|Posted on Sunday, August 02, 2009 - 4:48 pm: || |
I recently posted my story in that specific section of this blog. As I talked about in detail in my story, I do have anxiety and acid reflux, but I don't have any specific, on-point reactions to eating foods high in glutamate, natural or processed. In fact, I have always been able to eat anything without having an MSG reaction that others have explained that they have. Although I now know that MSG is an excitotoxin (a poison to our bodies/mind), and I will try to avoid this free glutamate, my question is this: am I able to eat my favorite foods with MSG(ie BBQ) in moderation and keep my MSG toxicity level to a minimum. There are many people out there that eat whatever they want, and are able to handle it without any reactions. How does this work? Am I to understand that these people, such as myself, have not reached a toxic free-glutamate level to cause immediate reactions? As I said I will surely try to avoid foods high in free glutamate, but if I am now able to handle any food I eat, does that mean that I can continue to eat mostly healthy with some free glutamate in my diet and maintain a healthy body/mind without any specific on-point reactions? I don't want to give up eating "bad" restaurant food altogether so if eaten infrequently, is this okay for me? In other words, most people in this community seem to react negatively after eating foods high in glutamate but I don't have any of these negative reactions. Since everyone's body is different, am I to understand that I can continue to eat mostly healthy, occasionally eating the foods others have trouble with, and not critique all the ingredients, like most of the community has to? Thanks for listening guys. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on all of this.
|Posted on Monday, August 03, 2009 - 6:50 am: || |
See Kristy's post about anxiety from 8/1. Many people don't even know they are having a reaction from FGA (MSG). My husband claims he doesn't react to it, but he has tinnitus which spikes at times (expecially after Aspartame and FGA), he's in denial...he doesn't want to give up his favorite foods/drinks. My daughter has always said she doesn't react to it either, until recently. Now she is beginning to believe that perhaps her headaches are related. Until you are convinced that the toxic FGAs are really horrible for everyone, you will probably keep trying to find ways to continue to eat your favorite foods. It's amazing that something like "food" has gotten to be something to live for, instead of sustenance. Eating should be a positive experience because it's filling essential need but we were all conditioned to believe it has to be revved up with a flavor enhancer for us to enjoy. Some of us here on the board have remarked that once we have been "clean" for a long time our palates become sensitive again and FGA has an overly strong taste.
FGA is cummulative, so even if you are ingesting only a small amount at a couple of meals each day, the amount that is getting built up in your body is....well who knows. The effects can be silent for years (i.e. killing neurons in your brain) and then it's too late. So it's actually lucky for us, who have noticable symptoms, so we can eliminate the toxin before it kills us.
Everyone can react differently to FGA just like a prescription drug. Have you ever noticed all the different side effects listed for a prescription med? Here's an example for gabapentin (which I took for a while):
fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
swelling of your ankles or feet;
rapid back and forth movement of your eyes;
changes in behavior;
trouble concentrating; or
acting restless, hostile, or aggressive.
dizziness, drowsiness, weakness, tired feeling;
lack of coordination;
nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
runny or stuffy nose, sore throat;
sleep problems (insomnia), unusual dreams; or
acne, mild skin rash.
|Posted on Tuesday, August 04, 2009 - 11:37 am: || |
Di, I understand that excess free glutamate is not good for our bodies and it can build up through excessive glutamate intake, causing problems for many of the community members. But there is a reason we cleans our bodies of free glutamate in attempt to flush it out. So if we are able to flush it out then it would make sense to me that if we keep our free glutamate intake low, then our bodies should flush/handle these low levels. After all, doesn't our bodies produce free glutamate itself. As I understood it, it is the dramatic MSG increase in our processed foods, of about 300% in last ten years, that could very well be to blame for peoples health problems. But if I keep the intake low, then I should be okay, as I understand it. IS THIS THE CASE? There are plenty of people that eat whatever they want and don't have health problems.
|Posted on Tuesday, August 04, 2009 - 1:05 pm: || |
"There are plenty of people that eat whatever they want and don't have health problems."
