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Avoiding MSG? Know All Their AKAs

By Dr. Michelle Lim, D.C.

As a Filipino American, I sure do love my Sinigang*. However, it’s impossible to make this delicious soup without Mono Sodium Glutamate, or commonly known as MSG.

Talking to one of my patients today made me realize that the general public might not know that they’re ingesting MSG, even if they’re consciously trying to avoid it. After being told that the popular Filipino soup contains this neurotoxin, my patient’s response was: “Well the tamarind packet doesn’t say it has MSG.”

So this inspired me to write about MSG and its lesser known synonyms. This wolf hidden in sheep’s clothing can go by:

• Acid hydrolyzed vegetable protein

• Acid-hydrolyzed vegetable protein

• Autolyzed Yeast

• Hydrolyzed corn protein


• hydrolyzed casein

• hydrolyzed collagen

• hydrolyzed collagen protein

• hydrolyzed corn

• hydrolyzed corn cereal solids

• hydrolyzed corn gluten

• hydrolyzed corn gluten protein

• hydrolyzed corn protein

• hydrolyzed corn soy wheat gluten protein

• hydrolyzed corn/soy/wheat protein

• hydrolyzed cornstarch

• hydrolyzed gelatin

• hydrolyzed milk protein

• hydrolyzed oat flour

• Hydrolyzed Plant Protein

• Hydrolyzed Protein

• hydrolyzed soy

• hydrolyzed soy protein

• hydrolyzed soy wheat gluten protein

• hydrolyzed soy/corn protein

• hydrolyzed soy/corn/wheat protein

• hydrolyzed soy/wheat gluten protein

• hydrolyzed soya protein

• hydrolyzed soybean protein

• hydrolyzed torula and brewers yeast protein

• hydrolyzed vegetable protein

• hydrolyzed vegetable protein powder

• hydrolyzed wheat

• hydrolyzed wheat gluten

• hydrolyzed wheat gluten protein

• hydrolyzed wheat protein

• hydrolyzed whey and casein protein

• hydrolyzed whey peptides

• hydrolyzed whey protein

• hydrolyzed whey protein concentrate

• hydrolyzed whey protein isolate

• hydrolyzed yeast

• hydrolyzed yeast protein

• partially hydrolyzed beef stock

• partially hydrolyzed casein

• partially hydrolyzed guar gum

• partially hydrolyzed soybean

• partially hydrolyzed soybean oil

• partially hydrolyzed whey protein

• Plant Protein Extract

• Textured Protein

• Yeast Extract

So don’t be fooled. This widely used food enhancer may hold its reputation in Chinese food, but it’s more common than you think.

These ingredients often contain MSG or create MSG during processing:

• Flavors and Flavorings, Natural Chicken Flavoring, Natural Pork Flavoring, Natural Beef Flavoring, Broth, Stock, Soy Sauce, Malt Extract, Maltodextrin, Corn Starch, Citric Acid, Powdered Milk and anything Protein Fortified just to name a few.

MSG is a neurotoxin, or excitotoxin, meaning that this chemical causes brain cells to become overexcited and fire uncontrollably, leading to cell death. It has potential for inflicting permanent damage to the brain and nervous system. These chemicals also cross the placental barrier, harming the brains of unborn children. The FDA admits that “short-term reactions” known as the MSG Symptom Complex can occur in certain groups of people, namely those who have eaten “large doses” of MSG or those who have asthma.

Adverse side effects include:

• Numbness

• Burning sensation

• Tingling

• Facial pressure or tightness

• Chest pain or difficulty breathing

• Headache

• Nausea

• Rapid heartbeat

• Drowsiness

• Weakness

MSG has also been linked to headaches, migraines, obesity, fatigue, depression, disorientation, heart palpitations and tremors which can be fatal.

According to Dr. Mercola, sticking to a whole fresh foods diet can pretty much guarantee avoiding this toxin. *Sinigang: A Filipino soup made with Tamarind broth. It’s salty and mostly sour in taste, with meat (fish, chicken, beef or pork) and vegetables (usually bok choy, okra, carrots and/or potatoes).

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