MSG Intolerance

We used to think of “The MSG Syndrome” as a manifestation of allergy, so any health hazards were limited to those unfortunate folks with an obvious reaction. Now MSG is recognized as a neurotoxin and we know that it acts on the body like a drug. Reactions to MSG are essentially dose-related drug reactions, and everyone will react to it at some dose. Therefore, whether we recognize it or not, an MSG-contaminated food supply is a health problem that impacts every one of us. It is estimated that about 25-30% of the world’s population experience at least unpleasant symptoms from ingesting MSG.

Reported reactions to MSG include:


Atrial fibrillation
Tachycardia, Rapid heartbeat, Palpitations

Slow heartbeat

Extreme rise or drop in blood pressure



Diarrhea Nausea/vomiting
Stomach cramps

Irritable bowel

Swelling of hemorrhoids and/or anus area

Rectal bleeding



Flu-like achiness

Joint pain




Mood swings

Rage reactions
Migraine headache



Loss of balance


Mental confusion
Anxiety Panic attacks


Behavioral problems in children

Attention deficit disorders




Numbness or paralysis Seizures Sciatica

Slurred speech

Chills and shakes



Blurred vision

Difficulty focusing

Pressure around eyes


Shortness of breath

Chest pain

Tightness in the chest

Runny nose


Urological / Genital

Bladder pain (with frequency)

Swelling of the prostate

Swelling of the vagina

Vaginal spotting

Frequent urination

Hives (may be both internal and external)


Mouth lesions

Temporary tightness or partial paralysis (numbness or tingling) of the skin


Extreme dryness of the mouth

Face swelling

Tongue swelling

Bags under eyes


Signs, symptoms & indicators of MSG Intolerance

Symptoms - Food - General  

Good MSG tolerance

Only a small percentage of people are truly sensitive to the small doses of MSG used as a seasoning. 100s or millions of Asians consume it daily. The Japanese also consume seaweed, the richest natural source of monosodium glutamate. This chronic long-term consumption does not seem to cause any problems.

Conditions that suggest MSG Intolerance


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

The book Excitotoxins, The Taste That Kills by Russell Blaylock, M.D. is an excellent source of information on how the body responds to toxins introduced into or manufactured by the body. There is a portion on the correlation of ALS with MSG.

MSG Intolerance can lead to


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

The book Excitotoxins, The Taste That Kills by Russell Blaylock, M.D. is an excellent source of information on how the body responds to toxins introduced into or manufactured by the body. There is a portion on the correlation of ALS with MSG.

Recommendations for MSG Intolerance







Weak or unproven link
Strong or generally accepted link
Very strongly or absolutely counter-indicative
May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended


Monosodium Glutamate

(MSG) Used as a flavor enhancer and preservative in many foods, especially Asian (Chinese). Once banned, it is now permitted in small amounts because no health risks have been found in older children and adults.


Hypersensitivity caused by exposure to a particular antigen (allergen), resulting in an increased reactivity to that antigen on subsequent exposure, sometimes with harmful immunologic consequences.


Poisonous to the nerves.


Pertaining to the heart, also, pertaining to the stomach area adjacent to the esophagus.


A condition caused by variation in the regular rhythm of the heartbeat. Arrhythmias may cause serious conditions such as shock and congestive heart failure, or even death.


Excessively rapid heart rate.


Angina pectoris. Severe, restricting chest pain with sensations of suffocation caused by temporary reduction of oxygen to the heart muscle through narrowed diseased coronary arteries.


Pertaining to the stomach, small and large intestines, colon, rectum, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.


Excessive discharge of contents of bowel.


Symptoms resulting from an inclination to vomit.


