Common Food Additive That Causes Arthritis and Joint Pain
By Steve Hefferon, CMT, PTA
You’ve probably heard how MSG can be bad for you. Adverse reactions to monosodium glutamate have been reported for nearly a half century now.
An excitotoxin, MSG can easily generate and rapidly destroy neurons in your brain by hyperactivating the glutamate sensor. It’s literally toxic to your nervous system. Children and the elderly seem especially susceptible due to how MSG affects different pathways in their brains.
However, brain and nervous system function shouldn’t be your only reason to avoid consuming MSG. Besides numerous other health risks, consumption of MSG is associated with headaches, migraines, full-body achiness (like the flu) and joint pain. In fact, adverse reactions to MSG have even been mistakenly attributed to rheumatoid arthritis.
While some are more susceptible than others to the effects of MSG, the amount you ingest can reach a “tipping point” where you suddenly feel the health consequences.
MSG is Everywhere
Today it’s not just manufactured foods you have to be concerned about. In some countries MSG is literally sprayed on produce as it grows as a plant “growth enhancer.”
And if you think your favorite restaurant willingly shares how much MSG is on the menu – or whether it is on the menu at all – you may be sadly mistaken.
Earlier this year an excellent exposé on the FoodBabe.com website examined the ingredient lists from numerous popular pizza chains for hidden MSG. Or perhaps I should say, attempted to examine.
Domino’s Pizza, Cici’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, Uno Chicago Grill and most others all had MSG hidden in multiple ingredients – mostly under names other than monosodium glutamate.
- Food Babe
Domino’s Pizza, Cici’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, Uno Chicago Grill and most others all had MSG hidden in multiple ingredients – mostly under names other than monosodium glutamate. Typically the hidden MSG was found in ingredients like cheese, sauce and meat toppings.
Other chains like Little Caesar’s Pizza, Mellow Mushroom and California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) refused to disclose their ingredient information at all.
While a few pizza chains like Pizza Fusion and Truly Organic Pizza were found to be truly MSG-free, for most of us the best option will likely to be “make your own.” Which is why we asked permission to share Vani’s (the “Food Babe”) favorite healthy homemade pizza recipe with you below.
Become an Educated Consumer
Examining labels at the grocery store and asking informed questions of your restaurant server (or better, calling ahead) will help you select the healthiest options.
Yes, it will take some effort on your part to minimize your exposure to MSG. That’s the price of maintaining your health in today’s world. But your body will thank you for it.
Olney JW. Excitotoxins in foods. Neurotoxicology. 1994 Fall;15(3):535-44.
The Truth In Labeling Campaign. Names of ingredients that contain processed free glutamic acid (MSG). 2014 Mar.
The Truth In Labeling Campaign. Recognizing or diagnosing MSG adverse reactions. 2011 Jan.
Hari V. If You’ve Ever Eaten Pizza Before, This Will Blow Your Mind (Maybe Literally). FoodBabe.com. 2014 Mar 25.