After eradicating MSG from her diet, young girl stops experiencing autism-like symptoms

Brooke Reid was diagnosed as moderately autistic at the tender age of two. She had no eye contact, rigid play experiences, exhibited signs of obsessive compulsive disorder, was overcome by tantrums and couldn’t communicate socially. Brooke’s parents were both doctors. Her mother, Katherine Reid, Ph.D, is a biochemist. Her journey to help her daughter became a mission that is now assisting millions.

Natural News reports, ” . . . Dr. Reid’s free time was dedicated to researching autism and the struggles that other families were experiencing. Through her research, she learned that many children suffering from the disorder had improved symptoms after altering their diets to exclude monosodium glutamate (MSG), gluten and dairy products. . .Image: After eradicating MSG from her diet, young girl stops experiencing autism-like symptoms

“After Dr. Reid learned that naturally occurring glutamate was responsible for transmitting signals between neurons and other cells, she felt that an imbalanced diet filled with MSG could be worsening her daughter’s symptoms and potentially even the cause of them.

“. . . With MSG in nearly 95 percent of processed foods, and often unlabeled, Dr. Reid knew that it wouldn’t be easy eliminating it from Brooke’s diet; however, she was willing to try.

“Despite skepticism from the medical community regarding the link between autism and MSG, Dr. Reid withdrew MSG from her daughter’s diet and began seeing improvements in just five weeks.”

There were a series of nutritional therapies that Dr. Reid began to experiment with. She learned about thevitamin and mineral deficiencies that most Americans have. Her research on glutamate was eye opening, and in her words, “shocking,” as she discovered it’s not as easy to remove it from the diet, because it has fifty different names.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG): Is it harmful?

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer commonly added to Chinese food, canned vegetables, soups and processed meats. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified MSG as a food ingredient that’s “generally recognized as safe,” but its use remains controversial. For this reason, when MSG is added to food, the FDA requires that it be listed on the label.

MSG has been used as a food additive for decades. Over the years, the FDA has received many anecdotal reports of adverse reactions to foods containing MSG. These reactions — known as MSG symptom complex — include:

  • Headache
  • Flushing
  • Sweating
  • Facial pressure or tightness
  • Numbness, tingling or burning in the face, neck and other areas
  • Rapid, fluttering heartbeats (heart palpitations)
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Weakness

However, researchers have found no definitive evidence of a link between MSG and these symptoms. Researchers acknowledge, though, that a small percentage of people may have short-term reactions to MSG. Symptoms are usually mild and don’t require treatment. The only way to prevent a reaction is to avoid foods containing MSG

MSG Side Effect, The Silent Killer Lurking in Your Kitchen Cabinets


Although the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has categorized monosodium glutamate or MSG, a type of food additive, as generally safe for consumption, a lot of people have reported experiencing side effects after consuming food that contains MSG.  The additive is typically used to enhance the flavor of various packaged food products and in numerous meals served in restaurants.

MSG, first identified as a natural flavor enhancer in seaweed, is an neurotoxin that can overexcite your cells which can cause damage, or even cell death.  They man-made version that hit the food market consist out of almost 80 percent free glutamic acid and 20 percent sodium.

Glutamic acids works as a nerve stimulant which tricks your brain in believing that something tastes more savory or protein rich than it actually is.

MSG Symptom Complex

Some unwanted side effects of MSG were first reported and published way back in 1968.  These included heart palpitations, weakness, and numbness in the arms and around the nape area. Other symptoms have been reported since, and a heated debate is going on among medical professionals on the possible link to MSG.

The FASEB or the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, as commissioned by the FDA, released its findings about possible effects of MSG. These included: experiencing a burning sensation at the back of the neck, chest, and forearms, facial tightness or pressure, heart palpitation, chest pain, nausea, headache, numbness starting from the nape and radiating down to the back and arms, warmth or tingling in the upper body, weakness, and drowsiness. Collectively, these symptoms are classified by the FASEB as the MSG symptom complex.

All types of MSG (the free glutamic acid that appears in food as a result of the manufacturing process) can lead to these reactions particularly in people who are sensitive to MSG. These include the MSG found in AuxiGro (a plant growth enhancer) and those found in various other fungicides and fertilizers that have previously been approved for use on growing crops that include the so-called “organic” crops.

