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Safe beers?

Battling the MSG Myth » Archive » Help! I've Just Made the MSG Connection » Safe beers? « Previous Next »

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Frank Portscheller
Posted on Monday, June 11, 2001 - 6:57 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Does anyone know if there are any brands of beer that seem to be OK?
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Tuesday, June 12, 2001 - 12:21 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


This first link says that barley malt is used in making beer:

This second link lists barley malt as containing MSG:

Sorry to bring you the bad news. (p.s. - my last name means "beer brewer")
Judy T
Posted on Tuesday, June 12, 2001 - 7:09 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

For whatever reason I can drink Anheuser Busch light beers; Natural Lite and Bud Light. All other beers and alcohols do me in. Two is the limit, but one is just right. Actually, there is something in beer (besides the alcohol) that seems to keep my blood sugar level. Can't figure it out but not questioning.
Evelyn H.
Posted on Tuesday, June 12, 2001 - 10:24 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Roy--I can drink Corona Extra Gold with no problems. Stay away from Amstel Light (sulfites). I do OK with Heineken, but I don't like it.
Posted on Tuesday, June 12, 2001 - 7:14 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I do ok with Coors lite
Pam Maddigan
Posted on Wednesday, June 13, 2001 - 6:59 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I don't do well on any type of alcohol. I've been told it's because I'm wheat, barley, oats & rye sensitive.
I would love to find something that's free of all of the above as well as MSG, just to be sociable.
Any suggestions?

Posted on Wednesday, June 13, 2001 - 9:14 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

After giving up MSG and chocolate, alcohol was next. I partake every once in a while, but it consists of a couple of sips. I allow myself a taste, but that's it. It just isn't worth the migraines it gives me.
Laurie M
Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2001 - 8:15 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

try japanese Sake. It is made from rice. It mixes quite well with juice.
laurie M
Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2001 - 8:16 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Oh PS there aren't any sulfites in Sake!!
Pam Maddigan
Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2001 - 10:48 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

what is Japanese Sake and where can I buy it? Is it safe from MSG?
Laurie M
Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2001 - 8:47 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am not sure if it is totally free from MSG. Just no Sulfites, grapes, or barley. It is a rice wine sold at any liquor store. It is very strong and I think it is better diluted in orange juice. Some people drink it hot in little shot glasses:) i will have to look into the rest of the ingredients. Just ask the folks at the store for Sake pronounced Sah-Kee.
Laurie M
Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2001 - 8:55 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

here is a link to the main ingredients in Sake.

I hope it works. It is fermented of course but it sounds like a possibility.
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Friday, June 15, 2001 - 3:42 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sake site:
Pam Maddigan
Posted on Monday, June 18, 2001 - 5:43 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I just bought a bottle of GEKKEIKAN SAKE. It was the only brand they carried at the L. store.
Ingredients: Rice, water & yeast.

I will try some this weekend and let you know how it worked out. Hope I don't get too drunk... I haven't had a sociable drink in so long, one smell of the stuff should knock me out. ;-)
Judy T
Posted on Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 9:52 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Pam: Well? I'm interested in the sake experiment.
Pam Maddigan
Posted on Tuesday, June 26, 2001 - 1:45 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chickened out ;-)

I had a yeast flare-up (Candida) and had to start an 8 week diet and take the Yeast Buster stuff.
Yeast is off my list as well as alcohol.
I just can't win!
Anyway, the bottle is still there, waiting.....
Posted on Thursday, July 05, 2001 - 6:16 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Wow, this is soooo interesting, to find other people with the same problem as me! Beer always gives me a headache. I like the taste, but I don't drink it anymore. And I was very sick from drinking non-alcoholic beer--that has msg for sure. I have drank scotch, which I dearly love, and do not get a headache. Recently I tried some single malt scotch, and loved the taste so much, I had to walk away from it! LOL But I did start to get a headache about an hour later, so I have to experiment to see if it was the scotch. How's that for an excuse to drink?
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2001 - 7:22 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi everyone. I'm looking for support today. Making these changes is still so hard for me. I continue to have this pattern of doing well for a while, then getting lazy with my food and doing lousy for a while. It is true that each time I go off track it takes me a little less time to get back on. Each time I have a major excitotoxin reaction I become more convinced, I guess. But why am I such a slow learner? I was doing so well last week but then I heard this little devilish voice in my head saying, "Carole, you're not like those super-sensitive people on the discussion board. Don't get caught up in all that. It's okay to eat some of this food." Where is that voice coming from? For some reason I'm having a hard time accepting the fact that our food supply could really be that unsafe! Every fiber in my being wants not to believe it.
But today my whole body aches and that little dark cloud is hovering -- and I believe it.

