MSG: The Shortcut to Gross Organs and an Early Grave

doritos-flavors-msg

This is one area of health and nutrition that is universally agreed upon. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is a devil in the world of nutrition. It is seductive, addictive, and will ruin your health.  That being said, how many people actually understand why it is bad, how bad is it, or what exactly does it do to bodies. The point of this week’s post is to highlight the issues with MSG and answer those questions.

MSG and Appetite

First, what is MSG and why is it in food? MSG, is the salt of glutamic acid, a non-essential amino acid.  The glutamate of MSG is responsible for giving the umami taste of glutamate from other foods. MSG is used by Industrial food manufacturers market because it balances, blends and rounds out the tastes of other foods. Also, in the words of Stephan Guyenet, it makes foods “hyperpalatable” (1).  Additionally, it induces degeneration of areas of the immature brain, including regions that regulate feeding and satiety (2).  The hyperpalatability and induction of MSG into processed foods increases our likely hood of overeating certain foods, becoming addicted to those foods, and entering ourselves into that vicious cycle.  MSG makes food taste better and makes our brains crave more of it. That would be bad enough in and of itself, however the taste and food reward is the most benign aspect of MSG. The physiological effects that MSG has on our body are far worse (in my opinion) than the neurological effects.

MSG and Your Body

The physiological dangers of have been studied extensively in mouse models. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your perspective, there are not a lot of MSG and human trials because frankly, that would be unethical. MSG has been repeatedly shown to induce obesity (3-5). The researchers from one of these studies even made the following claim.

“The present study for the first time demonstrates, that a widely used nutritional monosubstance–the flavouring agent MSG–at concentrations that only slightly surpass those found in everyday human food, exhibits significant potential for damaging the hypothalamic regulation of appetite, and thereby determines the propensity of world-wide obesity. We suggest to reconsider the recommended daily allowances of amino acids and nutritional protein, and to abstain from the popular protein-rich diets, and particularly from adding the flavouring agents MSG.”

I don’t think it gets much clearer than that statement right there.

Next on our list of deleterious health effects is hepatic steatosis and liver inflammation (6-7). Essentially MSG has the ability to turn your wonderful and beautiful liver into a fatty, inflamed organ. Not a pretty site. Researchers of one of these studies concluded the following:

“We submit that MSG treatment of mice induces obesity and diabetes with steatosis and steatohepatitis resembling human NAFLD and NASH with pre-neoplastic lesions. These results take on considerable significance in light of the widespread usage of dietary MSG and we suggest that MSG should have its safety profile re-examined and be potentially withdrawn from the food chain.” (7)

I believe that is strike two on MSG

Quick recap before I make my last point. MSG plays a role in obesity, either directly or through deregulation of appetite. It also plays a role in liver inflammation and the development of fatty liver.  Next on our list is dyslipidemia, or abnormal amounts of fat in the blood, a very bad thing if you value your heart or other vital organs.  Recently, research has shown that MSG induces not only dyslipidemia but also increases markers of insulin resistance (8-9).

Now I get to the really exciting part of the post. Is MSG really a big deal or is it just something else we use to scare you? Well think about this, the consumption of MSG has increased dramatically in recent years with current estimations of the average daily intake believed to be up to 10 g/day (10).  So, yes MSG is a big deal, and yes you need to stop eating it.  Sorry about that, but I really do have your health in mind.

If all the words and research has gone over your head, or if you just skipped to the bottom this picture tells you everything you need to know. I caution you though, do not view the following picture if you are squeamish for you might lose your lunch.

 

 

 MSG ORGANS

 

(1)  http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/

(2)  Larsen PJ, Mikkelsen JD, Jessop D, Lightman SL, Chowdrey HS. Neonatal monosodium glutamate treatment alters both the activity and the sensitivity of the rat hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical axis. Journal of Endocrinology. 1994;141(3):497–503.

(3)  Hermanussen M, Garcia AP, Sunder M, Voigt M, Salazar V, Tresguerres JAF. Obesity, voracity, and short stature: the impact of glutamate on the regulation of appetite. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005;60(1):25–31.

(4)  Cameron DP, Cutbush L, Opat F. Effects of monosodium glutamate-induced obesity in mice on carbohydrate metabolism in insulin secretion. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology. 1978;5(1):41–51.

(5)  Iwase M, Ichikawa K, Tashiro K, et al. Effects of monosodium glutamate-induced obesity in spontaneously hypertensive rats vs. Wistar Kyoto rats: serum leptin and blood flow to brown adipose tissue. Hypertens Res. 2000;23(5):503–510.

(6)  Ortiz GG, Bitzer-Quintero OK, Zárate CB, et al. Monosodium glutamate-induced damage in liver and kidney: a morphological and biochemical approach. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy. 2006;60(2):86–91.

(7)  Nakanishi Y, Tsuneyama K, Fujimoto M, et al. Monosodium glutamate (MSG): A villain and promoter of liver inflammation and dysplasia. Journal of Autoimmunity. 2008;30(1–2):42–50.

(8)  Collison KS, Maqbool ZM, Inglis AL, et al. Effect of Dietary Monosodium Glutamate on HFCS-Induced Hepatic Steatosis: Expression Profiles in the Liver and Visceral Fat. Obesity. 2010;18(6):1122–1134.

(9)  Collison KS, Maqbool Z, Saleh SM, et al. Effect of dietary monosodium glutamate on trans fat-induced nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Journal of Lipid Research. 2009;50(8):1521–1537.

(10) Nakanishi Y, Tsuneyama K, Fujimoto M, et al. Monosodium glutamate (MSG): A villain and promoter of liver inflammation and dysplasia. Journal of Autoimmunity. 2008;30(1–2):42–50

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Comments
One Response to “MSG: The Shortcut to Gross Organs and an Early Grave”
  1. andrewhagle says:

    Reblogged this on Home Grown News Media.

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