Is your brain ‘switch’ broken?

There’s a “switch” in your brain that’s supposed to turn off your desire to eat when you’ve had enough.  Is yours broken? 

If you were born after 1957 and your mom ate a fair amount of processed or ultra-processed food, there’s a good chance you suffer from Type 2 Obesity — obesity that is:

◼ produced in a fetus by something a pregnant woman “feeds” to her fetus before birth,

◼ not caused by lack of willpower, laziness, or genetic deficiency,

◼ something you — and your health care provider – are probably not aware of.

MSG: a double whammy to your liver

When Dr. Russell Blaylock came out with his eye-opening book in 1994, “Excitotoxins: the Taste that Kills,” he forecast an ongoing obesity epidemic based on the sheer amount of MSG and other excitotoxins dumped into processed foods and beverages.

Now, almost three decades later he says, “Unfortunately, my prediction has come true. Obesity is now a national epidemic – not just among adults, but also among children, even the very young.”

But the damage caused by our national obesity epidemic didn’t stop with extreme weight gain. It has helped to foster another widespread condition (even called a “pandemic” by some doctors and researchers), known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD. This chronic liver condition was a rare occurrence only a few decades ago. Now it’s not only rampant among adults but being diagnosed more and more in kids, some just toddlers.

As the name implies, NAFLD is a buildup of fat in the liver, something that can progress to a life-threatening condition called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which can lead to liver failure and liver cancer.

MSG has the distinction of contributing to NAFLD and NASH is two ways. As Blaylock revealed in Excitotoxins, it had been decisively shown in research that baby mice fed MSG became “grossly obese,” and that their “obesity was very difficult to reverse.” (Today, researchers turn to MSG as a tool to fatten up their lab animals for obesity studies.)

The other way MSG is helping to create this pandemic of liver disease was found in a study showing how low doses of MSG (extremely easy to consume if you eat any kind of processed food), combined with the ever-popular sweetener high fructose corn syrup, “greatly increased the risk” of both liver conditions, Blaylock recently reported.

HFCS, a cheap genetically modified sugar substitute, is extremely toxic to the liver. Study after study has found a significant connection between ingesting all forms of processed fructose and liver damage.

As for MSG and the manufactured free glutamate (MfG) it contains, it not only is a major cause of obesity that leads to NAFLD, but has been linked to numerous other conditions including many incapacitating neurological disorders.

Ironically, many processed foods labeled as “low-cal,” which are pitched to those hoping to lose weight, contain the worst additives when it comes to weight loss, as well as liver health. For example, HFCS-90, with a whopping 90 percent fructose, is often added to diet dishes, as only a small amount is needed for sweetening. And since lower-calorie processed foods are typically made from cheap, tasteless ingredients, MSG and other forms of MfG are added liberally.

While Dr. Blaylock has made a significant contribution to our understanding of the toxic nature of MSG and other excitotoxins — warning for decades about the dangers of consuming them – unfortunately, you still don’t have to look very hard to find them in our food supply.

But perhaps as even more children sadly fall victim to suffering the consequences of the widespread use of such additives, more people will join those already demanding change in how processed foods are made and regulated.

The birth of brain-damaging amino acids

Prior to 1957, excitotoxity did not exist.  For amino acids to be brain-damaging (excitotoxic), amino acids had to be available in excess of what the body required for normal body function. 

Before man began to manufacture amino acids, animals got the amino acids that they needed by eating amino acid-rich food found in the environment, or amino acids were produced by the body as needed. 

For amino acids to become excitotoxic amino acids, they had to be available in quantity – in “excess.”  And prior to the production/manufacture of amino acids in 1957, there were no “excess” amino acids. Before 1957, there was no such thing as excitotoxicity.

The concept of excitotoxic amino acids evolved from the work of John Olney, who had observed that immature mice fed or administered large quantities of free amino acids became grotesquely obese. 