Or maybe they do.....look at the statistics that show the dramatic increase in autism, diabetes, alzheimers, obesity, ADHD, fibromyalgia, depression and anxiety (as just reported today)....and the list goes on.
But I'm not really here to convience anyone what they should or should not eat. You have to be the judge and be comfortable with your decision. There are several good books out there that educate on this subject. One that I got a lot out of was, "Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills" by Russell Blaylock.
Hope this helps.
|Posted on Tuesday, August 04, 2009 - 2:00 pm: || |
Can someone out there please tell me about how the MSG levels in our body work? So we are able to flush out the free glutamate in our bodies by simply eating safe foods for a period of time. So does that mean that if we eat low amounts of free glutamate our bodies can flush this out as well, or at least handle the small levels? I want a detailed explanation on how toxic MSG levels work. I am not going to be able to completely cut out free glutamate cause I eat wheat sometimes along with even vegetables that have been cooked a little longer perhaps. I want to know the specifics about the MSG levels in our bodies. Thanks.
|Posted on Tuesday, August 04, 2009 - 4:48 pm: || |
Gluten and free glutamate are two very different things. I eat gluten (wheat) every day with no problems at all. I eat breads, tortillas, bagels, crackers, etc. all made from all purpose or whole wheat flour.
As for your questions about your diet, its a personal decision on what "level" your diet should be at. I assume others on this site will disagree with me but my personal opinion is one should choose a healthy diet that they are comfortable with that they can commit to for the rest of their life. For most of us here, our diet is chosen by the reactions we have. But for others that will only experience long term effects from MSG (and not the short term effects we experience), they must decide what they are comfortable with.
My brother and sister in law didn't think they reacted to MSG but wanted to try my diet for 1 year. Within a month my sister in law noticed her life long headaches were gone. By brother felt great too. My brother got burned out of the diet and added back a few of his favorite foods that are light in MSG. My sister in law added a few things back to her diet as well but made sure the levels were low enough to keep her headaches away.
I'm thrilled with this diet change for them. Their diet isn't anything like mine now, but it's a HUGE improvement from the diet they had 3 years ago. They both feel great, they sleep great and they have no headaches. I assume as time goes by they will slowly cut out more and more processed food.
I think any small change towards a cleaner diet is a good thing. If someone isn't ready to give up their favorite restaurant, then that shouldn't keep them from making better diet choices at home.
As for the technical side of MSG and how our bodies respond, please read the book "Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills" by Russell Blaylock. It should answer all of your questions. The MSGTruth website is also very helpful.
I hope this helps. Emily
|Posted on Tuesday, August 04, 2009 - 5:26 pm: || |
Patrick, I see that you are struggling with the idea that you must completely avoid fga. It is overwhelming at first to look at your life and see all the changes you would have to make in order to avoid fga. I don't think you are going to find anyone on this board that will try to convince you to cut out all forms of msg/fga because frankly, it is up to you. Your posts are very intelligent and thoughtful, but something you may not be taking into account: free glutamic acid is also addictive. I don't think you will be able to truly make an informed decision about the right course for you until you are completely free from fga first. Try avoiding msg/fga (in all forms) for a couple of weeks before you decide how to proceed with the rest of your life.
As for how levels build up in our bodies, I don't really worry about it. I know that excess glutamic acid was slowly killing us and ruining the quality of our lives in the mean time. We may eventually get healthy enough that we could tolerate fga again but what does it matter? Once you experience life free from fga, you will probably feel the same way.
|Posted on Tuesday, August 04, 2009 - 7:26 pm: || |
Kristy, your post reminded me that I get a lot of people that ask me if there was a "cure" or pill for the reaction I get from FGA, would I take it so I could eat like everyone else. Never, never, never. Our diet is such a blessing to us. For us, we feel amazing and I'm so grateful I was forced in this direction because I don't think I'd have the will power to take the leap into this diet.
