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Infant formula contains MSG
Infant Formula
 

The Canadian Study

From time to time, we are asked if infant formulas contain processed free glutamic acid (MSG) and processed free aspartic acid both neurotoxins.

The following are results of analyses of five formulas purchased and analyzed in Canada. Brands are listed in alphabetical order. Ingredients of products sold in the United States and other countries may vary. The manufacturer of Enfalac sold in Canada uses the product name Enfamil in the United States.

You will notice from the tables that hypoallergenic formulas contain much more glutamic acid and aspartic acid than the non-hypoallergenic formulas.

TABLE 1
Test results in milligrams per 100 milliliters (mL)


 
 Aspartic
Glutamic
 
Acid
Acid
     
Carnation Good Start
.095
.261
Enfalac Iron Fortified
.064
1.327
Enfalac Nutramigen Hypoallergenic
18.717
100.880
Isomil Soy Formula
.132
.084
Similac Lactose Free
.021
.024

TABLE 2
Test results converted to milligrams per ounce (oz.)


 
 Aspartic
Glutamic
 
Acid
Acid
     
Carnation Good Start
.028
.077
Enfalac Iron Fortified
.019
.390
Enfalac Nutramigen Hypoallergenic
5.505
29.671
Isomil Soy Formula
.039
.025
Similac Lactose Free
.006
.007

In a brochure for their Enfalac formula line, Mead Johnson Nutritionals stated that infant formula requirements are as follows:

1 week old infant -- 6 to10 bottles of 60 to120 mL (2 to 4 oz.) formula

3 month old infant -- 4 to 5 bottles of 180 to 240 mL (6 to 8 oz.) formula

Taking an average of the formula requirements given by Mead Johnson Nutritionals we find that the average requirements would be:
1 week old infant -- 8 bottles of 90 mL (3 oz.) formula = 720 mL (24 oz.) formula

3 month old infant -- 4.5 bottles of 210 mL (7 oz.) formula = 945 mL (31.5 oz.) formula

Therefore, amounts of neurotoxic glutamic acid and neurotoxic aspartic acid ingested daily by an average infant on each of the analyzed formulas would be as follows:
TABLE 3
Grams of aspartic acid and glutamic acid ingested daily by an average 1 week old infant

 
 Aspartic
Glutamic
Total
 
Acid
Acid
 
       
Carnation Good Start
.000684
.001879
.002563
Enfalac Iron Fortified
.000461
.009554
.010015
Enfalac Nutramigen Hypoallergenic
.134762
.726336
.861098
Isomil Soy Formula
.000950
.000605
.001555
Similac Lactose Free
.000151
.000173
.000324
Figures are based on original test results found in Table 1.

TABLE 4
Grams of aspartic acid and glutamic acid ingested daily by an average 3 month old infant


 
 Aspartic
Glutamic
Total
 
Acid
Acid
 
       
Carnation Good Start
.000898
.002466
.003364
Enfalac Iron Fortified
.000605
.012540
.013145
Enfalac Nutramigen Hypoallergenic
.176876
.953316
1.130192
Isomil Soy Formula
.001247
.000794
.002041
Similac Lactose Free
.000198
.000227
.000425
Figures are based on original test results found in Table 1.

Formula Sold in the USA

In so far as we know, there has been no study of quantities of neurotoxic amino acids (glutamic acid, aspartic acid, and L-cysteine) present in infant formula sold in the USA. So we picked four cans of formula off our grocer's shelves to illustrate the fact that formula sold in the USA has its share of MSG-containing ingredients. (Ingredients known to contain MSG or create MSG during processing are shown in bold. L-cysteine is noted because it, like glutamic acid and aspartic acid, is a neurotoxic amino acid.)

TABLE 5
Ingredients in infant formula sold in the USA


Nestle Carnation Good Start (Easy to Digest Comfort proteins) Water, enzymatically hydrolyzed reduced minerals, whey protein concentrate (from cows' milk), vegetable oils (palm olein, soy, coconut, high-oleic safflower), lactose, corn maltodextrin....
Enfamil Nutramigen Hypoallergenic Formula Water, corn syrup solids....casein hydrolysate, modified corn starch...carrageenan, L-cysteine....
Ross Isomil Soy Formula with Iron Water, corn syrup, sugar, soy protein isolate...modified cornstarch...carrageenan....
MeadJohnson Enfamil with Iron Reduced minerals, whey, nonfat milk...carrageenan...

 
SUMMARY
The Canadian Study leaves no doubt that ingredients that contain processed free glutamic acid (MSG) and free aspartic acid -- known neurotoxins -- are used in baby formula. The fact that neurotoxins are present in baby formula is of particular concern because the blood brain barrier is never fully developed in infants, allowing neurotoxins more accessibility to the brain then would be the case in healthy adults.

The amounts of aspartic acid and glutamic acid found in the formulas analyzed in the Canadian Study have been listed separately in the above schedules. However, in studies using experimental animals, neuroscientists have found that glutamic acid and aspartic acid load on the same receptors in the brain, cause identical brain lesions and neuroendocrine disorders, and act in an additive fashion.

You will note that the level of neurotoxins found in the hypoallergenic formula was greater than the level of neurotoxins found in the other formulas. In reviewing the literature on hypoallergenic formulas, we found short term studies that concluded that hypoallergenic formulas are safe because babies tolerated them and gained weight. However, we have not seen any long term studies on the safety of hypoallergenic formulas. We believe that well designed long term studies would demonstrate that infants raised on hypoallergenic formulas, as compared to infants who are breast fed or fed on non-hypoallergenic formulas, will exhibit more learning disabilities at school age, and/or will exhibit more endocrine disorders such as obesity and reproductive disorders later in life. Long term studies on the effects of hypoallergenic formulas need to be done.

To put these figures in perspective, consider that in an FDA sponsored study dated July, 1992 entitled "Safety of Amino Acids Used in Dietary Supplements," the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology concluded, in part, that:

"...it is prudent to avoid the use of dietary supplements of L-glutamic acid by pregnant women, infants, and children.... and...by women of childbearing age and individuals with affective disorders." (MSG is called glutamic acid when used in supplements.)
Consider, also, that a press release dated May 27, 1999, which discussed the European Commission marketing authorization for RotaShield(R) Rotavirus Vaccine stated, in part,
"RotaShield(R) should not be given to infants who are hypersensitive to latex or ... or monosodium glutamate."
Shortly after its introduction, RotaShield(R) Rotavirus Vaccine was taken off the market.
__________
We wish to express our appreciation to Baby Love Products Inc. of Camrose, Alberta, Canada (www.kidalog.com)
for obtaining and sharing some of the above information.
 
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This page was last updated on July 3, 2004.


IF MSG ISN'T HARMFUL, WHY IS IT HIDDEN?