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AMPK, obesity and MSG

Battling the MSG Myth » Sharing Scientific Information » AMPK, obesity and MSG « Previous Next »

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Carol H
Posted on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 1:57 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This is so new, I can't believe I found it. There will be a program coming up in Australia in the next week. I believe this will be absolutely earthshattering in our understanding of exactly how MSG causes obesity. An enzyme called AMPK will be the focus an Australian conference. AMPK is a protein kinase - it is released in the body during times of metabolic stress - like the ischemia that occurs during stroke. Basically the body is trying to limit its use of energy any way it can so the cells don't run out of energy and die from exertion. To do this, it activates AMPK, which is now linked to obesity because it affects our intake of food.
MSG, since it raises the amount of glutamate present in the bloodstream, will actually help to activate AMPK because it is an excitotoxon - it makes the cells use up too much energy - so its presence causes the cells to throw up the defense of activating this protein kinase to prevent to loss of more energy. So - MSG = activated AMPK = increased appetite = decreased energy expenditure = obesity. Here's a little quiz- guess which unprotected part of the brain is involved with this enzyme? The hypothalamus. According to the article: "Leptin inhibits AMPK in the hypothalamus," Kahn explains. This makes sense because the net effect of leptin is to make a person eat less and spend more energy, so inhibiting AMPK also leads to a suppression of food intake, Kahn says."

Since in animal studies, MSG-treated mice became resistant to leptin, perhaps leptin's effect as a AMPK suppressor just can't compete with MSG as an AMPK activator. Perhaps it has more to do with MSG simply counteracting leptin's effect on AMPK than it does on damage to the hypothalamus. In that case, then there is some hope....

This whole AMPK issue explains why stroke victims are being treated with glutamate blockers. Glutamate causes the damage in stroke. Stroke causes ischemia which causes energy depletion, which also causes AMPK to be released as a protective measure. This also explains much better why Tom found out that CoQ10 helps mitigate an MSG reaction. CoQ10 helps the body withstand metabolic stress. The very stress that glutamate causes.

If the food industry is not held accountable for the continuing obesity epidemic, there is no justice in the world.

Sorry for so many posts recently. I will keep them to a minimum unless something this important comes up again.
Carol H
Posted on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 2:40 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

One more side effect of AMPK activation, mice actually became "lazy". They reduced their activity 20-30%. There may be more to improving our energy when we kick MSG than simply not feeling bad......
Lisa Marie
Posted on Thursday, March 18, 2004 - 3:53 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Carol, I wish you were a speaker at the program. I notice at the bottom of the schedule that there are several US physicians attending. Maybe we should send them a copy of your letter, for you are so good explaining it. You totally make the case for the MSG and obesity link. I don't see in the outline that they adress MSG specifically. When will these researchers and doctors realize that MSG is the common denominator? I tell everyone I meet now about the destruction of MSG in our food, as if it is my personal crusade. They look at me with blank stares. I think this is so easily dismissed because glutamate occurs naturally in some foods. Why can't they see that the manufactured forms are so harmful?
Lisa Marie
Posted on Thursday, March 18, 2004 - 3:59 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

On another note, there was a case in MO on Monday where a popcorn worker was awarded money for having his lungs ruined when working with and breathing fumes from oil in the microwave popcorn. Link to story:
My local news reported that he worked in that factory a year! That is all it took to ruin his health.
Tom Fernstrom
Posted on Thursday, March 18, 2004 - 7:04 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Carol H,

You're getting "Gooder & Gooder" at your detective work :) -- so much so that I become awed at your thinking process and ability to explain complex cellular functionality in relatively clear layperson terms. I agree with Lisa Marie and others that we would be blessed in our efforts to spread the word if you and Deb A. could join up on a speaking tour.

You mention CoQ10 in your above post and you are correct that when I made the “connection” it was because of my interest in what was happening at the cellular level. It ended up where all my current supplements such as the CoQ10, Vitamin B6, Magnesium Orotate and Taurine had beneficial effects for me at the cellular level in ensuring enough energy (ATP in CoQ10), antioxidants (V B-6 & Magnesium Orotate) and metabolism aid (Taurine) was available to the cells to fend off excitotoxins.