Patrick, it sounds like you have that strength and are willing to see how a better diet can help your life. I agree with Kristy, you should try a strict diet for 3 weeks, then make a decision based on how you feel.
|Posted on Friday, August 07, 2009 - 6:06 am: || |
If we think about all the things in our lives that are out of our control, then think about the premise "without health, what is life?" and the fact that WE are in control of the most important aspect of our health, our diet, we should realize how lucky we are that no one is forcing us to eat unhealthy food.
Control, what a great feeling.
|Posted on Friday, August 07, 2009 - 12:44 pm: || |
Thanks for the posts Emily, Kristy, and Di..I guess I'll have to email Deb, or wait for her book, to get an answer on how toxic MSG levels work in our body. Obviously avoiding them would be the best solution but I wanted to know more about our levels relating to flushing out our systems of MSG, without getting the book "Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills" by Russell Blaylock, that you recommended Emily. By the way Emily, although gluten and free glutamate are two different things (you mention you can eat gluten/wheat), gluten if full of free glutamate. That comes from Deb herself. Perhaps gluten-sensitive people are responding to the free glutamate. Hmmm. I'm glad you are able to handle breads, tortillas, crackers just like me. Perhaps the levels of free glutamate in the gluten are much lower than levels of free glutamate in processed foods that cause reactions for MSG-sensitive people.
|Posted on Friday, August 07, 2009 - 1:21 pm: || |
Have you tried the MSGTruth website? Here is a link that explains what MSG is and how our bodies respond to it. This site may help answer some of your questions: http://www.msgtruth.org/whatisit.htm
Yes, you are correct that gluten has small levels of natural free glutamate but so do many things that we eat. Beans, meats, tomatoes, milk and wheat all have small levels of free glutamate. Depending on how hypersensitive one is, is what determines how much their body can handle. Some can handle very, very little. Others can do just fine as long as they only consume small amounts and its not overcooked.
I personally feel there is a HUGE difference between man made free glutamate in processed foods and natural free glutamate in natural foods like wheat and tomatoes. The natural free glutamate isn't good for me, but I can handle small amounts of it as long as its not over cooked.
We are all learning here, we all respond differently and we all need to find a diet that works for each of us. We all depend on each other for ideas and inspiration to find a healthy diet that works. I hope you are able to find what works for your body.
|Posted on Friday, August 07, 2009 - 1:48 pm: || |
Thanks Emily, that did help me a lot. So one could argue that if we simply stuck to the natural free glutamate in meats, beans, tomatoes, milk, and wheat(much as our early ancestors would have), but kept that intake limited, and did not eat any processed free glutamate, we would be a healthier community, and perhaps not have as bad of reactions to MSG. I think that sounds like a good mix: not eating any processed free glutamate and keeping my natural free glutamate intake to a lower level, whatever that may be.
It's difficult for me to judge since I don't get acute reactions after ingesting MSG, like most people here. My possible MSG-related problems show up in the form of long term anxiety and acid reflux(which I can happily report has pretty much gone away after quitting my reflux meds, pop, beer, and eating better).
I emailed Deb and and looking forward to getting her book. I love eating food prepared on my grill. I don't think I will ever give up eating meat but now I am more aware of overcooking foods on the grill (meats, asparagus, carrots, potatoes). If we are getting back to a caveman diet, meat is surely on the list for acceptable foods (assuming no MSG glaze). I feel that if I stick to natural foods, not overcooking them, and stay away from all processed free glutamate foods, such as soups, packaged french fries seasoned with MSG, etc., then I should be okay/better. How does all of my post sound to you Emily? Thanks again.
|Posted on Friday, August 07, 2009 - 4:30 pm: || |
I understand your wanting to get a quick, concise explanation of the effects of FGA and getting it "flushed" out of your system. It doesn't actually work that way. If the damage has already been done, 100% of it might not be reversible and each subsequent time you overload your body with FGA more damage is done.
