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Well at 2:24 p.m, I replied that I am enjoying this debate, I appreciate both sides totally, I posted this and it reflected the time however didnt post my reply.
I just wanted to say, your keeping someone interested in what you write next....

This is wierd, I just posted this and the above post went with it 3 hours later....

[This message has been edited by smack (edited February 26, 2002).]

Pass the popcorn, smack - Im riveted, too. [img][/img]

Corvallis Mom - youre doing great (like, you needed me to reassure you, lol) but you will *never* convince the anti-establishment types of anything mainstream. I know from experience not to debate [i]any[/i] issue with someone who thinks [i]everything is a conspiracy[/i].

Still, reading all the above posts, I pine for the days of yore before MSG was added to everything and we didnt have diabetes, allergies, headaches, cancer, strokes, heartburn, etc. Musta been really good times, living way back then before pharmaceuticals came along... Funny thing though, is that I [i]still[/i] dont have any of those problems, nor do a lot of people. Must be a conspiracy, dude.

Please continue.


I appreciate your credentials, Corvallis Mom, however, it is quite obvious you did not visit my website. I do have an entire page of statistics. I do not blindly post abstracts unless I have read the research. I have news journalists telling me this is an important resource, and it isnt even done yet. Please take a look at my site before you condemn my message. I am not saying that Kraft RESTRICTS what passes for research at Rutgers, I do however imply that it appears to be in the interest of researchers at universities these days eager for more funds to continue their work try to make potential donors happy. This is not Maxwell Smart. There is no ""Conspiracy"" here. Just greed. The tobacco companies found an addictive way to make money. The food industry found an anti-appetite suppressant. Hurray for them. Too bad for us - its a drug and not regulated as such. Its an old story. I am trying to convince scientists with scientific data. I just think you are holding the tail of the elephant. The problem is, theres a heck of a lot more animal attached to that tail. I spent an entire decade researching this because there are uncharted waters here. Conclusions yet to be drawn from much existing real data from respectable sources. Speaking of depression, there are currently studies underway to investigate glutamate inhibitors to treat it, since glutamate in excess can damage the NMDA receptors. Yes - I even know what that stands for (N-Methyl D-aspartate). The theory is that it doesnt matter if there is enough neurotransmitter around if the receptors have died off from neurotoxicity. Really, now, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Did you know that a surprisingly large number of diabetics have antibodies to GAD - thats Glutamic acid decarboxylase - the amino acid that converts glutamate into GABA. (Thats gamma amino butyric acid). Diabetics immune systems are attacking the means by which diabetics metabolize this overused food additive. I was so trusting of all they told me in my food science classes, however, what I found out really shook my faith in the system. It might also help these people here posting on this board to know that the Food Allergy Network is heavily sponsored by big food companies. The result is recipes in books I purchased from FAN which are high in sugary treats, and short on good nutrition. The new versions of my old college nutrition texts are now loaded with what appears to be ads for food companies, and their websites. Hardly unbiased texts nowadays. Hardly unbiased researchers, and hardly unbiased people with impressive sounding degrees. If you could potentially solve a serious health problem by simply avoiding a particular food item and an unnecessary one at that, why in the world wouldnt you want someone to try and give it a shot? Do you work for a pharmaceutical company now?

PS, a regular poster on the [url=""""][/url] website was chemist. She now has multiple chemical sensitivity and allergies as well as extreme sensitivity to MSG. She would disagree stongly with your unscientific position on that.
Also, did you know that glutamate triggers a histamine response? It doesnt trigger an antibody response - hence its not an allergen and was never considered one. (Its one amino acid - not a full protein after all. Antibodies dont recognize it, but they do recognize enzymes used to handle glutamate) However, Im sure youll agree that histamine is of some concern to a food allergic person. They are after all taking risks when eating anything. MSG or shrimp in a restaurant meal (thats any restaurant - only people who have done no research since 1995 still call it ""Chinese Restaurant Syndrome"" - the proper term is MSG Symptom Complex according to the FDA) cause an asthma attack within one hour in my boyfriend. Asthma is something many food allergic persons must worry about. The FASEB, and independent group, found that persons with asthma were at risk of ingesting even 0.5 grams of MSG. That I think should be of concern to any allergic or asthmatic person. I didnt make this up to aggravate you. I am bringing all this up, because I am a concerned scientist, and want to help people feel better.