Symptoms Resulting from MSG Side Effects or Reactions

Various independent studies have been conducted on the food additive, and majority show that the following symptoms can result from MSG side effects or reactions:

Circulatory – swelling.

Cardiac – atrial fibrillation, arrhythmia, rapid heartbeat, tachycardia, slow heartbeat, palpitations, angina, and extreme drop or rise in blood pressure.

Muscular – joint pains, flu-like aches, and stiffness.

Gastrointestinal – vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, stomach cramps, and bloating.

Visual – difficulty in focusing, blurred vision, and pressure around the eyes.

Neurological – mood swings, depression, anxiety, mental confusion, disorientation, panic attacks, behavioral problems in kids, hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, sleepiness, lethargy, insomnia, seizures, paralysis or numbness, sciatica, shakes and chills, slurred speech, and shuddering.

Respiratory – shortness of breath, asthma, tightness in the chest, runny nose, chest pain, and sneezing.

Skin – rash, hives (internal, external or both), partial or temporary paralysis, mouth lesions, tingling or numbness of the skin, extreme dryness in the mouth, flushing, tongue swelling, face swelling, and bags under eyes.

Genital / Urological – prostate swelling, frequent bladder pain, vaginal spotting, vaginal swelling, nocturia, and frequent urination.

Side Effect Onset and Duration

The potential side effects that form part of the MSG symptom complex are expected to come anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes after MSG consumption, and are expected to disappear on their own in less than 2 hours. In the few instances when bouts of asthma were directly linked to the consumption of MSG-laden food, the symptoms were noted within 1 to 12 hours after consumption of the additive.

Although there were limited studies on people with chronic cases of hives, results showed that skin reactions were triggered within 1 hour to 1 day.  The affected participants were apparently MSG-sensitive.

Make Sure to Read Food Labels

With all these possible side effects I think it’s clear MSG should be avoided, even if the FDA claims it to be alright. Eliminating MSG from your diet may be one of the hardest things to do as it is hiding everywhere and many alias names are used for the same substance.

Here’s a list of common ingredients that always contain MSG:

  • Autolyzed yeast
  • Yeast Extract
  • Yeast Nutrient
  • Monopotassium Glutamate
  • Monosodium Glutamate
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Gelatin
  • Textured Protein
  • Hydrolyzed Protein
  • Calcium Caseinate
  • Sodium Caseinate
  • Yeast food

Also scan labels for these ingredients as MSG is often added or created during processing

  • Flavor, flavorings, seasonings or all phrases containing one of these words
  • Soy sauce
  • Stock, broth
  • Protease
  • Carrageenan
  • Malt extract
  • Matlodextrin
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Pectin
  • Kombu extract
  • Powdered milk
  • Barley malt
  • Enzymes
  • Anything enzyme modified
  • Corn starch
  • Soy Protein or soy protein isolate
  • Anything ultra-pasteurized
  • Anything protein fortified

The best way to avoid MSG is to avoid all processed food and opt for a clean, whole food diet. One last little tip. Add plenty of vitamin C rich foods and ginger to your diet. They have shown powerful protective effects against MSG.


MSG Proven Highly Toxic: 1 Dose Causes Headache In Healthy Subjects.

Found everywhere as an additive in your food, new research has uncovered that this “flavor enhancer” is extremely toxic, causing a battery of adverse health effects within normal dietary ranges.

A new study published in the Journal of Headache Pain reveals that a single intake of monosodium glutamate (MSG) produces headache in the majority of healthy subjects tested.[i]

The researchers conducted a double-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover study to examine the effect of repeated MSG intake on the following:

  • Spontaneous pain
  • Mechanical sensitivity of masticatory muscles (the four muscles that move the jaw laterally)
  • Side effects
  • Blood pressure
The study method was described as follows:

“Fourteen healthy subjects participated in 5 daily sessions for one week of MSG intake (150 mg/kg) or placebo (24 mg/kg NaCl) (randomized, double-blinded). Spontaneous pain, pressure pain thresholds and tolerance levels for the masseter and temporalis muscles, side effects, and blood pressure were evaluated before and 15, 30, and 50 min after MSG intake. Whole saliva samples were taken before and 30 min after MSG intake to assess glutamate concentrations.”