The reason I suggested you may want to read "Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills" is that the way glutamate and free-glutamic acid work in body/brain is complicated and you had said you wanted a detailed explanation. Dr. Blaylock puts everything in great detail medically and biologically - the education is invaluable. Someday I hope you have the chance to read at least some of it. Perhaps your library has it or can get it for you so you won't have to buy it. You won't regret reading it.
|Posted on Friday, August 07, 2009 - 5:18 pm: || |
Di, thanks for listing the book again. I got that. I only figured one of you guys could speak about the flushing process (not eating MSG food over a period of time) without me having to read an entire book about it. As far as the flush, or trying the test diet of MSG free food, there must be something to it that does work otherwise the test diet would not be effective. If MSG in our bodies stayed there and continued to negatively affect us then there would be no reason to do a test diet that makes us feel better again. Furthermore, people on this site wouldn't report of being able to eat a little free glutamate without reaction later down the road after they have been MSG free for a while. Honestly, your posts are more confusing than anything.
|Posted on Saturday, August 08, 2009 - 6:30 am: || |
Sorry to be confusing. There isn't really a one sentence answer and when it comes to something like your health a couple of hours or reading/researching is certainly well worth your time. You sound like a smart fellow, so I just thought you'd appreciate a great educational answer like Dr. Blaylock's. In a one sentence answer: You can attempt to flush the toxins out of your system, but if the damage has already been done not all of it may be undone; people usually do notice an improvement after the test diet (but not all because of damage already done), and if you totally abstain from FGA you will allow your body to heal what it can.
Hope that isn't so confusing.
|Posted on Saturday, August 08, 2009 - 1:39 pm: || |
Okay Di thanks. Its just so much to take in hearing that most everything I grew up eating is bad for me, by containing free glutamate. I don't feel bad after eating these foods, but just hearing how damaging excitotoxins are, I want to change so I can be healthy. Its really a fear motivator more than anything. As I said, I love grilling and I won't quit eating meat and vegetables on the grill, so I hope that is okay for me to do. As long as I don't overcook the vegetables and meat, it should be okay as I understand it.
And I've been drinking a smoothie and eating organic free range brown eggs with "ryless rye" bread for breakfast, with whatever fresh fruits I have. I usually skip lunch, and steak or ribs or some meat with asparagus or sweet potato and salad for dinner. I drink all organic juice from Trader Joes along with all organic fruits and vegetables. I make my own sauce for the meats from Deb's bbq sauce suggestion and I use olive oil and Briggs organic apple cider vinegar and lemon for salad dressing. My smoothies are made up of one papaya (to help my acid reflux), one banana, 1/4 pineapple, 1 glass ice and 1 glass water, honey for sweetener, and 1-2 tablespoons Mills flax seed per drink. For dinner, the sweet potato or asparagus is wrapped in aluminum foil with organic butter and grilled next to the meat. I only use spices and herbs that I can trace now such as cayenne pepper, pepper, sea salt, lemon, apple cider vinegar, honey, organic catsup, organic mustard, fresh ground onions, organic cane sugar, basil, oregano, and such. I think I'm off to a good start. What do you think about those choices?
Furthermore, I'm trying to stay away from wheat, since gluten contains glutamate. I got some ryless "rye" from Trader Joes that looks/tastes pretty good. I need bread, not only for morning toast, but also for my hamburgers on the grill. And I can't find hamburger buns anywhere that fit my criteria of no wheat, no bleached flour, no rye, no gluten. Okay that's it. Breathe....
|Posted on Saturday, August 08, 2009 - 7:50 pm: || |
Patrick, your diet sounds fantastic!!! Except for skipping lunch- any dietitian would encourage you to eat every 3 hours. I think the food choices you are currently making are great and you are on the right track. Grilling is a great option for cooking your meats and vegetables.
