I'm hearing from more and more people who are trying to avoid MSG. MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is a cheap flavor enhancer that you'll find in many processed foods. As you may know, MSG can cause a myriad of health problems. They range from headaches to eye damage to chest pain to seizures (to name just a few).
However, one of the biggest problems MSG causes is brain damage. Many studies have proven this fact. So many, in fact, that drug companies developing drugs to enhance brain function use D-glutamic acid (“free glutamic acid" or MSG) as a tool to kill selected brain cells. They want to know if their drugs can reverse the damage the acid causes. So you clearly want to avoid MSG.
Unfortunately, avoiding MSG is extremely difficult. That's because there are nearly 50 different ways food manufacturers can list it on their labels. Some are honest and call it monosodium glutamate. But many hide it under names like hydrolyzed protein, yeast extract, or even natural flavors. That means you can be highly vigilant and still ingest MSG and, if you're sensitive, suffer tremendously for it.
But what if you could take a nutrient that could neutralize MSG? This nutrient would completely stop the damage that MSG causes. Would you be interested? When I first heard about it, it sure got my attention. Well, I have great news - there is such a nutrient. And it's a nutrient you can find in one particular brand of soft drink.
This nutrient is ginger root extract. Turns out, ginger root extract can completely reverse the neurotransmitter depletion and brain damage that MSG can cause. What's more, a new study found that ginger root extract can do so fairly quickly.
In this study, researchers did what the drug companies do - they injected lab rats with MSG for 30 days. Then they looked to see what the effect on the rats was. They found that the MSG caused significant epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin depletion. When these neurotransmitters become depleted, it damages brain cells (confirming what the drug companies know to be true). And this can cause all sorts of health problems, including depression and other mood disorders, Parkinson's-like symptoms, and dementia.
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After injecting the rats with MSG, the researchers then injected ginger root extract for 30 more days. In those few shorts weeks, the ginger root extract was able to completely reverse the MSG-induced neurotransmitter depletion and brain damage. The reversal was so complete that the damage did not return even after they stopped giving the ginger root extract.
Unfortunately, the FDA has no interest in banning MSG, despite all the research showing how bad it is. So you have to protect yourself. And ginger root might just be the answer. Because MSG is a constant threat, you'll need to add ginger root to your supplement regimen. You can safely take it every day at a dose of up to 4 grams. Most people don't have to take that much. You can find ginger root extract at any health food store and online.
If you don't want to add another supplement to your daily routine, there might be an easier way to do it. There are many beverages on the health food market that contain ample amounts of ginger. One of my favorites is the soft drink Zevia. They have a ginger ale and a ginger root beer that both contain real ginger extract. You can find a coupon at www.zevia.com. And you can buy it at many health food stores and some grocery stores. I wouldn't call all of the ingredients in Zevia healthful (especially the caramel coloring), but if you love soft drinks like I do, they're much better than any other soft drink on the market. And they do not contain MSG. There are other beverages on the market that have even more ginger extract. So look around and find what suits you.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.
Waggas, Abeer M. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences: PJBS, 2009.