My perspective upon the subject of MCS is no doubt just as anecdotal as your own, Carol!
I know several hundred ""chemists"" and those in the ""chemical professions,"" including former students as well as colleagues. They are in nine different countries. I know two who have symptoms which have been diagnosed as belonging to multiple chemical sensitivity. A third has since been diagnosed with lupus, which was initially thought to also be MCS. All three of those individuals had less chemical exposure occupationally than many of the post-docs and PhDs in my acquiantance (and one of them is a organic vegan, too). Compare this to the three persons (in my own extended family) who THINK that they suffer from this ailment and I think what you have is a real ailment (like true allergies) which is substantially OVER diagnosed.

Well...duh. Did I EVER (EVER?)suggest that MSG is something other than a free amino acid? (That is the argument that I give against people who claim to have a genuine ""allergy"" to it or any other small molecule.)

Yes, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Very. I notice, Carol (pardon me if this seems rude) that you do not have specific training in pharmacology, neuroscience, or chemistry (and yes- I am VERY well aware of the necessary coursework to complete a BS in food science). Any of those would prove useful, I have no doubt, but none is easily ""independently studied"" at the advanced level necessary to understand research studies.
(Note that I personally never claim to know anything w/respect to physics or materials chemistry- it isnt my specialty, though I have studied it in a rudimentary way.)
I do not claim that my literature knowledge of CNS glutamate receptor research is current- I know that it is not. What I DO maintain is that my own background allows me to interpret what is ""assumed"" knowledge in many ""materials and methods"" sections of journal articles. I have two decades of experience with the same laboratory techniques that are mentioned in neuroscience journals. I was for years a member of the Society for Neurosciences. Please do not think that I was merely a dilettante chemist that happened to take up with a pharmacologist to earn my degree. I am not in the least ashamed of my credentials- I had on my doctoral committee a National Academy of Sciences nominee and a former International Atomic Energy Commission president- but that didnt make ME a better scientist. (Just more terrified to be grilled by them during my thesis defense! [img][/img] )

I would take praise from journalists about the technical merits of yoru site with a hefty grain of salt, by the way. Trying to convince ""scientists"" and trying to convince the ""press"" are likely to be incompatible endeavors. Just MHO.
I also followed with great interest the debate throughout the 90s over what role damaged NMDA receptors might play in depression... However, you seem to imply that these receptors can be damaged by overuse which is patently false for all of the CNS receptors that I have ever studied, so far as that goes. GABA used to destroy receptors- yes. BUT this does not occur naturally, and if it did, researchers would not be able (as they routinely do) to lesion rat and primate brain receptors with this drug.
The most widely used antidepressant drugs (""prozac"" and similar molcules) DO NOT interact with this receptor system. They are (as a class) SSRIs or selective seratonin reuptake inhibitors. The selective term comes about because many illicit substances are less selective (ie- cocaine) and effect all of the catecholamine centers. The sleep disturbances and anhedonia commonly experienced in depressive episodes are linked conclusively to 5-HT, and therefore treatment which is focussed on this neurotransmitter is highly effective.

To suggest that university research is largely biased and not credible is - well, outrageous to say the least. It also reveals your complete ignorance of how university research is REALLY conducted. Clearly you didnt ever spend time earning a MS or a PhD if you think this. I am sorry if industrial experiences have embittered you to such a degree that you suspect all mainstream research of being ""tainted,"" for that simply isnt the case. I have known only one person who was ever asked to bias or falsify data or results. She immediately acted as a whistleblower, and has led a legal charge against that former employer. One must ask why you didnt feel compelled to do something similar. Dont tell me that it would have been impossible- my friend was up against the Defense Dept and the EPA, since she was employed at a Superfund site which was also a cold war weapons facility.