Yes, an early ancestor diet is just what I have. I frequently explain to people that I can eat anything my great, great grandma ate- just none of the new processed foods.
I agree completely with your comment on "if we simply stuck to the natural free glutamate in meats, beans, tomatoes, milk, and wheat(much as our early ancestors would have), but kept that intake limited, and did not eat any processed free glutamate, we would be a healthier community, and perhaps not have as bad of reactions to MSG."
I avoid ALL processed forms of free glutamate acid, but still eat minimal amounts of natural free glutamate found in beans, wheat, milk, etc. I have a recipe blog, the link is listed below. This can give you an idea of the meals we eat on a regular basis.
|Posted on Sunday, August 09, 2009 - 7:00 am: || |
Patrick, Your diet sounds great. On a little different subject.....something to remember, and maybe you already know this, is not to grill the meat on too high heat.
"Frying, broiling, and barbecuing produce the largest amounts of heterocyclic amines (HCAs) because the meats are cooked at very high temperatures. HCAs are the carcinogenic chemicals formed from the cooking of muscle meats such as beef, pork, fowl, and fish. HCAs form when amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) and creatine (a chemical found in muscles) react at high cooking temperatures."
Another form of cancer-causing agents, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, are created when juices from meats drip and hit the heat source. They then rise in smoke and can stick to the meat.
And there is a good article from Dukehealth.org:
I read somewhere that by making sure you get antioxidants you can negate the effects - I will keep looking for that reference website and post it when I find it again.
|Posted on Monday, August 10, 2009 - 5:09 pm: || |
Emily, thanks for the reply about my good diet. Ive never been a big early day eater, so "brunch" is okay for me, although I do understand what you and others have said about eating meals without large time gaps. Sometimes, I will just have a smoothie glass for lunch.
Di, thanks for the reply. Well I don't keep the temperature any higher than around 350-375, which would be the temperature if I baked those meat/veg's in the oven. I am aware of the HCA's that are produced in grilling meats at higher temperatures, specifically if you see any charred parts of the meats. Grilling over the open flame is how our ancestors did it, so that's how I am going do it. And I make sure my homemade BBQ sauce isn't in excess on the meat so it doesn't drip onto the coals and rise back up onto my food. My sauce is thick anyways. So I guess that means you don't grill either Di? Kinda leaves your choices limited hu?
In another post under Restaurants>Chipotle, I did talk about eating foods from Chipotle, the restaurant. I eat there a lot too but after trading numerous emails with Chiptole management, I found out that the tortillas they use are wheat, which I am now trying to avoid cause I think it makes my acid reflux worse, and of course contains gluten, which contains glutamate. Coincidence? I don't know honestly. So I get the "bowl" which contains white rice, with real citric acid from limes used to preserve for the short period before it is served, black beans without bacon used for seasoning, meat of chicken, steak, or carnitas(pork) received fresh, free range without hormones/additives added, a salsa mix of fresh tomatoes/onions/cilantro, mild mozzarella cheese, and fresh cut long lettuce. Check out my posts for more details but I am told through the numerous emails with management that no MSG at all is added to any of the products. So that just leaves good food with natural glutamate in it, which I am okay with. After doing some further research, I have found that excess glutamate intake can be battled, or the damage can be countered, by also eating foods high in vitamins/minerals. To me that means that if we eat natural foods like vegetables, orange juice, brown rice, flax seed, we can perhaps counter the free glutamate in these natural foods of meat, vegetables, etc.. What do you guys think?
|Posted on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 - 11:33 am: || |
Patrick, it sounds like you've found a lot of great solutions that are working for you. Good for you for taking the time to read and research and find answers.
I'm jealous of your grilling- we needed to get rid of our grill due to winter damage this spring and won't be buying a new one until next year. I've been surprised how much we've really missed it.
We love smoothies as well- I make a a batch every night after we workout for a quick protein/carb snack.