I would like to hear if others have struggled in this way. I am feeling somewhat discouraged and ashamed at my weakness.
Judy T
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2001 - 11:02 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Carole, I was the same way. Once I ate some cake secretly, thinking somehow if I did this secretly and no one knew or saw me, it would be ok. Well, guess again. Major problem. Then I was hit with the idea that "you're not as fun anymore" and "my illness"...when in fact I thought I was doing quite well emotionally and also that I wasn't ill, just having a problem finding what to eat or not. Anyway, not having support is a bummer. Finally, I just decided to look at food as 'medicine' and not as a pleasure. Now when I do eat something wonderful, it is pleasurable and the rest is just medicine, or fuel for the engine. I'm at the point of being really really thankful on a daily basis, but it took a long time to get here. When I walk, no pain. When I see a friend with arms like limp noodles and huge medical bills for 'nerves that are excited but no longer know when to stop sending electrical impulses', and when I remember my acquaintance who died from ALS this year who loved her diet coke til death, then I'm thankful. I rarely cook and try not to make food a center of any of my social dealings when possible.
For me this works. For others, they have entirely different approaches. It is a grieving process to know you're different and never will go back to what is called a normal life but then I think of all the other people in the world who are not normal and who can NOT just change their eating habits and improve their lot. We are actually lucky. Think of those who are doing damage and won't know until they already have diseases. I see my own husband love all that stuff, eat like a mad man and I suspect I know what the future might be like. Then again, he'll live to be 100 and never a problem...but I can, too, have the chance to live to be 100 and never have a problem, as long as I watch the food. Actually, we're in charge you know, more than many.
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2001 - 12:45 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

How true, Judy T.! I have a friend who has a son who is on all kinds of medications. First he was diagnosed with ADD, and did very poorly in high school. She wouldn't even listen to my suggestions about excitotoxins. Then I loaned her Debby's book, and she returned it a week later saying that she was sure she and her family "are not sensitive to MSG. Besides, we rarely eat Chinese food", which told me she never even looked at the book. Of course, this woman is busy and says if she can't put it on the table in less than a half hour, forget it. Now her son has been diagnosed with a racing heart condition, and he is like a zombie with all the drugs they give him. My friend's brain is fried, she has migraines, can't concentrate, has had a gall bladder removed, but the symptoms are still there, and she is constantly in a state of nervousness. She is on antidepressants and needs more and more of them to manage. They live on Domino's pizza, and junk. She looks at least 10 years older than she should.I went through the same stage that you are in now. It was like I was the only one who had to be so careful to be healthy. But now that I feel so great and in control, I can see how much more ahead of the game I am than my friends who look and feel much older (and sicker) than I do. It's shocking how many of them are on meds for one condition or another and most of them can easily be traced to MSG. I think I'd be dead by now if I hadn't found Debby's site and book. Thanks to her and thanks to God. And thanks to all the great people here who help me keep going. Carole, some day you will pass by a favorite fast food place or maket aisle, and just gag instead of mourn. You just go girl! Don't give up. It will be worth it. Sorry this is so long, everyone.
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2001 - 1:22 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Please don't feel bad, we also struggle all the time. I know we all go through these feelings. I used to really have a hard time accepting it. I was trying but it still wasn't working. We kept getting msg again and again. I have thrown away entire meals. It is SO frustrating. But little by little, as you learn more and more foods and recipes that are safe, it improves. We still get doses of it on occassion. I sometimes try to be adventurous and usually regret it.

It's especially hard when you can't discuss it much with others, without them thinking you are a lunatic. Most other people either don't know what you are talking about, or don't believe you. Many of our friends and family have finally accepted the fact now that we are "fanatics". I'm thankful they are at least trying to be supportive, but it really kind of hurts your feelings because you know what they really think, and they just don't say it anymore. Afterall, we are simply trying to prevent all the horrible feelings we have when we eat this stuff.

