12619899);)
Prolonged glutamate excitotoxicity: effects on mitochondrial antioxidants and antioxidant enzymes.


Singh P (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Search&itool=pubmed_AbstractPlus&term=%22Singh+P%22%5BAuthor%5D),
Mann KA (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Search&itool=pubmed_AbstractPlus&term=%22Mann+KA%22%5BAuthor%5D),
Mangat HK (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Search&itool=pubmed_AbstractPlus&term=%22Mangat+HK%22%5BAuthor%5D),
Kaur G (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Search&itool=pubmed_AbstractPlus&term=%22Kaur+G%22%5BAuthor%5D). Neurochemistry and Neuroendocrinology Laboratory, Department of Biotechnology, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, India.
Glutamate, a major excitatory amino acid neurotransmitter is also an endogenous excitotoxin. The present study examined the prolonged and delayed effects of glutamate excitotoxicity on mitochondrial lipid peroxidation and antioxidant parameters in different brain regions, namely, cerebral hemisphere, cerebellum, brain stem and diencephalon. Wistar rats (male) were exposed to monosodium glutamate (MSG) (4 mg x g body wt(-1), i.p.) for 6 consecutive days and sacrificed on 30th and 45th day after last MSG dose. MSG treatment markedly decreased the mitochondrial manganese superoxide-dismutase (Mn-SOD), catalase and reduced glutathione (GSH) content, and increased the lipid peroxidation (LPx), uric acid and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity. These results indicate that oxidative stress produced by glutamate in vulnerable brain regions may persist for longer periods and mitochondrial function impairment is an important mechanism of excitatory amino acid mediated neurotoxicity in chronic neurodegeneration.
PMID: 12619899 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

josh everett
02-22-2007, 01:35 PM
Robb you've got it all backwards...what were you doing living with a cambodian family? Your supposed to adopt a 14 year old cambodian girl and have her live with you! Man i thought you were a genius. I need to re-think all the advice I've been following of yours.

Robb Wolf
02-22-2007, 04:38 PM
Robb you've got it all backwards...what were you doing living with a cambodian family? Your supposed to adopt a 14 year old cambodian girl and have her live with you! Man i thought you were a genius. I need to re-think all the advice I've been following of yours.

Spoken in the voice of Brian Griffen:"Ohhh Wow! I am soooo uncomfortable!"

Allison Barns
02-22-2007, 08:51 PM
It's very hard to sacrifice your sacred cows.

I am most happy to eat any cow, sacred or not, that doesn't make me ill. :D

Stuart Mather
02-23-2007, 05:54 AM
I am most happy to eat any cow, sacred or not, that doesn't make me ill. :D

Allison, wasn't the point Mike Eades was trying to make that many foods naturally contain glutamate anyway, so Chinese Restaurant syndrome couldn't possibly be real? Of course psychologically induced sensitivities can indeed produce very real symptoms, so somebody would have to have a double blind test (properly constructed, eg. the person administering the test would have to be a chinese restaurant syndrome skeptic to avoid subliminal messages;) )
Only then would you discover wether the very real sickness you were experiencing was down to the MSG itself, or your fear of MSG making you sick. Bone pointing is a masterful way to make someone ill , if of course they believe in bone pointing. And any hypnotist will concede that hypnosis skeptics make hopeless hypnotees. Even acupuncture is a waste of time and money if the person being treated is an acupuncture sceptic. The human mind is a very mischeivous monkey.

No one's doubting that you get sick if you know (or have reason to believe) the food you are eating contains MSG, but I think Mike Eades blog explained pretty clearly why the MSG itself couldn't possibly be responsible. Of course you could be sensitive to glutamate itself. But that would make having a paleo dietary approach pretty difficult. The most conspicuous thing about your reaction is that you seem to be appalled at even the suggestion that you could be suffering from a psychosomatic effect. Why?

Stuart.

Allison Barns
02-23-2007, 09:27 PM
Stuart -
I have had the "it's psychosomatic" conversation too many times in my life to be appalled by it. Annoyed? Yes! Appalled? No. It could be "all in my head" and, if so, if someone can show me the way to truly get rid of the food/substance intolerance, I welcome it whole-heartedly!