Through animal studies done in the 1960s and 1970s, Olney and others demonstrated that free glutamate passed by mothers to immature infants causes brain damage, endocrine disruption, and behavior disorders when fed in “excess” to the animals, and Olney coined the word “excitotoxin” to describe the phenomenon.  Although not interested in food science, researchers of that period used monosodium glutamate (MSG) for its free glutamate content, for they had observed that brain damage could be caused by the relatively inexpensive free glutamate in MSG as well as by more expensive pharmaceutical-grade glutamate.

The reaction of the manufacturer of MSG

Olney was a neuroscientist interested in such things as amino acids and brain function and had no interest in food science per se.

But those who manufactured and profited from the sale of MSG knew that their product, monosodium glutamate, had been used as the source of free glutamate that caused brain damage.  And they set about to do whatever it might take to convince the public that MSG was a harmless, or even beneficial, food additive. 

In 1969, the fact that monosodium glutamate had been used as the source of free glutamate that caused brain damage, became a well-guarded secret — a secret vigorously protected by the people who, in 1957, produced the first excitotoxins.

Trouble Avoiding MSG?

Trouble avoiding MSG?  That’s because it’s not MSG per se  that’s causing your reactions. it’s the Manufactured free Glutamate in it.  And MfG is found in snacks, processed foods, protein drinks, protein powders, dietary supplements, infant formula and pharmaceuticals.

Download our list of ingredient names here.

Protein powders: healthy additions or brain-damaging toxin?

Adding a scoop of a protein powder to a shake or smoothie sure sounds like a good idea. After all, proteins are essential nutrients for the human body. They are one of the building blocks of body tissue and can also serve as fuel sources.

But there’s a very important distinction to be made between the protein in meat, fish, poultry (and other whole-food sources) and the powder that comes out of that box, bag, or jar. Read this post carefully before you touch another protein-fortified drink, snack bar or supplement. Your brain will thank you!

Amino acids

Proteins are polymer chains made of amino acids linked together by peptide bonds. During human digestion, proteins are broken down in the stomach to smaller polypeptide chains via hydrochloric acid and protease enzyme actions.   

When protein is ingested and then broken into individual amino acids, those individual amino acids proceed slowly through the human digestion processes. Unless one is allergic or sensitive to the food that contains the protein, its amino acids continue along to be digested without adverse effect.

But if protein is broken into individual amino acids before it is ingested, those free amino acids take on a toxic potential that they would never have ingested as part of a whole protein.

Take glutamic acid (glutamate).  When released from protein during digestion, glutamate is vital to normal body function. Often referred to as “a building block of protein,” it is the major neurotransmitter in the human body, carrying nerve impulses from glutamate stimuli to glutamate receptors throughout the body.

Yet, when freed from its protein source (be it from milk, peas, soy, etc.) and then consumed in amounts that exceed what the healthy human body was designed to accommodate, glutamate takes on “excitotoxic” properties. What was a normally functioning neurotransmitter turns hostile, firing repeatedly and damaging receptor cells in the brain and elsewhere until they die.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) makes a labeling distinction between whole protein foods and potentially excitotoxic processed protein products that are made up of individual amino acids.

FDA rules say that an unadulterated tomato is to be called a “tomato.” A “pea” is required to be called a “pea” and whey is called “whey.” Those are their common or usual names. No reference is made to the fact that these protein-containing foods contain protein.  

In contrast, when amino acids are freed from proteins such as peas, the resulting ingredients will be called “pea protein,” or “isolated pea protein,” “pea protein concentrate,” or “hydrolyzed pea protein.” And you’ll find these ingredients in all kinds of food products, including a popular dairy-free drink called Ripple.

Other food ingredients that have the same excitotoxic properties have names that include the words “hydrolyzed,” “autolyzed,” “amino acid,” “L-glutamate,” “glutamic acid,” and “L-glutamic acid.”

So, why haven’t you come across this information before? Why are products containing these brain-damaging excitotoxins even allowed on the market?   

The answers lie in the dark history of an unregulated industry – “policed” by an FDA that chooses to look the other way. That history can be read in The Toxicity/Safety of Processed Free Glutamic Acid (MSG): A study in Suppression of Information

Accountability in Research. 1999(6):259-310; by A. Samuels.

