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Think Your 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. 

Sinigang, along with many other Asian Foods is made with the tasty additive, MSG

Sinigang is made with the tasty additive, 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:

  1. Acid hydrolyzed vegetable protein

  2. Acid-hydrolyzed vegetable protein

  3. Autolyzed Yeast

  4. Hydrolyzed corn protein

  5. HVP

  6. hydrolyzed casein

  7. hydrolyzed collagen

  8. hydrolyzed collagen protein

  9. hydrolyzed corn

  10. hydrolyzed corn cereal solids

  11. hydrolyzed corn gluten

  12. hydrolyzed corn gluten protein

  13. hydrolyzed corn protein

  14. hydrolyzed corn soy wheat gluten protein

  15. hydrolyzed corn/soy/wheat protein

  16. hydrolyzed cornstarch

  17. hydrolyzed gelatin

  18. hydrolyzed milk protein

  19. hydrolyzed oat flour

  20. Hydrolyzed Plant Protein

  21. Hydrolyzed Protein

  22. hydrolyzed soy

  23. hydrolyzed soy protein

  24. hydrolyzed soy wheat gluten protein

  25. hydrolyzed soy/corn protein

  26. hydrolyzed soy/corn/wheat protein

  27. hydrolyzed soy/wheat gluten protein

  28. hydrolyzed soya protein

  29. hydrolyzed soybean protein

  30. hydrolyzed torula and brewers yeast protein

  31. hydrolyzed vegetable protein

  32. hydrolyzed vegetable protein powder

  33. hydrolyzed wheat

  34. hydrolyzed wheat gluten

  35. hydrolyzed wheat gluten protein

  36. hydrolyzed wheat protein

  37. hydrolyzed whey and casein protein

  38. hydrolyzed whey peptides

  39. hydrolyzed whey protein

  40. hydrolyzed whey protein concentrate

  41. hydrolyzed whey protein isolate

  42. hydrolyzed yeast

  43. hydrolyzed yeast protein

  44. MSG

  45. partially hydrolyzed beef stock

  46. partially hydrolyzed casein

  47. partially hydrolyzed guar gum

  48. partially hydrolyzed soybean

  49. partially hydrolyzed soybean oil

  50. partially hydrolyzed whey protein

  51. Plant Protein Extract

  52. Textured Protein

  53. 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:

  1. 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:

  1. Numbness

  2. Burning sensation

  3. Tingling

  4. Facial pressure or tightness

  5. Chest pain or difficulty breathing

  6. Headache

  7. Nausea

  8. Rapid heartbeat

  9. Drowsiness

  10. 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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