These essential supplements were being depleted by Excitotoxins in my system to the degree of allowing them to have their final detrimental effects (note argument for effects over time).

Now I am going to make an observation for comment. Many postings on this site address the residual effects of MSG consumption over time. It began to make me wonder if excitotoxins were really being store in the body through constant increased ingestion of them, where are they in fact being stored? Could it be in our fat cells? I’ve always thought of fat cells being an area where the body stores excess nutritional things that it doesn’t want to excrete as waste because it wants them to be available during the lean times. What if this was happening to excitotoxins because the body is being fooled into thinking these are beneficial nutrients?

I remember hearing horror stories back in the days when a lot of my friends who did hallucinogenic drugs in their younger lives started to age and went on diets to lose a few extra pounds. Some would express experiencing something like drug induced “flash backs” and there were even theories being expounded that some of these hallucinogens had actually been stored in fat cells and re-entered the system as those cells released their contents with weight loss. Remember, you really don’t burn fat, you burn the contents of fat cells.

The reason I bring this up is because I have been so vigilant with my abstention and my supplementation that I theorize I have my system turned around and now instead of my fat cells storing the bad stuff, it is storing the good stuff and helping me fend off occasional onslaughts that would bring other NOMSGers to their knees.

For instance last evening because I was rushed to get to an evening meeting, I believed my wife when she served me a Chicken Kiev dinner that she said the ingredients were OK for me. As I quickly ate the meal and then proceeded to rush off to my appointment, I had visions of having to detour to the local hospital emergency room. But nothing happened – not even the increased heart rate that is my usual first sign of MSG ingestion.

This morning I read the contents of the package and sure enough the ingredients read like a direct copy of ingredients to avoid – but no reaction. What’s happening? Do I have a reserve of ATP, antioxidants and metabolism aid sufficiently built up to withstand these onslaughts? Could be. But I doubt that if I were to go back to my old eating habits the reserves would be able to keep up.

Now I wonder what will happen to all these overweight individuals that may have these excitotoxins in reserve that will be released as they lose weight. What horrors will they experience – I wonder.
Carol H
Posted on Thursday, March 18, 2004 - 11:15 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tom, I am so glad you are doing well. I tell you, after I finished that post last night, I immediately went to order some more CoQ10. I now want to take it every day.

As for diets, sometimes I wonder if the benefit of the Atkins diet is really the avoidance of MSG. I don't agree with cutting out carbs and I don't approve of loading up on protein, but Dr. Atkins stressed avoiding MSG and recommended taking taurine. Perhaps that is why Atkins dieters lose weight.
Also, the South Beach Diet is focused on keeping blood sugar steady - that would help if the body is being stressed by MSG too. A constant supply of energy is essential.
Tom, you are our best success story. I must congratulate you on discovering the CoQ10 connection. That may be our most promising remedy. I am hopeful today :)
Lisa Marie
Posted on Thursday, March 18, 2004 - 11:57 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey you guys,
What brand of CoQ10 do you take and where do you get it? Thanks.
Jerry Story
Posted on Thursday, March 18, 2004 - 3:30 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Q about CoQ10:

1. The body makes CoQ10.
2. Veggies and fruits have CoQ10.

why does anyone need CoQ10 supplements?

Maybe fix the problem properly instead of patching it.

CoQ10 is [expletive deleted] expensive!
Tom Fernstrom
Posted on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 5:34 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Lisa Marie,

I buy my CoQ10 at Sam's Club. It has questionable fillers, but when I first started taking it I increased my dosage to 300mg daily to offset any minor reactions to the fillers. I have since been able to reduce the dosage to about 150mg daily depending upon what dosage they have available when I buy. The store I go to seems to have settled on carrying the 150mg per soft gel dosage.

