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MSG and the Pancreas

Battling the MSG Myth » Archive » Sharing Scientific Information » MSG and the Pancreas « Previous Next »

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lloyd Ainey
Posted on Sunday, November 26, 2000 - 1:24 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I agree with the insulin part of Carol's story and would like to get more of you concerned people focused on it. The goal is to prove or disprove it clinically. I am also worried that those concerned may be fooling themselves by reading the results of lab experiments that may have nothing to do with them. Inevitably you will not be able to convince the medical community or the food industry that will side with one another because it is too remote a connection. Stick with what you know. I am for the cause.
I have read a lot of textbooks on pathology and physiology and the average person can get be misguided by the credentials that some people put after there name. The real proof is clinical. What is happening to you, and how do you get relief. In the chiropractic profession we spent all our time trying to cite researcher after researcher to justify our means. In that health discipline, nobody has seen a "subluxation", or bone out of joint, but empirical clinical evidence justifies it. That's is all the justification needed.
Letís not fall into specious, esoteric lab trials that are made in the name of our cause, or that we adopt in the name of our cause, if there is no empirical clinical evidence to support it. Go with what you know. People, who promulgate the highly scientific lab results along with the credentials of those doing those experiments, may lead you into a false sense of security. In believe the results, MSG and it effect on neurons, but I havenít seen it in 20 years on headaches.
I found out the same way most of you did. I am 49, and I suffered ever since I can remember in grade school. It was not until 20 years ago, after studying for 4 years at Chiropractic College in Toronto; with the help of a classmate we narrowed down the culprit. I tried all the other medical conventions too. Outside of staying clear of MSG, I have found a way to combat it when it occurs. It's as unconventional as the medical profession would see the cause of the headaches
I drink Coke as soon as I feel it coming on. As you know that happens most often early in the morning. I take 2 or 3 ibuprofen and 1 or 2 cokes and go to bed for 30-60 minutes. Gone. I f I don't do that, its there all day. It happened yesterday. I was caught off guard stayed at somebody house. Even read the labels on the food we consumed. Telephoned the product manufacturer today to complain. Waiting for a return call. I stock coke and ibuprofen on my night table, even though I am ever vigilant to avoiding MSG. The CO2 in the coke increases the uptake in the intestine so the sugar absorbed faster. I have also used dextrose tablets that are a little easier to stomach. Recently I have had difficulty finding them. I used to think tea was good, but I now understand that it has a pronounced effect on the peripheral arteriole system, which preferably should be shutdown to increase the concentration of the sugar more centrally on recovery when increasing blood sugar.

I did a fair amount of research as I do have an extensive education in physiology and diagnosis.

I am not going to try to define a migraine, as I think it may be a misnomer for the MSG headache itself. I hope one day that the migraine is conclusively re-defined as the MGS (hypoglycemic headache. My research and personal experience has lead me to believe that these headaches are caused by hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemic headaches are known to occur early in the morning or late morning. Although this is somewhat vague, it is easily explained if you investigate how the system works. I believe the MSG and alcohol, (those susceptible to MSG often get headaches easily from alcohol, I bet you would have a headache by mid afternoon if you drank at noon, or in the late evening if you drink without eating before or as you drink alcohol) over-stimulate the pancreas to release massive amounts of insulin. The insulin goes to the blood stream and carries all the sugar into the bodyís cells (all the body tissues, except the brain which does not require insulin to transport glucose across the cell membrane). The blood sugar drops, the brain has a sugar deficit and the response is pain. I have not found any information on the reaction that produces the pain, nor how aspirin and ibuprofen have a mitigating effect. I can assure you the pain is there in response to the ingestion of MSG. I submitted myself to the same repetition, eating know MSG products to prove the point to myself as you had done.

The sub-occipital muscles are very involved in the pain syndrome as well and specific massage can produce relieve. The pain triggers also can be found on the parietal cranium (back of the skull), above the sub-occipital muscles, presumably where some of the higher back muscles rise up to their insertion in the posterior occiput. I have also found trigger points in the sterno-cliedo-mastoid and anterior scalene muscles.

I read the info on your site, and I cannot thank you enough for giving me the opportunity to explore new ideas. I find it difficult to understand the author's preoccupation with the neurotransmitters effect.
I my personal experiments with MSG, I found that I can eat foods containing it as long as I combine it with sugar to keep the glucose level above the proportion of insulin that is excessively released in response to the MSG that I believe is over-stimulating the pancreas. If it was just a direct effect, then the headache would arrive regardless of the increase in sugar consumption. I have also found that anesthesia does the same thing. If I take 2 or three dextrose tablets before going under anesthesia I have no problems, without the sugar I start to lose consciousness in 10 minutes.

Try not eating or drinking for a day and you can induce hypoglycemic headaches. They will be as bad as any MSG headache you've known. These are the experiments that will convince you that it is a clinical issue of cause and effect rather than biochemical--save for the effect of MSG at the pancreatic level.

