MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)

by Dr. Lawrence Wilson

© January 2015, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.


All information in this article is for educational purposes only.  It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.


    MSG,or monosodium glutamate, is a common food additive and an addictive slow poison.  It is associated with hyperactive behavior in children, obesity, seizures, headaches and dozens of other subtle or not-so-subtle symptoms that many people experience.

    MSG is not required to be labeled as such, in many instances.  But it is added to thousands of processed food items.  It is even added to Tim Horton’s and other popular coffee drinks!  At the end of this article are labeling tricks to look for to find out if a food contains it.  Also included are several other websites with more information.




    This is a true story about MSG and weight gain. 


    “John Erb was a research assistant at the

University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, and spent years working for the government.  He made an amazing discovery while going through scientific journals for a book he was writing called "The Slow Poisoning of America".

    In hundreds of studies around the world, scientists were creating obese mice and rats to use in diet or diabetes test studies.

    No strain of rat or mice is naturally obese, so the scientists have to create them.  They make these morbidly obese creatures by injecting them with MSG when they are first born.  The MSG triples the amount of insulin the pancreas creates; causing rats (and humans?) to become obese.  They even have a title for the fat rodents they create: "MSG-Treated Rats"”.




    MSG is in most every processed food product.  Examples include Campbell's Soups, Hostess Doritos, Lays flavored potato chips, Top Ramen, Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper, Heinz canned gravy, Swanson frozen prepared meals and Kraft salad dressings, especially the 'healthy low fat' ones.

    Items that don’t have MSG marked on the product label often have something called Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein', which also contains MSG.  Other common names are 'Accent', 'Aginomoto’ and 'Natural Meet Tenderizer'.


     Restaurants.  Most fast food and chain restaurants use MSG in some form in prepared dressings, sauces, spice mixes and other items to entice the customers.

    Burger King, McDonalds, Wendy's, Taco Bell are just a few of the ones that use it.  Others are TGIF, Chili's, Applebee's, Denny’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken.




    According to researcher John Erb, MSG is added to food for the addictive effect it has on the human body.  Even the propaganda website sponsored by the food manufacturers lobby group supporting MSG at: http://www.msgfactscom/facts/msgfact12.html explains that the reason they add it to food is to make people eat more.  A study of the elderly showed that people eat more of the foods that it is added to.  The Glutamate Association lobby group says eating more benefits the elderly, but what does it do to the rest of us?  'Betcha can't eat just one', takes on a whole new meaning where MSG is concerned! And we wonder why the nation is overweight?

    The MSG manufacturers themselves admit that it addicts people to their products.  It makes people choose their product over others, and makes people eat more of it than they would if MSG wasn't added.

    Since its introduction into the American food supply fifty years ago, MSG has been added in larger and larger doses to the pre-packaged meals, soups, snacks and fast foods we are tempted to eat everyday. The FDA has set no limits on how much of it can be added to food.  Indeed, they claim it's safe to eat in any amount.  How can they claim it safe when there are hundreds of scientific studies concerning the adverse effects of MSG?  It is obvious the FDA is not concerned with our health, no matter what the television news reports.




    Foods always contain MSG when these words are on the label:



Calcium Caseinate

Monosodium glutamate

Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)

Textured Protein

Monopotassium glutamate

Hydrolyzed Plant Protein (HPP)

Yeast Extract


Autolyzed Plant Protein

Yeast food or nutrient

Glutamic Acid

Sodium Caseinate

Autolyzed Yeast


    Foods made with the following products often contain MSG:


Malted Barley (flavor)

Flavors, Flavoring

Modified food starch

Barley malt

Reaction Flavors

Rice syrup or brown rice syrup

Malt Extract or Flavoring

Natural Chicken, Beef, or Pork, Flavoring "Seasonings" (Most assume this means salt, pepper, or spices and herbs, which sometimes it is.)

Lipolyzed butter fat


Soy Sauce or Extract

"Low" or "No Fat" items

Caramel Flavoring (coloring)

Soy Protein

Corn syrup and corn syrup solids (some companies use another process to make their product, saying it is MSG free)


Soy Protein Isolate or Concentrate

Citric Acid (when processed from corn)



Milk Powder


Flowing Agents

Dry Milk Solids


Wheat, rice, or oat protein

Protein Fortified Milk

Whey Protein or Whey

Anything enriched or vitamin enriched


Whey Protein Isolate or Concentrate

Protein fortified "anything"



Enzyme modified "anythng"



Ultra-pasteurized "anything"

Dough Conditioners

Protease enzymes

Fermented "anything"

Yeast Nutrients


    If this list seems daunting, that is because it is.  This is one reason to stay at home for meals or only frequent quality ethnic restaurants and avoid all the chain restaurants.  I know this is a tall order for many people, but I do it myself with ease.  It is just a good habit that takes a while to establish and then it is easy.

    The hardest thing is when friends want to go to their favorite fast food place, or even regular restaurant like Denny’s.  so go once in a while and order vegetables and hamburger.  Stay away from salads with dressings and the ketchup and relish likely are chock full of MSG and other chemicals as well.

    Another option is to meet friends elsewhere, something that I now prefer very much.  Eat at home, have people to your home or make sure if you go to their house that they don’t douse the food with sauces that almost always contain lots of sugar and MSG as well.

    For more information about MSG, there is a book entitled Battling the MSG Myth,.  It will simplify your life by giving in depth facts about the hidden sources the common foods in which it is found and how to avoid it.





2. The monosodium glutamate (MSG) obese rat as a model for the study of exercise in obesity, Gobatto CA, Mello MA, Souza CT, Ribeiro IA, Res Commun Mol Pathol Pharmacol. 2002.



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