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Natural glutamate sensitivity as well?

Battling the MSG Myth » Sharing Ideas, Suggestions, and Information » Natural glutamate sensitivity as well? « Previous Next »

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Posted on Monday, June 10, 2013 - 4:12 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi everyone,
After many years of trying to find the cause of various symptoms I have had, and now with 3 children also having problems along the same lines, I have finally stumbled upon the possibility that msg is the culprit. It's still early days and we are currently working with a dietician. She has made us aware there are natural food chemicals - Salycilates, Amines and Glutamates - that people can be sensitive to. We have been on an elimination diet and so far have challenged salycilates and amines. Salicilates were fine. There was a definite reaction to amines, particularly from one of my sons. We haven't 'formally' challenged glutamates yet. These are naturally found in foods like tomatoes, plums, broccoli and of course as you know in the additive MSG.
Things have been a little confusing as foods that the dietician has recommended as being safe, have caused a huge reaction in my children. For example - vanilla yoghurt (no additives or preservatives) gave my son a terrible migraine within a couple of hours. And my daughter has been very sick now for a week with flu like symptoms. It's hard to tell if it is actually a virus or not. But it is very coincidental that this developed a few hours after trying this yoghurt.
I have pinned to my wall the list "Hidden Names for MSG" I have begun highlighting all the things on that list which there have been reactions to. Milk solids is one of them - which are in the yoghurt.
I showed the dietician this list and she was a little dismissive at that stage, presumably thinking the intolerance was more along the natural food chemical lines. And also knowing we needed to test further to rule other things out. I guess time will tell but I'm certain I'm onto something with the msg list.
After a long pre-amble my question is this - As people who are extremely sensitive to MSG, do you also find you have intolerances to natural glutamates in fruits and vegetables? ie - broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, silver beet, tomatoes, grapes, plums, prunes, raisins, sultanas (these foods are from a list in an Australian book I have - "Friendly food - from the allergy experts at the Royal Prince Alfred Allergy Unit") At the moment we are avoiding those foods listed as well as many more due to their amines content. It would be great to be able to introduce some of these foods again.
I'm not wanting to go ahead and test the children on these just yet as they have been so sick and have already missed so much school. Any info would be a great help! Thank you
Roy Piwovar
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Posted on Monday, June 10, 2013 - 6:43 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Anonymous, I don't seem to react to foods in their natural form. It's the additives that get to me.
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Posted on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - 4:28 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I do eat foods containing natural glutamate. It's only processed foods and additives that I avoid. I love mushrooms, tomatoes, and organic meats, for example, and I eat them regularly. Many of my favorite foods are high in amines and salicylates.

For me, it has been important to eliminate toxins and additives first before looking into whole foods that could be causing allergies. Therefore I would personally try avoiding the list of hidden sources of MSG for several weeks to even several months first before testing unadulterated foods such as spinach, mushrooms, grapes, etc.

Keep in mind that you will hear different information from any dietitian or nutritionist that you consult. Many if not most of their opinions will often be in polar opposition to one another. For this reason I have found that the best course of action is to read arguments on both sides of any issue and then go with my gut feeling. (Did you know we actually have neurons in our gut--the same cells that transmit information in our brains? We also have them in our hearts.)

I'm not sure if we're allowed to do this on the forum, but my email address is adacountesslovelace at gmail dot com if you want to message me with questions. I'm not a dietitian but I have been soaking up as much information as possible regarding these topics for the past two years.

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Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 11:28 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am able to eat natural glutamates for the most part. I react to lentils, they are too high in natural glutamate for me. Other than that I can eat mushrooms, tomatoes, beans, etc. without any issues.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 11:59 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Em, haven't heard from you in a while, everything OK with you and family?
Posted From:
Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 12:44 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Roy and Ada,
Thank you very much for your comments. It's very encouraging to know you don't react to glutamates in whole foods as well. And it certainly makes a lot of sense. We will definitely continue along the same path as we are now - avoiding all foods on that MSG list. We're finding it takes a long time for the children to get back on an even keel health-wise after eating something that has made them ill. So when we've noticed complete good health for several weeks we'll try out tomatoes etc. Hopefully these foods can come back on the menu as mealtimes and school lunches are getting very boring at our place!! Particularly for a couple of teenagers!
Ada I agree with your point about different information depending who you see. We have also noticed that. It makes things very difficult! Thank you very much for your email Ada. I will definitely use it if any questions come up. I think this forum is a wonderful source of information for people. You are all doing a great job. The information you have is potentially life-changing for those who are ill and can't find the answers through traditional means. - Jo
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Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 12:47 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Emily thanks for your answer too. I didn't realise lentils were high in natural glutamate so will add them to my list to watch.
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Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 7:13 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am fine with natural glutamate s as well, but I am very careful to not overcook them or cook on high heat. That can create free glutamic acid, the thing that really is the problem. I also am careful to stay away from over ripe tomatoes and I don't eat them if the remainder is sitting in the refrigerator for more than a day. Has anyone had any experience with locust bean gum? My sister in law just asked me about that . Mariann
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Posted on Friday, June 14, 2013 - 11:39 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This is not a complete list of foods rich in natural glutamate (and aspartate). It's missing tomatoes, mushrooms and probably others:

1) Grains: Wheat, barley, and oats are highest. Corn and rice are lower than the previous three but higher than potatoes.

2) Dairy Products: All Cheeses (cheddar, Swiss, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, PARMESAN) are very high. Casein is very concentrated in cheese and is 20% glutamic acid by composition.

3) Beans: Soy, Pinto, lima, black, navy, and lentils

4) Seeds: Sunflower, pumpkin, etc.

5) Peanuts: Very high, as are cashews, pistachios, and almonds. I have more detailed charts on the site to show exact values for the various nuts. Everything in moderation applies when eating nuts of any kind. So, I do not recommend you reach for nuts when you are really hungry unless you can stop after a few. Nuts are very good for moderation. For example, seven almonds a day gives you what you need .

6) Diet drinks: Primary source of aspartate (aspartame/NutraSweet)

7) Prepared foods, soups: 70% of prepared foods and many soups have MSG

8) Meats: Note: All meats are naturally rich in glutamate and aspartate. Lamb (and eggs) are the lowest, while rabbit and turkey are the highest.
Tom Fernstrom
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Posted on Sunday, June 16, 2013 - 7:06 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


When I first discovered my AFib reactions were due to MSG, I was also very sensitive to natural Glutamate in tomatoes, mushrooms an parmassean cheese. It wasn't until months after I rid my system of MSG in all the processed foods I was eating that I was able to reintroduce foods that contained natural Glutamate.

Remember that the body stores a lot of excess digested materials it considers as "nutrients" in fat cells. It takes a while to rid the body of these stored reserves of "nutrients" that may contain MSG. That is why we recommend a "Cave Man Diet" for a few weeks in order to purge the body of stored MSG. :-)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 1:59 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Di - are you talking about bound or unbound glutamate?

I find it's a very important difference. To the original poster - the problem /sensitivity is with unbound glutamate. As someone else posted, cooking things for a long time can release some of the bound glutamate. But I would agree with the suggestion to mainly worry about the additive list. The level of magnitude difference between whole foods and additives is pretty big. here's a helpful list:
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 7:09 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Like Tom, I would react to natural glutamate, especially corn and tomatoes when I first started the diet. Now I can eat them, but I tend to pick out less ripe tomatoes and always try to avoid corn unless it's organic. Whole foods are not a problem for me any more, unless they're overcooked or too old as leftovers.
Posted From:
Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 5:34 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi again,
Thanks for your replies and suggestions. Unbound glutamate being the culprit as opposed to bound glutamate seems to be the general consensus, with some people having trouble with certain foods containing a high level of natural glutamate during the early stages of the diet.
Corn is something that all 3 kids have reacted to, both fresh, and in corn chips (natural, no flavor) and popcorn. There has been no reaction to any meats.
At the moment we are testing wheat for the second time. This appears to be problematic for my sons. One of them is experiencing an intermittent sore stomach, but nothing too major. The other is having ear problems (both boys have had 10 sets of grommets each since they were 11 months old).
Do you find you have a problem with wheat?
They have been wheat free since November last year. And we have been on a restricted diet as far as additives, glutamates and amines go since March. Dairy (plain milk, butter and cream - not yoghurt or cheese) has been reintroduced and is tolerated well.
The plan is to take things slow. Continue avoiding all additives as per the "Hidden Names" list, test wheat (have been testing almost 7 days now - no major illness reaction but possibly slow building symptoms), test amines (this time without including chocolate as the dietician recommended - high in amines but also contains milk solids and soy lecithin , which is why the previous test may have caused a reaction), then test natural glutamates. Hopefully by Christmas we'll be a little more informed and also able to eat a lot more!
Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2013 - 9:02 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Skip the dairy, tolerated or not, cow's milk is for cows (or at least minimize) all milk products contain glutamate. My sister had ulcerative colitis for years - turned out, it was actually a milk allergy. My opinion, take or leave it: Just like FGA, even if you don't react to it, it's not good for you.

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