The dryness in the mouth and thirst (polydipsia) and increased urination (polyurea) are known signs in diabetes. I am willing to believe that the increase in diabetes in related to MSG. The pancreas is not over worked by the sugar, although I know that carbohydrates cause increases in insulin production (which is the theory behind the protein diet revolution, it is over worked (strained) by all the MSG we ingest.

No doubt there is truth to the effects of direct stimulation by MSG on nervous tissue, but I have beaten it too many times to believe it is working that pointed on the nervous system. I donít think it is happening to us that way. I am open to knowing more, and being convinced, as this is frontier area in medicine--mainly because they are not paying attention. For now I am skeptical, and still lean more towards the insulin effect.
Raising the blood sugar quickly brings back equilibrium to the stasis of the brain. If countered immediately, the pain reliever can be effective on placating the pain at onset.

I would like to continue a dialogue with everybody concerned, to do the data research that our tax dollars have neglected too long, and bring more attention to the issue.

I would like to develop the insulin hypothesis, or adopt any other that makes more sense. I would also like to participate in lobbying the food processors and the government to help all the unsuspecting sufferers. There are millions of people suffering from these headaches, and their loved ones also suffer through worry. Collectively, that is a larger segment of the population. The problem is, they don't know it. I am surprised to find as many people here.

My name is Lloyd Ainey you can reach me at or toll free at 1-877-311-9004 ext 23. I look forward to hearing from you.
Posted on Sunday, November 26, 2000 - 4:05 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Lloyd: I have a limited are knowledgeable and have done much personal and professional reading and research obviously. But for me, this is odd. I don't get headaches. I can not take sugars...I eat none but that in fruits. So what happens if I have sugar or a coke or soda? I get the symptoms of flu and arthritis. I drink a beer each day about three days a week with no problem (I've been known to have 3 beers for 3 days in a row like on Thanksgiving weekend with lots of company; again with no headache). My stiff neck comes from processed foods with msg as does my flu-like and arthritis symptoms. Let go, these symptoms become edema and bone pain and stabbing joint pain and inflamed joints. Lab tests speak of inflammatory condition and I'm told I have an nonspecific auto immune disease. Still, I fit into the category of feeling fine as long as my food is whole and natural and not processed. Thank heavens I do not get those headaches. I get the extreme dry mouth, red eyes, sweats and chills, stumbling, mind confusion and extraordinary rage moods immediately upon consumption. Otherwise I'm a real delight. Sheesh. Means I stay away from the world when stricken. I am able to ameliorate some of the problems with aspirin or benedryl or magnesium but I am super super careful. (see posting above) I consider that each episode damages me physically and I am a scaredy-cat.
Deb A.
Posted on Sunday, November 26, 2000 - 7:10 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Lloyd. Thanks for taking the time to share your opinions. Helps force us to think and share even more information. My son is a chiropractor, also, and I asked him to read what you have posted. You sound as if you are assuming that all our ideas are based on what we have read and on certain studies. While this is part of the process, it's not entirely the truth. Most of our suggestions have been based on what you seem to imply only you have done: i.e., clinical trial and self diagnosis. Please don't ignore all the other "self researchers" out there by only looking at the effects on the pancreas...or disregard everything else such as the possible effects of MSG as a neurotransmitter on other organs or systems. As far as the pancreas, how else would you explain the effect on this organ except by means of neurotransmitters. Dr. Blaylock, a neurologist and brain surgeon has stated in his book, Excitotoxins, the Taste that Kills, that the part of the brain most effected and targeted by MSG is the hypothalamus, which controls the entire endocrine system, of which the pancreas is part of. A team headed by Dr. Joel Bockaert at the Centre for Pharmacology Laboratory pf Pharmacology and Pharmacodynamics in Montpelier, Frace, has been studying the pathology of diabetes, and their tests have shown that glutamate upsets the regulation of glucose blood levels by binding with receptors in the pancreas itself. An Hungarian scientist, Erdo, says that his findings show that glutamate is interacting with other hormone secreting organs such as the adrenal and pineal glands and all these scientists agree that glutamate will one day be accepted as a factor in sugar diabetes pathology. What we are getting at is that glutamate is a very powerful chemical and our boddies are chemically influenced. Your "cause and effect" statement is confusing to me because everything that effects us is a biochemical response. Your treatment for a headache doesn't sound unorthodox at all. The people who produce Excedrin count on the combination of caffeine (as in your coke) and analgesics to boost their effect on pain centers. But caffeine is addictive and can cause rebound headaches. Carol Foster, a neurologist and head of a headache center in Arizona, states that it is a crime that Excedrin can be allowed to be labeled as a Migraine medication. All it does is set the victim up for another headache if it is used regularly, even as little as two days in a row. Perhaps a great test would be to try a glass of water with sugar added instead of the coke for your next headache to test your treatment. Then try caffeine alone, such as in a cup of strong black unsweetened coffee,(no Nutrasweet, either) and see if that make any difference. I get excruciating headaches if I ingest MSG, but I also fast for 24 hours every month. I can tell you that I never get a headache from fasting, but I sure do with MSG. I have talked to people who had to fast for two days before their GI tests, and felt great for the first time in years. That's how they discovered that something they were eating was giving them colitis of IBS. Dr. Mech designed many of the diets for the famous Menninger Clinic, and he treats eating disorders in his private practice. He discovered something very important and became involved in our cause. He had patients who were starving themselves to lose weight by drinking several six packs of diet pop a day and that's all. They manifested symptoms of hypoglycemia, despite the fact that they avoided sugar like the plague. He had them tested, and sure enough they were hypoglycemic. He concluded that MSG and aspartame have an even more powerful effect on releasing insulin than sugar from his clinical testing. When insulin is released, there is an adrenalin release, and consequently, a release of seratonin. Depleting this natural "feel good" juice of the brain results in headaches, the blues, and a craving for the same foods that can get us into that imbalance in the first place. Hopefully you can see that this infers not only a direct relationship to hypoglycemia, but also to the development of such conditions as dibetes, depression, chronic fatigue, neurological disease, and much more. Bio-chemical responses are at issue, and since our brain controls the functions of the body, we are at the mercy of any substance that redirects, misdirects or destroys the neurons of that brain. It has been my experience of the last five years, that chiropractors are much more knowedgeable and accepting of the dangers of MSG and other neurotoxins such as aspartame and l-cysteine. My son, said that many of his professors at Palmer include MSG in their discussions on nutrition, and were very pleased with the two reports he gave on the subject. Until the government will decide to do more legitimate testing on humans, all we can do is share what we have experienced and learned in an open forum such as this in the hope that more professionals in the health field such as yourself will become involved. I'm sure that you are trying to help your patients every day to deal with their pain. By sharing our ideas and suggestions as you have, we can do the same here. I really appreciate your input and hope you will continue to seek for answers as we all are. I realize I am sounding defensive. I suppose I am on a couple issues, but I can tell that you are a man of science and intelligence, and you have made some excellent observations. Thanks again for sharing with us.
Gerry Bush
Posted on Sunday, November 26, 2000 - 7:19 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Lloyd, I cannot drink Coke or most other sodas as they do contain citric acid and usually high fructose corn syrup....both of these are processed and contain msg.
Msg does NOT give me headaches, but rather every other symptom in the book as discussed on this site and others including but not limited to horrible skin rashes complete with blisters. I might, however buy into the hypoglycemic reaction and certainly the insulin problem as I do experience rapid and severe blood pressure drops sometimes.
But the ingestion of Coke as an antidote makes me say....hmmmmm....I don't think so.
Posted on Monday, November 27, 2000 - 10:13 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Citric acid also gives me an MSG reaction (muscle spasms and sleeplessness). I had some gingerale last week for a queasy stomach, so it had to be the gingerale. It was made with sugar and not high fructose corn syrup, so the citric acid was the only 'nasty' in it.

