Questioning The Narrative About MSG
Is natural MSG part of a nourishing tradition?
Glutamate (the G in MSG) is an essential nutrient, without which we would be vegetables. It has its historical origins in Chinese seaweed soup called xian wei, one of the many so-called "hidden sources" of MSG. It was made by the Chinese for 100's, if not 1000's, of years. It was made out of kelp, and no-one ever complained of Chinese Restaurant Syndrome when they ate it. In 1908, a Japanese guy extracted glutamate from kelp and pronounced it "umami", Japanese for "delicious". (The Japanese are very good at taking the best of other cultures and re-branding it as Japanese.) Still, no problem. It wasn't until after Western scientists began manufacturing it as Ac'cent that people began to complain of getting sick after eating it. Natural MSG acts in balance with taurine, and usually is found something in nature with taurine. Perhaps the problem was that it was taken out of its natural setting, perhaps there was  else wrong with it. Processed MSG shouldn't be any worse than any other processed, fractional food.

I suspect that at some time in the past its US manufacturers decided to change the way it was made. This experiment failed and people began noticing what was called "Chinese Restaurant Syndrome" at the time. I suspect that rather than face the wrath of the American public when they learned that they had been the guinea pigs for an experiment in increasing profit margins, they, the msg manufacturer, let the health-food people (nuts, as they were called at the time) accuse all msg of having the extreme ill effects. That way nobody ever asks why msg that goes back hundreds of years briefly became so pathogenic.

If you have a negative reaction to msg (any symptoms indicating over-stimulated nerves), you should discontinue consuming the item in question and look for ways to add more taurine to your diet.

  Questioning the alternative-health narrative about MSG 

MSG kills brain cells
.
I'm very sceptical of this claim. It sounds like scare mongering. That's what they say about marijuana.  First off, it sounds horrible but actually it's not that big a deal. Brain cells die all the time. Thousands die every day. It is the nature of cellular life. There is not a cell in your body that is alive today that will still be alive in 3 months' time. So how were they able to look in a brain on msg, determine which cells were dying naturally and which were dying due to over-stimulation by msg?

MSG kills brain cells because it "overstimulates nerves."
What does this mean? Nerve cells go on and off. Glutamate stimulates nerves, yes, and if there is too much of it, it will stimulate too many of them. But how, exactly, does it "over-stimulate" an individual cell? How does it turn it more on than on?

MSG is an excito-toxin.

"Excito-toxin"? Was this name thought up by a *scientist*? It sounds like what a  Puritans would call root beer. This word makes me very suspicious that someone is trying to manipulate my opinion.

Glutamate is a neural stimulant. It acts in concert with taurine, which is a neural relaxer. Glutamtae turns the nerve on (excites it) and taurine turns it off (relaxes it). Too much of either (on or off) can be toxic (as anything can be toxic if there is too much of it), but by itself and in its proper amount glutamate is vital, not "toxic".

Without glutamate, we would be vegetables. Non-dietary (processed) glutamate is most likely bad  because it's processed -- it doesn't come with the other stuff, like taurine, that our bodies need to use it -- not because it's glutamate. Natural msg, that is, msg that comes in kelp, yeast extract, brewers yeast or miso and is often called "hidden msg", comes with the array of it components and there's no reason why it shouldn't be good for  you with all its nutrients.exciting a nerve.

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Salt: Your Way To Health by Dr. David Brownstein. A good book for those who have been told by their doctor to cut down on salt because of high blood pressure, and why natural sea salt is good for you.
The Great Cholesterol Con by Anthony Colpo
Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient  With Recipes by Jennifer McLagan

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