People with asthma might want to take a closer look at what they are regularly eating. Researchers have found that food additives are often the cause of many mysterious and chronic conditions that sometimes defy diagnosis and treatment. One such additive that tops the list is MSG. This harmful food additive lurks in nearly all of our processed and canned foods and is slowly creeping onto the organic and health food shelves. Perhaps this may explain why, despite improved treatments and knowledge regarding asthma, this disease continues to grow.
What is going on? Why are we getting sicker and sicker despite use of inhalers and spacers, nebulization treatments and so forth?
MSG early reports
MSG or glutamates was first suspected of causing an adverse reaction in 1968 when a Chinese research investigator wrote a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine explaining how he felt when he ate Chinese food. It was not difficult to note that this occurred only when eating this food here, in the USA, and not in his native country. This alerted him to food additives. After enlisting others in testing and noting that they also experienced similar results, MSG was isolated as a probable cause. Later, the New England Journal of Medicine was notified again in 1981 by others who raised similar concerns regarding the start of asthma like symptoms after consuming MSG. This is enough information to raise eyebrows regarding this additive’s safety especially since it is found in more than just Chinese food.
How does MSG cause problems?
MSG is a flavor enhancer that stimulates the nervous system. (Over stimulation of the immune system is linked to immune response and asthma). It starts its work as soon as it enters the body – right in the mouth. (This stands to reason since food will taste better). It is also commonly believed that MSG contibutes to weight gain. It is also known that repeated exposure to the same substance will eventually cause an allergic reaction. Again, MSG is everywhere.
True, the debate still rages and probably will for years into the future as to MSG and the asthma connection, but why take a chance with your health when this same additive constantly emerges by different researchers as being suspect in the same disease?
MSG use and associated complaints
Asthmatics are among the group of people who develop “MSG symptom complex.” The symptoms includes headaches, chest tightness, muscle aches, palpitations, nausea and even seizures. People with poorly controlled asthma, often experience severe asthma attacks after consuming MSG.
Also consider that asthma seems to be raging among the poorer population in this country – Blacks and Latinos. These are the same groups that have been identified as suffering nutritional deficiencies due to a poor diet. Many such kids often eat snack and convenience foods from the local corner store. The food selections includes things like preservative laden food such as Spam, flavored chips, high sodium cheese crackers, popcorns and other foods high in artificial flavors and preservatives. MSG or glutamates are high on the list of ingredients in all of such foods.
This is a matter of evaluating what is already known and making the best decision for your family.
Try going MSG free for a couple of months and see how the asthma symptoms do. You just might be pleasantly surprised.
Please note that MSG can be masqueraded in the food as a number of ingredients:
vegetable protein extract
Good health to you and your family.