By the way- 0.500 g of MSG is quite a lot!! (That much would be about the size of an average peanut- something everyone in the audience can immediately appreciate [img][/img] ) MSG is a fairly traditional component of asian cuisine- so why is diabetes so rare in that culture? (The name for the ""flavor"" imparted by MSG is actually a Japanese term, ""umami"".)

Hmmmmm... why would the FOOD industry supply anyone in this country with an additive which is an ""appetite suppressant""??? (And why on earth are we all so FAT if theyve been doing this for so long??)
Of course, if what you were trying to say is that MSG acts as an appetite promoter, then everyone who eats no processed foods ought to lose weight, right? Sure didnt work for ME, is all I can say!

It does seem very strange to me that the medical community in general is VERY willing to acknowledge the problem of sulfite sensitivity... (from a clinical perspective, having been verified with DBPC) but is still so skeptical of MSG intolerances and looks for other causes.

Just things to think on!

(By the way, everyone- quixotic impulse being what it is, and me being a former educator... I know a hopeless cause when I see it, but I cant resist trying to modify ignorance, even when its willful! [img][/img] )

[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited February 28, 2002).]

[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited February 28, 2002).]

Of course I meant anti-appetite suppressant. On the website I explain that Asians have only been ingesting MSG as a separate food ingredient since 1908, when the Japanese used it for its flavor enhancing abilities. Asians now are becoming blinder by the day. They are experiencing epidemics of myopia and stroke at unprecedented levels. If you visited my site you would see the links. Asians are hardly immune to the effects of MSG. There are protective effects provided to Japanese consumers by the ingestion of raw fish which contains taurine, as well as the protection afforded by CoQ10 a substance almost used as much by the Japanese, as MSG itself. Coincidence, maybe? You have not addressed the fact that the placebos in those tests paid for by industry were spiked with aspartame or tomato juice. What about the diabetes link? Why dont you address these issues? I have links to official sites all over the msgtruth website. Are you afraid I might be right? I got news for you. Im afraid, because I know I am right. There is more to the body than the brain and spinal cord. There are receptors for glutamate in the pancreas, in the retina, and in the ear. You just will not even look at any new data. I am an engineer, by training. I cant just rest on my laurels, and say such and such is so. I must every day, face reality squarely, and admit that sometimes stuff we dont expect or draw in an equation or on a blueprint just happens. We have to take that reality and create new ways of looking at the causes and find real answers, and actually fix the problems, not just debate them. If we all just yawned and gave up because some smart guy told us he has figured it all out for us already, we would never get anywhere. I for one have been noticing that all the experts are telling us that childhood type 2 diabetes, obesity and asthma are epidemic and they DONT KNOW WHY. They are telling us that 50% of Asian teenagers are myopic when in the past that figure was 15%, and THEY DONT KNOW WHY. They are seeing young ASIAN adults suffering stroke in higher numbers AND THEY DONT KNOW WHY. (Even though in the US they are treating stroke sufferers with glutamate blockers) They are seeing more cases of depression, teen suicides, and autism AND THEY DONT KNOW WHY. Many of these body systems use glutamate in some way. As an engineer, I am looking at some very curious circumstantial evidence. In my job, I am not allowed to say ""Gee, I dont know why that happens."" and just go on my merry way. I have to solve problems. And these are very big problems, that may not need a pharmaceutical answer. Perhaps the answer isnt in the air or water, but the food. It is part of the environment after all. Perhaps it isnt some vitamin we have to take because we are missing it, perhaps, it is that we are eating too much of one thing. The uptake of glutamate competes with the uptake of cysteine in the body. Are you familiar with taurine? Well, the body uses cysteine to make taurine. All the smart guys who thought they knew human nutrition forgot all about taurine until 1986 when they realized that babies need to eat taurine because they cant make it. Think of all the babies born before 1986 who were bottle fed and taurine deficient because some PhD told their moms that they knew best, and had it all figured out.

