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Old 03-06-2008, 02:37 PM   #1
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Interesting article about MSG

I know some people here have told stories about reactions in themselves or people they know, but really - are you sure it wasn't something else in the food? Just askin'

Yes, MSG, the Secret Behind the Savor
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Old 03-06-2008, 02:57 PM   #2
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Thank you so much for posting this GotGarlic. I have been saying for years that MSG has gotten a bad rap. A lot of people who think they are allergic to it are not. It is just in their heads. Some people (a very small percentage of people) do have an actual allergy to it, but it is not were near the amount of people who claim it.

There are so many foods that people eat every day that have MSG in them. Doritos, bottled salad dressings, fast food, and many many others just to name a few.
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Old 03-06-2008, 03:09 PM   #3
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Maybe the MSG thing is just in my head... but I've noticed that I get a headache from high MSG, like dry-envelope soups and things like that. Maybe it's just a coincidence, (and it's true that I can eat some things with MSG just fine), but things like dry soup mixes, etc., just kill me. Even the smell makes my head hurt (probably psychosomatic, I know). I've never thought about it before, but perhaps it's something in just these products...
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Old 03-06-2008, 03:13 PM   #4
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I used to get a headache after every time I ate Chinese food. Amazingly, it started just after I first learned about MSG and Chinese Food Syndrome. Those headaches just as quickly disappeared as soon as I learned that it could all just be in my head.

Some people actually are really affected by it apparently though and you might just be one of those people Karen.
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Old 03-06-2008, 04:15 PM   #5
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...Those headaches just as quickly disappeared as soon as I learned that it could all just be in my head...

So you're saying the headaches were just in your head...
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Old 03-06-2008, 04:19 PM   #6
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Thanks Bucky... I mean Ken... I mean Andy
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Old 03-06-2008, 06:46 PM   #7
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Yeah, GB, I used to think it was nonsense. After all, MSG is a salt of an amino acid we need because it is a necessary component of proteins. And once in the belly it becomes glutamic acid and is passed along to the cells to make our proteins.

And who could be allergic to a chemical we all need?

When we were in places that had fine Chinese restaurants we never had any reaction.

But in the last few years would go to the Americanized Chinese places and after awhile we noticed that we were always congested shortly after leaving the places. Yeah, we would have to blow our noses. It would last for an hour or so.

After doing this for a bit we came to the concensus opinion that this was clearly Chinese restaurant syndrome. After all, it was an infallible response.

Later verified that this was a common response from a physician friend of mine.

Whether it is due to MSG I cannot certainly verify that.

Maybe will get a jar, take some, and see what happens.

That should be a good test.

But there is something there in a number of those restaurants that does cause us both the same, not bothersome but noticable, response.
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Old 03-06-2008, 07:10 PM   #8
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MSG is in a lot more foods than just Chinese food. If it is the MSG that is causing the response (and I am not saying it is not) then it should be noticeable with a lot of other things as well.

The mind is an amazing thing. You can make yourself sick just by convincing yourself that you are going to get sick. I believe that a lot of people (certainly not everyone though) have convinced themselves that MSG gives them these reactions so when they eat Chinese food (even if it does not contain MSG) they convince themselves that they are going to have a reaction and the body listens and actually does produce that expected reaction.
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:17 PM   #9
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...The mind is an amazing thing. You can make yourself sick just by convincing yourself that you are going to get sick. I believe that a lot of people (certainly not everyone though) have convinced themselves that MSG gives them these reactions so when they eat Chinese food (even if it does not contain MSG) they convince themselves that they are going to have a reaction and the body listens and actually does produce that expected reaction.

I absolutely agree. That is why I never read about the side effects of medications I take. I f I know about them, I will surely experience them shortly.

That being said, I never had any problems after eating at Chinese restaurants.
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:36 PM   #10
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I have never thought I had a problem with MSG, but DW thinks she does. However, I noticed that certain foods with MSG did not give her headaches while certain others did, and the certain others were dishes made from that universal brown sauce that appears in a lot of their stir fries.
My conclusion is that it is something in the brown sauce, not MSG. She is still convinced she has a bad reaction to MSG.
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:45 AM   #11
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Yeah-- it must be the same thing with me. I can eat chinese food just fine... but if it comes with a dry powder and you make it at home (like ramen noodles and noodle soups and the like) it kills me. But I know I eat things with MSG when I go out for Chinese food, and it doesn't bother me at all.