To learn more about how the FDA cooperates with Ajinomoto, the world’s largest producer of monosodium glutamate, check out this page at our website.  

MSG is a whole lot more than a flavor enhancer

By Adrienne Samuels

This article was published in “Wise Traditions.” Summer 2022, Volume 23,  Number 2,  pages 25-30.

Albert Einstein once coined the phrase “combinatory play” to describe the process of taking unrelated elements and concepts and putting them together to generate new ideas. Einstein did not invent the concepts of energy, mass or speed of light for his famous equation. Rather, he combined these concepts in a novel way, which restructured the way he looked at the universe.

In similar fashion, I have drawn from several different bodies of knowledge about the glutamate molecule (also called glutamic acid) to make the case that ingestion by humans of manufactured free glutamate — including the flavor-enhancing food additive monosodium glutamate (MSG), the sodium salt of glutamic acid is at the root of the obesity epidemic. The glutamate-obesity link stems from the following well-established facts: free glutamate is prevalent in the diet due to its presence in most processed foods; given its dietary prevalence, pregnant and lactating women routinely expose fetuses and newborns to free glutamate via the placenta and breastmilk; and, under some circumstances, free glutamate induces brain damage affecting the part of the brain that controls food intake and metabolism.

Glutamate is the principal neurotransmitter in humans, carrying nerve impulses from glutamate stimuli to glutamate receptors throughout the body. However, it is also widely recognized as a “Jekyll and Hyde” amino acid.1,2 When present in protein or released from protein in a regulated fashion through routine digestion, glutamate is vital for normal body function. On the other hand, when present in greater quantity than a healthy human needs for normal body function, it becomes toxic. In that instance, as an “excitotoxic” neurotransmitter, it fires repeatedly, damaging targeted glutamate receptors and/or causing neuronal and non-neuronal death by overexciting the glutamate receptors until their host cells die.3


In the 1990s, the first edition of the book Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills by Dr. Russell Blaylock drew the public’s attention to neurotoxic food additives, which by then had already been in use for decades. As that book put it, an excitotoxin “literally stimulates neurons to death, causing brain damage of varying degrees.”4

MSG is one of the most well-known excitotoxins. MSG’s ongoing heyday began in 1957, when food scientists shifted from a slow and costly method that called for extraction of free glutamate from a protein source, to bacterial fermentation as a “new and improved” method for the production of free glutamic acid for use in food. From that point forward, the virtually unlimited production of free glutamate was guaranteed.

Following the surge in MSG and free glutamate production, boosted by aggressive advertising, many companies recognized that profits could be increased if they produced their own flavor-enhancing additives. It wasn’t long before competing manufacturers were adding dozens more excitotoxic food additives to the American diet. Companies soon flooded the market with flavor enhancers and protein substitutes containing free glutamate-ingredients such as hydrolyzed pea protein, yeast extracts, maltodextrin and soy protein isolate, as well as MSG.5,6 A further toxic load was added to that list when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the excitotoxin aspartic acid, used beginning in 1974 in aspartame, Equal® and related products.

According to Dr. Blaylock, the amount of MSG added to the food supply has doubled every decade since the late 1940s.7


Although I knew a great deal about the toxic effects of MSG, it was only as people began reporting adverse reactions following ingestion of foods that did not contain MSG that I realized it was the free glutamate in the MSG — and in flavor enhancers other than MSG — that was causing what consumers were calling “MSG reactions.”

There is no question that free glutamate ingestion does cause adverse reactions. Some scientists claim that it elicits transient adverse reactions only in a small subset of people sensitive to the substance. Others maintain, however, that it causes adverse reactions on a broader scale, ranging from simple skin rash to migraine headache,8 heart irregularities, seizures and anaphylactic shock. Despite what is known about adverse reactions and the potential for brain damage, FDA imposes no limits on the amount of either MSG or free glutamate that a single food ingredient may contain.