I believe more people are sensitive to this stuff and don't even realize it. My husband and think you get so used to the feelings it gives you and generally feeling bad that you don't know what feeling good feels like anymore. So when you cut it out and you feeling good, then get a dose of it, it knocks you for a loop. That's how we explain being more sensitive now than we used to be.

Travelling is so hard, I don't know how we'll ever go on a vacation. We go to my mother-in-laws on occasion, and she tries so hard to cook foods for us without any msg, but you all know how hard it really is, and unless you learn all the "hidden" msg, it's impossible.
Then there's my family, who thinks I'm a fruitcake, and an extremist, and it would be ok if they would just leave me alone when I say no thank-you. It's like they are offended because I won't eat what they want me to eat. Why can't they just leave me alone???!!!!

yes, I understand completely. this problem makes you feel like some kind of freak, except that you have to try to remember WE FEEL BETTER WHEN WE DON'T EAT THIS CRAP - and WE ARE THE SMART ONES. My family and my husbands family all have ailments that I am quite certain are related to excitoxin poisoning. It's just so hard because we love them, and they JUST DON'T GET IT.

I wanted to add about beer - my husband is German, and loves beer but can't drink it. It makes him sick. He has a terrible headache and feels hungover the next day, even after only one beer. He also gets up 6-7 times to go to the bathroom the night he drinks it. What kind of German can't drink beer? Not even German beer - but I wanted to let everyone know, In Germany they have "beer purity laws" that have been the same for hundreds of years. Beer is like a religion there, it's not allowed to be messed with. It's been like this since way before msg ever came along, so it has to be the fermentation process or the yeast causing the problem. It may just be excess free glutamic acid that occurs naturally in the brewing process? I don't know but maybe try looking for a German beer that is "cold brewed" or try brewing it yourself? My husband can't drink any beer without it making him sick, especially the next day, and he gets an aweful lot of flack when he visits Germany - after all beer is a food group there.
I love red wine, but it also sometimes gives us both problems, but oddly sometimes it doesn't. It seems to be worse when the bottle is no longer "fresh. One thing my husband and I both can drink is a good quality gin like Tanqueray, and also a decent quality vodka, like Stolichnaya and I can also drink Schmirnoff (but don't get much cheaper than that or you will regret it). Russian vodka is made from potatoes. Just avoid the flavored stuff. I strictly drink Stoli & tonic with fresh lime when we go to bars and have pretty good luck with that. My husband drinks Stoli martini's without problem, but I can't handle a martini, woo.

Oh well, hope this helps.
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2001 - 2:13 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, I also am weak. As sick as I have felt and still there are times that I want a certain food so much! I think if I wait until Friday I will have the entire week end to get over the bad feelings. But, when I landed in the hospital and had been careful of what I ordered, it really did give me a good scare.

Now the good that came from that is I am not going to be tempted to take a chance so often. Hopefully never, but I know it is in the mind. You just want a certain food and it is probably like an alcoholic, you just have climb back on the wagon.

When I do not get any form of msg I feel wonderful. Stay up until 11:30 full of energy. Have no pain and can walk a couple of miles a day if I chose.

If I do eat any form of msg I am miserable. Pain, headaches, tired, now the asthma attack. Why would anyone in the right mind want to eat something that makes them feel so terrible? Not to mention what it does to our health.

Last evening I stopped at a restaurant on the way home from work and ordered a baked potatoes. I had eaten potatoes in this restaurant dozens of times. Last night I paid the price. Just keep trying to eliminate the MSG, and hope for the best.
Carol H
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2001 - 5:56 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Melissa, do a search on tyramine. It can cause headaches and is found in beer. Distilled alcoholic beverages are safer for tyramine sufferers, that is why gin doesn't give you and your husband the same troubles. Also see if you can find the discussions on this board or the nomsg board regarding alcohol. We suspect alcohol makes one more susceptible to MSG troubles by compromising the liver's ability to withstand an MSG assault. When eating out, go easy on the liquor in general. You may need your liver's help if you get poisoned unwittingly.
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2001 - 9:05 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The article below links alcohol says that alcohol makes one more susceptible to damage from glutamate:

Log onto

and scroll down to the 5th article, by Paula Hoffman.
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2001 - 9:07 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

p.s. - the above should read "The article linked below says that..."
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2001 - 10:43 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks for your support, everyone! I have felt good emotionally today, although my body still aches (no headache, thankfully). I even had that horrible stabbing pain when I took a breath for a while today. Scary!