Is there more than one kind of MSG or something? Or maybe it's just an ingredient in those stupid soups...

-Karen
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Old 03-07-2008, 11:03 AM   #12
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Hmm... Psychogenic pain (somatoform), or perhaps more widely known Psychosomatic effects.


Perfectly Fascinating :)
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:12 PM   #13
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This is why the double-blind placebo-controlled method of scientific research was developed - up to one-third of medical research subjects will respond to a placebo.

Here's more from Understanding the Design of Different Scientific Studies :
"...the scientific community places the most value on the double-blind, placebo-controlled study that uses random assignment of subjects to experimental and control groups. Considered the "gold standard" of clinical research studies, the double-blind, placebo-controlled study provides dependable findings that are free of bias introduced by either the subject or the researcher. In this type of study, neither the subject nor the researcher conducting the study knows whether the test substance or a placebo has been administered. For the results to be valid and to ensure that the subject cannot violate the "blinding," the placebo and the test substance must be virtually identical (i.e., look, smell, and taste similar)."
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:05 PM   #14
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Thanks Bucky... I mean Ken... I mean Andy
ahem...


besides asian foods, many prepared or boxed spanish foods have msg in their ingredients.

i guess south and central america and china haven't heard that they're supposed to feel sick from this stuff.
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:01 AM   #15
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One trip to the ER for a migraine hypo and you'll know whether it's psychobabble or not ... for me, it's very real. I also find that sodium in general in prepared foods is becoming a problem. When in doubt, keep a food journal. I didn't want to believe it myself, until I had a bad reaction in an unexpected situation (NOT a Chinese restaurant) and she brought out the ingredients, and there it was on the label.
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Old 03-17-2008, 08:58 AM   #16
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One trip to the ER for a migraine hypo and you'll know whether it's psychobabble or not ... for me, it's very real. I also find that sodium in general in prepared foods is becoming a problem. When in doubt, keep a food journal. I didn't want to believe it myself, until I had a bad reaction in an unexpected situation (NOT a Chinese restaurant) and she brought out the ingredients, and there it was on the label.
I don't think anyone meant to say that it's not possible for any person to have a bad reaction to MSG - just that it's not as widespread as many people seem to think.
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Old 03-17-2008, 09:15 AM   #17
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Oh I know and was not offended. But if you say something bothers you, it's easy for people (myself included) to make that assumption. I got the very same migraine reaction from Splenda when I tried (too many of) the carmel popcorn rice cakes without reading the label, so no artificial sweeteners for me either. I'm in trouble if I end up diabetic.
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Old 03-17-2008, 10:43 AM   #18
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I used to get a headache after every time I ate Chinese food. Amazingly, it started just after I first learned about MSG and Chinese Food Syndrome ....

Sure your not allergic to ..... Cats?

LaDumb!
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Old 03-17-2008, 10:52 AM   #19
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One trip to the ER for a migraine hypo and you'll know whether it's psychobabble or not ... for me, it's very real.

I tend to agree.

I too get migraines. The real ones with blind spots, Aura and the 'Oh My God if I poke my eyes out/ cut my head off will they/it stop hurting?" type pain, NOT the Woosie migraines of pop culture.

I've noticed many things called food will trigger a migraine AND OTHER neurological phenomena not necessarily resulting in migraine but in other weird stuff.

For some of us it's very real.

Others don't believe it because they don't know any better. Their lucky.
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Old 03-17-2008, 10:58 AM   #20
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I tend to agree.

I too get migraines. The real ones with blind spots, Aura and the 'Oh My God if I poke my eyes out/ cut my head off will they/it stop hurting?" type pain, NOT the Woosie migraines of pop culture.

I've noticed many things called food will trigger a migraine AND OTHER neurological phenomena not necessarily resulting in migraine but in other weird stuff.

For some of us it's very real.

Others don't believe it because they don't know any better. Their lucky.

I don't think anyone is trying to minimize or refute the severity or reality of migraines from MSG sensitivity or any other cause.

What I got from this thread is that the initial hysteria wildly overstated the number of people who are effected by a sensitivity to MSG and triggered psychosomatic reactions in some.
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