Research shows that three conditions must be met in order to induce glutamate neurotoxicity. The first important factor is the integrity and health of the brain. Harm is most likely occur when the brain is vulnerable, meaning either immature — such as the fetal or neonate brain — or damaged. A fetus will be even more vulnerable to glutamate insult than a newborn.

Second, a sufficient quantity of free glutamate must be present to enable it to become excitotoxic. Since the 1957 change in the method of MSG production, so many products contain excitotoxic ingredients that it is easy for a consumer to ingest an excess during the course of a day.9-12

Today, there is sufficient excitotoxic free glutamate in processed foods, dietary supplements, snacks, protein powders, protein drinks, protein substitutes, baby formula, enteral care products and pharmaceuticals for a person to consume the quantity necessary for that free glutamate to become excitotoxic.

Third, the excess glutamate must be delivered to the vulnerable brain. In children and adults, delivery of free glutamate to a vulnerable brain can be achieved simply through the person consuming a sufficient quantity of free glutamate to cause it to be excitotoxic. In fetuses and neonates, delivery of excitotoxic free glutamate will be achieved when a pregnant or lactating female passes brain-damaging excess free glutamate through the placenta or in mothers’ milk. There is nothing to prevent ingested glutamate from entering immature brains.


Pregnant women deliver nourishment (and not so nourishing material) to the fetus in the form of material ingested and passed through the placenta. Studies show that MSG can cross the placenta.13,14 In other words, when glutamate passes to the fetus, the placenta does not filter out the glutamate.13 Research also indicates that MSG can cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in an unregulated manner during development; the BBB is not fully developed in either the fetus or the newborn. The BBB is easily damaged not just by ingestion of MSG but also other factors such as fever, stroke, trauma to the head, seizures and the aging process.1,15

MSG can also pass through the five circumventricular organs, specialized structures located along the surface of the brain ventricles.16 The circumventricular organs lie outside the BBB and are leaky at best at any stage of life,17,18 meaning they are not impervious to glutamate-induced brain damage.

Similar to drugs and alcohol,19 free glutamate can be passed to infants through mothers’ milk. The glutamate in mothers’ milk will be excitotoxic if lactating mothers ingest excessive quantities of free glutamate — quantities sufficient to cause the free glutamate to become excitotoxic. Newborn humans may also receive free glutamate through infant formula, which routinely contains ingredients featuring free glutamic acid and free aspartic acid.20


In 1969, Dr. John Olney demonstrated that the glutamic acid component of MSG, when administered in high doses to mice, caused brain damage in various parts of the brain, including the arcuate nucleus (AN) of the hypothalamus, one of the circumventricular organs.21 (Recall that the circumventricular organs are outside the blood-brain barrier.) Neurocircuitries in the AN control multiple physiological functions, including regulating food intake and glucose homeostasis, and “disruption of this fine-tuned control leads to an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure as well as deregulation of peripheral metabolism.”22 Given the AN’s critical metabolic role, it is not surprising that Olney’s study went on to find that the glutamate-induced brain lesions led to “marked obesity” when the mice reached adulthood, as well as stunted skeletal development and female sterility.

In the decade that followed, others replicated Olney’s work, confirming that free glutamate fed to infant animals causes brain lesions in the arcuate nucleus, followed by gross obesity.23 In the 1970s, scientists employed by the glutamate industry challenged Olney’s findings, conducting studies that ostensibly failed to replicate glutamate-induced brain damage. However, it soon became apparent that these studies were industry sponsored — designed to guarantee that no traces of glutamate-induced brain damage would be found.

Sometime around 2016, I began thinking about the unexplained obesity epidemic and reading about the adverse effects of ultra- processed foods. I realized that because these highly processed foods were made of cheap ingredients and chemicals, they would necessarily contain flavor enhancers to compensate for the lack of flavor — with all of those flavor enhancers containing excitotoxic free glutamate. I also knew that after the late 1950s, essentially unlimited amounts of free glutamate were at processed food manufacturers’ disposal.