I have no problem with natural citric acid (lemons/oranges), so its gotta be the corn or beet base they derive it from.
Lloyd Ainey
Posted on Saturday, February 24, 2001 - 9:41 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Haven't been around in a while but I often think about what I've learned here. If MSG is so strong a neuro- transmitter, why doesn't everybody get the reaction we get?

That is another reason I am leaning towards being a potential diabetic, no everybody suffers from it either, There seems to be some predisposition.

What is protecting everybody else's brain (neurons) and pancreii??
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Saturday, February 24, 2001 - 10:09 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Being pre-diabetic is another reason to avoid MSG:
Carol H
Posted on Saturday, February 24, 2001 - 10:47 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


I believe they do get the reactions we get, but they just won't realize the damage for years. An alcoholic doesn't actually feel the initial damage to their liver. A smoker doesn't actually feel the lung cancer start. A severely hypertensive patient may feel just fine. A clogged artery doesn't hurt - yet. A dead nerve cell feels nothing. Just because someone does not feel an MSG reaction doesn't mean it's not happening. The start of long term damage is usually insidious. That's why we continue the bad behavior. If it hurt right away, we'd stop. Consider this, when someone gets their fix from an addiction like MSG, it makes it doubly hard to stop. I saw only a few snippets of the new Survivor show, but I heard two different contestants, just pining away for Doritoes like a quitting smoker pining for a Marlboro. It chilled me.
Posted on Saturday, February 24, 2001 - 11:14 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi everyone,

Carol H, thanks for your reply to my question.

I also agree that in some way, everyone is reacting to msg. Think how many times your co-workers complain of headaches?? It is a mantra in my workplace. If nothing else, I see their addiction as well.....we once put out a new product...if was Frito's Corn Chips with a Chili dip included in a neat little package. The corn chips were fine, but when I read the ingredient list in the chili, it had msg about 8 different times. Needless to say, my co-workers finished one, and bought another, and another, and so on.

It took me 45 years to have serious medical problems from MSG. My daughter was 14 when she first reacted.....

Carol H
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2001 - 8:35 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


I noticed the MSG connection to my health four years after spending 1986 - 1988 breathing in Nutrasweet Iced Tea Mix at Lipton, eating MSG in their taste tests like a little lab rat, and bringing home tons of Noodles in Sauce, onion soup mix, and Chicken Soup from the company store. I shudder to think how much damage I caused myself.

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