What appalls me is the idea of testing a friend without the friend's consent. IMHO, this is, at the least, disrespectful of your friend's stated need, and at the worst, potentially very, very dangerous to your friend's health.

As far as the 'it's naturally occurring' argument... perhaps something in the change from the 'natural' state to the 'additive' state changes the composition such that MSG makes some of us react badly to it. I don't know the mechanism. I am pretty darn certain of the effect on my body and so I avoid it. Someone smarter than I am in nutrition/food composition may have an answer for that. If so, I'd love to see it.

Allison Barns
02-23-2007, 09:29 PM
Spoken in the voice of Brian Griffen:"Ohhh Wow! I am soooo uncomfortable!"

Uh... where did the Cambodian family come in here?? Oh yeah, the big bag of white stuff. MSG, huh? Sure---and it's oregano you've got in that baggie right? ;)

Stuart Mather
02-23-2007, 11:00 PM
. It could be "all in my head" and, if so, if someone can show me the way to truly get rid of the food/substance intolerance, I welcome it whole-heartedly!

What appalls me is the idea of testing a friend without the friend's consent. IMHO, this is, at the least, disrespectful of your friend's stated need, and at the worst, potentially very, very dangerous to your friend's health.

As far as the 'it's naturally occurring' argument... perhaps something in the change from the 'natural' state to the 'additive' state changes the composition such that MSG makes some of us react badly to it. I don't know the mechanism. I am pretty darn certain of the effect on my body and so I avoid it. Someone smarter than I am in nutrition/food composition may have an answer for that. If so, I'd love to see it.

Allison, glad you're not appalled after all. You can easily discover whether it is all in your mind. If you discover that it is, you will be a little bit closer to not having the psychosomatic reaction. I'm not saying it will be easy to rid yourself of the problem. But if you know that you have to be aware that MSG is in the food you are eating before it affects you, you can only be empowered by that knowledge.

As to the ethical considerations, of course it would need to be you who initiated the experiment. If you indeed do have a chemical sensitivity to MSG (and from your description it is very pronounced) then to minimise any potential discomfort all you have to do is stipulate that the intitial 'positive' event is a tiny dose.

But Allison, you have to be willing and able to contend with the possibility that is 'all in your mind'. If you are not, as an obviously sharp mind, you will inevitably find a way to thwart what you might construe as embarrassing results.

Think of it in a true spirit of enquiry. The human mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. Millions of years of evolution have seen to that.

Of course, you may be more than happy with 'pretty darn certain'. But if you haven't performed a double blind test on yourself, 'pretty darn certain' becomes merely an 'educated guess'.

Stuart.

Allison Barns
02-25-2007, 01:22 PM
Stuart,
My 'pretty darn certain' comes from having several events where I experienced the physical effect after eating foods I knew to contain MSG, and also having several events where I experienced the same effect after eating foods that I was not aware contained MSG at the time I ate it. I would review the ingredients of everything I had eaten and discover MSG was indeed somewhere in the food. So, in short it when from a ‘if I eat MSG, I get back spasms + headache of a very specific type’ thing to ‘when I get back spasms + headache of a very specific type, it is highly likely I had MSG’ thing.

As an example, last Thanksgiving I woke on Friday with the headache/backache characteristic of my body's reaction to MSG. Most of the food I had eaten the days prior I had prepared myself and so I knew all the ingredients. One exception was sweet potatoes prepared by my sister. She used a canned broth in the recipe. When we reviewed the ingredients in the broth we found it did contain MSG. At the time I ate it, I didn't know and had absolutely no reason to believe it had any MSG. My sister is aware of my sensitivity and tried to be careful with the recipe. I have had experiences like that several times and so, yes, I am pretty darn certain MSG causes the specific reaction. I have gone through that process many times, and I am sure I will again because MSG can indeed be found in many foods. In the meantime, I avoid MSG because a couple of days of back-spasms and headache is really unpleasant.

Allison

Stuart Mather
02-25-2007, 05:02 PM
Allison, sounds like you're stuck with it :mad: .

Stuart

Allison Barns
02-25-2007, 05:49 PM
Allison, sounds like you're stuck with it :mad: .

Stuart

Yes, I think you are correct. Thanks for trying to help :) .