Knowing that glutamate fed in large amounts to animals with immature brains causes brain damage followed by gross obesity, and knowing that the brains of fetuses and neonates are vulnerable to glutamate insult, I reasoned that if glutamate in large amounts could be “fed” to human fetuses and neonates, brain damage and obesity would follow. With the proliferation of processed and ultra-processed foods, there was little doubt in my mind that there is sufficient free glutamate in most pregnant women’s diet to provide the “excess” glutamate needed to cause the glutamate ingested to become excitotoxic (brain-damaging), particularly if more than one glutamate-containing ingredient is consumed during the course of a day. It also occurred to me that if a pregnant woman consumed free glutamate in excess of what she needed for normal body function, the excitotoxic excess would be passed not just to the fetus through the placenta but later to the infant while nursing.

In short, the onset of the modern obesity epidemic can be traced back to the introduction of excessive amounts of free glutamate made available to humans following the modernization of MSG manufacture in 1957. The obesity exhibited in some individuals as they reach maturity can be linked to the excitotoxic amino acids ingested by their mothers when pregnant and lactating.

Once one understands the fact that excitotoxins are readily available to most pregnant women and new mothers, it is easy to grasp how these toxins are transported to the fetus and newborn where they cause brain damage, which in turn causes obesity. Consequently, excitotoxic amino acids delivered to fetuses and neonates by pregnant and nursing women should be recognized as risk factors for obesity.

Acknowledgment of the fact that glutamate-induced brain damage in fetuses and neonates lies at the root of the obesity epidemic should put an end to the shame and blame that have long been associated with obesity and should facilitate appropriate counseling and medical interventions. It should also serve as a valid starting point for new groundbreaking research.


In this article, I have accounted for all five pieces to the puzzle of the obesity epidemic:

  1. The concept of excitotoxicity, with free glutamate being the principal excitotoxin;
  2. The fact of glutamate-induced brain dam- age followed by obesity;
  3. The abundance of excitotoxic glutamate in processed and ultra-processed foods;
  4. The fact that pregnant females can pass excitotoxic glutamate to their fetuses; and
  5. The correlation between the time that virtually unlimited amounts of free glutamate became available in food and the beginning of the obesity epidemic.

Nonetheless, ever since the first suggestion that MSG might have toxic potential, those with a financial interest in promoting MSG as a cheap and valuable flavor enhancer have denied its toxicity, launching well-funded, well-articulated campaigns to promote their products. Industry responses also include rigging studies to come to the foregone conclusion that MSG is a harmless food additive, and securing the active cooperation of regulators as well as the help of medical professionals, many of whom appear to be more than happy to look the other way.24 These actions may explain why the role of MSG and manufactured free glutamate in the obesity epidemic continues to be overlooked.

In 1950, Americans consumed about one million pounds of MSG; today, that number is three hundred million pounds. Given that almost all processed food and fast food contains MSG (usually not labeled),6 the food industry certainly knows that the additive they use to make their food taste good is a major cause of the current obesity epidemic. The message to consumers is clear: to lose weight, it’s important to avoid all processed food, and certainly not add MSG to the foods you prepare at home.

Adrienne Samuels, PhD is an experimental psychologist by training and educational psychologist by degree. Her interest in MSG’s toxic effects can be traced to the day she realized that her husband Jack went into anaphylactic shock after eating a meal containing MSG. Over the course of thirty years, Adrienne has monitored the MSG-related activities of the FDA, testified before the FDA and its agents, co-founded the Truth in Labeling Campaign and website (, met with members of Congress, initiated and served as a plaintiff in a lawsuit over FDA’s failure to identify the toxic free glutamate in processed foods, filed Citizen Petitions requesting that FDA revoke the “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) status of MSG and L-glutamic acid for any use in human food, and written numerous papers and journal articles. Adrienne continues to broaden her understanding of the toxic effects of MSG and its excitotoxic free glutamate component, sharing her findings with regulators, health care professionals and consumers. She can be contacted at questionsaboutMSG AT



In August 2021, the Washington Post published a puff piece on MSG, claiming that we have nothing to fear from the artificial flavoring that adds umami “spark” to many dishes.25 The author, Aaron Hutcherson, marginalized headaches and allergic reactions as minor symptoms in a few hypersensitive people. Said Hutcherson: “In addition to soup and eggs, MSG can be added to salad dressings, bread, tomato sauce, meat, popcorn, ‘an absolutely filthy martini,’ you name it. MSG is a great way to add flavor to just about anything except sweets. It’s particularly great with vegetables, too.”

