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Garlic vs. MSG?

Battling the MSG Myth » "Help! I Have a Question" » Garlic vs. MSG? « Previous Next »

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Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, December 18, 2009 - 1:23 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Garlic was never on my radar.

In an effort to shorten my chest cold naturally (without supplements), I started crushing and eating 3 cloves of garlic/day

As I previously mentioned, 5 days ago I made some terrible food decisions.

The rash started a few days after the party, so I of course assumed it was caused by the party chow. The rash was identical in characteristic to the rash I had experience many times during the last year.

However, now 5 days after the party, it's getting WORSE, not better.

After carefully examining what I've been eating since the party, I noted the crushed garlic.

Then, on a whim, I searched this forum for Garlic and found that Garlic can be a problem for those with FGA sensitivities.

Then, I looked through my food diary from the last year, and back in July, when the rash started out of the blue after months of being quiet, I had started eating several crushed cloves of garlic per day!!! In late august, I was on vacation, and had an out of the blue reaction. At the time, I thought it must have been MSG in the soy sauce w/ shirmp (before MSG was on my radar), but in looking at my log, I also had a HUGE qty of GARLIC in shrimp scampi.

So, here's some questions:
1. What if (for me), it's not the free glutamic acid aspect of garlic but rather a reaction to allicin (component of garlic, see article pasted below)???
2. If one was reactive to garlic, what else should be avoided? (e.g. onions, broccoli, cauliflower, eggs, sulfites)???
3. Is there some other aspect or attribute of garlic that should be on my radar (I'm searching on sulfites now, but don't know yet if that's relevant).

Right now, I'm on a chicken, rice, coconut oil, sea salt, banana only diet, trying to quiet the skin.

Once this rash subsides, while on such a restricted diet, I am going to add Accent (MSG) (starting out with small amounts), to see if I can precipitate a reaction. I know when I floated that idea before, it upset many people, but I do think it's a good way to separate MSG from other items (in this case garlic). If I react to MSG, then I'll be happy to accept that garlic has some FGA aspect. However, if the MSG does not provoke the reaction, and I wait a month, go back on restricted diet, and add garlic, and I get a reaction, then I would know for sure.

All comments and suggestions welcome, especially on the whole issue of sulfites about which I knew nothing until today.


Here's what I found when searching for garlic:
Garlic is generally lauded as a health giving herb, however as with almost any food there are a number of people who are intolerant of or actively allergic to it.

Even if you don't have an explicit allergy to garlic, too much exposure to allicin (produced when garlic is crushed) can cause similar symptoms. These include skin irritation, reddening and even blistering. Low level intolerance or excessive intake can result in heartburn or flatulence.

A few unfortunate people do have an actual allergy to garlic. Symptoms vary but often include stomach problems after eating garlic and a rash from eating or from physical contact.

Garlic allergy has also been reported to exacerbate asthma symptoms, though this is more usually related to breathing in garlic dust rather than eating garlic.

Even if you are not normally allergic or sensitive to garlic, eating an unusually large amount can produce similar reactions. A large amount of raw garlic could irritate and possibly even cause damage to the digestive tract. Garlic is powerful and as with anything powerful it should be treated with respect.

All allergies can be potentially serious. If you suspect that you might be suffering from garlic allergy - or any other sort, food or otherwise - you should contact your doctor or a medically qualified clinic to arrange for testing.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, December 18, 2009 - 2:47 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would recommend seeing an allergist to get a complete set of scratch test food allergy testing. It's a very simple procedure. It's painless and inexpensive. It may help answer some of your questions or at least cross a few questions off your list.

I think it would be helpful due to the trouble you are having in trying to narrow down the reasons for your reactions. Blood work can also be done on the positive results as well to give you an even clearer perspective.

I feel pretty sensitive to FGA but have no problems at all with garlic. Good luck!

Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, December 18, 2009 - 3:09 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Very good suggestion.

Actually, that's how I started my journey: I had IGE and IGG blood allergy testing done, as well as scratch testing on the skin.

The results were not particularly helpful.

I don't think FGA is a classic "allergy / immune" response, nor is sulfite / nitrate sensitivity.

The really frustrating thing is that everything is so inter-related, that when I come up with a hypothesis, it's not hard to find data that supports it.

I'm sure I'll get to the bottom of it one way or another.

Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, December 18, 2009 - 5:07 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mike I thought I had a problem with garlic as well until I tried some organic garlic. I have no problem with that at all and am now growing my own. I put the bulbs in at the same time as my tulip bulbs. One clove in each hole. I hope I get a bumper crop. For me organic is the only way I can eat veg. I can't tolerate much in the fruit catagory either unless I pick and freeze wild blueberries, rasberryies and strawberries. I freeze them. I found a place in Mass. that has organic cranberries and I buy their organic cranberry sauce. It is in a little preserving glass jar and very much like strawberry preserves. No pectin just org. cran. water and organic sugar. I use it with peanut butter as jelly and in cranberry crisps that I make when I need a sugar treat. I have to travel a bit to get it and I buy a case at a time. I can only get it around the holidays so this needs to keep me supplied until next year. Keep at it Mike you are a blood hound. You will figure this out I am sure and you make the rest of us more aware as you are doing it. Mariann
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, December 18, 2009 - 5:44 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks mariann.

I wonder why organic garlic would be ok if non-organic wasn't (from a free glutamic acid perspective)?

I mean garlic is garlic.

What I mean is if it's a food that has a high percentage of FGA, why would that differ organic and not?

Sure, if anything is sprayed with say auxigro or some nasty chemical, then sure, it will cause a reaction, but:

I wonder if you reacted to the "garlic-ness" of garlic??

Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, December 18, 2009 - 8:45 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sorry to hear the testing wasn't helpful. I understand FGA and sulfite sensitivities are not considered IGE allergies but had wondered if your reaction to garlic was an IGE reaction or if the rash you experience could be an IGE response.

I'm sure it has been incredibly frustrating trying to find some answers, I hope you are able to connect the dots soon.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, December 19, 2009 - 1:49 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

For me I think the difference of organic or not organic is in the fertilizing and the use of sprays to clean and "sanitize" the food. I think that if it has a USDA stamp of approval they can't use certain fertilizers, GMO or sulfite washes. Someone jump in if I am wrong on that one. So I use only organic because many times I have gotten sick on veg. that are not. In fact the veggies from Stop and Shop that are labeled organic have made me sick on 3 different occasions.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, December 19, 2009 - 2:15 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That's good news Mariann: if you can eat garlic that's not drenched in bad stuff, then it sounds like the intrinsic properties of garlic is not the problem. I guess any fruit or veggie could be sprayed with nasty stuff.

In another post, I mentioned that cheap chinese dehydrated garlic was found to have an astronomical amount of sulfites and other bad stuff.

Deb A.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - 8:08 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

EmilyS, was it you who mentioned you ate in Kennewick at a Thai restaurant and did well? I wanted to find out which one it was...and the name for MSG that they recognized. We do fine at Tri-Teriyaki in West Richland...Yes, I know you're all was I. But an MSG sensitive friend told me about it. I only have eaten the broccoli beef and Mongolian beef..and tell them to add VERY little sauce. Since the fire, we have eaten out more...not easy. Kitchen will be done next week...wahoo!
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, December 24, 2009 - 12:02 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sorry, it wasn't me. The only Restaurant I have successfully eaten at in the past few years is Gecko's Mexican Grill and Carver's Steak House after spending a lot of time on the phone with the head chef prior to the dinner party.

That's great you have had success at Tri-Teriyaki. Congratulations on your new kitchen, that's great it will be ready for you next week. Did you add any fun upgrades?
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, December 25, 2009 - 6:31 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Guys,

About the garlic: Garlic is a powerful anti-fungal, antibacterial and antiviral. If you react to garlic it can be because a die-off reaction. Let's say that you have an overgrowth of the wrong bacteria in your digestive system. When you eat raw garlic it immediately goes to work killing the bad guys. When those bad guys die, they emit toxins into your system. If this happens too rapidly, your liver has a hard time keeping up with the toxic load. Thus you can have skin rashes and flu-like symptoms and even feel as if you have an intestinal bug or virus. This makes it extremely hard to tell if you are sensitive or allergic to garlic or if you are just healing too quickly. The best attack plan is to back completely off the garlic and then add in tiny amounts at a time and build your dosage slowly (just as you would with a very powerful pharmaceutical).