Jerry, you are correct. CoQ10 is expensive -- about $32.00 for 100, 150mg soft gel tablets. And so is the Magnesium Orotate. And the VB6 & Taurine have costs too. But compared to the cost of some of the prescription heart medications that I now no longer have to take (that also didn't work against MSG ingestion); it is well worth it to me individually.

Jerry, I don't know your age or your full medical history, but whether it is a factor of the aging process or damage done to my system through years of abuse (msg, alcohol, tobacco, etc.) my system's ability to metabolize properly has been compromised. Discussion on this board and earlier on the NOMSG board examined the health history of many of us old timers in the search for cause and effect with regard to excitotoxin effects on different physiques. It was determined that medical history played a very important role on the eventual effect excitotoxins would have on each individual. I make no excuses for the known abuse I caused to my system, but I must adjust accordingly now when I analyze my current physical nutritional needs.

You have been able to embrace the avoidance of excitotoxins and the supplementation of whatever your diet of carrots is accomplishing to reduce the onslaught of MS damage and symptoms. I applaud your progress and would love to understand your theories on a cellular level of the cause & effect with regard to MS as I have two nephews with early stage MS that won’t listen to me about excitotoxins.

I do not preach nor advocate any particular supplementation other than what has been found to work for me and I only profess my understandings of why they work for me. If persons with similar medical histories may one day benefit for what I have discovered, so be it. I know I have benefited greatly from the discoveries and interactions with my dear fellow NOMSGers here and will continue to do so. :)
Lisa Marie
Posted on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 7:03 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Tom. I may look into getting some CoQ10 for myself. I do eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. I do not juice, but that may be in my future. I definately believe you are correct about the health history having a predominate role in the acute sensitivity of some of us who can't tolerate MSG. Myself for example-As an insulin-dependent diabetic. That is a disease which is defined by a metabolism problem and underlying vasular defects (or vice versa) I believe that 24 years with this disease impaired my nerve functioning (as well as circulatory functioning) and left me even more vulnerable to MSG.
I just want to use all the 'tools' I can find to fight MSG.
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 8:22 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

They are currently developing drugs to relieve pain from diabetic neuropathy by binding competetively to the glutamate receptor sites to block it.
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 8:38 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


I hope your nephews start listening to you. Research linking excess glutamate to MS damage is clear.
Deb A.
Posted on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 8:52 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have used the pure CoQ10 powder. I mix approx. 100 to 200mg. with 1/2 t. of olive oil on a spoon and eat that. It's pretty tasteless. I have read here (someone was told this) that without a capsule, most of it will not be absorbed by the bloodstream, but I know that some of it must, because I do feel better when using it. I buy it from
It's code #203.0 and it's 200 doses of 100 mg. It comes with a measuring scoop.
Tom Fernstrom
Posted on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 9:10 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


Thanks for the excellent article. I have forwarded it to my nephews through my brother because they think their Uncle Tom is a nut case.
Deb A.
Posted on Friday, March 19, 2004 - 4:52 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It's sad, isn't it...the response some of our friends/family give us...the eye rolling, the look of boredom when we mention the MSG word...etc.
I have a friend who has migraines, obesity, and depression..anxiety, too. She knows that MSG is the main culprit..she tried elimination after I gave her the book, and she got her life back. As the mother of teens, she got so tired of their complaints with the foods she tried to get them to eat. Then she took a full time job, and just gave up trying to eat right. Last year, I saw her at the grocery store from a distance, and in her cart was a Butterball turkey and all sorts of "garbage". Since that time, her daughter left for college and has just been diagnosed with MS. And her son has been diagnosed with ADHD. It's so serious that she told me we will go to a special college equipped to handle such students...what is going on???..they are now offering schools for kids with MSG toxicty!
Bill Ferrie
Posted on Monday, September 19, 2005 - 8:25 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Does anyone know what happened to ""?

It was possible to purchase supplements at a reasonable price from them, but I cannot find their site. Did they change their name?
Tom Fernstrom
Posted on Monday, September 19, 2005 - 9:22 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


The site is at:

Have to have the dashes. :-)
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Posted on Friday, July 07, 2006 - 4:20 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

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