The results were as follows:

  • Headache occurred in 8/14 subjects during MSG and 2/14 during placebo.
  • Salivary glutamate concentrations on Day 5 were elevated significantly (P < 0.05).
  • Pressure pain thresholds in masseter muscle were reduced (i.e. pain increased) by MSG on Day 2 and 5 (P < 0.05).
  • Blood pressure was significantly elevated after MSG (P < 0.040).
  • Tolerance did not develop over 5 days of MSG intake.

Also, a wide range of side effects were observed to occur in much greater frequency in the MSG group, including:

  • Sore Jaw
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Stomach Ache
  • Dizziness
  • Chest Pressure

To view the study’s side effect tables, go here and here.

MSG side effects


This study has profound implications, insofar as the majority of packaged and prepared foods on the market today have either monosodium glutamate added, or a glutamate rich ‘food concentrate’ intended to model its flavor-enhancing effects, e.g. “hydrolyzed soy protein,” “yeast extract,” etc. It is therefore nearly impossible to avoid it, unless you are eating a whole food based diet, or one where you are preparing your foods from scratch. For those suffering from the battery of health complaints listed above, MSG avoidance should be a vital part of your strategy to improve your health through diet.

This study also has profound implications for the treatment of Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD).  According to the study, TMD affects approximately 10% of the population, [ii] [iii] with the chief symptom leading the patient to seek medical attention being pain in the temporomandibular joint and/or masticatory muscles.  Interestingly, 70% of TMD sufferers report masticatory muscle pain and are described as suffering from myofascial TMD, [iv] despite the fact that there is little evidence of ongoing pathological change in masticatory muscles. It has been hypothesized that dietary triggers might aggravate craniofacial pain conditions, but until now little to no research has been conducted on their link with MSG. Because the doses used in the study (150 mg/kg) are within the daily total dietary ranges of glutamate consumption (50–200 mg/kg/day),[v] it is likely that the high prevalence of TMD without obvious pathological lesions within glutamate consuming populations may be due to MSG.

MSG Has A Broad Range of Adverse Health Effects

MSG is a neurotoxic and endocrine disruptive substance, linked to over a dozen health conditions. You can peruse the first-hand published research on our problem substances database: monosodium glutamate. In a previous article, “MSG: Drug, Poison or Flavor Enhancer,” we focused on the excitotoxic mechanism by which it ‘enhances flavor’ in a drug-like fashion, while at the same time damaging neurons, in addition to its ability to contribute to metabolic syndrome: a cluster of pathologies including insulin resistance, weight gain, altered blood lipid profiles, and hypertension. If it is so harmful, why does everyone use it? Because it makes food taste better, and causes a profound craving for more, in a vicious not that different from an illicit drug.

Updated August 2014

Article References 
[i] Akiko Shimada, Brian E Cairns, Nynne Vad, Kathrine Ulriksen, Anne Marie Lynge Pedersen, Peter Svensson, Lene Baad-Hansen. Headache and mechanical sensitization of human pericranial muscles after repeated intake of monosodium glutamate (MSG). J Headache Pain. 2013 Dec ;14(1):2. Epub 2013 Jan 24. PMID: 23565943

[ii] ·  Cairns BE. Pathophysiology of TMD pain – basic mechanisms and their implications for pharmacotherapy. J Oral Rehabil. 2010;14:391–410. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2842.2010.02074.x. [PubMed] [Ref list]

[iii] LeResche L, Drangsholt M. In: Orofacial pain: from basic science to clinical management. Sessle BJ, Lavigne GJ, Lund JP, Dubner R, editor. Quintessence Books, Illinois; 2008. Epidemiology of orofacial pain: prevalence, incidence, and risk factors; pp. 13–18. [Ref list]

[iv] Lobbezoo F, Drangsholt MT, Peck C, Sato H, Kopp S, Svensson P. Topical review: new insights into the pathology and diagnosis of disorders of the temporomandibular joint. J Orofac Pain. 2004;14:181–191. [PubMed] [Ref list]

[v] Geha RS, Beiser A, Ren C, Patterson R, Greenberger PA, Grammer LC, Ditto AM, Harris KE, Shaughnessy MA, Yarnold PR, Corren J, Saxon A. Review of alleged reaction to monosodium glutamate and outcome of a multicenter double-blind placebo-controlled study. J Nutr. 2000;14(4S Suppl):58S–62S. [PubMed] [Ref list]