He made no mention of the real problem with MSG: weight gain. If you search “msg-induced obesity” at PubMed, you will come up with almost one hundred citations. Most of the citations are animal studies, not human trials. This is because it’s hard to get research animals to overeat and become obese — in order to study obesity — so scientists feed rats, mice and hamsters MSG to make them eat more and put on weight. The food industry has argued that the amount of MSG given to these animals is way more, as a function of body weight, than humans would ever eat. or, they say, the association with weight gain and MSG is really an association of weight gain and processed foods, since MSG is in almost all processed foods.

What happens when we consume small amounts of MSG as a flavoring day after day after day? A 2008 study published in the journal Obesity provides confirmation that MSG indeed causes weight gain in humans, and not because of its inclusion in processed foods.26 In this well-designed trial, researchers at the University of north Carolina at Chapel Hill studied seven hundred fifty Chinese men and women, ages 40 to 59, living in three rural Chinese villages. Most of the study subjects prepared their meals at home without commercial processed foods, and about 82 percent used MSG. Those participants who used the highest amounts of MSG had nearly three times the incidence of overweight as those who did not use MSG, even when the researchers accounted for physical activity and caloric intake.

What about the argument, made by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and quoted by Hutcherson in the Washington Post article, that “The glutamate in MSG is chemically indistinguishable from [the essential amino acid] glutamate present in food proteins”? This sentence is true, but the FDA’s and Hutcherson’s second assertion — that “our bodies ultimately metabolize both sources of glutamate in the same way” is false. The glutamic acid in foods like meat is attached to various peptides and other compounds that release it when required and prevent it from overstimulating the nervous and endocrine systems; the glutamic acid in MSG, in contrast, is “naked,” highly reactive and unmitigated by its milieu.


What’s in a name?

MSG has many different disguises. The table below lists ingredients that always contain MSG, often contain MSG or create MSG during processing.

Always contains MSGOften contains MSG —or creates MSG
Autolyzed yeastAnything enzyme-modifiedMalt flavoring
Calcium caseinateAnything protein-fortifiedMaltodextrin
GeletinAnything ultra-pasteurizedNatural flavors or flavorings
GlutamateBarley maltnatural beef/chicken/pork flavoring
Glutamic acidBouillonPectin
Hydrolyzed vegetable proteinBrothPowdered milk
Monopotassium glutamateCarageenanProtease
Sodium caseinateCitric acidSeasonings
Textured proteinCornstarchSoy protein
Whey proteinEnymesSoy protein isolate
Yeast extractFlavors or flavoringsSoy sauce
Yeast foodMalt extractStock
Whey protein

Source: Louisa L. Williams, Radical Medicine: Profound Intervention in a Profoundly Toxic Age (2nd edition). San Francisco: International Medical Arts Publishing, 2007.