A hollow, muscular, J-shaped pouch located in the upper part of the abdomen to the left of the midline. The upper end (fundus) is large and dome-shaped; the area just below the fundus is called the body of the stomach. The fundus and the body are often referred to as the cardiac portion of the stomach. The lower (pyloric) portion curves downward and to the right and includes the antrum and the pylorus. The function of the stomach is to begin digestion by physically breaking down food received from the esophagus. The tissues of the stomach wall are composed of three types of muscle fibers: circular, longitudinal and oblique. These fibers create structural elasticity and contractibility, both of which are needed for digestion. The stomach mucosa contains cells which secrete hydrochloric acid and this in turn activates the other gastric enzymes pepsin and rennin. To protect itself from being destroyed by its own enzymes, the stomach’s mucous lining must constantly regenerate itself.


Varicose disorder causing painful swellings at the anus; piles.


Not just a headache, but a disorder affecting the whole body, characterized by clearly defined attacks lasting from about 4 to 72 hours, separated by headache-free periods; progresses through five distinct phases. Prodrome: experienced by about 50% of migraineurs and starting up to 24 hours before the headache - changes in mood, sensory perception, food craving, excessive yawning, or speech or memory problems. Aura: experienced by about 15% and starting within an hour before the headache - disruption of vision (flashing lights, shimmering zigzag lines, blind spot) or sensation (numbness or 'pins and needles' around the lips or hand), or difficulty speaking. Headache: usually pulsating and occurring on one side of the head, it may occur on both sides of the head and alternate from side to side. Muscles in the neck and scalp may be tender; there may be nausea and the desire not to eat, move, see or hear. Resolution: the headache disappears and the body returns to normal. Resolution may occur over several hours during sleep or rest; an intense emotional experience or vomiting may also end the headache. Postdrome: After the headache stops, the sufferer feels drained, fatigued and tired. Muscles ache, emotions are volatile and thinking is slow.


Apprehension of danger, or dread, accompanied by nervous restlessness, tension, increased heart rate, and shortness of breath unrelated to a clearly identifiable stimulus.

Panic Attack

A brief, irrational episode of fear that is perceived as so real that an individual may be driven to escape from the place or situation where it occurs. The attack is sudden and increases in severity until it leaves, usually within ten minutes. Panic attack symptoms are numerous and involve both mental and physical signs and symptoms. A panic attack can occur in other anxiety states such as agoraphobia and with certain activities and places. It may occur spontaneously without an apparent cause.


While there are over 40 types of seizure, most are classed as either partial seizures which occur when the excessive electrical activity in the brain is limited to one area or generalized seizures which occur when the excessive electrical activity in the brain encompasses the entire organ. Although there is a wide range of signs, they mainly include such things as falling to the ground; muscle stiffening; jerking and twitching; loss of consciousness; an empty stare; rapid chewing/blinking/breathing. Usually lasting from between a couple of seconds and several minutes, recovery may be immediate or take up to several days.


Pain in the lower back and hip radiating down the back of the thigh into the leg, often due to herniated lumbar disk.


A lung disorder marked by attacks of breathing difficulty, wheezing, coughing, and thick mucus coming from the lungs. The episodes may be triggered by breathing foreign substances (allergens) or pollutants, infection, vigorous exercise, or emotional stress.


The prostate gland in men that surrounds the neck of the bladder and the urethra and produces a secretion that liquefies coagulated semen.


Excessive urine production during the night.


Commonly known as hives, urticaria is one of the most common dermatological conditions seen by allergists. Urticaria is not just an allergic disease, however. It can be caused by metabolic diseases, medications, infectious diseases, autoimmune disease, or physical sensitivity. Traditional allergies to foods or medications as well as viral illness are frequent causes of acute urticaria which usually lasts only a few hours but may last up to 6 weeks. Chronic urticaria (lasting more than 6 weeks) is more complex, given the vast number of potential triggers. Symptoms include sudden onset; initial itching; then swelling of the surface of the skin into red or skin-colored welts (wheals) with clearly defined edges; welts turn white on touching; new welts develop when the skin is scratched; usually disappear within minutes or hours. Welts enlarge, change shape, spread or join together to form large flat raised areas.


Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.

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