Mike, corn allergy rarely reacts as expected in a scratch test which is why so many people go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for so long. If you are planning to get your diet clean and then test with msg, why not try to schedule a similar test for citric acid? You can buy pure citric acid (a corn derivative) from some online herbal stores and you could test it like you are planning with msg. That is the most reliable way to get a definitive answer. I have to say that from your posts and the things you react to, I really believe you are corn allergic. If you want to start with a really clean diet, you could consider using pasture-raised beef (with no citric acid used) instead of chicken since chicken is troublesome for corn allergics. Also, call your water company and ask if they use citric acid to treat your water. The only way to get rid of it is distillation so a reverse osmosis filtration system would not be good enough. If you drink bottled, use Aquafina or another on the corn-free list. What do you think?

About the organic vs. chemical: GMO's are the key. Organic growers are prohibited from using GMO's in fertilizers or other sprays. The genetically modified hydrolized sprays are used heavily in the chemical agricultural industry and most people have trouble with them, but just don't realize it. Mariann, ask the people from Stop and Shop and I bet you will find they are washing the produce with a citric acid solution. This is why so many people have trouble with food additives, they are created from genetically modified crops.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, December 25, 2009 - 6:50 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Kristy I think you are spot on about that business with the citric acid. So even if they are packaged that could be the problem? If that is it, do you think I can wash the produce well with soap and then eat them? Mariann Hope your holiday was a good one and you and the kids ate good food and rejoiced in your new home.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, December 26, 2009 - 4:12 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Kristy, it's funny you mention the whole candida die-off thing.

Initially, based on my IGG off-the-charts reaction to bakers's yeast and brewer's yeast, i was on the ant-candida diet, but that didn't seem to be the issue for me.

And by the way, aside from garlic, coconut oil is another food item which kills unfriendly stuff, and at high doses, can cause confusing effects for some.

Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, December 26, 2009 - 9:32 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mariann, I think the citric acid soaks in and can't be washed off. I don't buy any produce in a package because of that (except potatoes and onions in mesh bags but I make sure they are dirty). I avoid all "pre-washed" vegetables or bagged salads (these kill me). I am thinking the citric acid wash could be the missing link to explain our egg problem. I am currently trying to contact several manufacturers to find out how they wash their eggs. I just read something about egg shells being porous recently and a light bulb lit up over my head.

We had a fantastic Christmas and my Mom is even attempting to cut out some obviously unnecessary corn from her diet so we had something safe to eat with everyone else. We only had to bring our own roast, but she had baked potatoes, butter and sea salt for us.

Mike, you are right about the coconut oil. The first time I tried it was because I just love coconut and had no idea what was in store for me. I used WAY too much for an introduction and I wasn't prepared for the results. I wasn't specifically targeting candida with my comments, though. I was speaking more in a general way about any intestinal bug or gut flora inbalance.

Have you considered my idea for citric acid test?
Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, December 26, 2009 - 9:56 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Kristy,

In thinking about the citric acid, I've temporarily set aside corn as the root of all evil for me because there were many many weeks where I would eat 8oz of corn chips a day without apparent problems.

I'm assuming, however, that if one was reactive to citric acid, they would be very reactive to corn chips (indeed an assumption).

BTW, I had been taking 1 tsp of ascorbic acid (derived from corn) without catastrophe, but things are so muddled now I'm not sure I can make any conclusions.

I am delighted, however, that 8 days after stopping the garlic, the skin rash has almost gone! (and not itchy!!)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, December 26, 2009 - 7:41 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Kristy I am glad that you were able to eat food with family that was safe. It is so hard to make the people we love most understand sometimes. When we can accomplish that we can help them to be healthier as well. So good I can wipe trying the Stop and Shop organic veggies again off my list. I love my farmers market. Mariann
Deb A.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Sunday, December 27, 2009 - 9:18 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I was talking to Jack Samuels of awhile back and from all the problems he also hears about from MSG sensitive people due to citric acid, he has his own theory. Citric acid that is processed from corn to use as a preservative and ph adjuster is a huge business. It is made from leftover corn that is already highly processed and to keep the price good, producers are not as likely to do anything to remove the free glutamate or other residues as they would for a supplement product. Also, he suspects that some producers are adding dextrose or other glutamate rich fillers or flowing agents. Some may also knowingly add more glutamate and use the fact that their product will add flavor in addition to changing the ph in their sales pitches. I had some Glen Muir tomatoes which contain "naturally derived citric acid". I did not react to the pasta sauce my daughter made with those. It may be that there are fewer contaminants in this citric acid. Other producers may add sulfuric acid to break down the corn, as it is used frequently in food production, such as in the making or lecithin and gelatin. The amount of glutamate and chemical residues will vary from one manufacturer of the same product, to another.

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