  1. Onaolapo AY, Onaolapo OJ. Dietary glutamate and the brain: In the footprints of a Jekyll and Hyde molecule. Neurotoxicology. 2020;80:93-104.
  2. Morley WA, Seneff S. Diminished brain resilience syndrome: A modern day neurological pathology of increased susceptibility to mild brain trauma, concussion, and downstream neurodegeneration. Surg Neurol Int. 2014;5:97.
  3. Excitotoxicity and cell damage.
  4. Blaylock RL. Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills. Santa Fe, New Mexico: Health Press, 1994.
  5. Teller M. MSG: Three little letters that spell big fat trouble. Wise Traditions. Spring 2017;18(1):42-46.
  6. Morell SF. MSG and free glutamate: Lurking everywhere.
  7. Blaylock RL. Excitotoxins, neurodegeneration and neurodevelopment. Available at:
  8. Interview with Jodi Ledley. Weston A. Price Foundation, Aug. 10, 2018. https://www.
  9. Global monosodium glutamate market poised to surge from USD 4,500.0 million in 2014 to USD 5,850.0 million by 2020. Market Research Store, Mar. 17, 2016. https:// Glutamate-Market-Poised-to-Surge-from-USD-4-500-0-Million-in-2014-to-USD- 5-850-0-Million-by-2020-MarketResearchStore-Com.html
  10. Global flavor enhancers market. BCC Research, Dec. 2018. https://www.bccresearch. com/partners/verified-market-research/global-flavor-enhancers-market.html
  11. Global food flavor enhancer market by type (monosodium glutamate (MSG), hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), yeast extract others), by application (restaurants, home cooking, food processing industry) and by region (North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Middle East & Africa), forecast to 2028. Dataintelo, n.d. https://dataintelo. com/report/food-flavor-enhancer-market
  12. Sano C. History of glutamate production. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;90(3):728S-732S.
  13. Frieder B, Grimm V E. Prenatal monosodium glutamate (MSG) treatment given through the mother’s diet causes behavioral deficits in rat offspring. Int J Neurosci. 1984;23(2):117- 126.
  14. Yu T, Zhao Y, Shi W, et al. Effects of maternal oral administration of monosodium glutamate at a late stage of pregnancy on developing mouse fetal brain. Brain Res. 1997;747(2):195-206.
  15. Nemeroff CB, Crisley FD. Monosodium L-glutamate-induced convulsions: Temporary alteration in blood-brain barrier permeability to plasma proteins. Environ Physiol Biochem. 1975;5(6):389-395.
  16. Benarroch EE. Circumventricular organs: Receptive and homeostatic functions and
    clinical implications. Neurology. 2011;77(12):1198-1204.
  17. Price MT, Olney JW, Lowry OH, Buchsbaum S. Uptake of exogenous glutamate and
    aspartate by circumventricular organs but not other regions of brain. J Neurochem. 1981;36(5):1774-1780.
  18. Broadwell RD, Sofroniew MV. Serum proteins bypass the blood-brain fluid barriers for extracellular entry to the central nervous system. Exp Neurol. 1993;120(2):245-263.
  19. special-circumstances/vaccinations-medications-drugs/ alcohol.html
  20. Samuels JL. MSG in infant formula. Weston A. Price Foundation, Dec. 31, 2001. https://www.westonaprice. org/health-topics/modern-foods/msg-in-infant-formula/
  21. Olney JW. Brain lesions, obesity, and other disturbances in mice treated with monosodium glutamate. Science. 1969;164(3880):719-721.
  22. Jais A, Brüning JC. Arcuate nucleus dependent regulation of metabolism pathways to obesity and diabetes mellitus. Endocr Rev. 2022;43(2):314-328.
  23. Burde RM, Schainker B, Kayes J. Monosodium glutamate: necrosis of hypothalamic neurons in infant rats and mice following either oral or subcutaneous administration. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 1972;31:181.
  24. Samuels A. The toxicity/safety of processed free glutamic acid (MSG): a study in suppression of information. Account Res. 1999;6(4):259-310.
  25. Hutcherson A. Why you shouldn’t fear MSG, an unfairly maligned and worthwhile seasoning. Washington Post, Aug. 27, 2021.
  26. He K, Zhao L, Daviglus ML, et al. Association of monosodium glutamate intake with overweight in Chinese adults: the INTERMAP study. Obesity (Silver Spring).

The obesity crisis. How it started. Why it continues.

Have you ever wondered how the obesity crisis began and why it continues to grow? 

The Perfect Poison tells it all.  The Perfect Poison tells how free glutamic acid (an excitotoxic amino acid found in flavor-enhancers) is passed by pregnant women to their fetuses where it causes damage to the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus leaving the child with no way to control appetite or satiety.

The paperback and Kindle editions are available right here!

To Your Health,

Adrienne Samuels, Ph.D.
Truth in Labeling Campaign
Chicago, Illinois   USA

MSG on 60 Minutes got people riled up 30 years ago. Could it do the same thing today?