But I was able to feed myself well today and I am feeling much better already. I'm hopeful that I will be in good shape tomorrow. I got back on the wagon quickly this time!

It is comforting to hear that others sometimes give in to their cravings. It seems crazy to make a choice that would be so harmful to our bodies, but I guess that's what it means to be human and not perfect. I'm certainly learning a lot about my body and I know I will continue to get better at feeding it. I have already made great improvements -- thank to all the help from Deb A and all of you guys.
Deb S
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2001 - 5:43 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I find that now I give in to food cravings less and less, and the foods I do occasionally have are less "dangerous." I've been avoiding MSG for about two years now. After you've performed these little "tests" repeatedly and paid the inevitable price, you learn that it's just not worth it. It's conditioning - you learn to associate most foods with feeling bad, instead of the momentary pleasure of tasting them. I think the hardest thing is social situations centering around food, when you want to be "like everybody else." GET OVER IT! :)

I can no longer drink beer either, even one will cause a headache the next day. :( All beer has barley malt, doesn't it? That is the common ingredient that is sure to cause problems. Only the amount varies, plus whatever other (unlabeled) ingredients they contain. I couldn't tolerate Stoli Vodka, just one small drink caused a headache (2 times)--figured it must have some sort of "masking" flavor to make it taste smooth. I do pretty well with Gordon's Deluxe Vodka--it says it "is made with only the finest grains and purest water, with no additives, unlike some other vodkas."

It's a process of once you learn how and what to eat, you can stop thinking so much about eating and just "eat to live, not live to eat." :)
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2001 - 10:23 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Alright everyone,
Wish me luck. I'm off to England for a month with my two teens. I checked with the British tourist agency today and they said I can take all my own flour, pasta, rice, beans, etc. I'll be living on canned tuna from Whole Foods, and eggs for protein-no beef I guess, because of the foot and mouth scare. I'm taking my treats-Stretch Island fruit leathers and safe-for-me peppermint candy by Bob's. I'll buy fruits and organic lettuce, hopefully.Most of the places I am staying have use of the kitchen and a refrigerator.
I've made several trips for work to foreign countries-this one is for fun. It can be done. I know all the hidden sources of MSG, sulfites, and tyramine, and I will keep my diet real simple. I know the consequences of going off my diet both knowingly and unknowingly. If I stick to sure things and bring my own food, I know I'll be O.K.
Thanks to everyone here for helping me learn all I can about how to eat safely. I could never leave home without this knowledge.
Deb A.
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2001 - 10:31 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello, everyone. I've not been able to post much lately...have read here, but have been more than busy babysitting our second batch of grandchildren while their parents and siblings have been backpacking in southern Oregon. Have been a bit concerned due to the fires down there. They return today, thank goodness. The kids are great, but they need tons of attention. How did I raise 4??? Ah, youth!
All the responses have been so good. Yes, beer will always contain glutamate due to barley malt and of course any fermentation process of grains will produce even more. Potatoes contain less glutamate than most grains do(unless AuxiGro has been used on them!).
Many wine grapes are treated with AuxiGro in the states, and then there's always the sulfite problem for those sensitive to sulfites. Then too, there's the tyramine issue Carol brought up. I stick to fresh lemonade, water, peppermint tea, my own cocoa made with rice milk, and fruit frappes. For a fun holiday treat, I heat up rice milk with nutmeg and cinnamon until hot. Then I put two T. of honey in a large mug and pout in the hot spiced milk. I love to make orangeade with Florida Naturals diluted with water and sweetened to taste. I know they aren't alcohol, and I realize how hard it is to give up favorite beverages, but they are very enjoyable, too.
Judy T
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2001 - 5:31 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Oh Ruth I am so envious! How wonderful that you are taking such a long trip for fun. You'll do fine. I want badly to go up the Yangzee next year to the Three Gorges area in China. If I can find someone to go with me it's a deal. Already I'm figuring out how I can do this...sure; rice (if I can find it plain) and steamed stuff (if I can find it unflavored). I'll be anxious to hear from you when you return to learn from you.
Deb A.
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2001 - 9:28 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Ruth. We must have posted at the same time above because I didn't see your message about England until tonight. Have a great time and please let us know some good spots to stay, in case we need a place where we can cook and eat like you, in the future. We should add a traveling topic to this board for just such a purpose. Bon voyage!:)

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