Good luck with your new diet. I hope it continues to help with your acid reflux. I have a good friend who battles severe acid reflux. He cut out all gluten from his diet (he has celiac disease) and he saw a huge improvement with his reflux. Hopefully it will continue to help you as well.
|Posted on Friday, July 16, 2010 - 4:18 pm: || |
Di, I noticed earlier that you took gabapentin and no longer take it. My mother takes it for neuropathy and I'm looking for something else for her, preferably something natural. Any ideas?
|Posted on Saturday, July 17, 2010 - 4:49 am: || |
Nana, I began taking the supplement GABA for a little while, but then decided to discontinue everything in pill/capsule form, but am not sure if it helped or not. My nerve pain seems dependent on diet and activity. Since I've concentrated on an anti-inflammatory diet I feel much better. For me the most important foods to avoid were: MSG, caffeine (especially tea, even decaf drinks have some), hot spices (even pepper), soda, most wines, sugar/desserts, red meat, all oil except olive oil. You can google anti-inflammatory diet, I've included a link to Dr. Weil's but don't agree with it 100%, at least for me. The effects of changing diet are not necessarily immediate, so it may take a while to see improvement. But the main triggers for fast-acting pain for me are MSG and caffeine, but too many refined carbs over a 2-3 day period will produce increased pain too. The other things are more long-term. The B vitamins are quite important for healthy nerves.
The other medication that I took in a small dose that helped immensely with pain was Elavil. The doctor said it would take 4 weeks but I noticed a marked improvement with the pain overnight. However, there are side effects with all meds, so I only stayed on it for a year....but when you are in pain, sometimes you'll try anything.
Good luck with you mother, and let me know what you decide to try and how it works.
|Posted on Saturday, July 17, 2010 - 5:42 am: || |
A study claiming that amitryptilene (Elavil) has neuroprotective effects:
|Posted on Saturday, July 17, 2010 - 9:06 pm: || |
Di, do you use fresh turmeric and ginger in your cooking? I was going to tell you that they are supposed to be very effective for reducing inflammation, but then I read the anti-inflammatory diet link so I guess you know.
|Posted on Sunday, July 18, 2010 - 3:16 am: || |
For me the turmeric works better, but I don't cook with it, I eat it raw. The only place I have found it is Whole Foods.
|Posted on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 1:31 am: || |
Indian food is the only cuisine that I've noticed has an anti-inflammatory effect on me, and I assume that it's the turmeric in the curry.
I drink ginger tea and find that it's good for the throat, but don't notice the same effect as with Indian food.
|Posted on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 9:27 am: || |
Roy, That's interesting about the curry as I didn't know there was much turmeric in it. But obviously there was enough to be of benetif.
"For one thing there is little if any curcumin actually in most curry powders."
|Posted on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 9:29 am: || |
I think the gremlins are sabotaging our posts in this "Help I have a question" topic and sticking them somewhere else on the search page.
|Posted on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 10:55 am: || |
ROY? I read the post Roy listed above but my brain can't determine if it is good for MSGers or not. Said it raises Glutamate and Taurine levels. I am high in Glutamate and low in Taurine?
|Posted on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 1:08 pm: || |
I've never had an MSG reaction from Indian food. Of course, I can't vouch for Indian restaurants I haven't tried yet.
The benefits may be from a combination of ingredients, not just the turmeric.
more about turmeric: http://csuvets.colostate.edu/pain/Articlespdf/TheBuzzAboutTurmeric.pdf
Of course, curry ingredients vary by country, and one of the worst MSG reactions I ever had was from Thai curry. Never again!
If in doubt, have the waiter show the list of glutamate containing ingredients to the chef.
|Posted on Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - 2:07 pm: || |
Roy...I should have been more clear...sorry. The link you posted about Ambitriptaline? Thanks!
|Posted on Tuesday, July 27, 2010 - 10:55 pm: || |
If you want very high levels of Curcumin/Tumeric you can try a supplement. I use this without any problems from the pill.