Thirty years ago this 60 Minutes program (video below) on MSG was the second most-watched show of the year. Despite that, the show’s creator Don Hewitt caved to glutamate-industry pressure and refused to air it a second time.

Since then the Glutes have kept a tight wrap on information about the toxic effects of MSG, filling the Internet, newspapers and TV with cleverly crafted propaganda that carries the falsehood MSG is a harmless ingredient. Advertising studies have been rigged to conclude that nothing was found to suggest that MSG is anything other than safe, diverting funding from research that might concluded that MSG is harmful, enlisting the support of celebrities and professionals who vouch for the safety of their excitotoxic – brain damaging – product and keeping any mention of possible MSG-toxicity out of FDA files.

But it’s a new day. And as much as we may disagree about our politics and even what truth is, no one will disagree with the notion that it’s wrong to poison people, most especially our children. And so, through a Citizen Petition addressed to FDA Commissioner Hahn, I have asked the people at the FDA (who have kept the myth of the safety of MSG alive no matter what) to weed out the lies that the FDA is telling at the behest of the glutamate industry and officially stop calling the excitotoxic manufactured glutamic acid and the MSG that contains it generally recognized as safe — GRAS.

To comment on and support that petition, simply go here and then click the blue “comment now” button at the top of the page.

And be sure to share this message with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn friends.

Who are the ‘Glutes’?

For years, the Truth in Labeling Campaign has been calling them the “Glutes,” a name that many now recognize as being those who make money selling their poisons hidden in food. We gave them a name because we want you to know them and start talking about them, and it’s hard to talk about someone or something if it doesn’t have a name.

The founder and chief operating officer of this loosely knit operation is Ajinomoto, the world’s largest producer of monosodium glutamate. Ajinomoto designs and bankrolls its research, bragging of the millions it’s spending on public relations to “clear MSG’s bad name.” Their goal is to counter the fact that every day more and more people are suffering reactions to MSG and other flavor enhancers that contain MSG’s toxic manufactured free glutamate (MfG) by plastering the world with propaganda that MSG has gotten a bad rap.

Without the researchers who execute their double-blind studies using excitotoxic, brain damaging placebos, without the food technologists who incorporate MfG into thousands of processed foods, without the manufacturers that use MSG in their products so they can skimp on quality — aided by the grocery outlets that sell their products — and without the “public servants” at the FDA who for 50 years have turned their backs on research that clearly demonstrates MSG has toxic potential while endorsing the out and out lie that MSG is safe for use in food, MSG would have long ago been banned. And it can be done. As recently as 2018 the FDA acted to no longer allow the use of seven flavoring substances and flavor enhancers deemed dangerous.

Those are the Glutes: the people who work to keep MSG flowing without mentioning that they work for the producer of MSG when signing off on their work.

If MSG is ‘natural’ why have hundreds of patents been issued for methods of producing it?

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) found in an animal, vegetable, or mineral was manufactured and then ingested or added in some manner.

Below are just three examples of patents pertaining to the manufacture of MSG. There are literally hundreds more. MSG is man-made.

1. US3281247A – Process for producing monosodium glutamate

2. CN104211611A – New fermentation technology of sodium glutamate

3. WO1996031459A1 – A process for the preparation of monosodium glutamate

Below are general discussions pertaining to methods used in production of MSG (written by scientists, not by Ajinomoto’s hired hands).

1. Optimization of glutamic acid production by Corynebacterium glutamicum using response surface methodology

Naiyf S. Alharbia, Shine Kadaikunnana, Jamal M. Khaleda, Taghreed N. Almanaaa,Ganesh Moorthy Innasimuthub, Baskar Rajooc, Khalid F. Alanzia, Shyam Kumar Rajaram.

Journal of King Saud University – Science. Volume 32, Issue 2, March 2020, Pages 1403-1408.

2. Tasty waste: industrial fermentation and the creative destruction of MSG

Sarah E. Tracy

Food, Culture & Society (2019). 22:5, 548-65,