By the way, many MSG sensitive folks are also sulfite sensitive. It is worth noting that taurine and cysteine are both sulfur containing amino acids. I know that traditional anti-depressants are usually SRRIs. However, this is new research investigating glutamate inhibitors. You mentioned students. You must teach at a college or university. You are slightly biased when it comes to issue of University wrongdoing are you not? I am not disputing your knowledge of the CNS - that is central nervous system for the folks just tuning in, but the research out from Johns Hopkins linking asthma with the nervous system was pretty recent. You might be interested in that since you are posting here. About your insulting me, youre wrong, but I forgive you [img][/img]

Corvallis Mom, I do hope you you scrutinize those peer reviewed journals a little more diligently than you read my above postings. You wasted a whole paragraph on my use of the words ""appetite suppressant"" without realizing I had put an ANTI in front of it. MSG is used by researchers to actually induce obesity in test animals. It also was found in research trials to lower dopamine levels, as well as increase prolactin levels. This is of concern to people with Parkinsons disease as well as those with pituitary tumors. Any one taking a dopamine agonist. That includes me. I was occupationally exposed to aspartame and ingested MSG in test products at the same time. I not only had one of the largest ovarian dermoid cysts the emergency room doctor ever saw, I also have a prolactin secreting pituitary tumor just like those little animals in the safety tests for approval of Nutrasweet. As far as aspartame, the body does split it up into aspartic acid and phenylalinine, however, the body can turn aspartic acid into glutamate. Also the phenylalinine, not only trouble for those with PKU, is the precursor to tyrosine, which competes for uptake with tryptophan. Tryptophan, as you must know is the precursor to seratonin. Gee, lets see now. Since 1991, depression prescriptions are up, teen suicide is up, and THEY DONT KNOW WHY. You said it yourself - people take SRRIs for chemical depression. Including me. Coincidence? Incidence of stroke is increasing in Asia, I already had a renal artery bypass when I was 34. The vasoconstriction was so bad, they could not find a vein big enough to do the graft. They had to use GoreTex. The aneurysm just past the blockage was 25 mm across. I am speaking from research and experience. I was not embittered by my years of experience in R&D at the best food companies. That is where I learned a lot more than any university taught me. I left on good terms with my last food industry employer. I was just so shocked by the implications of using excitatory neurotransmitters as food additives, and unnecessary ones at that, that I had to speak out, and leave the industry completely. This is not sour grapes, my friend, this is having ones eyes opened. After all these health problems and then becoming allergic to seven of the top ten food allergens, when I had never been allergic to foods before working with aspartame or MSG, makes me just a little bit curious about things. Especially when the research at Johns Hopkins came out linking the nervous system to the immune system. As for excitatory neurotoxicity, it does happen. There are volumes of research data on it. They are now using glutamate blockers on many different neurodegenerative diseases right now. This is real, it is happening, and people are taking these drugs. The premise is that glutamate in excess causes nerve cell death. That is the basis of all the research. It is not a question of does it happen. The question these researchers have is, ""How do I spare the patient more brain damage?"" Forgive me for my curiousity. I believe that curiosity and an open mind are pretty key for a scientist.

One more item. And Ill wait for your reply. GABA. The body converts MSG into GABA. You stated that GABA can damage receptors. Well, did you know that the agricultural industry here in the US is now spraying GABA and MSG in the ""growth enhancing"" spray Auxigro on many crops now? The EPA allowed all kinds of exemptions because MSG, (which is converted to GABA in the presence of certain vitamins) is considered GRAS. Just a little something FYI.

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