In 1984 I was in China with David Bellamy visiting remote herb farms. Naturally he, being famous, was feted by the Chinese authorities wherever we went so there were loads of formal banquets, speeches and toasts. I was a Vegan at that time and when it came to a Mongolian feast which involved dipping raw thinly sliced meat into a central pot of bubbling broth I took a swerve and concentrated on the veg scattering them with what I thought was salt but turned out to be MSG. Originally made from gunpowder it is used to force the taste buds open to emphasise the taste of food so ,in essence, a tomato would taste even more tomatoey.

My God! Within hours my right arm became paralysed. I worked out what had happened fairly quickly, drank loads of water with soluble Vitamin C and rested, resolving to eat my food while in China totally nude. The food I mean…not me! I recovered. Since then I’ve never eaten in Chinese restaurants, though, in fairness many now no longer use Monosodium glutamate.

Pure, White and havoc for the brain.

MSG flies under the banner of a brain transmitter substance called excretory amino acids.  It raises the blood glutamate concentration to potentially neurotoxic levels and I find a lot of my patients reading highly allergic to it when I do a Vega test. Even though, worryingly, they are not aware of eating it. However there is a lot of it in processed foods. Free glutamatic acid is produced as a by product of many food manufacturing processes and is found in hydrolysed proteins  (like stock cubes), plant protein extracts , sodium and calcium caseinate, yeast extracts like Marmite, autoysed yeast and textured protein like Quorn.

So use organic bone broth instead. It’s GOOD for you! Spread a nut butter or an avocado on your toast, not Marmite.

Unlike MSG which causes nervous system damage in the very young resulting in ‘miswiring’ of the brain. This can lead to serious behavioural problems like hyperactivity, aggression, attention deficit disorder and poor learning.

It can cross the blood brain barrier through the hypothalamus and there are many other medical conditions that can cause the barrier to fall like high blood pressure, diabetes, brain tumours, heat stroke, vascular stroke, MS, neurodegenerative diseases and certain drug regimes.

And the symptoms?

Generally dizziness, light headedness, mental confusion, panic attacks, hyperactivity and behavioural problems. But Professor J Timothey Greenmayer, a neuroscientist, believes the dysfunction of EAA pathways could play a role in the clinical manifestations of Alzheimer’s disease such as memory loss and signs of corticol disconnection.

So avoid as much processed manufactured food as you possibly can and cook fresh and organic. The latter because Auxein were given leave earlier this century by the Environmental Protection Agency to market a new product containing 30% MSG for spraying on crops before harvesting.