Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is a salt that is chemically converted into a flavour enhancer. MSG is an excitotoxin in the brain, meaning that it over stimulates the brain causing the production of excessive amounts of dopamine. Because MSG damages the brain and alters the ability of the brain to respond to the signal from the hormone leptin, it destroys the hard wiring in the brain of a rat like it does in the brain of a person.

MSG also promotes liver inflammation and dysplasia

Chronic inflammation is a common theme in a variety of disease pathways, including autoimmune diseases. In a study reported in the February-March, 2008 edition of the Journal of Autoimmunity, researchers reported that injecting MSG in mice leads to significant liver inflammation along with obesity and type 2 diabetes. To address the long-term consequences of MSG on inflammation, they performed serial analysis of MSG injected mice and focused in particular on liver pathology.

They found that by the age of 6 and 12 months, all MSG treated mice developed liver inflammation and structural change. Lesions were detected in some cases.

The Dangers of MSG

Typical MSG complaints include:

  • burning sensations of the mouth, head and neck, (1)
  • weakness of the arms or legs, (1)
  • headaches, (1)
  • upset stomach, (1)
  • hives or other allergic-type reactions with the skin.(2)

(1) Food Allergy. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice (1998)

(2) Additive-induced urticaria: experience with monosodium glutamate (MSG). The Journal of Nutrition, 2000

Why is MSG so harmful?

It’s an excitotoxin substances, usually containing amino acids that react with specialized receptors (neurons) in the brain in such a way as to lead to the destruction of certain types of brain cells. Humans lack a blood-brain barrier in the hypothalamus, which allows these excitotoxins to enter the brain and cause damage.


The monosodium glutamate symptom complex: assessment in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: Part 1 (1997)

A double blind study found that MSG exposure caused muscle tightness, fatigue, numbness or tingling, and flushing in sensitive people.

A high dietary intake of sodium glutamate as flavoring (ajinomoto) causes gross changes in retinal morphology and function. Experimental Eye Research, 2002

MSG exposure over a period of 3-6 months led to significant risk for damage to the retinas of the eyes. Initially, there was no visible damage, but multiple exposure over a period of time led to the irreparable injury.

Behavioral and endocrinological effects of single injections of monosodium glutamate in the mouse. Neurobehavioural Toxicology and Teratology (1986) 

Not only do they cause brain damage and lead to nervous disorders, but they also cause radical hormone fluctuations. Mice injected with MSG become rapidly obese, inactive, and have other hormonal issues.

Food Additives: What You Eat Can Kill You. Blaylock, Russell, 2007 

Humans are 20 times more sensitive to MSG than monkeys, 5 times more sensitive than rats.

Excitotoxicity and N‐methyl‐D‐Aspartate receptors. Drug Development Research, 1989

The neuroscientist Dr. John Olney found that MSG not only destroyed retinal vision cells, but also parts of the brain. This brain damage was done as neurons became over excited, virtually exciting themselves to death. He called this “excitotoxicity,” and that has led subsequent researchers to describe MSG as an “excitotoxin.”

Excitotoxins : the taste that kills. Blaylock, Russell, 1998

MSG overstimulates our nervous system — exciting our nerves and causing an inflammatory response. With time, these repetitive inflammatory responses cause our nerves to start producing more and more nerve cells that are sensitive to this kind of stimulation. The more overly-sensitive nerve cells we have, the stronger our immediate response to MSG will be.

Many studies have shown that glutamate plays a major role in how the brain is formed during development. There is a programmed rise and fall in brain glutamate levels during brain formation, which occurs in humans not only during intrauterine life, but until the age of 27.

This oscillation in brain glutamate is very critical, and any disruption in glutamate levels has dire consequences. It has been shown that during pregnancy, a diet high in MSG increases the developing baby’s glutamate levels to those twice as high as the mother’s. This can significantly alter how the baby’s brain forms and functions.

Very high MSG intake (of any excitotoxin) can cause abnormal learning, addiction risk, and behavioral, emotional control, and endocrine problems later in the baby’s life.

We now know, for instance, that glutamate is the main control neurotransmitter for the hypothalamus. This section of the brain controls most of your hormones, eating behavior, temperature control, pain regulation, and sleep habits, as well as the autonomic control of your heart, GI tract, lungs, and bladder. – Russell Blaylock

It turns out that MSG is especially harmful to pregnant or nursing mothers because infants and young children are four times more sensitive to MSG than adults!

Not only are many people immediately sensitive to it, but it can also interrupt the hormonal and biological development of my children!

The effects of MSG are cumulative. Just because you don’t react to MSG now, doesn’t mean you won’t later. According to Dr. Russell Blaylock (MD and Neurosurgeon) sensitivity to MSG builds up in our bodies until we reach what he calls our “threshold of sensitivity.”